Who’s afraid of the Big Wolf? Not me.

Just for fun compare
this to

MSFT is going exactly nowhere. And so is the company. They have plenty of dominance to make noise and plenty of cash to try out things but they have been failing to come up with something big besides Windows and Office for a long time now. There is no reason to think the future will be any different.

For each their two main cash cows (Windows and Office), there are free alternatives (Linux and OpenOffice). But in reality for years Microsoft’s biggest competitor was Microsoft. They have been selling people new versions of the same crap since the new crap was slightly better than the old crap. The slogan for windows 98 was actually Works Better. Unfortunately they are reaching the end of that line. Getting people to upgrade in the past was always easy because all versions of Windows prior to XP sucked.

Let’s review:

  • All versions
  • Windows 3.0 was more or less a standard Dos-Extender and Graphics Lib produced by Microsoft. It was still crap compared to MacOS but it was the first wake up call that Cupertino failed to respond well enough to.
  • Windows for Workgroups allowed people to network thier PCs without messing with Netware or Hired Experts
  • Windows 95 was about as good as MacOS. Not as clean tho. And Still not very stable
  • Windows NT was stable but didn’t support alot of hardware or games
  • Windows 98 was incremetally better than 95 and added better support for the internet.
  • Windows 2000k was an incremental improvement on NT that supported more hardware and games.
  • Windows 98 SE (Second Edition) was an update to 98 giving still better internet support
  • Windows ME was released to soon to make some money but really has no advantages over 98 SE and is generally worse in stability than 98
  • Windows XP effectively combined the best of 98 and 2k. Finally in one OS you had stability and flexibility. With an OS anything else is Window dressing

So its going to be hard for Microsoft to compete against XP. Adoption rates for Longhorn when it ever ships will be pathetic. The new technologies (Avalon, Indigo) are going to have to be back ported for any developers to use them. This removes even that as an incentive to upgrade. Sure eventually the majority of boxes will be on Longhorn but it will take a long long time.

Currently my main machine is a windows box, but I have almost no MS software on it. OpenOffice 2.0 is looking pretty nice. There’s just not much reason to invest in $500 bucks worth of bloatware to open a few files I get in emails. In fact the only MS product I use is DevStudio which I hardly think is a mass market product.

In fact there is only really one compelling reason to run Windows and that’s videogames. What’s interesting is that for most people consoles represent a better overall value for you money with games IMHO. Of course that’s if you pay for them. Even so if you got a service like this you might still come out cheaper and never once have to deal with updating your driver or upgrading so you box can run some game. The PC game market isn’t dead but its going to shrink as a percentage of gaming. Disclaimer: I’ve never used the service I linked to its just meant as an example.






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