Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 17:56 UTC, submitted by Linuxfanboy
Linux "With the traditional Microsoft news media turning their collective ear to the rest of the industry, you have to suspect a changing of the guard. But Linux companies don't seem to guage their efforts by what the industry says about Microsoft. Linux just keeps chugging along. So what does the Industry have to say about Microsoft? They say that though many people will swear by the invincibility of Microsoft's ship, it hasn't maneuvered all the icebergs. Collectively, the competition has started ringing up wins. With alternatives in Linux, FireFox, OpenOffice.org and Apple the Microsoft floating casino has begun to list and sway. Here's how and some of it might surprise you."
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Oh ma lordy!
by dogen on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:10 UTC
dogen
Member since:
2005-11-13

Wow, I don't think anybody every predicted MS's imminent demise before.

Oh, and are they still making 14 million dollars a minute?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Oh ma lordy!
by TomB7 on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:23 UTC in reply to "Oh ma lordy!"
TomB7 Member since:
2006-01-03

They are going down, like "american buggywhip" (a past Dow component). Yes, it will take a while.

Reply Score: 2

Oh well...
by dylansmrjones on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:17 UTC
dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

baah..

Reply Score: 1

.
by cwdrake on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:18 UTC
cwdrake
Member since:
2005-08-09

Is there any way that we can give negative votes to an entire article?

Reply Score: 1

RE: .
by bornagainenguin on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 23:46 UTC in reply to "."
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

Is there any way that we can give negative votes to an entire article? --cwdrake

Apparently only if its been commented on by one of the OSNews.com staff members.

---bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 1

Well...
by dylansmrjones on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:29 UTC
dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

We already know Microsoft is going down somewhat.

As cross platform development increases, the need for a specific platform is lessened, leading to lower market shares for major platforms and higher market shares for smaller platforms.

Reply Score: 1

it boggles
by marmot4 on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:29 UTC
marmot4
Member since:
2005-12-09

"It makes sense to put Linux on the desktop when the desktop no longer matters."

It boggles the mind that people can so blindy believe such a thing. The "executable Internet" will never replace the desktop. AJAX != full application environment. It must be only because people are so used to flat applications along side dancing colorful pretty web pages that people are even able to convince themselves of this foolish idea. But look at Mac OS X and Vista's coming Avalon and you'll see that they've figured out that presentation is important AND can serve the usability of an application.

gmail is nice. But it's not half as convient as thunderbird. I'm never going to write a document in some online version of Word. I'm not going to use a web browser based chat client when I can use an app.

There is no question that the web has its place. But believing that the web is going to render the desktop meaningless is simply foolish.

Reply Score: 5

RE: it boggles
by dylansmrjones on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:51 UTC in reply to "it boggles"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I agree with you.

I was just afraid of starting a flame war, but you shouldn't think you stand alone.

gmail, Windows Live and other such ideas can be useful for smaller things, but I cannot see them replacing the desktop.

Reply Score: 1

RE: it boggles
by topos on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:52 UTC in reply to "it boggles"
topos Member since:
2005-07-28

"I'm never going to write a document in some online version of Word. I'm not going to use a web browser based chat client when I can use an app."
I would not bet on that! Microsoft themself are envisioning Web services as the future. The chances are high that applications will be Web based in the future.
Saying it is not going to happen is like when 30 years ago, nobody was willing to bet on Desktop computers.
I think the question is when are we going to use an online version of a word procesor and who will be the first vendor to come up with a solution that makes it better then dealing with a desktop version.
Unless what the article seems to assume, Microsoft is not completely out off guard on that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: it boggles
by marmot4 on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 23:22 UTC in reply to "RE: it boggles"
marmot4 Member since:
2005-12-09

There is a strong distinction between "Web Services" and a web browser. Everyone wants a thick client experience, even if they don't know it. The web browser has moved ahead by leaps and bounds in that department. But gmail is still the best I've seen, and it still doesn't compare to what you CAN have in an app.

