The president of IBM has had the opportunity to admit the "death of the PC", the boss of Microsoft has hurried to defend his greatest income, could the president "outside the box" of Oracle be silent? No, he also takes a position in the discussion. What must be the fulcrum where the whole computer system will rotate for the next few years? IBM is convinced that the PC represents only a medium, in rapid mutation, and in reality what matters is the relevance of the network and E-Commerce; Larry Ellison father-master of Oracle and the concept (a little set or, at least, recurring) of Network Computer and software on the web rather than inside complex computers, believes that the PC should be as bare and simple as possible while the centrality is represented by increasingly powerful servers supported by flexible software (thanks to the friendly collaboration of Sun and "his" Java; perhaps too "his"); Bill Gates is of a completely different opinion who, even if he is only now approaching a still smoky .NET project (apparently inconsistent with corporate policy), believes a lot in PCs and in all those new forms that tend to cover different uses of the computer. From the stage of the Comdex in Las Vegas, Bill Gates showed a white / orange TabletPC (which will be on the market, perhaps only in 2002), a kind of rich (in the sense of the price) handheld-eBook "on steroids", commanded from a pen on the sensitive display that recognizes the writing, but always totally governed by one of the many versions of Windows now (and in the future) existing and persistent in every object of the Microsoft home.We remember that Microsoft still supports the project, with little success PocketPC and does not embrace the now dominant Palm (dominant seems the right word, considering that even Sony with Clie 'had to give in … and if it yields an untouchable like Sony!). "The era of the browser that provides data richies you are declining, it's an old idea, "says Bill Gates briefly (supported by Steve Ballmer who explicitly refers to what Ellison said, shamelessly deriding his rival's ideas) and who continues with" I do not say that everything must be on the PC, but a balanced position between server and PC (in its multiple forms of smart devices) is indeed desirable, rather than the connection with a large remote server, the relationship to the equal among individual users, this will be the future. "And it is not difficult to understand why, Microsoft produces software for medium-sized servers (up to 64 CPUs), Oracle is often the lifeblood of IBM and Sun which On the other hand, Ellison seems to have prohibited the use of Microsoft products throughout Oracle and this is the yardstick to guess how little Larry and Bill are esteemed. Tornadoes are over recently Compaq, which, already a historical ally of Microsoft (don't call it a double-player, business is business), now announces a close collaboration with Oracle to provide complete solutions (next month) that do not require any Windows, that is, Oracle9the. Sun and HP will also join soon, considering that in the USA, if it is not saturated, however, at least there is a sharp slowdown in the PC sector (Windows 2000 sold a little). At Microsoft they believe that this is not a data to support Oracle's theses, in fact, they say they want to think more and more about filling the (sometimes induced) needs of others, especially Europe. Ellison identifies the two visions with a sentence : "We don't make the same clothes for everyone, we make tailor-made clothes according to the customer's needs". But despite these nice words Microsoft a few months ago churns out the Microsoft.NET/Extensible Markup Language (XML) project and now the language of C # programming, or a new type of competition to the fundamental ideas of Oracle (software on the network) and Sun (Java as standard). In all this, Apple is not involved, first of all, because it does not participate in Comdex (and even in this case there would be discussions about the opportunity to participate or not in the most important IT fair in the USA and then in the world), and then because it continues on its decidedly alternative and in any case much more balanced way because, with one foot in the hardware and one foot in the software, both very autonomous from the mass, you do not go to compare with the markets none of these giants; but despite this, Oracle's recent (more symbolic than productive) approach to Apple, with the certification of Mac as an Oracle E-Business suite client, has provoked comments. Mac OS X is said to have been made on measure (speaking of clothes sewn on commission) for Oracle. The suspicion arises by putting the following clues on the carpet: – Larry Ellison is a long time friend of Steve Jobs – Larry Ellison is a member of the Apple board of directors – Larry Ellison attempted in 1997 (one of the worst periods) to buy Apple without achieving its goal – the current evaluation of AAPL is so low as to make it very attractive – Mac OS X is of strictly Unix derivation and this is a bonus for Larry Ellison, as Oracle assembles products for many Unix dialects – Larry Ellison hates Bill Gates but envies him a bit and an Apple reinvigorated with excellent Mac OS X and powerful hardware could be an extra arrow to his The union of these factors could never give birth to a server system based on Intel platform (porting Mac OS X on x86 does not seem impossible), or at most Sun, with Mac OS X operating system and Oracle database applications , a sort of complete system that can alleviate the frustrations of the sailor Larry for the challenge of the coming years with the monopolist Bill? Fanta-computer?