Nicholas Carr: Love him or hate him, you've got to give him props for posing a single question that made him famous and inspired a seemingly never-ending stream of debate.
So, does IT matter? Even folks who disagree with Carr have to acknowledge that he makes a thought-provoking case. If Carr was a hack or his viewpoint lacked a shred of validity, we wouldn't still be reading articles like this BusinessWeek interview with Carr and Microsoft's Robert McDowell.
It isn't exactly a death cage match. In fact, Carr may have mellowed a bit, judging by his point that IT, if used strategically, can strengthen a company's competitive advantage.
Microsoft's McDowell scores a tag, though not a takedown, with his contention that because of the constantly changing nature of IT, smart companies will never just take it for granted.
Like wary wrestlers, the two even make nice at the end of the interview. It's unclear, however, as to whether their comments are genuinely conciliatory -- or just a way to get the other guy to let his guard down.