The funny thing is my impression has been that software is learning from the web in terms of presentation and active content. But there is simply no question that a native application will always be able to out perform a page in a web browser. Flash or SVG or whatever new tech you want.

And the web's reliability isn't going to change. You have to save your Word doc every 5 minutes as it is now. Imagine worrying about whether that doc got saved properly on the remote server you're dependent on. Things like that just arn't going to happen.

That's why I said the web has its place. But it will never render the desktop useless. Instead hybred solutions will likely arise that meet a myriad of goals.

However, the things that are attractive about the "executable web," such as centralized control which makes distribution easier, no need for an "install", and cross platform compatibility are becoming easier and easier all the time in the application domain. Despite all the hype on web 2.0 and the executable web, the desktop is only going to get better.

Reply Score: 1

RE: it boggles
by unoengborg on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 20:17 UTC in reply to "it boggles"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

The "executable Internet" will never replace the desktop. AJAX != full application environment.

I agree, presentation is very important, but that doesn't mean that we will not see rich network based applications.

Networks will get faster, making it possible to transfer more information. Hardware will get faster to allow higher degree of compressionor and to allow for higher speed when executing client side javascripts.

We also see a trend in higher separation between information and presentation in web based media. E.g. XML/XSLT, XHTML/CSS and XForms. With that sepearation it is easier to cache frequently reused information in the client.

Other trends are use of XML formats such as SVG and that if used correctly can limit the need for bandwidth. Even today many free desktop environments for Linux use SVG for icons etc, and Microsoft will use similar technology in Vista.

This means that good presentation will be possible in web based application if not now, so in a very short timeframe.

However, like you, I don't believe in an executable Internet. People will not trust other organizations e.g. Microsoft with their documents. This is what will stop internet based applications not technical limitations in presentation.

Even if an executable Internet isn't very plausable, this doesn't mean we can't have an executable Intranet, where applications can be deployed cheaply, and documents stored safely on a trusted company intranet server.

We are allready seing applications like IBM Workplace moving in that direction.

Reply Score: 1

RE: it boggles
by MattK on Tue 24th Jan 2006 03:43 UTC in reply to "it boggles"
MattK Member since:
2005-11-14

<quote>The "executable Internet" will never replace the desktop. AJAX != full application environment</quote>

Technology, the internet, and business in general do not live in a bubble. Sure I/O latency is to slow to make really great useable browser based apps, but network speed will only increase. And since Google is apparently buying the dark fiber across the states, that increase may be dramatic.

Futhermore, internet base browser apps may be a tad slow, this does not have to be the case on an intranet. Gigabit ethernet is a reasonable affordable solution for most businesses. Most likely, they wouldn't even have to pull new wire. AJAX is just the start of the server side app. There is very little reason technologically that you couldn't have zero install apps that are simply executed through a browser. The browser as a sort of modern evolution of the thin client.

Reply Score: 1

The decline and fall of Microsoft
by zizban on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:30 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft has seen it's best days; like the Roman Empire which peaked in power and began a slow decline, so has Microsoft. Microsoft isn't going anywhere but's days as tech giant are over.

Reply Score: 3

Al2001 Member since:
2005-07-06
My views.
by Leoandru on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:40 UTC
Leoandru
Member since:
2006-01-15

What can I say? when your on top the only way to go is down. Honestly I feel that MS will always be here for a long time into the future as for them not being dominant I can't predict that much. One thing we do know is that the MS alternatives are growing in strength, uses and popularity and it is only natural for them to lose some market share in the events of things. Personally I'm glad they are were they are at now, else we wouldnt be looking for something to strive for and beat their dominance.

Reply Score: 1

RE: My views.
by dylansmrjones on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:52 UTC in reply to "My views."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

*damn... wrong post*

Edited: deleted the post

Edited 2006-01-23 18:52

Reply Score: 1

This isn't the first prediction
by joekiser on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:48 UTC
joekiser
Member since:
2005-06-30

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/253592.stm

From the article, "Microsoft's technical guru Nathan Myhrvold has predicted that its Windows operating system will almost be consigned to history within five years."

