Much-needed correction of the decade: recession
To paraphrase Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest - to have one recession in a decade may be regarded as a misfortune; to have two looks like carelessness. The decade closed as it opened: With Microsoft launching a new version of Windows just as business customers cut their spending and IT companies were forced to lay off thousands of workers.
The causes of both recessions were different, but both followed periods of IT-related excess - or as those in Silicon Valley kindly called it, "exuberance". In the early 2000s dot-com companies who had IPOed and lavished buckets of cash on expensive technology and flying first class finally had their legs cut out from under them when the stock market crashed. With them went telcos and hardware and software suppliers.
By the late Noughties, there was a new frugality: nobody was flying first class, while Linux and open source meant the technology had become cheaper, reducing start-up costs.
Still, many companies were going live minus sustainable business models and crazy deals were being done.
It made sense - Silicon Valley's talking heads said - for Google to buy video phenomenon YouTube, for Yahoo! to grab Zimbra even when it already had its own email, for eBay to snatch Skype with some vague idea of having buyers and sellers talk to each other, and for News International to strap teen sensation MySpace to its information empire for billions of dollars that they'd never see again.
In the dot-com boom, the exuberance had been "irrational". This time, the talking heads intoned, it was "rational". In a world of growing online destinations, it was all about the traffic. This would allow synergies and ad revenue to flow like honey. Exact details would follow later.
Funny, synergies were also what the dot-com flag wavers used to justify deals such as media giant Time Warner's purchase of bucket-shop ISP AOL in January 2000. As The Noughties closed, Time Warner was spinning out AOL, Yahoo! was reported to be hawking Zimbra, eBay sold Skype, MySpace was eclipsed by Facebook, and Google struggled to sell ads against YouTube.
Now, as at the start of the decade, when outside forces burst the tech bubble, it didn't matter whether the exuberance was rational or irrational - the effect was the same. People lost jobs and money, the hype was burned away, and cheerleaders were left polishing their resumes in quiet hibernation.
The response from tech companies was consistent then as now. Hucksters like Dell and Microsoft told businesses there was no better time to spend on technology, because it would leave them in a better position against the competition when the economy returned. No matter they were flogging wildly different things, like server hardware or business intelligence software. Just sign the check. Please. ®
Are you sure about that?
Which companies did Google bribe/blackmail to provide only their products at the explicit expense of others?
When did Google get shafted in court over anti-competitive practices?
Just how much handy software/services has Microsoft just given away compared to Google (and I'm thinking Google Maps, Streetview, Sketchup, Earth, and the list is a lot longer).
Being very successful is not being evil, that's "business".
I would agree that Google are far from perfect but M$ were definitely the bad boys of the last 20 years or so.
Outdated notion of political dynamics
Overall, Interesting but
"With the conviction of a committed Tory saying anyone who has a problem with intrusion online must have something to hide"
I too feel this is obviously wrong statement. Whilst you could argue that the Tories would do the exact same thing. The Labour party has or is trying to:
Collect all of our DNA
Use Deep packet inspection to monitor all of our on-line communication
Register with relation to working (for a very limited time) with children
Force ID cards on us
Collect biometric data from us
Define what porn made by consenting adults we can watch
Force us to decrypt our hard drive on their demand
Other things I can't remember ?
(All this why they tried to keep their expenses secret)
I personally think its about time people stopped thinking of Labour as for the people and the moral choice because they are not. The last decade has proved that. (I don't know if the Tories will be better, but I know what Labour has done and is trying to do)
"It has dismissed privacy concerns with the conviction of a committed Tory saying anyone who has a problem with intrusion online must have something to hide."
WTF? Isn't it authoritarian nanny state Labour party behind ID cards, national identity register, massive rise in (pointless) CCTV, local councils spying on people via "anti terror" legislation, assuming every adult is a peado unless they pay for a check, etc?
And haven't the Tories stated they are going to scrap ID cards etc?
Tory's might have been known as the "nasty party" but at least they weren't the most evil party this country has ever seen.