Exploration of the effects of pushing technology progress too fast
|As we see the tech sector continue to take a dive into the thousandth level of the abyss, I have to take my 20/20 hindsight and say:
"They all brought it on themselves."
Sales are down.
Profits are down.
Stocks are down.
Layoffs are the only thing up.
Why all these downward trends on the planet? Because technology creation has surpassed the speed of adoption. Corporations need to make money, show profits, and most of all (when you're a public company), high rates of growth. So the whole industry is going along quite happy with new processors about every 2-3 years, and new versions of operating systems every 5 years or so and then they realized something.
There isn’t enough growth.
Sure more people pipe in and buy the latest thing when it comes out, but we can't have a 30% growth every 3rd year. We need that 30% growth every year. That way people buy the stock and the hype and the propaganda that they are getting something better. I guess we just figured out that we're not.
Intel stands up and says that they can come out with a next generation CPU every 11 months. That’s real sweet except that the corporations that buy the computers that contain the CPUs only turn over their fleet of PCs every 3-4 years.
So why is no one buying the Pentium 4s? Cuz we haven't cost justified the Pentium 3s that we choked through the budget last year. This rapid change has cost larger companies more money to turn-over their fleet of PCs because the models are changing too quickly.
No system provider, beit IBM, Compaq, HP, Dell, etc., ever produces enough of a particular model anymore to supply large companies with a single model to make their entire fleet of PCs identical. Thus the teams that are deploying these PCs have to constantly change and update the system images for the next version of the computer coming in for the next department being renewed. Fleet conversion are now incurring over double the time and effort that was required 5-8 years ago.
This is why no one gives a rat’s ass that Intel can squeeze another 100 million transistors on a wedge of silicon and make your special little table auto-format in Word a Pico-second faster than it did yesterday. I'd rather wait 3-5 years and see if they can really come up with a noticeable change to processor speeds. Why keep hopping 100-200MHZ every 4 months. Come back when you've mastered 5Ghz and then we'll talk.
Now the software guys are trying to get in on the act as well. Office 2000, Office 2001, and Office XP all appeared within a year. Companies don't even have their heads around moving from Windows NT to Windows 2000 and now we have Windows XP arriving all pretty and packaged with .net this fall. To add insult to injury, the Microsoft Inquisition is running around and forcing companies to do internal licensing audits of their software and cough up any license fees that they can't prove they paid for within the 30-day audit deadline.
With that said and your big juicy cheque cashed, Microsoft can finally cut the support and patches of the version your company just got stomped for and tell them they have to pay to upgrade to the latest and greatest version. They are even armed with the knowledge of exactly how many upgrade licenses you need to buy; Microsoft is ready for their next big juicy cheque!
I’m not seeing any profit warnings coming out of Redmond in the near future.
Rumours are mounting that some fairly large corps are looking at lower cost options to the MS Office they've known and loved over the years. It's gotten too expensive to keep upgrading for a bunch of features and foolish add-ons that nobody fucking uses.
"I want to type a document and print it on the laser."
What the hell has Microsoft done to Office this time, that is going to revolutionize this task that occupies 95% of all the word processing done worldwide? Zip. Zero. Zilch. The big goose egg. But regardless of that, after you upgrade, be assured that Office will consume 40% more of your hard disk than it did before, and you'll have to add another 64MB ram to load the app. Oh yeah, don't forget to boost your CPU another 400-500Mhz so that the god dam splash screen pops up as quickly as it did on the previous release. All this, just so you can get "support". Tell ya what. I'll save you the phone call - reboot. If that doesn't work, check the website for a patch. If there's no patch, keep rebooting till there is a patch. Hopefully the patch won't stop your computer from rebooting.
So now that we understand that the market only buys new hardware and software every 3-5 years. It explains why no one is buying new computers. Explaining why computer makers aren't buying CPUs from Intel, AMD, et al. But we’re still getting pooched into buying the latest software for our coveted cozy “support”. Leaving us running a bunch of slow PCs with slow software and not a cent left in the budget to replace the aging fleet of PCs or increase the speed of our corporate internet connections, which means that the Telcos and the Ciscos and the Nortels are all getting dragged down too.
All this brings me to the heart of today’s techno speed beef, which is why the speed of technology turnover is turning people away from Internet porn sites. Content engines on the porn sites have grown way too fast. Larger wallpapers, higher res, longer stories, 10,000 item stores, where is it all going to end?
Here is the bigger question: Why is Stevie not surfin’ his regular porn hangouts on the net from his office anymore? It's not the net nannies. It's not the CEO grannies. It is solely the global corporate cash flow pinch inflicted by the Microsoft's and the Oracle's and the IBMs et al. They are forcing employees to use new software on old PCs through slow office internet connections which can no longer keep up with the mammoth content engines that internet porn sites can afford to build today.
If this trend continues, even Omar is going to be out of work!