The date? January 16, 1999.

The point is, that people, even in their own camp, have been calling for the demise of Microsoft for years. Every year, it is announced that "Linux will rule the desktop." Every year, we've seen some new program which promised to displace Microsoft on the desktop. People forget that Firefox (not FireFox) is the third incarnation of Netscape, or that OpenOffice.org is the second incarnation of StarOffice, both of which have been predicted to dethrone Microsoft at one point or another over the past seven years. In the end, Linux desktop usage has remained in the single digits in terms of percentage, Firefox, while still growing, is still nowhere near the percentages that Netscape had in its heyday, and OpenOffice.org is not the competition that MS Office had with Corel and Borland in the mid-1990's.

I'm not by any means of the imagination a Microsoft fan; I've been using FreeBSD for YEARS and have thus seen the "Microsoft is dying" banner over and over again from an outside perspective. Believe me, you'll be hard pressed to find someone as happy as I am the day Microsoft crumbles; unfortunately, I think it will take a more consolidated effort to bring Microsoft down than the current "here are a bunch of alternatives to MS, w00t" mantra.

Reply Score: 5

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Yeah, but the Linux single digits is much larger now than 5 years ago.

Reply Score: 1

RE: This isn't the first prediction
by TomB7 on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 19:29 UTC in reply to "This isn't the first prediction"
TomB7 Member since:
2006-01-03

Two points: 1) it's a MSFT guy making predictions-- you expect accuracy? 2) OSX wasn't out yet in 1999. OSX is what is going to take out Windows; not LINUX.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Nobody is going to take MS out. Everybody however is going to reduce the market share Microsoft has.

Reply Score: 3

DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

2) OSX wasn't out yet in 1999. OSX is what is going to take out Windows; not LINUX.

Oh, puhleeze! Not THAT again. Please wake me up when Apple drop its prices at least 50 percent to be reallistically competitive with Wintel/Lintel solutions. Until then, I believe that this possible Apple dominance that a few Macheads have been talking about will be restricted entirely to the USA boundaries.

Sincerely yours,

A latin american citizen that´d love to use an Apple machine...

Reply Score: 3

The Fall
by DonS on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:49 UTC
DonS
Member since:
2006-01-02

Microsoft could buy Salesforce in a New York minute. They have deep deep pockets. On the server side yes Microsoft has taken a few shots. But on the desktop, Microsoft is king. Until the OSS/FOSS can get a lot more and high quality drivers for wireless, ATI, Nvidia and bluetooth, they have an uphill fight.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The Fall
by dylansmrjones on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:55 UTC in reply to "The Fall"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Drivers for NVidia and ATI is a non-issue if you don't mind 'tainting' your system.

Reply Score: 1

demise
by schala on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:57 UTC
schala
Member since:
2006-01-17

The reason Microsoft isn't going anywhere right now is that you can buy a Dell or HP computer for $300, with an LCD monitor, that comes with a fully licensed copy of Windows. Not only is Dell not paying anywhere near full price, but for the average consumer, it simply isn't possible to build or buy a computer without Windows for cheaper, unless you can salvage parts from an old computer (in which case it would still be cheapepr to sell the old parts and buy a Dell).

In fact, Dell probably pays something closer to $50, but they also have a marketing agreement with Microsoft that requires them to buy a copy of the OS for every computer they sell.

Dell -- and every other company -- really just wants to make money. If Dell could sell the right number of Windows-free $200 computers, they would break off Microsoft's marketing agreement in a second. And if another manufacturer comes along (besides Wal-Mart, a company that most people hate even more than Microsoft) that can sell a computer as nice as Dell's in every way -- including the LCD monitor -- for even less money, then maybe Dell will decide that ditching the marketing agreement is worth it.

