IT: The Big Three

Only three companies will probably be considered fundamental to the history of IT: Microsoft, Intel and IBM. Ross Lacey, a digital marketplace specialist tells us why.

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By  Peter Conmy Published  August 4, 2000

By Ross Lacey, Digital Marketplace Specialist

Only three companies will probably be considered fundamental to the history of IT: Microsoft, Intel and IBM. Why? Each is responsible for taking IT to the masses, for the democratisation of IT.

Each can claim to have shaped the modern world. Of these, Intel is probably the most significant. With companies like Sun, for example, you get best-of-breed technology, but it is aimed at a limited population, proprietary and expensive.

Only with companies like Intel have we seen that technology made affordable. 64 bit computing will hit all our desktops, and it is Intel, not Sun that will be responsible for achieving it.

Microsoft too, while having a strong claim on the history of IT, ultimately has a proprietary, not open, business model. That just leaves IBM, whose contributions to IT are every bit as ubiqitous as Intels, but ultimately less obvious.

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