A Look Back - The Internet Tidal Wave

A Look Back - The Internet Tidal Wave

Postby mattm948 » Tue May 25, 2010 10:24 pm

While I was watching the news this evening, I came across this article that talks about the Microsoft and the internet, albeit in 1995. It's a great snapshot in time, and looks at the challenges they faced as they transformed the way they do business. I can't help feel that many companies today are facing similar challenges as the business world works to keep up technology innovations that reset the industry trends almost monthly.

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2010 ... rnet-memo/ or if you don't have time to read the whole thing here is a brief snapshot from the beginning of the letter.

To: Executive Staff and direct Reports
From: Bill Gates
Date: May 26, 1995

The Internet Tidal Wave
.....In the next 20 years the improvement in computer power will be outpaced by the exponential improvements in communications networks. The combination of these elements will have a fundamental impact on work, learning and play. Great software products will be crucial to delivering the benefits of these advances. Both the variety and volume of the software will increase.

Most users of communications have not yet seen the price of communications come down significantly. Cable and phone networks are still depreciating networks built with old technology. Universal service monopolies and other government involvement around the world have kept communications costs high. Private networks and the Internet which are built using state of the art equipment have been the primary beneficiaries of the improved communications technology. The PC is just now starting to create additional demand that will drive a new wave of investment. A combination of expanded access to the Internet, ISDN, new broadband networks justified by video based applications and interconnections between each of these will bring low cost communication to most businesses and homes within the next decade.

The Internet is at the forefront of all of this and developments on the Internet over the next several years will set the course of our industry for a long time to come. Perhaps you have already seen memos from me or others here about the importance of the Internet. I have gone through several stages of increasing my views of its importance. Now I assign the Internet the highest level of importance. In this memo I want to make clear that our focus on the Internet is crucial to every part of our business. The Internet is the most important single development to come along since the IBM PC was introduced in 1981. It is even more important than the arrival of the graphical user interface (GUI). The PC analogy is apt for many reasons. The PC wasn’t perfect. Aspects of the PC were arbitrary or even poor. However a phenomena grew up around the IBM PC that made it a key element of everything that would happen for the next 15 years. Companies that tried to fight the PC standard often had good reasons for doing so but they failed because the phenomena overcame any weaknesses that resisters identified.
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Postby Dude111 » Mon May 31, 2010 9:00 pm

Thank for you that,

I guess the internet started with Arpa in the 60s...

It IS interesting for sure :)
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