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The Great Software Platform Hoax

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How would you feel if your mechanic handed you a 125-piece wrench set rather than actually fixing your car? What if another mechanic then walked up to you with his tools and started arguing with the first guy about whose tools were better? You sure wouldn't feel like either of them was going to help you with your problem, would you?

Yet that's exactly what software vendors are doing today as they engage in their platform wars -- much to the detriment of their customers and the software industry.

Here are some of the latest battle cries from software companies: Oracle (ORCL) announces its Fusion platform, revealing a grand architectural chart that shows how it will exercise total control over its customers' computing environments. SalesForce.com unveils a platform dubbed AppExchange that it proclaims lets customers to engage with some of the smallest software vendors in the business more rapidly and conveniently than ever.

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