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In response to Simon Moores, who predicted that Microsoft will dominate the IT industry for a long time to come.
Open source has a long way to go before it can be seriously considered as an alternative to Microsoft.
As a geek, I appreciate the massive choice of software and the satisfaction of successfully compiling a driver or piece of software to work with my specific flavour of Linux. As a user, I just want something that works without any fuss.
As a network administrator, I appreciate the tools and power available from a command line in open source. As a user, I do not even want to know a command line exists.
The only good thing I can see about open source is that its widespread adoption would require a huge amount of technical support, generating lots of jobs for technical staff like myself, and consequently increasing my wages and job security.
As a developer, I have a love-hate relationship with Microsoft. I think Microsoft has the correct approach to the "look and feel" aspect and its software is easy to use and intuitive.
The main problem is its reliability. I have developed in a Windows environment for eight years from Windows 3.11 to XP, and I still cannot get through a week without at least one Microsoft application dying the blue screen of death or hanging at some point to brighten my day.
I wish Microsoft would spend a bit more of its revenue on stability and less in stifling the competition. It may be an American thing, but the company acts like the US military - lots of great expensive weapons but still can't hit a barn door with a cannon.
On instant messaging
In response to Mark Latchford from IBM, who said that instant messaging is a key technology for the future.
Although I agree about instant messaging, I do not think many managers do. It has been known for people to be disciplined for using instant messaging. We use it in the workplace as a matter of course and it enables us to deal with issues in real time and ensures we all understand where a project is going.
We can demonstrate products to clients without producing a demo using desktop sharing. The opportunities are endless; all that is required is a bit of trust from management.
On IT analyst reports
In response to Duncan Chapple, who argued that the cooler economic climate will cause a shakeout among the leading IT analyst companies.
Analyst reports are very generic. The numbers they predict are never questioned or tracked and there are allegations by suppliers on their independence. The more money a supplier spends on an analyst, the more favourable their report is.
It is a waste of money. I would rather spend money on conducting a focused survey than on an analyst report to tell me what I already know.
On economic recovery
In response to Simon Moores, who said he can see the first signs of economic recovery in IT.
While the global economy and particularly the UK service sectors are not enjoying an upturn, there remain hotspots within these sectors that can use IT to derive value.
Some of these are offensive strategies for generating new profits, whereas others are defensive plays for large operational efficiencies.
In general, the change has been an end to uncertainty and a sense that we have hit the bottom of market instabilities. The major initiatives that have been on hold for months can now finally get the green light.
Richard J Hall, chief technology strategist