Shed a tear for Microsoft

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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© Anthony Lawrence

Fri Mar 14 11:15:40 2008: 3841   yungchin

"and peeing in it to make it taste better" - I couldn't stop laughing when I read that (my office mates thank you for it :)). Great start of my day.

I don't think I'll shed any tears if things will go they way you portray them. But then we're stuck with a picture of MS that's highly influenced by "being on the other team". Some very established people see MS differently... like, eg, Queen Elizabeth: note that it's Sir Bill, not just any Bill ;)

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