No Silver Bullet Revisted

I found this “No Silver Bullet Revisted” link from Kevin Dangoor’s blog.

So what do you think of this revisitation?  I think it is poppycock.

He says “Today everyone is accustomed to buying software the way we buy burgers. We’re accustomed to acquiring the right to use software bundled with the bits.”  But this isn’t the way most software is bought.  Software today comes with that highly restrictive EULA which says that you can only do with this software, the things that we say you can.

Mr. Cox then goes on to suggest a heirarchy of charge-for services which filter up to usable applications.  My problem is that I cannot fathom what kinds of services these are.  And with all the wonderful open source software and free services available today, what services could be sold?  Now I’m aware that this type of activity is already happening in some niche markets, but as these niche markets become more mainstream and less niche, a “free” version enters.  e.g.  we now have free versions of photo hosting from flickr and picasa web.

I think that the past 11 years have showed that the industry has gone in a different direction than Mr. Cox envisioned.  I think this shows that the fundaments of Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.’s “No Silver Bullet” hold true.

Thanks for the link Kevin.  I enjoyed the reading.

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