Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Big Switch - rewiring the world from Edison to Google
Just finished reading the latest book by Nick Carr (his blog), who revels in the thought that he is enemy #1 of us IT types. His article IT Doesn't Matter in 2003 and book Does IT matter? in 2004 made him very famous in IT circles.

He makes an interesting case that a significant move to cloud computing and to software as a service is leading us towards the creation of a World Wide Computer. He paints a relatively dark picture of the future where the World Wide Computer become smarter than humans. He also feels that instead of it being able to do what we humans can do, we will transform to behave and work more like how computers do.

The first part of the book describes the rise of computing as a utility. I fully agree with the belief that this is where we are headed. It is obvious that virtualization and services like Amazon S3 and EC2 are moving us in that direction. However, some very complex issues need to be resolved. The most important is that of the standardization of interfaces. Nick draws a lot of parralles from the evolution of electricity as a utility.

The second half paints a dark picture of the future. I have a hard time getting to where Nick expects us to reach by 2020.

All in all, the book made an interesting read while enjoying the wonderful weather on the beaches of St Martin.

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