[Fwd:Tractor Fatigue]

Jay Thomas (jpthomas@ix.netcom.com)
Wed, 27 May 1998 11:27:37 -0400

Article from Forrester Research. Interesting analogy. Not sure if I
agree with his predicted outcome, vis-a-vis Wintel, but still
interesting and forkable :)

> > > From: George F. Colony[SMTP:GFCOLONY@FORRESTER.COM]
> > > Sent: Friday, May 22, 1998 8:16:45 PM
> > > To: Forrester electronic clients
> > > Subject: My View: Tractor Fatigue
> > > Auto forwarded by a Rule
> > >
> > To: Forrester electronic clients
> > From: George F. Colony, president, Forrester
> >
> >
> > Quickly: The time has come to move beyond the PC. New devices,
> > linked via IP, will surround and draw functionality away from the PC.
> > Content: The PC's like a tractor. It slowly bulls its way through
> > the furrows and doggedly gets the job done. It's versatile: You can
> > attach lots of farm implements-from hay bailers to plows to
> > harvesters-made by many different companies. It's familiar:
> > Everyone knows where the clutch is, how to steer, how to shift.
> > But riding a tractor for 15 years is no treat. And using it for most
> > of your transportation needs-from plowing fields to driving into town
> > to visiting Grandma 500 miles away-makes no sense. I don't know about
> > you, but I'm sick of bouncing up and down on an uncomfortable seat,
> > breaking down three times a day, and having to be an expert on fixing
> > carburetors and fuel pumps. Just think of Citibank-it's forced to
> > maintain a fleet of 50,000 tractors, each with its own weird
> > mechanical eccentricities.
> > I've got tractor fatigue. This came to me in January when I bought a
> > new PC for my home, something I do every three to four years. I was
> > excited to get a new Dell 300 MHz machine with every cool new option
> > including surround sound, DVD drive, etc. But as I put the machine
> > together and began to run it, two realities dawned on me:
> > Reality No. 1: This machine was no better than the PC I had set up
> > four years ago.
> > Reality No. 2: Microsoft's cloying attempts to stay in front of the
> > customer had exceeded the boundaries of good taste and common sense.
> > As I set up the PC, I was faced with pop-up Microsoft dialog boxes
> > that wouldn't go away, multiple Microsoft applications loaded on the
> > hard drive that I didn't want, constant reminders that I should go
> > on-line with MSN, the look and feel of IE thrown at me via Windows
> > Explorer.
> >
> > So if not the PC, then what? No brute force will destroy the PC-it
> > will be pecked to death. Other devices will surround and augment the
> > PC. Yes, I want a tractor. But I also need a car for daily travel, a
> > train to get to work, a plane for long trips, and my sailboat for fun.
> > Big deal. This has been predicted for years. Remember pen computing,
> > the Newton, Go, and other venture capital holes in the ground? All of
> > them tried to replace the PC and were crushed.
> > But the Internet changes the rules. In the old days (1993), non-PCs
> > like Go had no open network-they moldered away in their small, limited
> > worlds. They were vehicles stuck in the garage.
> > But now, if devices can get access to IP and manage HTML and Java,
> > they can talk to each other. The more devices that can talk, the less
> > domination by the PC. Think of it this way-we now have one fuel that
> > can power the tractor, the car, the lawnmower, the chainsaw, and the
> > truck. We don't have to go to town on the tractor anymore; we can
> > take a car.
> > You get a glimmer of this with the PalmPilot. It links to the PC but
> > serves a very different function from the PC. It doesn't have to run
> > Windows, x86 instruction sets, or ActiveX.
> > Now imagine using many devices like the PalmPilot all synchronized and
> > linked via the Internet-your calendar machine, your spouse's calendar
> > machine, your pager, your telephone, the network computer in your
> > hotel room. As long as they could all get to IP, they could all
> > exchange information and stay synchronized. It's as if the PC were
> > shattered into 20 pieces that still worked well together, even though
> > they were separated.
> > Microsoft and Intel don't mind change, as long as it's on their
> > trajectory. They want us to keep bouncing along in our oil-stained
> > bib overalls for another 10 years. That won't happen. The Internet
> > will let a whole new generation of devices surround and absorb pieces
> > of the PC-and put all of us fatigued tractor drivers into cars,
> > planes, boats, and trucks.
> > George
> >
> >

Jay Thomas		(w)617-576-4832	
Network Manager		(b)617-546-2444	
Verbing weirds language  -- Calvin