Standards Cowboys Vs. Committees

The videotape that you bought in Paris, France, won't play on your VCR in Paris, Tex. The novel you started on your old Apple IIc is stranded on disks that will never be read again. And on your new computer, some deep-buried incompatibility has locked the CD-ROM drive in a death struggle with Windows. Life would be a lot easier if these things were built to work together. How to close the "interoperability" gap has become one of the toughest and most controversial questions of the high-tech era. Everyone agrees that standards can save time and money. The billion-dollar question is: How should standards be determined?

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