Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 13th Dec 2010 23:11 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless It's hard to predict the future because we humans prefer to think in terms of familiar paradigms. Even the most brilliant of our species are subject to this flaw. Now, Microsoft faces its turn. The owner of the operating system that likely runs your personal computer, the company that achieved monopoly with Windows and ducked the Department of Justice's scythe to keep it, faces a midlife crisis as the world goes gaga over portable consumer devices. This is the story of what's happening to Microsoft in the handheld operating system markets -- and how it parallels the earlier, similar journeys of IBM Corporation and Digital Equipment Corporation. Can Microsoft achieve dominance on mobile devices?
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SteveB
Member since:
2005-07-10

It is actually shocking to me to read some of these comments. If I took Open Office to *any* of our clients and said, "Hey it's free," and suggested a migration, we'd probably be fired.

Me too and still I have migrated some SMEs from pure Microsoft OS + MS Office to Linux. Why? Well... the customer demanded it. Look. Just because something is free it does not mean that it is wise to MIGRATE to it. It always has to make sense. If the cost to migrate from MS Office to an open source office suite is high and it does not justify to migrate and it does absolutely make no business sense to migrate, then why migrate?

Is MSOffice perfect - heck no. Does it beat the pants off of open source competitors - by far. People miss the point that just b/c it's expensive, a LOT of people will gladly pay for it because it works so well.
If it works well for you AND you make your money with using MS Office then stay. Don't migrate. b/c Openoffice.org is not expensive does not mean you have to move to it. Most of my customers don't make their money by using any office suite. Usually they make their money with other things and they have specialized applications for that. Using an office suite is just something they use for writing an letter or making a quick spreadsheet. So using MS Office, OpenOffice.org, Libre Office, Google Docs, whatever.... all of them are good enough for them. Or to say it the other way around: None of them will gain or loose an business by using MS Office or Openoffice.org. What office suite they use is absolutely secondary.

It's hard to explain that to people who brag about how many movies they've downloaded or how the day their favorite artist releases a new cd, they download it for free..without even thinking there's anything wrong with it. This is not directed at anyone in particular, just the /. mindset permeating to a much nicer and friendlier forum.
/. mindset is not something you typically find in the business world.

We don't have a single client, in 8 states, that could work without Win/Office.
I don't doubt that statement, but let me ask you something: What would happen if (for what ever reason) Win/Office would be prohibited worldwide? Would your clients all go into bankruptcy? Maybe. If you ask me then I would guess that some of them will indeed and that a bigger part will adapt and find alternatives. The business world is not so stiffy as you tend to describe it.

Yes, they can use Google Apps for email. What I find interesting is when people say it's lower maintenance - it's NOT. People's Internet Connections go out all the time; certainly much more often than their well managed Exchange Server.
Really? In an business environment? Maybe the states are differed then Switzerland (where I am from), but here I have yet to see one of my customers having significant internet connection issues.

Again we see the paradigm of if the broadband is out, our clients can still use Sharepoint, Exchange/etc and all of it.


Linux is a blast to mess around with. Open Office and all variants will let you produce a somewhat decent document. They all suck in comparison to MSFT's product lines and they're going to for a long time. Why?
What kind of business is so ultra giga dependent on how decent the document looks? I am not going to change my bank or my insurance if they are sending me a document that does not look so ultra super duper decent. At the end the decentness of the document is not important to me and to most business customers. Or are you one of the customers that will choose some crappy transportation company (as an example) just because their billing documents look decent? No way!

The same reason artists are giving up on producing products; no one wants to pay for anything anymore.

Reply Parent Score: 2

PhilCassacoff Member since:
2010-12-07

Steve,

Some good insights. As you can see, I'm very new here, so I haven't figured out the code to list individual quotes.

You make good points, although here in the US, Ohio specifically, it's not uncommon for our clients to have Internet Issues 2 times a month or so.

I am yet to be asked about Linux by a single client. Furthermore, I've brought it up to a couple for simple F&P or what have you, and most of them said something along the lines of "We're a professional organization, we use professional software." I am paraphrasing for a couple clients, however I'm sure you get the gist.

