Have been travelling this week, hence updates may be a little less. But one of the side benefits of travelling is that it gives me time to think and reflect more deeply on what we are doing.
I think there is a definite opportunity to build a “software factory” which leverages the used PC base. Just as Microsoft focuses the latest hardware for its software, we can think of creating software for hardware which is 1-2 generations (3-7 years) old. The benefit of this is that the hardware costs almost go down to zero, making their use possible in areas which were previously out of reach because of the cost — emerging markets, for example.
The world is going to see a huge supply of old PCs which is going to be available. What will be required is to streamline this into a “market” so it becomes possible to buy one easily. Also, one needs to standardise performance into layers so that they fall into 2-3 segments and can be used for different purposes (one as a Thin Client, one as a Firewall, one as a Home Router).
The Software Factory thus is built on the following ideas:
– software should work great on old hardware (PCs and other hardware)
– it is built usin Linux and open source
– the software components are modular and integratable (like Lego)
– it is “emergent”: the whole is greater than the sum of the parts
– it leverages the latest standards (web services, RosettaNet, RSS, J2EE…)
– others (independent software vendors) can build on it
The Software Factory will sell to the “bottom of the pyramid” — emerging everything (markets, enterprises, consumers…). These are the untapped markets.