Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in cloud computing, virtualization, and networking, all with an open source view

The Practicality Perspective

A recent opinion article from eWeek titled “Hot Ideas Don’t Always Win the Race” (or “Just too hot an idea,” in the print version of eWeek) takes a very practical view of Apple’s move to the Intel platform. Basically, while the PowerPC is technologically superior to x86 CPUs, the best technology doesn’t always win. We saw this with OS/2 (far superior to Windows 95) and the MCA bus architecture, among others.

I agree with him. As technical people, we need to be sure to take a step back from the “this technology is better” argument and look at the choice from a practicality perspective. And that goes not only for assessing this specific incident, but for the rest of our technical decisions as well. Sure, Linux may be superior to Windows from a technology perspective (I’m not saying it is or it isn’t), but is it the most practical decision? Sure, OpenBSD may be far superior to Linux (again, I’m not saying it is or it isn’t), but is it the most practical decision? Does it make the most sense not only from a technical viewpoint, but also from a business perspective? From a cost perspective?

To be successful in our IT careers, we must look at these kinds of things from all perspectives, including the practicality perspective.

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