Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Feb 2009 10:17 UTC
Microsoft Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer had some interesting things to say yesterday about which companies Microsoft sees as its competitors in the client operating system space. You'd think Apple was their number one competitor - and you'd be wrong. Microsoft sees two other competitors as their primary adversaries.
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Who is the real competitor
by griffinme on Wed 25th Feb 2009 19:06 UTC
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Piracy is a double edged sword. Sure you lose money, but it also sucks all the air out of the room. Office is the biggest example. Office was really easy to pirate once upon a time. It became the standard because that is what everyone was using at home and it was easy then to use at work. Sure they moaned about all the lost sales but their eyes light up at figures for the percentage of documents made with Word (I heard 95% once). Adobe has had the same problem for years with Photoshop. Sure there is lots of piracy, but they are the standard because eventually some of the pirates start to do graphics professionally and insist on using Photoshop.

You end up with a loop that is hard to break. An OS withers because it can't attract devs. Devs go to the major OS because that is where the customers are.

A few asides....

"MS will be dead in five years." Don't hold your breath. People have been predicting that for a lot longer then that.

"XP is their biggest competitor." No, they get very little cash from people upgrading their OS. The vast majority comes from sales to OEM's that put it on new computers. Really they couldn't care if they put XP or Vista on the machine, either way they get the sale. Hardware not getting faster has been hurting them. Chips have hit a ceiling and are not getting much faster making it harder to incorporate new whizzbang features that customers must have.

"Look at all the companies that skipped from Exchange 5 to 2007" Again, they don't care. Most companies buy a volume license so they owned all those previous versions, they just didn't bother to install them.

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