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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Do You Think Microsoft Is Dead?

The future of microsoft is always a matter of high degree of concern –for quite some time. Paul Graham writes, no one is even afraid of Microsoft anymore. They still make a lot of money— so does IBM, for that matter. But they're not dangerous. He goes on to write that his venture has not bothered to even invite them to the demo days organized for startups to present to investors, while Yahoo and Google and some other Internet companies routinely get invited. He thinks Microsoft is in a different world.

Four things, all of them occurring simultaneously in the mid 2000s killed Microsoft :

A. The most obvious is Google. Read this note here
B. The second cause of Microsoft's death: everyone can see the desktop is over. It now seems inevitable that applications will live on the web—not just email, but everything, right up to Photoshop. Even Microsoft sees that now. Read this earlier note - end of PC era.
C. The third cause of Microsoft's death was broadband Internet. Anyone who cares can have fast Internet access now. And the bigger the pipe to the server, the less you need the desktop. Read this earlier note bandwidth is microsoft’s enemy.
D. The last nail in the coffin came, of all places, from Apple. Thanks to OSX, Apple has come back from the dead in a way that is extremely rare in technology

One of the reasons "Web 2.0" has such an air of euphoria about it is the feeling, conscious or not, that this era of monopoly may finally be over.

As I wrote before, Microsoft dropping the passport initiative is clearly a demonstration of not being able to make it work well enough despite its size and pursuing a powerful idea at hand. I am still baffled why Microsoft (other than for being selfish about its interest) as to why Microsoft is not considering providing a hosted solution - when enterprise application software vendors are beginning to provide and stepping up aggression in pushing. Microsoft may end up to be a pale shadow of its present –that would be sad indeed – but the risk is indeed high for Microsoft. Microsoft is lucky that currently there is no one alternative that can dislodge it in key arena's - starting particularly in the desktop segment. It’s high time that the world gets into a position to bid goodbye to Microsoft’s monopoly.

As I wrote here, in the tech world, one should just note the Microsoft example – where the deflationary effect of the internet was getting more and more pronounced, Microsoft was probably struck on beliefs held based on its historic success. As I wrote while writing on Microsoft's missed chances,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 & Microsoft is clealry lagging behind in adopting to the internet medium.
Microsoft now is in a very tough situation in its lifetime more than ever in the past- It is beyond doubt that Microsft is getting weakened on most of the fronts.I do think that Microsoft is appallingly falling behind in its ability to be creative and seems to be losing touch in respect of making new roll outs win in the market - MSN portal, MSN search , declining attraction towards hotmail, the non starter called spaces.msn.com etc - all conclusively point to this. Glorious past is certainly no pointer to great success in future.

Reader’s views are invited

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