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Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Microsoft Empire Besieged

Courtesy of Manish Madan saw this nice map depicting Microsoft Vs F/OSS as part of a software war landscape.

I have been highlighting for the past couple of years a series of developments in the computing environment and assessed the progress made by various players with emphasis on Microsoft. The potential impact of opensource was always a worrisome aspect for microsoft for quite some time. In fact its supporters fell that in the next five years, the use of open source to grow for the cost advantage that it confers and also because it offers more flexibility
Amongst others, developments centering around firefox , 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
. Some time back, I covered on the topic of microsoft's readiness to leverage bandwidth in the article Bandwidth is Microsoft's enemy and how this may influence the computing environment of future and how Microsoft is underprepared to face the emerging future. Also of interest was 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.I also wrote on the 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 in the post TV Is Not PC.

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. Vista delay is making things more difficult for Microsoft. Ozzie’s "Live" vision, Combining Microsoft software with SaaS-based services is just being rolled out. This means as competitors like Google unleash competition to Microsoft’s Windows and Office, Microsoft is gearing to bring a set of online, services. Companies, such as eBay, Yahoo and Amazon.com, treat their Web sites as customizable platforms, & offers a starkly different technology vision to developers than traditional software companies do. It is slowly leading to a situation where one model says build for Windows and the Microsoft 'stack'; the other says build for the Internet. The platform of the future shall not be focussed on controlling the hardware but it is going to be around access, community, collaboration & content. - clearly the rules of the game are changing. The only solace for microsoft is that most of the opensource challenges look like snipers and not heavy duty godzilla's - but they may be hardly be a source of comfort to Microsoft as things begin to change.

Image Courtesy : software_wars

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