Nicholas Carr shares his most recent thoughts regarding his 'Does IT Matter?' essay and book.  Carr's answer to his own question has for sometime been an emphatic 'no!'.  His answers has changed though...maybe he listened to Bob Metcalfe?  Anyway, seems like the tide has turned....last week Carr wrote:

"At the start of this year, I wrote an article about utility computing that came to be published in the spring edition of the MIT Sloan Management Review under the title The End of Corporate Computing. In it, I argued that advances in networking and related technologies like virtualization and web services are going to radically transform the way information technology is supplied to businesses.

...The economic advantages of the utility model are so great, I argued, that the transformation of IT is inevitable.

...When I wrote the piece, I assumed this shift would play out slowly, as the utility model battled against a status quo propped up by the entrenched interests of both suppliers and corporate IT departments. But now I'm not so sure. I may have been thinking too conservatively. In just the last few weeks, we've seen, particularly on the software side, growing signs of a sea change.

And then on the subject of Microsoft:

"Yesterday, for example, Microsoft put software services at the center of its strategy, or at least very near the center. It announced that its diffuse business units would be collapsed into three groups, including a "platform" organization combining the Windows operating systems with the MSN web site. Ray Ozzie will become the company's services guru, helping to coordinate the shift to a services model across the three groups. "Our goal in making these changes," explained CEO Steve Ballmer in an email to staff, "is to enable Microsoft to achieve greater agility in ... executing our software-based services strategy." It remains to be seen eactly how far and fast Microsoft will go down the services route - and whether it can figure out a services business model that will deliver the kind of rich profits its packaged software has long provided - but the dramatic reorganization shows that it recognizes the old model is dying."

Via Rajesh Jain.

Update: 26 Sept 2005: You can also listen to Carr's latest thoughs on the matter of whether it matters or not on this week's Gillmore Gang (mp3):

"Steve Gillmor graciously invited me to participate in this week's Gillmor Gang podcast, with Doc Searls, Dan Farber and Dana Gardner. If you have 80 minutes to kill, you can find the recording here."