Sunday, June 17, 2007

How the computer industry makes people happy

First there were giant computers that had an enormous rooms to hold their 10MB memory, people took turns on using them, and there were experts who know how to use them, everyone had his job role, and everybody were happy.
Then, someone came with the bright idea that hooking several monitors to the same large computer will allow more people to work on it simultaneously, which let to having a mainframe with many terminals. Many people used their terminals to work on the same computer, this helped them save time, and everybody were happy.
Around that time, somebody important in the computer business said something that can be interpreted like there no reason for people to have computers at their home (he actually said that there is no need to more then a few computers in the world, the interpretation is mine). Nevertheless, IBM came with the idea of PC, which stands for personal computer. This resulted in the situation where almost every one bought computers to their homes and offices. This led to the need of software that could be installed on many computers, which led to the way things worked and still work today - software versions and buying a software usage license rather then buying the software. Still, people got used to it and everybody were happy.
Then came the web, and with it the ability to share data among people. Still, it was slow and you couldn't put software on one computer and use it on another. Yet, after the communication speed grew and grew, companies started to see that the option of putting software in one place, and use if from another (either to put data on a database or perform a search) is possible. These companies liked it, they thought that the more people use their software, they earnings would grow, so they persuaded other people that this is true, until everybody were convinced that this is true, and when they noticed that there is no income, it was too late and this bubble exploded. Now many people weren't happy.
However, they kept on thinking "what's next?", and they found the answer. The thing that should come next is the past. If it is possible to run software on one computer, and use it on many others, why not allow many people to use it, and harness this fact to make money. This started the "software as a service" era, which is actually beginning as I type these lines. This causes the concept of selling software licenses to fade, alongside the concept of different software versions to different people. These people called this idea web2.0, which made them happy.
Moreover, the people that were happy in the distant past call it an improved mainframe, which makes them say that they did all this 30 years ago, and therefore making them feel right and needed, which makes them fill happy.
So, what is really next, my guess is that somehow the cellular technology would improve and will go through similar processes. This would result in people buying their cellphones , and use any kind of software they want as a cellular web service - the calendar and phone book will be on sites that people would just register to, and thus changing the cellphone would not result in any loss - either of data or a familiar interface, because the cellphone would just be a mobile computer that can also make phone calls.

I think that this will cause many people to be happy.

3 comments:

OneY said...

Around that time, somebody (let's not say names, just say that it sounds like gill bates) said something that can be interpreted like there no reason for people to have computers at their home (he actually said that there is no need to more then a few computers in the world, the interpretation is mine).

Actually, I thought it was one of IBM's chief executives who said that we already have 4 or 5 mainframes, there is no need for more computes in the world.

Yoav Rubin said...

I stand corrected, thanks

Sapphire said...

Good for people to know.