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The idea of constantly adding enhancements to existing technologies (and
eventually of bringing out a new - frequently incompatible - technology
that makes the existing ones obsolete ) certainly didn't originate with
Microsoft. In the fifties, people railed against "planned obsolescence."
Auto makers, camera makers, appliance makers, etc., have been doing the same
since marketing was invented. In particular, an enhancement deemed to give
one faction a strategic or tactical advantage over another rapidly takes
So what about the world of Information Technology (IT)? Does the current
slowdown mean a lesser demand for IT professionals, including, in some
companies, tech writers? In the short run, I think that any group perceived
as a cost center is vulnerable. But as I have said in other contexts, the
work still needs to get done. Seen this movie before. Nothing is as certain
as change. The key is in finding the opportunity in the change.
Sadly, the Bush Administration's move to abandon the ABM treaty (as I read
today in the New York Times) may be the catalyst that re-energizes the IT
engine. Can't go falling behind the bogeyman du jour.
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