(As a side note, I can't believe that the antitrust case didn't result in these kind of agreements getting scrapped. Everyone was talking about Internet Explorer... offering something for free is just good competition, but making it impossible for your competitors to sell their products is blatantly illegal.)

Reply Score: 2

RE: demise
by sappyvcv on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 22:47 UTC in reply to "demise"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

" but making it impossible for your competitors to sell their products is blatantly illegal."

impossible? Opera was selling their browser up until this year and were able to sustain themselves AND grow.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: demise
by schala on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE: demise"
schala Member since:
2006-01-17

Read my comment carefully: I'm agreeing with you. What you say is exactly why MS did nothing wrong with Internet Explorer. Impossible is what Microsoft did to lock alternate OS makers out.

If a company like Dell has to pay for a copy of Windows on every single computer they sell, whether or not they include Windows on it, you'd better believe that they'll include Windows on every single computer they sell. Even a free OS would cost more, since someone still has to find appropriate drivers and create a suitable initial install.

It always mystifies me that the antitrust case focused so much on the browser -- which, as you correctly point out, is a nonissue -- when Microsoft engaged in so much blatantly anticompetitive behavior that any piece of it would have been enough to warrant a solution as drastic as breaking up Ma Bell.

(Which isn't to say that breaking up Microsoft would have been a good idea, just that the federal government has as much right to intervene in Microsoft's affairs as they did with AT&T. Personally, I think Microsoft should have been forced to sell every copy of Windows at the same price -- no volume discounts, no corporate discounts, no marketing deals. Either they wipe out most of their profit, or companies like Dell have other options. But that's a separate issue.)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: demise
by sappyvcv on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 23:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: demise"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Ok, fair enough. I just got confused by your wording and thought you meant software competitors like Netscape selling their products, and not other Operating Systems.

I agree with you then.

Reply Score: 1

When you don't read, you miss a lot.
by Linuxfanboy on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 18:57 UTC
Linuxfanboy
Member since:
2006-01-13

I don't think the guy advocated the demise of Microsoft and the rise of Linux. He basically did a take off on a Washington Post article saying that Microsoft at this point in time missed some opportunities.

In fact, he said that Linux was a data center OS and that people wanting to make it into a ubiquitous desktop can try if they want.

I personally think it was somewhat unbiased.

But then, it requires some intelligence to decipher the English language, especially when an author writes clearly.

Reply Score: 4

Aye
by MattK on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 19:03 UTC
MattK
Member since:
2005-11-14

I'll have to agree with a few key points. Microsoft has been known to miss the boat, especially how they relate to the internet.
* Internet revolution - missed it
* Media downloads for profit - missed it
* Browser based apps - missed it

Three strikes and your out? Well probably not, but history has seen the big players marginalized before: IBM, AT&T, etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Aye
by sappyvcv on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 22:48 UTC in reply to "Aye"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Wait.. what? they missed browser based apps?

Have you forgotten that IE was the first browser that could do "AJAX" stuff and MS was the first to write an "AJAX" app (an web-based outlook clone)?

Reply Score: 1

pjjmartin
Member since:
2005-07-08

Here's something pretty nutty:

Microsoft made $1.4 million in profit every hour in 2004. But at that time they didn't have:

* Web based software competitors like Salesforce.com, Writely.com and numerous emerging application based competitors.
* A mature Internet collaboration and open source collaboration model being adopted by mainstream technology organizations
* Search engine companies offering desktop solutions similar to Google and Yahoo where their massive infrastructures have become ready made to deploy everything Microsoft has to offer.
* A gaming venture where established rivals such as Sony will keep the X360 grounded.
* Firefox, Openoffice.org, OpenDocument Format and desktop platforms like Gnome and KDE maturing to a competitive level.


Not only wereal these things around in 2004, they definetely around in 2003. Web-based applications have been appearing (and disappearing) from the internet since 2001. The gaming venture stuff is bogus; MS went from non-existent in the market to being a real player. As far as "desktop platforms like Gonde and KDE maturing...", let me know when it happens. This stuff has been 'almost done' for what 4 years? That's forever in IT.

