Tuesday, June 08, 2004

More on commodity hardware and software

Until a few days ago, I used a 5 year old 1024x778 pixel Samsung flat screen monitor. I just bought a new 1280x1024 Samsung flatscreen monitor for 1/3 the price as the old one - have to love commoditization of computer hardware! I have been running a Mac G4 tower headless as a server - I guess that my server will now have a display.

For many organizations, the cost of software can be higher than the cost of hardware. While there is definitely a place for commercial software, I think that we are going to see much more free infrastructure software and end user software.

I prefer using StarOffice or OpenOffice.org rather than Microsoft Word (I have written a few published books with OpenOffice.org), but the Microsoft file compatibility problem is HUGE. Microsoft certainly does a great disservice to their customers by both changing Word file formats between Word versions and by not making their file formats more open. The "fast save" mode format for Word files is very obtuse (if you have ever looked at a fast save file, you know what I mean). I own Microsoft stock, and in a lot of ways, I respect Bill Gates, but I think that he is a bit of a hypocrite when he goes on about providing value to customers - value would be using open file formats!

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