Software Progress Beats Moore's Law - NYTimes.com: "One of the old jokes in computing is that what the hardware giveth, the software taketh away.
The biblical vernacular is meant to convey the commandmentlike certainty of a set order of things. And the implication of the old saw is that chip-based progress is torrid and the engine of computing innovation, while the messy, unpredictable process of humans writing code is the laggard — the caboose of the innovation train.
In reporting a Sunday Week in Review piece, I was pointed to research that sharply contradicts the conventional wisdom. It did not find its way into the more general article, but the research was intriguing, I thought, and its implication not widely appreciated.
A report by an independent group of science and technology advisers to the White House, published last December, cited research showing that performance gains in doing computing tasks that result from improvements in software algorithms often far outpace the gains attributable to faster processors."