What I was surprised about reading this article, unlike so many other of the baseless long-term prediction about computing trends, is that it wasn't really that annoying. The author had a very controlled tone (except the Jack Abramoff quip at the end). He also said almost nothing that was true, so it was easy to ignore. Thanks!

Reply Score: 1

sad rehash of old stuff
by AndrewZ on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 19:21 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

This article is a sad rehash of already obvious information. Microsoft has a huge war chest of cash to smooth out even a whole year of bad sales if it came to that. Microsoft has a huge R&D workforce, they have hundreds of phD equivalents in China hard at work on new tech. Several years of OpenOffice has failed to gain appreciable market share against Office, despite a large price tag. Microsoft is a large company, has strong revenue sources, and has very competitant leadership. They are dug in deep and will not go down without a serious challenge.

Microsoft is indeed vulnerable to new technologies, trends, and culture changes. But this article looks in the rear view window and provides little information to work with.

It's important to see that the new model of high tech business is to wait until the new big thing is already here, then buy it.

Reply Score: 2

Writely.com??
by cipher on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 19:24 UTC
cipher
Member since:
2005-12-17

Please!!

While Writely.com is a cool example of what a web application can be, it will NEVER replace a desktop word-processor. It provides no benefit to the user at all. It suffers from the same problem as every web app: Network I/O latency. Try running the spellcheck facility. While central storage of documents is seen as a benefit by some, others will not like this. Also, software updates aren't a selling point since most people have never needed to update their word-processor.

This is not a replacement for a desktop word-processor.

Reply Score: 1

Why should they die?
by Guppetto on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 21:43 UTC
Guppetto
Member since:
2005-07-06

Why do people want MS to fall off or die. Let's face it, they motivate people more than any company I've ever seen. Some of the innovations we're enjoying are the direct result of many people's desire to beat them. Their great for the industry because everyone needs someone to hate and compete with and their great at playing that role. Would Linux or Apple be half of what they are today without big brother trying to put his boot on their throats. We need the evil empire becuase without it, who would motivate our lazy asses.

People forget that Microsoft could very easily buy apple although that will never happen. What's funny though is that from a financial viewpoint they could do it and never miss the cash.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Why should they die?
by microshag on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 21:56 UTC in reply to "Why should they die?"
microshag Member since:
2005-11-30

Because if we absolutely have to have a monopoly on the desktop, there a companies that just plain do things better like Apple. We'd have to pay more, but we'd have better machines all around. Linux (and others) will always have a place as an alternative to the mainstream OSes.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why should they die?
by TomB7 on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 21:58 UTC in reply to "Why should they die?"
TomB7 Member since:
2006-01-03

Well, in the abscence of MSFT, one imagines NeXTSTEP would have taken over the world in 1985-ish and everybody would be way BETTER off. Also, MSFT would not have bought Spyglass and ruined IE. And we wouldn't have to deal with all those cr***y WMV's and virii on the web. I don't buy your arguement.

Reply Score: 1

Silly.
by makfu on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 21:56 UTC
makfu
Member since:
2005-12-18

This is a silly article. Everyone ALWAYS predicts Microsoft's downfall based on a shortsighted view and limited historical context.

Here is the reality of the situation:

1. Google has a great search engine. Microsoft has BILLIONS of dollars and tremendous resources to replicate it. In time, it is highly probably that they will replicate and even possibly surpass Google's features and functionality. They will then leverage their desktop monopoly to insure that they unseat Google. Make no mistake about it, this is THE number 1 priority at Microsoft.

2. Apple has a great product with the I-pod. But increasingly, Microsoft is penetrating the mobile OS market. Just look at the plethora of smart phones and PDA-phones. Eventually the multipurpose smartphone/pocketpc phone will supplant the single purpose device. The question is if Apple will figure out that it needs to move the I-pod in this direction.

