Stephen O’Grady (Redmonk):
The first stage, epitomized by IBM, held that the money was in the hardware and software was just an adjunct.
Stage two, fired off by Microsoft, contended the money is in the software.
Google epitomizes the third stage, where the money is not in the software, but software is a differentiator. “Google came up at a time when a lot of folks were building the Internet on the backs of some very expensive hardware and software. Google uses commodity hardware, free — meaning no-cost — software, and focuses on what it can do better than its competitors with that software.”
Examples of the fourth stage are Facebook and Twitter. “Now, software is not even differentiating; it’s the value of the data. Facebook and Twitter monetize their data in different ways.”
Tim O’Reilly said it a bit different: “data is the next Intel inside”
Original title and link: Focus on Data, Not Software (NoSQL databases © myNoSQL)