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The computing Industry - structure, economics, perspectives

The computing Industry - structure, economics, perspectives

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Published by Gerard Drean
A book written in 1996, using economic theory and management theory to explain and to some extent predict the evolution of the computing industry. Essentially a case study in industrial economics, with a critique of existing theories and suggestions for new concepts and approaches to account for the observed facts.
A book written in 1996, using economic theory and management theory to explain and to some extent predict the evolution of the computing industry. Essentially a case study in industrial economics, with a critique of existing theories and suggestions for new concepts and approaches to account for the observed facts.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Gerard Drean on Jan 03, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/22/2013

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The computing industry
The computing industrystructure, economics, perspectives
Gérard Dréan
1
 
The computing industry
Preface to the Scridb edition (2009)
This book was originally written in French and published in printed form in 1996.At the same time, I prepared a translation into English, which could never find its wayto publication. The recent availability of Scribd is an opportunity to make it available toa wide audience.What are my motivations? What makes me think that this book might still beuseful?It is essentially a case study in industrial economics, using the computing industryas a base. It attempts to use economic theory and management theory to explain and tosome extent predict the evolution of the structure of that industry. A first area of presentinterest might therefore be the attempt to combine economics and management theoryand test the applicability of the resulting approach to an actual case.In implementing that approach, I quickly found that those theories, as I was ableto understand them at the time, were lacking in explanatory power when applied toreality, which led me to suggest novel approaches and concepts extending thetheoretical corpus. That may be the second area of interest of this book.The world has changed since the book was written, most notably computers andthe computing industry. There have been giant advances in microelectronics and in their applications to all walks of life. Many firms and products have disappeared, and manynew have emerged. Many concepts and catch-phrases are now obsolete; new ones arenow popular. But I do believe that the concepts that I put forward in 1996 are still valid.Since I have not seen those ideas in other more recent contributions, I believe that theyare still worth publishing. At any rate, the factual part, i. e. the history and the industrystatistics in the period 1950-1995, may still be of interest as far as it goes.Concerning the predictions that I ventured at the time, it turns out that they didmaterialize to a large extent, which gives some credibility to the approach and tools thatsupported them. I certainly overestimated the impact of some factors andunderestimated others, for instance the development of the PDA concept with GPS andthe like, or that of open source software and very high-speed communications. But byand large, the structure of the industry has evolved as foreseen.Be that as it may, I urge the reader to constantly keep in mind that the book wasactually written in 1995, using data available at that time, relying on the technologies of the time and on whatever literature I was able to lay my hands on. In the context of this book, “today” must always be understood as “in 1995”.Finally, I have to apologize for the awkward English throughout this book, whichis a straight translation from French and has not been reviewed by a native Englishspeaker.Any and all comments are welcome atgdrean@club.fr .
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