3. Linux hasn't supplanted Microsoft in the datacenter. Microsoft's server market share has increased both in terms of actual share and revenues. More importantly, Microsoft has an iron grip on core infrastructure components including Directory Services, Messaging, Infrastructure Management and File & Print. A whole industry (Quest/Vintella) has sprouted up just to extend the control and change management from MS infrastructure to non-Microsoft products (further subjugating them to MS's platform).

4. Most importantly, Microsoft will continue to spend obscene amounts of money, time and resources to remain relevant. This is core to Microsoft's DNA. Microsoft is often late to market, but historically they have been highly successful at remaining relevant over the long term, especially when they feel threatened (which they certainly do right now). Microsoft is also a highly introspective company – they absolutely learn from their mistakes. Don’t think for one second they haven’t looked at the IE 6 debacle and the opening they gave Firefox and not resolved to never repeat that mistake.

It would be incredibly stupid for anyone who is attempting to compete with Microsoft to harbor the views of this article's "author". This has led to the downfall and demise of nearly EVERY ONE of Microsoft's former competitors. Never bank on Microsoft’s missteps, never count them out of a race because they are behind and never be foolish enough to think they are a stupid company. In short, if you are competing with Microsoft, never underestimate them.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Silly.
by siki_miki on Tue 24th Jan 2006 00:34 UTC in reply to "Silly."
siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

I agree that Microsoft remains very dangerous and powerful enough to endanger even a free competition. (Too bad they weren't split up few years ago).

But Open Source software has seen exponential growth in quality and good adoption growth in recent years, I'm talking primarily about desktop.

Look at GNOME/KDE 2-3 years ago. Terrible desktop experience; slowdowns,crashes, lag, ugly&slow browsers, etc. Today? Polishing everywhere, quickness, shiny design, surpasses windows in few features. They learned from mistakes, improved development process and have ambitious plans for the future. GNU/Linux? Well apart from not having driver for half the hardware few years before, having laughable plug&play, ugly sound support, it wasn't so bad. Today? Incredible kernel development cycle and cutting edge technologies.

Microsoft is as well capable of developing their software fast, but I think can't ultimately outpace the world. Their money income stays mostly constant, while FOSS keeps speeding up all the time (incl. persuading in in new developers). Microsoft will only be in jeopardy when windows application makers recognize linux as commercially viable target platform and gradually start releasing equally good software for it. (I understand that they currently can't earn much selling to "poor people who can't afford windows")

Other possible problem are even more cheap computers. Paying $100 for a budget machine won't go well with buying windows on them. Yeah, you can say that in wealthy countries people buy expensive PC's, while in poor countries they pirate windows. But if microsoft is silly enough to implement a non breakable copy protection (e.g. TCPA based), it will mean exploding adoption of FOSS.

There are of course some technical roadblocks: Mostly API support; Games are written for windows API,
everything else is more easily portable or replaceable.
Drivers: We can only hope ATI/nvidia will make worthy drivers for linux. With MS trying to kill native OGL on windows, who knows how all this will finish.

Server area is completely different ecosystem, as well as smatrphone(+PDA) or console market and that's still undecided (healthy competition there).

Reply Score: 1

Remember the Titanic?
by elsewhere on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 22:12 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

I don't think MS is going to close up shop any time soon, but let's get real, they'd be foolish to assume their existing business model will provide perpetual sustainability.

MS may be big and powerful, but most big and powerful companies diversify their business to mitigate exposure to catastrophic risks. MS hasn't diversified, every one of their business units is ultimately built upon enforcing Windows' dominance on the desktop, and conversely those business units (at least the profit generating ones) rely on Windows dominanting.

In some cases, like Office or IE, it's application lock-in to tie their users to Windows. In other cases, like internet search or home gaming, it's to prevent other dominant companies from gaining a foothold on their platform that may diminish their relevance.

