Consumerism & Sedimentation in the IT industry

Is there an opportunity as we build the Future Internet for a convergence around the general purpose, and the development of software appliances which can differentiate their functionality. i.e. one hardware box which assumes a role depending upon the software it loads. What's happened with cars? I suppose the consumer dimension of cars (and home PCs) continues to permit non (welfare) optimal differentiation, so the economic history of car production is not necessarily a good predictor of the future of IT. People buy cars and even desktop/laptops because they're pretty or have status value. I have never heard of data centre manager influenced by these criteria for the contents of a data centre. However, cars are built from common components and the world class manufacturers' cars are beginning to look very similar

Will IT stay|move into the factory, so consumerisation becomes irrelevant? There is/will always be the developer/deployment platform feedback loop, but Mac has no server platform. The developers want Mac OS, but where do they deploy. Much of Apple's developer strategy is about using their eco-system as both attractive to developers, partly on their merits, but also because they have users. An example is that the iphone is developing a consumer/service user community which looks to mac.com for its software services; they're locked in.

T-Mobile, the mobile phone subsidiary of Deutsche Telkom launched a Google phone in Sept. Who are they're looking to escape from? Actually who makes it for them? Or is this merely a consumer play, trying to compete with the iphone and get the consumer conversation back. iphone users love Apple, T-Mobile G1 customers at least know who their Telco is, and Google might be one of the few brands capable of taking Apple on today.

This article was inspired by the R&D in Europe round table at ICT 2008 last November and blogged by me under the title Can Europe keep up?, which was posted today, but backdated to 25th November. Its been written from notes taken at the time and worked on sporadically since then. Since it is not immutably tied to the events of the time, but reflects ideas provoked by the event, I have posted it as at today's date.

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