Update: the link has changed to: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa480026.aspx I attended the VS Live conference back in 2004, where Pat Helland gave this really interesting talk about how IT and Software are experiencing the same trends as the evolution of major cities. The parallels are really interesting. According to Pat, we're in 1880 I've referred to this talk many times, so I'm posting a link to it now. I can't believe that was over two years ago. One of the interesting anticdotes made is that after the railroads were invented (the internet), we needed a way to package our stuff up and send it between places. Hence, the invention of cardboard in 1880. XML is Cardboard. Ever buy a memory stick from dell? The cardboard it shipped in probably weighed more than the RAM stick. The cardboard had your name on it, where it came from, a shipping number, a customs tag on it, etc, etc -- but in the end, the contents of the package were more important than the package.