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Thursday, January 05, 2006

What year is it again? 

The year is 1987.

Let's start in music and entertainment...

As only the fourth band (after the Beatles, the Band, and the Who) to grace the cover of Time magazine, they release an album that will go on to win the Grammy honors the next year, eventually selling more than 10 million copies in the US alone and earning a rank of #26 on Rolling Stone's 2003 list of the Greatest Albums of All Time. In the same year, this band has four singles break into Billboard's Hot 100, with two reaching #1 on the chart. They also embark on a worldwide tour and begin to film and record various shows from the tour for the full-length feature documentary and album that will follow the next year. The band's front man is as charismatic, passionate and enigmatic as the musical and lyrical themes he explores: political rhetoric against arming rebels in El Salvador; a lament for the mothers of thousands of people who were kidnapped for opposing a coup in Argentina and never seen again; an elegy for a friend who died a year earlier; a rustic ballad about heroin addiction; a harmonica-filled blues romp.

Jump with me over to the world of business and technology...

Windows 2.0 has just been released and is a huge improvement over its predecessor. It gains in market share largely because of its ability to mimic much of the graphical interface that the wildly popular Apple computers have employed. Not only that, but it began to be marketed not just as a stand-alone platform for running Microsoft Windows and Excel, but also is bundled with purchases of new IBM PCs. Over the next decade, it will be followed by a juggernaut of products and deals designed to annihilate any competition for operating system dominance. In just a few short years, the co-founder will not only be the chairman and chief software architect of the world's largest computer software company, but also the world's wealthiest person. Through his brilliance, ambition and arguably ruthless business practices, he becomes one of the most famous and notorious entrepreneurs of the late-20th century.

What do you think... are these two men deserving of a spot on the revered "Time's Man of the Year" list?

Oh, wait... you mean for last year? Tune in next time when I explain why not.

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