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|August 26, 1998||
An interview with Tom Burns of IntelIn the middle of the hurly-burly at the India Internet World '98, Intel's Tom Burns answered a few questions on electronic commerce that Madhuri Velegar K put to him. Burns is director of the comapny's Asia Pacific Content Group. Excerpts: How would you define e-commerce?
E-commerce means transacting business and services on the Web.
Do you think it is necessary to look at e-commerce as being 'on the Web' or 'off the Web'?
Once you are on the Web, you can give them better services. You can support them. You can give them more options.
So, the question is that how do you learn to use the tool called Web? You can offer customer service, update information and provide more convenience. How do you learn to use the Web to drive your business strategy?
The Web is not going to replace all the retail business. It is going to be a combination of the two?
What are some of the competing standards for e-commerce security and protocols today?
What are the advantages and disadvantages they have over one another?
A majority of e-commerce has been bank draft transactions and credit card transactions. These have been reasonably accepted round the world.
But as you do more transfer of money from your checking account to your savings account or from your own account to another's, the security levels are going to go up.
Intel's been advertising something called the 'common data security architecture' (CDSA). It is a very broad standard that encompasses authentication and encryption. No one can misuse it. Operatibility becomes hard. So, if you are an encryption company and you hit CDSA's number, that will apply to all PCs. Now Compaq, Intel, IBM are on the CDSA bandwagon along with other companies.
How can these standards be decided?
Why create a standard and not have anybody follow it. It does not make sense.
Can you do some visionary stuff on the evolution/trends of e-commerce? What kind of products will be the first to be sold and bought over the Web?
It's very hard to say. I would think this is an opportunity for India based personnel and companies. An opportunity which says 'my people need this in my country and I can start it on the Web'.
In the West, we've started by putting books and CDs on the Web because people have already sold themselves over one artist's CD. They like Madonna so it's very easy to sell. Everybody knows what a book is. They can get more information on it if they want. But selling software on the Web is difficult because of its complexity. In the future that should get easier. Travel has also been made easy.
Do you think exotic stuff like the Microsoft Wallet and the Navio operating system will become popular in handling e-commerce?
Lots of e-commerce will be desktop based and higher performance laptops or desktops.
How is policing done in an e-commerce environment?
What are the chances that e-cash will largely replace money as we know it?
It will be possible when we get there but it will be decades and decades before it happens.
A true currency should not discriminate but here we are talking about an elitist currency. How can a silicon chip based currency not discriminate?
Look at the Indian market. The price is coming down. Semiconductor people are bringing cost benefits and facilitating technology. It's what we call Moore's law. Every year allowing cheaper and cheaper cost of computing.
For PC fans, this year the figure seems to be a 100 million units. And these numbers keep growing.
I think a lot of people are thinking, my children need to know this tool, the road to the future.
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