Monday, October 20, 2008

Eric Schmidt: Google CEO auditions for America's CTO

Which reminds me (haven't heard this tech czar concept mentioned lately as I guess I'm not listening to enough Obama speeches): Whoever gets this job will instantly create a lot of winners and losers.

Will the Tech Czar support Windows or Apple (or Linux)? For every winner in the Tech Czar sweepstakes there are multiple losers. Maybe he (or she) won't like Google's dominance for some reason and we'll "nationalize" search, or mandate that all official government search function go through a newly selected vendor of choice.

I like to remind people that Windows and Office first got real traction when agencies of the federal government started standardizing on it (and required contractors to do the same). I happened to be working with an agency where Windows machines were the exception and Apple computers or PCs running OS/2 and/or Novel networks were the norm. The change was quite disruptive for us.

These days agencies pretend to go through an OS selection process every few years but the outcome is a forgone conclusion and the only thing in doubt is how much Microsoft will charge this time around for the licenses.

When the government starts (or should say continues?) to pick the winners and losers based on, well, whatever they base it on, then you can bet company heads will be on-board with it because the alternative to being on-board will be to be set adrift with a can of sardines.

Yes, having a Tech Czar will certainly "simplify" a lot of technology decision making in Amerika.

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