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What I wrote earlier can still be cast in the larger arena with much
of the same meaning. It is way past time that the IT industry focused
on providing solutions, not proprietary tools that can only work in
one venue. The ability to be flexible is paramount if you are going
to be able to meet market demands. That means that many products are
just going to go away, they cannot change fast enough, they don't
answer more than one application need, they are not scalable (or are
not scalable starting at a level that can be afforded by many of the
customers). If you are Microsoft, you own most of the means of
production. As a result the message is my way or the highway. A
solution should be flexible, since todays problems will change with
tomorrows needs. A large monolithic solution will not respond
effectively. Nor will it be easy to change. Thus many end-users are
disatisfied with the results, and wish they could change, but they
have too much invested in the solution.
The use of a cross-platform (be it hardware, software, or whatever)
standard is more beneficial to the end-user, but less advantageous to
the provider. So you won't see Microsoft, or Lucent, or Cisco
adhering to one, unless they find themselves losing market-share.
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