Once again, Nicholas Carr is trying to make a living out of doomsaying. The IT industry's glory days are over, software is stabilizing, costs are going down, there's little left to innovate.
Microsoft's move to dividends + their accumulating cash hoard staying rather stagnant could be seen as a sign of the decline of IT. I actually look at it another way: it indicates that capital is no longer the primary factor of production. Knowledge is.
Software today is expensive and solves "old" problems -- problems we've had for 20 to 30 years. We're getting pretty good at nailing them down, though we still have a way to go. What's interesting is that we haven't really tackled the "new" problems. What are the "new" problems? For a glimpse, take a look back in recent history at big fringe ideas that were ahead of their time...
I firmly believe the next empires of IT will take advantage of knowledge as the central resource of an economy. And will catch the rest of the world by surprise.