Computer Wars: How the West Can Win in a Post-IBM World

Overview

Reveals how the leading computer firms in both the U.S. & Japan lost golden opportunities to dominate the industry & how the battle is being waged successfully today by smaller companies like Microsoft & Intel. The cautiously optimistic message is that American market share in most critical areas has stabilized & that Western firms now have the opportunity to take back the lead — but not without new government policies & new company strategies. A masterful overview of the computer industry, ...
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Overview

Reveals how the leading computer firms in both the U.S. & Japan lost golden opportunities to dominate the industry & how the battle is being waged successfully today by smaller companies like Microsoft & Intel. The cautiously optimistic message is that American market share in most critical areas has stabilized & that Western firms now have the opportunity to take back the lead — but not without new government policies & new company strategies. A masterful overview of the computer industry, with bold advice for ambitious companies. The analysis is penetrating, but it reads like a detective story.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Reading more like a consultant's report than a popular narrative, this densely written analysis suggests that small, maverick companies, rather than giants, have the best chance to lead the computer business. At first, Morris ( The Coming Global Boom ) and computer consultant Ferguson draw on anonymous, inside sources to chronicle the decline of IBM, blaming mainly the corporation's managers but also trade barriers raised by both the U.S. and Japan. Then the authors look more broadly at the industry. Noting America's edge in innovation and software, and Asian advantages in manufacturing, they suggest that the battle will be over ``architectures''--the standards that define computer networks--and explore business strategies to control those standards. Only in the final chapters do Ferguson and Morris address industrial policy: they propose a ``pro-technology policy agenda'' that supports basic research and intervenes to prevent other countries from establishing cartels over crucial components. Even more important to industrial growth, the authors note, is a reordering of federal spending in areas such as health care. Author tour. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Ferguson, a computer analyst, and Morris, an economist, paint a cautiously optimistic picture of America's potential to reclaim its leading market share in the area of technology. They begin by chronicling IBM's rise to dominance in the industry and its dramatically accelerating decline. Next, they analyze the ingenuity and strategies of smaller American companies that constitute the force necessary to win the computer wars without IBM; they delineate the essential rules for future success. Finally, the authors outline political implications and emerging opportunities for Western firms in consumer electronics. Other topics of discussion: the impact of government policy, the prospects and problems facing companies, and the effect of the computer wars on every citizen. A superb blueprint that will intrigue an informed audience.-- Joe Accardi, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago
David Rouse
Ferguson is a computer analyst and high-technology consultant; Morris, a political and economics writer who most recently authored "The Coming Global Boom" (Bantam, 1990). Their title suggests that, recently, IBM and the computer industry were one and the same. Gone are the days, though, when Nancy Foy could claim "The Sun Never Sets on IBM" (Morrow, 1975). Ferguson and Morris show that that's all in the past. They document the decline of IBM with its shrinking market share, massive cutbacks, and decreasing sales as the company faces increased competition from electronics giants abroad and from upstarts such as Microsoft, Intel, and Sun at home. In their thoughtful analysis of the world computer industry in the next decade, they offer a silver lining. There are three types of contenders in the "post-IBM world": the traditional big American and European companies like IBM, the integrated electronics conglomerates of Japan, and the small but innovative niche-market companies such as those that make up California's Silicon Valley. The authors argue that this third group now has the competitive edge and outline what America must do to maintain and increase this lead, pointing out the need not only for a U.S. government industrial policy but more specifically a technology policy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812921564
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/9/1993
  • Pages: 272

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. I The Fall of IBM
1 Coloring the World Blue 3
2 Guerrilla Warfare 17
3 The Roots of Decline 30
4 The Rise of the Clones 51
5 Revenge of the Nerds 66
6 Picking Through the Shards 84
Pt. II Winning in a Post-IBM World
7 Three Contenders 101
8 Competing in Radically Decentralized Systems 115
9 Winning: The Basic Argument 127
10 Locking In a Winning Position 145
11 Life Cycle Strategies 159
12 Management Strategies in High Technology 170
Pt. III Prospects and Opportunities
13 The Next Decade's Market Opportunity 191
14 The Future of Computer Companies 205
15 Government and Computers: Prologue to Policy 223
16 Toward an American Technology Policy 240
Further Reading 259
Index 263
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