Gordon Moore: Software people are losing ground

Gordon Moore: Software people are losing ground

Summary: Gordon Moore, of Moore's Law and Intel, talked with ZDNet UK while he was in Hawaii marking the 40th anniversary of the publication of his seminal paper. What resonated with me was his take on computer interfaces: I would like a much simpler interface though don't know what it would look like.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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Gordon Moore, of Moore's Law and Intel, talked with ZDNet UK while he was in Hawaii marking the 40th anniversary of the publication of his seminal paper. What resonated with me was his take on computer interfaces:

I would like a much simpler interface though don't know what it would look like. The capability of computers keeps growing and the number of applications running keeps increasing. The people building the interface keep growing the complexity of that. It's not for lack of effort but the software people are losing ground.

That's been true for decades, and there doesn't seem much help on the way. The simpler interfaces of Web services (Google, Yahoo, etc.) provide a back-to-basics interaction model, but it's limited and search technology is still somewhat primitive. Game interfaces have improved greatly, but typical business applications can be difficult to operate--mostly because of the underlying operating systems and user interaction models are too complex. Finding a file and archiving information have to become a lot easier, for example.

Moore's also not convinced that nanotechnology will replace silicon:

I'm a sceptic when it comes to ideas about nanotechnology replacing the integrated circuit. The integrated circuit technology is the result of an accumulated research and development budget of well over $100bn. Nanotechnology is a broad field with many applications but I am sceptical whether it will replace the more standard silicon technology. There is a huge difference between making one tiny transistor and connecting a billion of them to do something useful.

Topic: Hardware

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2 comments
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  • Could it be...

    ..that maybe we've reached a crest where speed and memory focus are giving way to actual usability issues. Mobile devices are the fastest growing segment, yet their speed and memory are greatly limited. Standards are starting to be judged not by how fast your processor is but how useful your entire product package is to the average consumer. As someone in the mobile education field, I am finding consumers are starting to demand focused applications that meet specific needs, not overwhelming apps and products that do an infinite amount of processes greater than they need..

    JMHO

    Matthew
    http://www.mlearningworld.com
    mnehrling
    • More like...

      [b]Could it be...
      ..that maybe we've reached a crest where speed and memory focus are giving way to actual usability issues. Mobile devices are the fastest growing segment, yet their speed and memory are greatly limited. Standards are starting to be judged not by how fast your processor is but how useful your entire product package is to the average consumer. As someone in the mobile education field, I am finding consumers are starting to demand focused applications that meet specific needs, not overwhelming apps and products that do an infinite amount of processes greater than they need..[/b]

      ...the current crop of common business apps we've got (i.e. Word, Excel, LookOut, etc...) have already evolved to their optimum state of where they need to be (given what they're intended to do) and any "new" versions are merely adding extra bells and whistles that 80% of the user base will never even think of using. Hardware, meanwhile, has gone beyond the levels needed to get acceptable performance from said business apps. In other words, you don't really NEED a 4 GHz box to run Word 2000, XP or 2003. A 1.5 GHz box is more than adequate for anyone to write correspondance and the like.

      And yet, the quest for faster, better hardware goes on. Meanwhile software languishes while we're waiting for the next "killer" app that will make use of all those megaflops the new hotrod hardware will be capable of.

      As far as your point, there's ALWAYS been a need for customized apps that do what the client wants done. This is nothing new. Customiziing software has been a bit of a cottage industry since the before the (IBM) PC was introduced.
      Wolfie2K3