I was perusing osnews this morning and apparently the staff over at Business 2.0 is giving us a list of 50 most important people at this point. This of course is based on their *cough* expert opinion. To be honest I didn’t read the article but I did go through the slide show of 10 who don’t matter anymore. I am amazed that Steve Jobs didn’t make the list but made the other. Ok I like to offer a rebuttal that particular list (the ones who don’t matter anymore. The list consist of, Steve Balmer, Jeffrey Citron, Reed Hastings, Ken Kutaragi, Warren Lieberfarb, Rob Malda, Arun Sarin, Jonathan Schwartz, Linus Torvald and Mark Zuckerberg. For the sake of…… well because I could care less about these people anyway I will submit they were right about: Jeffrey Citron, Reed Hastings, Rob Malda, Arun Sarin and Mark Zuckerberg. I had to be explained who they were and I still didn’t care. So let the rebuttal begin:
1. Steve Balmer:
As long as he is CEO of Microsoft he is very important. I agree that it might be best for him to at least step back and let the new blood try to sort it out or just take his pile of money and run. How many billions do you need to live comfortably? Steve is known for mostly his temper and tantrums. Anybody remember the chair throwing incident? I’m pretty sure he is going to be the escape goat instead of Gates for the whole Vista fiasco. Gates has been mostly out of picture for quite some time. Of course is it me or is anyone surprised by Vistas delay. If you look at all major releases they have been progressively later and later. Yes Win 2000 came out 2 years after NT4 but 2000 was what NT4 should have been. Anyway, like it or not his company produces the OS that most of world runs on right now. At least for now. So until he leaves he is very important, especially in the next year.
2. Ken Kutaragi:
Ok I had to be told who he was but I did care. Mr Kutaragi is the president of Sony right now. Why is he important? Because if he isn’t able to back up all the talk then he is going to hand the gaming market over to Microsoft, well at least in the US and Europe. MS is still near the bottom of sales in the week to week sales counts. Most weeks the GBA sp outsells it. Think about that, the GBA sp was released back in 2003. Regardless, Sony has yet to put up and refuses to shut up. Especially consider that the console is priced $200 higher than the comparable competition. Why the extra cost? Because of the drive for Sony’s newest DVD format, Blueray. Instead of Sony releasing the best most cost efficient drive for the system (probably the current DVD technology), they decided to force the gaming division to tow the company line in the current round of format wars. Which brings us to:
3. Warren Lieberfarb:
The creator of DVD technology and advocate of the competing format to Blueray, HD-DVD. I hope this is very clear to everyone, but let me say this, competing standards on things like movies and music is a bad thing for the consumer in general. Ask anyone who plopped down way too much money on a Betamax VCR. Warren and Ken are more than likely going to be at the negotiating table if there is going to be a truce between these formats. That is the best case scenario, worst is that it will drag out, (like VHS and BetaMax did) hence it will cost us a crap load of money if we take the risk and adopt one. So it will be quite some time before we see reasonably priced new format DVD players. More than likely we will be downloading movies over the Internet by then.
4. Jonathan Schwartz:
He is now the fairly new head cheese of Sun Microsystems taking the helm for Scott (Foot in the Mouth) McNealy. Jonathon is implementing the cleanup that should have happened several years ago. Opening up Sun to a leaner more agile future and hopefully profitable one. As far Sun’s importance goes they are still up there. They are the stewards of Java, Openoffice and Solaris. The sparc and the sunray thin client is also in their arsenal. I believe that Jonathan will turn around the company and give some stability that has been lacking under Mcnealy as of late. Realistically a strong Sun is good for technology in general. In that respect hes is very important.
5. Linus Torvald:
Where do I start? If he was only known for releasing the initial source code of the Linux Kernel, I would disagree with his placemnet on the list. Look it was under his care that Linux has matured to full on enterpise grade OS. In my opinion it has done what all the free software advocates ask for, choice in a OS. I am not locked into Windows environment. Regardless what you think about Linux compared to the other Unixes or Unix clones, it is on its back of Linux that most of the modern Unix desktop innovations came about. If his continued leadership in that area alone then I would at least rate him off this list if not some place on the list of 50 important people.
Well at least thats my $0.02.