On a far less upbeat note, that same day, I got wind of J. Peter Bruzzese's initial reaction to Windows 8 Consumer Preview. InfoWorld's resident Microsoft loyalist was truly upset by what Microsoft had foisted on the world. We all knew Microsoft was making a valiant attempt to integrate the good old Windows desktop with Metro and unite mobile and desktop functionality under one UI. But the result, according to Peter, was barely usable -- a "Frankenstein" OS.
Peter sounded betrayed: "I've been telling my wife for weeks that I was getting a Windows 8 tablet rather than the iPad 3. I may be changing that decision." This from a guy who staunchly defended Vista! Microsoft has become the epitome of an old-school company that knows it needs to move boldly ahead, but can't disentangle itself from its own legacy. And Microsoft is the company Dell and HP are counting on to keep them relevant to consumers in the new mobile era.
In case you're wondering, I realize that fancy devops schemes and dazzling big data experiments need hardware and operating systems to run. But that infrastructure is getting relentlessly commoditized. With the exception of Apple, IBM, and a handful of others, the top tier of the old guard seems to be faltering. Instead, the energy and ideas are coming from a new wave of entrepreneurs who -- in a virtualized, mobilized, consumerized, cloud-enabled world -- like to "think different."
The visionaries who survive and thrive are going to usher in an exciting era. So the tech industry cycle has always gone -- we just happen to be entering a new one with boundless access to compute power and data gushing from an unprecedented diversity of sources. So strap in, hang on, and enjoy the ride.
This article, "The new IT vs. the old IT," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog, and for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.