The Old IT Is Dead. Long Live the New: ": What are the most important changes going on?
A: The most obvious event is the 64-bit transition in Intel (INTC ) chips. It isn't just 64 bits -- it's actually big-computer capabilities suddenly finding their way into commodity microprocessors. This is million-dollar-machine sort of stuff now in chips for a couple hundred dollars. The computer architects that used to build the big machines are now employed at Intel and AMD (AMD ).
This is happening in a very short period of time. It's combined with everybody writing much more capable operating systems and tools. So truly remarkable, never-before-affordable, high-end computer architectures are now heading to desktops. Everything we talked about in the '70s, '80s, and '90s -- putting together clusters of PCs to replace big machines -- is finally happening. And then there's open source and Web services. "