DIMACS TR: 99-09

Smart and Stupid Networks: Why the Internet Is Like Microsoft

Author: Andrew Odlyzko


Is the Internet growing primarily because it is a dumb network, one that simply delivers packets from one point to another? Probably not. If were a dumb network, we surely would not need huge and rapidly growing ranks of network professionals. A more detailed look suggests that the Internet is succeeding largely for the same reasons that led the PC to dominate the mainframe, and are responsible for the success of Microsoft. Like the PC, the Internet offers an irresistible bargain to a crucial constituency, namely developers, while managing to conceal the burden it places on users.

Paper Available at: ftp://dimacs.rutgers.edu/pub/dimacs/TechnicalReports/TechReports/1999/99-09.ps.gz
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