We recently covered a series of developments in the computing environment and assessed the progress made by various players with emphasis on Microsoft. Amongst others, we covered,Firefox is to internet explorer what internet explore was to netscape emphasising the growth of Firefox browser and the importance of browser as an important platform component. We extended our coverage to examine microsoft's readiness to leverage bandwidth in the articleBandwidth is Microsoft's enemy and how this may influence the computing environment of future and how Microsoft is underprepared to face the emerging future. We also covered Russell Beattie's perspective after the recent CES event at Vega, saying Its game over for Microsoft's competitors and we also examined Microsoft's readiness to capture the mobile marketspace in the article The Coming Mobile War : Microsoft Vs.Nokia and in general through a series of coverage Microsoft's approach in maintaining desktop marketshare and preparedness in all the proximate areas.We also covered setback to Microsoft's passport framework in the article eBay Says Bye Bye Passport, Microsoft Calls It Quits and we also covered how the consumer electronics sector may not be all that covergent TV Is Not PC.
(via SeattlePi Blog ) Charles Cooper of News.com assesses Bill Gates Scorecard – As Chief Software Architect Excerpts with edits and my comments added:
Bill Gates took on a new role as chief software architect,five years ago with the idea to concentrate full-time on new technology. The business was changing, and Microsoft, no longer a start-up, needed to chart new directions in the face of challenges in the post-dot-com era. Microsoft has always been touchy about suggestions that it is less of a technology innovator than a technology follower.
Bill Gates is evidently the greatest business mogul of the last 50 years. An assessment of his tenure as chief software architect may not be that attractive.Microsofts progress in key areas in the last five years/preparation for future :
Internet Explorer - IE ruled the roost in the 90's after surpassing Netscape. With the game over, Microsoft also lost any incentive to make the product substantively better. And after the U.S. Department of Justice failed in its bid to break IE off of Windows, Microsoft had even less motivation to get cracking. But the technology business doesn't stand still for long. If Microsoft needed a wake-up call, the rapid emergence of Mozilla's Firefox browser in 2004 was it. If Microsoft dawdles much longer, the number of users downloading IE alternatives in 2005 will turn into a stampede.
.Net My Services - This was a grab bag of cool-sounding Internet-based services that Microsoft likened to a digital safe deposit box to host personal information. This was a complicated idea that was surrounded by confusion right from the get-go. The project, slated to debut in 2002, has since been shelved.
Longhorn :Microsoft originally planned to ship this next major version of Windows by 2004. Now the company says it will ship Longhorn sometime late in 2006. Even more embarrassing, Microsoft won't be able to implement its highly touted WinFS file system with the release of the operating system. Microsoft poured an enormous amount of resources into shipping its SP2 security patch. Microsoft has let this project sprawl out of control. Meanwhile, the Macintosh operating system and Linux continue to advance apace.
Security :Even after the release of SP2, problems continue to surface. All this raises inevitable questions about process and oversight. How can a company look a customer in the eye if it can't vouch for the security of its products? Microsoft's glass half-full argument that things are far better still doesn't cut it.
Search :Years after Google soared to supremacy, Microsoft has a beta version of the Web search technology it will ultimately offer-sometime, originally should have been widely available by 2004. Even when it comes to desktop search, terrain where Microsoft should dominate, Google and Yahoo are way ahead. Cooper concludes that Gates tenure as chief software architect for microsoft has not
been all that attractive.
My Take: Microsoft now is in a very tough suituation in its lifetime more than ever in the past- It is beyond doubt that Microsft is getting weakened on most of the fronts, but one needs to give credit to Microsoft for pushing the innovation engine and making bold moves in the consumer electronics sector and in the digital convergence space.Almost all analysts hold the view that the microsoft media player shall be a runaway success in 2005 .