Shifting Alliances

2006 is going to be an Inflection Point year. The Shifting Alliances in the IT industry are shooting off like the spirals and chicken bone traces of sub atomic particles in a cloud chamber(what a flash of hyperbole – and thats another curve to be seen in muon decay). Intel closing down “Intel Inside” and replacing it with “Leap Ahead”. Now, dear reader, does Leap Ahead apply to the huge, late, and overweight Vista or the new MacOS/X for Intel whose IBM/Mac predecessor recently won the Intelligent Enterprise and Infoworld awards for best desktop OS?

But Apple is going with Micrsoft on the Open Document Format versus Open XML frappe while IBM belatedly again stumps for Open Document. Is Armonk getting spine after leaving Novell, Netscape, and Suns Java out to hang in the Redmond Sturm und Drang of the 90s ? Okay, full marks to IBM for Linux but uncertain marks for Eclipse. Eclipse simply has not done in Suns Java stack, Netbeans or Visual Studio – but it may have wiped out a whole supporting development ecosystem from Borland, Sybase, Together(gone), Popkin(gone) and dozens of others. Now medium tier tool vendors must do a JBoss or MySQL just survive.

But fortunately, Microsoft is being equally ruthless and wiping out the component builders, project tools, and other development toolmakers that stood and supported Visual Studio in the shadows – filling in the glaring holes. And the Redmond thank you – you get to be Vassals … uhh Vars for Bill Saint Gates.

But hey even “do no evil” Google cast an evil eye on Adobe/Macromedia Flash, Mozilla Firefox, and new partner Sun – and chose… Opera for its mobile browser technology. Wow. And we have to wait until Friday to see if and what is in the Hub. But what I really cant understand is why baby Bell SBC bought AT&T – and then took the name of the failed Empire. Maybe this will allow SBC to shift mobile phone provider or infrastructure yet again.

Meanwhile watch for more major shifts in IT alliances as the move to Asia as dominant IT manufacturers and developers – and in 3-8 years time as consequent emerging innovation/standards setters – make the current scramble for advantage hectic, self-serving, internecine, frantic and moot.

(c)JBSurveyer 2006