Anticipating the Free PC: Microsoft as a Services Company
AT&T in its prime was a services company: You got the telephones for free and paid a monthly fee for services that covered the cost of the hardware. Because the hardware was a cost center, it didn’t change very often and was designed to last for decades. Outside of cable companies, this was a very different world back then but the trend pendulum swings and it is starting to swing back to services. And while we are calling it “the cloud” this time and it is far more than just phones, the result could be that hardware is free and we are back to a monthly charge for access.