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Ask Slashdot: Programming / IT Jobs For Older, Retrained Workers?

Nooface Learn JavaScript, AWS & MySQL (215 comments)

then go and help to build the cloud

about a year and a half ago
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Return of the '70s Microsoft Weirdos

Nooface Re:Microsofts heritage (338 comments)

And frankly, chances are good that the state of computing in general would be ahead of where we are without Microsoft, because their monopolistic approach has stifled innovation and competition.

I believe this assumption is flawed. I would argue there is exactly a 50% chance that computing would have improved without Microsoft, and a 50% chance that the alternative time-line would have produced a worse outcome for users (by current standards).

The challenge of analyzing alternative outcomes is that it is impossible to determine what other factors would have risen to dominance to in determining the course of the industry in the absence of Microsoft. For example, just to take the context of your own statement (Microsoft's monopolistic approach), it is easy to forget that when Microsoft emerged, the IT industry was already in the grips of a different monopoly - IBM.

Had Microsoft not created a level playing field enabling the growth of a multi-vendor PC industry, IBM might have been in a better position to sustain its monopoly by constraining the growth of PCs so that they remained in the "comfort zone" of its own business model, leaving the choicest opportunities for its lucrative mainframe/mini-computer business. In this "alternative universe", we might all still be using variations of mainframe terminals for our day-to-day computing.

Do you really thank that state of computing would be "ahead" of where we are today?

more than 6 years ago

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