Trust me, the world needs more than 5 computers…


This line is the latest one doing the rounds on the web, most notably after it appeared on Greg's blog. As he notes Thomas J. Watson probably never uttered that immortal phrase in 1943 anyway.

Actually I agree with Greg to some extent as he is talking pejoratively about the overall trend of things moving to the cloud rather than an exact count of computers. However, the compute power on the desktop isn't going away soon which is why we continue to think a best of both world - Software plus Services approach - will win out. There is no question that there is an arms race under way though to build out datacenters and associated services and we will arrive at a set of utility computing companies that look a lot like, err, utility companies. Despite what you may think there is much to be learned from the Gas and Electricity suppliers around the world. Okay so they all have their issues but stuff like customer care and billing has been their trade for many many years.

This part I found very interesting though

Similarly, the cheapest computing is not necessarily obtained by lashing together racks and racks of the cheapest computers you can find. Engineering for scale matters. Really matters. 

On the one hand that could be a swipe at Google's approach that seems to do this. Regardless, I'm looking forward to reading more about how Sun would do this. Whatever you may think of Sun, there is no denying they've pushed a lot of the bits around the globe for many years so likely know some things about this kind of scale. Let's see.

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