MS doesn't give a flying fig about making money from internet search (if they even are), they care about keeping Yahoo and Google from becoming entrenched. They're losing billions on XBox and home gaming, but that's a reasonable expense to prevent Sony from becoming an alternate home platform (think media) that may weaken users' dependence on Windows for all things digital. If Apple's Intel play actually starts to gain traction and becomes a market success (and I don't care what anyone says, that's not a given), then watch how fast the "partnership" between MS and Apple will dry up and Apple is once again is primarily in Microsoft's crosshairs, anti-trust settlements be damned. They're still bitter about the iPod, after all.

If anything ever happened to dilute Windows' dominance, it would threaten their money making divisions (ie. the application side) and diminish the relevance of their money losing divisions.

And it wouldn't take a swing of epic proportions, either. Nobody has to wipe out Windows to seriously harm Microsoft. If an alternate desktop, whether OS X, linux or whatever, could manage to gain in marketshare to a significant portion like, maybe as little as 15-20%, many MS-exclusive software and hardware vendors would start diversifying. And let's get serious, the vendors are looking for viable alternative platforms to secure their own dominance. History shows that once a company becomes too successful with a Windows-based application, Microsoft will invariably consider them a threat and focus their energy on building a better product. They may be the most paranoid and insecure company in the history of IT, they trust nobody.

Window's dominance would no longer be assured and their would be TRUE competition in the marketplace. I consider MS to be like the Titanic, big and mightly, those watertight compartments were supposed to prevent the ship from sinking if penetrated. But break enough of them at the same time and the unsinkable ship goes down. All it would take is a slow moving Windows-displacing iceberg to do it.

Still, like I said, it's not going to happen any time soon, but I don't think it's that far fetched either. Desktop linux won't happen at home, but it could happen in the enterprise, and it wouldn't take much to start a snowball effect that could take MS by surprise.

Even Bill himself has admitted, however grudgingly, that their future is in server-based application computing, now they just have to figure out how to make Windows a lock-in for that.

Reply Score: 2

AJAX and MS stock(s)
by alucinor on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 23:18 UTC
alucinor
Member since:
2006-01-06

AJAX apps are indeed cutting into Microsoft when you consider how many simple custom VB apps deployed by businesses worldwide can be ported to AJAX + PHP/Java. These countless little apps written in VB are what have given Microsoft their greatest lock-in power for businesses. Word file formats would be second.

Of course AJAX can't replace the desktop's core apps -- but it can easily replace most custom applications, which are usually data-driven anyway, perfect for the 'net.

But I'm convinced MS's ultimate undoing will be MS's shareholders. The PC era has peaked, and the operating system is getting commoditized. While MS is a powerhouse, yes, it has a pithy rate of growth in all areas now except for servers (though Linux is projected to soon eclipse MS on the server-side for marketshare). It's only a matter of time before enough shareholders tire of the mediocre growth (depends on how quickly corps upgrade to Vista, probably) and demand the company be broken up two or three tighter, faster-growing units. I bet these post-MS stocks would be absolutely HOT with investors.

One also has to consider that most future growth in IT is going to come from the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia/Eastern Europe, India, and China). Their respective governments have already made it quite clear that they're not interested in being tied as closely to American corporations as the Western IT market has found acceptable. This is where Linux growth will take off, especially on the desktop.

And I didn't even mention Xen and Stateless Linux ... those additions to RHEL and SUSE should make the whole Linux/MS debate for businesses look much more interesting in 2007 ....

Edited 2006-01-23 23:30

Reply Score: 1

RE: AJAX and MS stock(s)
by sappyvcv on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 23:32 UTC in reply to "AJAX and MS stock(s)"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe once the frameworks for AJAX mature more we'll see it. But not everything is good to port to it.

Reply Score: 1

I agree in some points
by visconde_de_sabugosa on Tue 24th Jan 2006 00:05 UTC
visconde_de_sabugosa
Member since:
2005-11-14

I agree in some points with article. See

"Microsoft made big promises to Independent Software Vendors back in the days when MS bundled the stripped down version of Windows and DOS with every PC. To get everyone writing applications for him, Mr. Gates promised to never cross the line between applications and operating systems. So, companies like Lotus, WordPerfect, Act, Intuit and others banked on Mr. Gates word. Microsoft then turned around and squashed their loyal ISVs. That won't happen again."


