From The Invisible Computer - CHAPTER 1 by Donald Norman:
Time, or rather the lack of it, I was starting to learn, is one of the greatest barriers to quality. In software it is the only barrier. The cost of invention - other than salaries - can be negligible. And I have a sneaking suspicion that a software company with the ability to supply product exactly on time could take on quite significant costs if they could just always promise the required time of delivery. If you could always throw money at design problems to guarantee delivery people would.
Well, there is that other little problem of figuring out what and why to build something. Don Norman thinks software people suck at it.
I think the attacks on the general purpose machine are overblown. If you're an information worker you can do very well with one universal information device. One single tool, just like your desk was really one integrated tool before you got the machine.