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Platforms Part II: the FUDdie-Duddies

Posted by Colin Kingsbury

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May 31, 2006 11:41:00 AM

Martin Snyder has posted a follow-up to the discussion referenced in myprevious post on the Windows-vs-Web platform debate.

The point I wanted to make in that post was that vendors love nothing more than to convince prospects to buy based on abstractions like "platform" rather than the reality of the product they offer today. To be fair to Martin, however, I don't think he ever disagreed:
All the smart observers instantly declare that the platform is not the key element of a decision and that functionality, fit, vendor relationship, etc. are all more important. I agree completely, but that’s not the premise of this discussion.

The premise is that all non-platform features are cancelled-out, leaving only the platform question. This is not a practical exercise for buying or selection purposes; only a technically oriented, but not technical, exploration of the platforms as they compare to each other.
So far I would score this fight for Martin on points. While Bob makes many valid points in favor of the desktop (which I agree is still alive and well despite what all of us web-guys say) he has over-salted the broth a little in the quest to paint web-based applications as universally inferior.

Having spent most of my career in the start-up side of the technology business, I have developed a well-honed sense of revulsion for FUD tactics. There is nothing more irritating than offering the customer a better product at a better price and losing the deal because company X "was better positioned to be our long-term partner." When you get this all the time it is tempting to try to sling some FUD right back but this is ultimately a zero-sum game.