Poor Microsoft, under attack from Google, Linux, Apple, even from
their own selves (Vista). Margins falling, desperately flailing
out trying to find new income sources.. what's a poor multi billion
dollar corporation supposed to do?
And now this mess where they are being sued for "bait and switch" advertising? How
about their promised API openness
turning up a little short?
(link dead, sorry)
Some folks have seriously suggested that Microsoft needs to
embrace open source.. open up their own code and try to compete
on that playing field. After all, it's almost certainly a torturous
mess of spaghetti, and releasing source doesn't mean you have
to help anyone understand it, so the theory is that they'd make
their money from support and customization..
Another theory has them taking BSD source and peeing in it to
make it taste better - jazzing up the GUI, adding their Networking
crap.. err, I meant protocols, sorry.. thereby attracting Unixy
folk to their Koolaid party.
I don't think so. First, I don't think they are psychologically
capable of such a move - either one. Secondly, I don't think they
are smart enough. That may sound odd - after all, we are talking
about an incredibly successful corporation here - but I really
have never seen them as being creative, imaginative or out-of-the-box
thinkers. Microsoft is buttoned down group think at its finest, mixed
with a larcenous soul. Their success has not come from innovation,
rather it has mostly come from cut-throat business practices. We
know that, and this tiger isn't going to change its stripes. Microsoft
will continue down the path to its ultimate destruction doing the same
things it has always done - it's not going to change course. It couldn't
if it wanted to: it's too damn big and clumsy.
So shed a little tear for the little corporation that grew up
into a giant elephant and is now dancing around because mice are
about to run up its nose. Shed no tears for Bill: he's gone now,
and surely will be able to sell enough stock on its way down to be
quite comfortable even if he won't be appearing on the "World's
Richest" lists. He'll have a soft enough landing. And so will
most of the employees: they'll find jobs at Apple, RedHat and
the other yet to be created companies that will fill the void.
Even bully Ballmer will probably land something cushy: lots of
companies admire business piranhas.
But mighty Microsoft? It may not be crying time quite yet, but
I think the day is fast coming.
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© 2012-07-12 Anthony Lawrence