Cooperative partnerships are needed to make the great leap forward into the second generation of personal computers where time - a critical business commodity - will indeed be relative, say visionary leaders of the computer industry.
Andrew S. Grove, president and CEO of Intel Corp., echoed that rallying call during the opening address of BrainShare 1992, the annual development conference sponsored by Novell Inc.It's a philosophy that sounds much like the Three Musketeer's slogan: All for one and one for all. Computer companies need to share information, pool development advances and standardize basic computer equipment to push the industry forward, Grove said.
Some 2,000 developers, technicians, system managers, educators, vendors and resellers are attending the weeklong conference, which is being held at the University of Utah. It's the eighth annual development conference Novell has sponsored.
The conferences are a key bit in Novell President and CEO Ray Noorda's goal of "growing" the network computing industry.
"We think the entire industry . . . is being greatly influenced by what we're doing together," Noorda said in his welcome Monday.
Much of the conference is technical - a place for computer wizards to talk about such things as "cross-platform solutions," LANs and WANs and "achieving protocol independence using the transport layer interface."
But there's something for the rest of us: a glimpse of the future world of computers as envisioned by leaders of some of the most successful, cutting-edge computer hardware and software companies. Morning keynoters at the Huntsman Center include Bill Joy, founder and chief technical officer of Sun Microsystems; Philippe Kahn, president and CEO of Borland International; Drew Major, chief scientist and systems architect for Novell Inc.; and Robert J. Frankenberg, a vice president at Hewlett-Packard Co.
Steven Jobs, president of NeXT Computer Inc. and cofounder of Apple Computer Inc., will speak Thursday evening.
Grove shared Intel's vision of a networked computer system that removes the barriers of time and space and allows users to communicate in real time with audiovisual capabilities.
That's right. Forget sending simple E-mail messages to someone's computer mailbox. Picture instead the ability of two people at separate computer terminals to communicate simultaneously, to send voice and video tape messages via computer.
To make the three-step transition to the super computers of the future, the computer industry needs to collaborate and cooperate; the first step in the march is standardization of hardware.
The great forward evolution of computers is hampered by the vertical structure of the computer industry, where each company works independently to develop unique products that aren't interchangeable.
"The structure of our industry today makes it harder to get to (the second generation of PCs), but at the same time, once we get there it will make the payoff much bigger because this industry structure . . . is the only structure that is able to deliver the benefits of this technology to tens of millions of people almost overnight," Grove said.
Intel is devoting $1 billion to capital development, $800 million to research and development and $5 million to development of new processors to revolutionize computers.
"It's a big deal but it's a big industry and it's a very big, big opportunity," Grove said.