Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A Place for the PC?

While it is not exactly news, today Bill Gates responded to a Nicholas Carr article on the "Requiem for the Corporate PC". Carr has a good point. A large proportion of the employees with PCs do not need a high powered general purpose computer with a very hackable operating system on their desk. In large corporations the majority of the workers could be better served by a relatively thin client that gives them access to many of the services that they need on well protected corporate servers.

The problem is that the best general office productivity suite comes from Microsoft, so corporations do need to buy the highly hackable operating system with its attendant support costs to run the standard desktop. The funny thing is that while Microsoft did an extraordinary job with Office their Outlook is not so stellar.

Unfortunately, while Carr may have a good point, he tends to sex up his argument by personalizing it and that drag us down the wrong path. So rather than discuss whether the corporate lacky is best served by a thick or thin client, Carr gets in a fight with Gates. In his response, Gates is more abstract and less compelling than usual.

I think that there are interesting and compelling arguments on both sides, I would just like to see them being made.

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