15 January 2013

Cleave Only to Thy Foxy Lady

It's been a while since there appeared here a missive (well, rant) on the future of computing. To recap: the future, for those that prosper, will be multi-processor/core/thread/SSD servers running *nix and an industrial strength RDBMS. I will be kind to the MS folks, and admit that SQL Server (rather a nice engine) might save Windows; but it's a slim shady chance.

News today. This posting suggesting that MS cleave to Mozilla in hopes of surviving. Whether co-incidence or not, Apple's share is diving as I type. Could be transitory. Might not be. Ignoring 80% or more of consumers might catch up with you. It even caught with Rolls-Royce; the Krauts defeated by the RAF got control. Kind of like MS marrying Mozilla, inverse.

Anyway, here's a tidbit from the piece:
Which is why Mozilla's approach is so intriguing. The company isn't going after high-end smartphones, but rather after low-end, emerging market phones. To accomplish this, Mozilla can't wait around for hardware to get better. Instead, it needs to make the web stack better - now - such that it can work on even barebones phones, including in areas of limited or no bandwidth. Mozilla has therefore developed its web apps to be offline from the start, and to use equal-or-less bandwidth than native apps.

If that doesn't sound like the resurrection of the VT-220, I don't know what else could be. Minimal weight on the client, minimal weight on the wire, and maximal weight on the server. Now, consider the paradigm. If the client is merely a pixelized VT-220, doesn't that benefit MS? If the paradigm of app development is towards the server, doesn't that benefit MS? Where is MS's strength? Yes, Office brings in, historically, most of the moolah. But going forward, there's decreasing need for "the next" Office. Office work is about writing memos, after all. Windows Server and SQL Server, while not yet Enterprise weighty, could get there with a reasonable amount of effort. Moreover, by embracing the normalized database paradigm, one needs much less machine to get the job done.

May you live in interesting times, sleeping with strange bedfellows.

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