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October 06, 2004


jennifer rice

Piers, you bring up a terrific point. People are looking to solve a problem, not to own software. I need to write a letter; search the internet; send an email; create a spreadsheet. A software application is a tool that's "hired" to do a specific job. Microsoft provides macro-tools to accomplish just about any task you might want to do on a PC. Yet macro-tools like a Swiss Army knife are never able to solve specific problems as well as a tool that's been specially designed for that problem. I think people look "under the hood" of their PC when they learn it will cost $300 to solve their problem with a Microsoft macro-tool, or $0 to solve their problem with a specialized tool.

Piers Fawkes

I think we should be careful with the term 'software'. Do consumers today really understand the dictionary term and do they actively seek out software to use? Maybe they think today more about what they want to achieve using digital technology: they look at their PC first (not the software) and decide what they want to use it for (e.g. home imaging or entertainement). How the PC achieves this is the engine under the bonnet - and how many people ever look under the bonnet these days.

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