Saturday, May 17

The rise and (please, come quicky) fall of Microsoft

It's obvious that Microsoft won't be a big technology market force forever, and here's a great piece from the New York Times detailing their inevitable (and, in some senses, current) state of decline.

The Computer Industry Comes With Built-In Term Limits - New York Times


Harry J. Sachz said...

Just want to say that before I comment, I didn't read the entire article for three reasons... 1). I'm shocked by the fact that the NYTimes online didn't force me to login to read the piece. 2). I don't like the NYTimes, especially when they talk about technology (large publications don't ever understand outside of what they read from the stock market). 3). It's 2 in the morning and I was about to go to sleep before I saw that you had posted anew.

I just want to put out there that no one would like to see the demise of Microsoft more than I... well, me and perhaps Jerry Yang. But the name Microsoft has too large a reputation amongst computer users. Working in a computer shop, you come to realize that the common person is willing to shell out their "hard earned" money for a new machine that is going to do exactly the same thing their old machine had done. They think newer is always better, and they think that Windows is what everyone uses. They never even consider an alternative. Choices scare people. They don't want to have a decision. They want to be told what to use. And for that reason, people will continue to use Windows because "that's what everyone uses".

Secondly, Microsoft has entirely way too much money to just disappear. They, as every large company must do, create flops as well as amazing pieces of work. Vista isn't great, but people will regard it as better simply because it is new and that is what Microsoft has told them to buy. But, if they jump on the bandwagon of "Vista sucks", they always turn to the "how do I put XP on here" mentality. XP wasn't exactly well regarded during it's time, but with Vista's release, XP has now become a hero of sorts.

They have the Zune, which people that hate Apple (for whatever ignorant reason), will ironically purchase simply to be different. They have the 360, which has the largest user base of all the current generation console gaming systems, as well as the most developed online social gaming platform. They have Office, which everyone thinks their proprietary format is 'the standard'. They have Server. I could go on, but my point has been made.

Sadly, they're not going anywhere. Not for a long time.

[I apologize for the length and the lack of editing, g'night]

augmentedfourth said...

First of all, that comment was particularly coherent considering the time of day at which you posted it... you must have had less to drink than I did last night.

I wasn't trying to say that Microsoft as a company was going to disappear (and neither was the article). The point was that their influence in the technology industry is waning.

I agree that Windows and Office are the de facto "standard" just because they're currently the biggest, so it will take a long time for those products to lose their momentum. However, in the Internet era, Microsoft as a company is not finding a way to stay dominant and important. Sure, most people will get on the Internet by first starting up Windows & IE, but the operating system is pretty much meaningless to the vast majority of computer users these days.

Microsoft will, of course, stay in business, but they'll be relegated to the "background" of the computer industry with groups like Intel. The average computer lemming uses products from Intel every single day, but I bet few users could tell you which.

(By the way, I was originally required to log in to view that article in the link from NYT's RSS. However, when I cut off the URL at the question mark and just left it ending with ".html", it lost the login requirement.)

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The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

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W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

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