The mega marketing campaign that Intel has just launched for the Pentium III in the US underlines the increasing need to spend even more marketing dollars on each new launch. The Pentium II-based processor certainly needs all the help it can get with only about 200 developers out there having announced products which can show off its capabilities. With some 72 new multimedia-oriented instructions and some new security features it doesn't look like corporate Joe Bloggs will be lining up to buy it by the container load.
As corporate UK tightens its belt even further and jobs start to go at BP Amoco and Heinz the lesson of the last but one recession seems to have hit home - keep spending the marketing money because that's often all that lies between you and the competition. For proof that this approach does work you have to look no further than the Sun/Microsoft battles.
This week industry analysts are getting jittery about the threat to Sun's Jini networking technology from Microsoft's Universal Plug and Play.
Although it looks like Sun has managed to pull off an early advantage in getting the Jini technology to market in the thin-client and consumer devices arena, this may not be enough of a market to sustain it long term.
Despite what Oracle, Sun et al may say, the installed PC base still dwarves the thin-client market and the battle will take place on the desktop.
Sparks will start to fly when Microsoft, backed by those big fat marketing dollars, ships Universal Plug and Play technology to the very same consumer device manufacturers.
There are other problems. Jini is the first Sun technology which IBM is not backing with its muscle. Quite correctly, IBM wants to see what the bun fight looks like after a few customers have had their say. This is business, not an anti-Microsoft alliance.
Meanwhile the developers who stand to lose a lot of money if they back the wrong horse are getting nervous. Some of them have been hung out to dry too often on the wrong side of the "standards" wars. We suggest that both companies look at their licensing policies. This war may be won on different turf.
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