Monday, April 30, 2007

microsoft is dead?

recently there's been quite a buzz about a blog entry "microsoft is dead" written by paul graham, even prompting strong rebuttal from people within the microsoft organization.

in layman terms, basically paul's arguing that microsoft is dead (or as he clarified later, became irrelevent) because google and other web-based softwares (the so-called web 2.0) are going to take over microsoft's desktop software dominance - with the popularization of broadband internet and alternative os such as apple mac os served as stimulants.

well, i think paul partly has his points. nowadays people and companies no longer fear microsoft's dominance - at least they don't care as much. has anyone around started using vista yet? how about office 2007? zune? live search? or did anyone hear the "woos" and "wahs" of the new internet explorer 7? or windows mobile 6? or try showing this video clip to your i.t. guy at office to see if they will start jumping up and down, getting all excited?

these days, some of the web-based softwares are almost as good as the desktop ones - think about the new yahoo mail, or the editor i used to create this blog - a few years down the road we definitely will see more of those with leaps and bounds in functions, sophistication and speed, not less. if that is so, what will microsoft's role be?

but still, it's too early to call them dead, or even irrelevent, yet. well, some 12 years ago people made the same prediction when microsoft seemed to have missed the internet boat and the likes of netscape and yahoo were running the show. but they turned around miraculously, by whatever means. microsoft had the same adoption problem with windows xp in the beginning; yet nowadays it’s used in 80% of the world’s desktop computers. so this time i won’t be so sure.

true, the rise of google does sound an alarm for microsoft’s future, and that microsoft may never be a monopolistic power as they were in the 80s and 90s; but don’t call them off just yet. even if they are on a decline, don’t expect they will go away completely any time soon – just think novell. they are still sorta hanging around, isn’t it?

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