“The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty—a fad.” The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903.
“If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse” Attributed to Henry Ford
Its been quite interesting to watch the analysis of Google’s Chrome OS over the last few days. Will Google pull it off? Who knows, but, regardless, of whether they do or not, they have permanently changed the conversation. Even if the fail, the horizon has been permanently redefined and someone will eventually be successful. The interesting part is how much of the analysis has missed the market transition. It seems Google is planning on delivering the first internet-centric operating system. Analysts or competitors who are trying to compare Chrome OS to current desktop-centric operating systems are simply missing the point–Google is not about delivering a better horse, they are focused on what’s coming next.
I see the same thing going on with the Cisco Unified Computing System. When we launched the system we permanently changed the conversation with the concept of a unified data center platform. Folks in the industry that are trying to paint Cisco UCS as just another blade server are similarly missing the point. Customers were not urging us to build another blade server, they were urging us to give them a better way to increase data center efficiency, to lower operational cost and complexity, and to scale virtualization enterprise-wide. The only way to successfully meet that mandate is to address it systematically, hence, the Unified Computing System. The result is not better servers but better data centers.