This is the main reason why now we see big traditional IT companies like IBM, HP, Oracle, etc slowly beginning to offer linux products and alternative solutions to MS.

Let's see:
- Databases: MS SQL Server x Oracle, DB2, etc
- Development Tools: MS *.Net x Delphi, C++ Builder, etc
- Consoles: MS X-Box 1 and 2 x Playstation, Nintendo
- Games: MS games x ID Software, etc
- Graphics: MS Acylic x PDF
- Office: MS Office x Corel Office, StarOffice, etc


MS is in almost all IT areas and MS is increasing like "The Blob" movie star:

http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/film.php?id=183

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051418/


One day the blob will explode ! When all ISVs are fagocited MS empire will colapse.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I agree in some points
by n4cer on Tue 24th Jan 2006 06:31 UTC in reply to "I agree in some points"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree in some points with article. See

"Microsoft made big promises to Independent Software Vendors back in the days when MS bundled the stripped down version of Windows and DOS with every PC. To get everyone writing applications for him, Mr. Gates promised to never cross the line between applications and operating systems. So, companies like Lotus, WordPerfect, Act, Intuit and others banked on Mr. Gates word. Microsoft then turned around and squashed their loyal ISVs. That won't happen again."


This is the main reason why now we see big traditional IT companies like IBM, HP, Oracle, etc slowly beginning to offer linux products and alternative solutions to MS.

---------------

I disagree with that quote. Is there any evidence Bill made this promise? It makes no sense. Microsoft was an applications vendor before they were an OS vendor, and they had competitors to their ISVs' products from the beginning.

Edited 2006-01-24 06:32

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I agree in some points
by DeadFishMan on Tue 24th Jan 2006 08:42 UTC in reply to "RE: I agree in some points"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

I disagree with that quote. Is there any evidence Bill made this promise? It makes no sense. Microsoft was an applications vendor before they were an OS vendor, and they had competitors to their ISVs' products from the beginning.

I can´t be regarded as pro-MS by any stretch of the word but I have to agree with you. There is no evidence whatsoever that Bill ever promised this.

Windows was the best selling platform back then (and still is today) and these ISVs wanted to profit, developing to reach the biggest market share that they could get.

While the rest of the article is not that far from being accurate (except that the author seems to be dismissing MS too quickly), I don´t know how he could come up with that.

Reply Score: 1

don't kid yourselves
by re_re on Tue 24th Jan 2006 00:18 UTC
re_re
Member since:
2005-07-06

Don't kid yourselves people, Microsoft may be going down but.... we're talking like 20 years or more before they are "just a player" and not the dominant player (30-40% market share maybe)

The US government is so heavily dependent upon Microsoft products, as is nearly any business with a computer (I know there are alternatives but... most people don't want to learn something new when they know what they have), if Microsoft was ready to close it's doors the US government would bail them out and make laws give Microsoft an advantage over the competition.

yes, that all sucks but it's true

My dream? Three, maybe four major players who all hold a decent share of the market, in that senario competition would be fierce and we would all get a better product and better prices as a result.

Reply Score: 1

lxer.com
by Soulbender on Tue 24th Jan 2006 02:29 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Please stop linking to LXER articles. Has there even been a single lxer article that was even remotely coherent and factual? Even though this one isnt quite as far-out and whacky as the one about "wasted efforts in f/oss" it's still an amazingly substandard "article" completely void of journalistic quality.
I'm hardly pro-MS but stuff like this only makes us proponents of alternative OS' look like navel-gazing morons.

Reply Score: 3

Another lxer troll article
by Lumbergh on Tue 24th Jan 2006 03:15 UTC
Lumbergh
Member since:
2005-06-29

nice

Reply Score: 1