Actually the majority of our clientele is *very* regimented and specific about their documents, especially those which are sent to their clients. Might be a locale thing as you noted, but where we work and consult, those Word templates are as important as the text they contain. Your comments suggest a mindset that differs from not only how we practice business, but how our clients do so. We primarily work in the financial services vertical and executives in that arena WILL drop a vendor/etc based on aesthetics. Perhaps someone more retail based might not. I also can confirm that we have won contracts/agreements based solely on our presentation materials "Looking the best." If you have 4 excellent consultant firms in the room, who all sold the same products at the same price, however only ones word doc looks "Right" on your computer, who's going to get the bid?

And lastly, your point about the /. mindset was spot on; thank God.

Reply Parent Score: 1

SteveB Member since:
2005-07-10

Steve,

Some good insights. As you can see, I'm very new here, so I haven't figured out the code to list individual quotes.


You make good points, although here in the US, Ohio specifically, it's not uncommon for our clients to have Internet Issues 2 times a month or so.
Well... 2 times a month is a lot and it is as well nothing. It all depends what those issues are and how long they are. Here in Switzerland you usually don't have issues. Even private users with ADSL or with cable don't have issues. Off course I can not speak for the whole market in Switzerland but I would say that having issues with your high-speed internet connection is considered as something uncommon.

I am yet to be asked about Linux by a single client. Furthermore, I've brought it up to a couple for simple F&P
I don't know what F&P is or for what it stands. Can you tell me what this acronym is standing for?

or what have you, and most of them said something along the lines of "We're a professional organization, we use professional software." I am paraphrasing for a couple clients, however I'm sure you get the gist.
This is a funny statement. What do they consider as "professional"? I don't want to attack you or your client but there is no universal "professional" in that regard. One might find something LaTeX/TeX for writing documents. Someone other might tell you that only the big commercial DTP software is professional for writing anything. And yet other will tell you that Microsoft Office is professional because MS is a commercial company and their product must be therefore professional because so many people us the software. And yet some one else will tell you that only Adobe InDesign is the best tool for writing documents. And the same kind of arguments can be made for spreadsheet and any other product. My end point is that there is no one universal valid "professional" in relation to using professional tools.

Oh... and something other: In German we have an expression saying that ... "good/professional tools don't make automatically an sculptor".

Actually the majority of our clientele is *very* regimented and specific about their documents, especially those which are sent to their clients. Might be a locale thing as you noted, but where we work and consult, those Word templates are as important as the text they contain. Your comments suggest a mindset that differs from not only how we practice business, but how our clients do so. We primarily work in the financial services
Our primary sector is financial services too. But in that sector NONE of them uses Linux. Okay, okay... some of them have plans to go with Linux in the future but Linux will be only used on thin clients and then the end user works on Citrix or with Windows Terminal Services. So IMHO that Linux there does not count as an Linux desktop.

vertical and executives in that arena WILL drop a vendor/etc based on aesthetics. Perhaps someone more retail based might not. I also can confirm that we have won contracts/agreements based solely on our presentation materials "Looking the best." If you have 4 excellent consultant firms in the room, who all sold the same products at the same price, however only ones word doc looks "Right" on your computer, who's going to get the bid?
Word doc? You hand Word documents? We do consulting too and all our bid documents and stuff that we have give are PDFs. Word documents (actually other formats too) have the tendency to look different from computer to computer (depending on the used printer) and if you use professional fonts (not that stuff included in Windows) then you are pretty much lost when exchanging Word documents. PDFs are way better for that. And on top of that if we really want to impress the customer then we use (professional) layout software to make a super duper sexy document and then we export that to PDF.

btw: I personally would be surprised if you would be capable to distinguish what software was used to create a specific document by only looking at the document (either printed or in something like PDF). You will be amazed what is all possible with the various office tools. Regardless which suite you use. Off course if you are an long time MS Office user and switch to an other suite you will struggle and find that other suite to be unusable. But trust me. Everything is usable.

And lastly, your point about the /. mindset was spot on; thank God.

Reply Parent Score: 1