Geekspeak: July 23, 2001

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-07-23 Print this article Print

Even in the OS war, doesn't this amount to overkill?

At what point does a technical preference turn into a jihad? I felt as if Id been dragged across that line when this full-width bumper billboard exited the parking lot ahead of me.

Regardless of the merits of competing operating systems, the death of Windows would have about the same effect on IT that the death of the internal combustion engine would have on transportation: Wed suddenly realize how much infrastructure we had to replace before a "better" technology could become equally usable.

The rollout of Windows XP this fall will remind Windows opponents how hard it is to deliver a general-purpose platform—especially when it comes to producing the drivers that make or break the reputation of the underlying operating system. Yes, Windows XP delivers "experience" innovations that arent on the wish list of anyone I know. Lets see if alternative technology providers can deliver what people want without all of XPs intrusive bells and whistles.

Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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