September 15, 2005

A Difference in Computing

Lately there's been a lot of distracting noise about Google and Microsoft. However, as I read Adam Barr's PDC Day 1 Notes from Microsoft's Professional Developer Conference, a statement by Bill Gates caught my attention. What he said was simple, yet effecrtively sets the stage to describe the true difference between these companies. Bill Gates said - "The client is a place of innovation."

I was so intrigued that I asked Adam Barr for a clarification. Here is what Adam said in response to my comment on this blog: "his point is that the future is not all server-based apps viewed in a web browser. There is a lot of innovation available through rich client applications, especially given the new features of Windows Vista"

To contrast, The Stalwart in a posting about Bill Gates and The Future of Computing describes Google's vision: "In Google's vision, all of your important data, and the software required to use it is centrally housed, accessible via a browser on any device--aka a thin client."

So there it is - two competing big bets on the way computing will evolve. I don't think you can simply say "Thick vs. Thin" to describe this competition...innovation is not that precise. But it's great that we've identified the one battle that counts.

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