Is there a long tail for Microsoft’s relevance?

In this article, the conclusion would be that MS is down for the count and is very unlikely to recover. I think that the demise of Microsoft as we know it is probably premature. IBM, a whole IT generation ago, who was perceived as the Big Bad IT Guy. But today, they have turned around into a valuable and resposible player in the IT space. I am not sure if Microsoft can ever make the IBMesque re-build. IBM has hardware, software and services. Microsoft only software. MS has nothing else – their hardware is limited to a good spread of mouse/pointing devices, some keyboards and a struggling xbox (including xbox 360). No one buys services from Microsoft. No one really calls Microsoft for tech support. But they have cleverly locked in customers and vendors with proprietary stuff – but that can only last so far. I just attended the Emerging Technologies conference in San Diego and it was really nice to see that probably 80% of the attendees were running Macs, 15% Linux (RHEL, Fedora and Ubuntu) and the remaining some other. It is telling, but then again, the Etech audience know better than to be using any MS code.

I think MS will still be relevant. Unless they are prepared to ditch the money-making (via unfair lockins) part of the business is cannibalised, they are set for a slow, long-tailish slide to irrelevance.

One comment

  1. Management is the problem
    Hi Harish,
    To do the incredible turn around that IBM did they needed someone
    like Lou Gerstner takink full power and control and cleaning up finanace,
    hierarchy and mentalities. I doubt someone like that will be allowed
    by the current Microsoft board and the old-timers they represent.
    I would like to see this, don’t hold you breath though!
    Daniel Veillard

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