IBM Corp.In a world where product life-cycles are measured in Web years, what can we learn from the mainframe’s rather unique longevity?

Source: Half a Century Later Mainframes, Together with Linux, Still Run Much of Today’s Infrastructure – The CIO Report – WSJ

This is what makes me laugh when I hear of the death of the desktop computer. Some background: Back in the day companies used mainframe computers and users accessed them through dumb terminals. In the 80s, with the advent of minicomputers, the lower end of mainframes were gradually replaced. When desktops got popular in the 90s, the death of the mainframe was announced. Twenty-some years later, mainframes are still chugging away. In 2007, with the advent of the iPhone (soon followed by Android devices and the iPad), the death of the desktop was announced. If history holds steady, we will undoubtedly still be using desktop computers come 2030 (and there will still be some mainframes in operation). The moral of the story is, when you hear of the death of the desktop, history shows that the proclamation should be taken with a grain of salt.


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