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The joys (and risks) of being horizontal (Web exclusive)
The computer industry has turned through 90 degrees during the past 25 years. In the early days, it made sense for manufacturers to be "vertically integrated," supplying complete systems -- hardware, operating software, applications etc. The problem with that is that it locks users into proprietary and, inevitably, expensive systems. But, particularly after the launch of the IBM PC, the industry has changed to horizontal structure with competition at every level. That competition has expanded the market and driven down prices. However, the problem with chosing "best of breed" parts is that users have to become their own IT managers and system integrators.
Schofield on Saturday
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