Why everything will suddenly go Google
Those with the keys to converging systems and opportunities will rule the third wave in IT&C, says Varujan V. Pambuccian, president of the IT&C Commission in the Chamber of Deputies
I was reading the other day a review by Stan Schroeder about ten new web-based operating systems.
This man is a ‘real’ IT journalist concerned with thoroughly understanding everything that goes around him, not only in his country of residence, Croatia, but in the entire world.
Let’s imagine I was a mathematician. I would have willingly taken time to try to calculate the intricacies of a computer programmer’s minds. It would have taken me a long time to realise that I was staring at the obvious.
The truth is that there already are tens of such operating systems, and a simple search through Stan Schroeder’s reviews is a good start for anybody who wants to find out more about them. Taking each of them separately, this is no big revolution, but it makes me think at the moment when I stepped out of my teenage years and I realised you don’t need to look for your ‘dream woman’, it’s much better to simply live in the real world.
This is how things work with operating systems (OSs)… As the much-awaited GooOs, or whatever that may be called in the future, the IT world is now going through a never before seen period of enthusiasm.
That is for almost 30 years. It is already clear, even to the most sceptical of us, that we are now witnessing a radical change and only those who managed to understand in time the transformations that are taking place in the telecom industry will survive. These changes are also taking place in the hardware field. And the business model is changing. I will not discuss in this series of articles about what I call ‘the third wave’, about spectacular and unheard of things. Many of them have existed for a long time. But, this is the third period of the IT&C epoch which could lead to a great change if all is aspects can work together.
It first happened at the end of the 1960s, when computers left the laboratories to enter the real world. We saw simple architectures, the hard and the soft were produced by the same company, many times without set standards and sold together, as any other industrial goods. This moment, dominated by IBM, can be considered as the first wave in the IT industry. The second moment can be located at the end of the 1970s, where the access to a computer and the software was ‘democratised’.
Those years saw the appearance in the US of small kits of mini-computing systems ready to be assembled at home, and computer hobby clubs showed a similar tendency to the web-based operating system I was referring to at the beginning of this article. One of the computer models created in this atmosphere by Steve Wozniak met Steve Jobs’ commercial idea to sell it already assembled under the Apple 1 name.
Not to lose time in front of such a market approach, IBM decided to start the mass production of PCs and surprisingly decided two things: to order the operating system from another company and to allow the soft producer to sell it independently of the PC produced by IBM. The operating system producer was Microsoft, and this is how the software license has appeared, as we now know it, and not a new business model which is today’s model in the IT industry.
The third wave is the result of five major transformations in the past ten years in the IT and communications industries: detailed below:
1. The appearance of low energy consumption hardware architectures which do not diminish performances.
2. The increasing bandwidth in communication networks
3. The spread of digital content
4. The appearance of network-resident software
5. The appearance of new business models.
Even if it did not play a decisive role in producing either of the changes I mentioned, the merit of putting them together and of defining them as a coherent business model, is, indubitably, Google’s.
This is why the effervescence surrounding web-based operating is the final sign that the third wave is now rising.