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, 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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by makfu on Mon 23rd Jan 2006 21:56 UTC
Member since:

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 in reply to "Silly."
siki_miki Member since:

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 Parent Score: 1