A while back, I posted “7 reasons why Microsoft is doomed“. It got lots of attention. Another blogger even devoted a whole post to refuting it. It also got Dugg, and the first commenter in the Digg forum pointed out: “Microsoft tries to be everything to everyone. They are out of their depth, because they spread themselves too thin.”
Yeah, OK, maybe I’m wrong. Sure, maybe Microsoft will be with us throughout all of human history, like war. But I don’t really think so, and there are several others out there who don’t think so, either. Over at Wombat Diet in a post titled “What Can Microsoft Do To Survive?”, some of the same points I touched on and some more new points are made. The author ruminates: “Now, it seems, there are signs that Microsoft?s days as a hegemon could be numbered. Take just a few trends…”
That’s the thing, is that the Redmond Giant is showing a lot of trends that have been shown by failing software companies in the past. A long time has gone by since the worst we could complain about on Windows was the Blue Screen of Death. The latest story is about how they install updates without permission – even if you opt out! Check the comments on the Slashdot posting; the response is an almost unanimous outrage.
Everywhere else, you see companies bending over backwards to provide great customer service. Are you folks out there in the job market getting enough lectures from your boss about customer service? Well, Microsoft doesn’t seem to care about it. Show me another product with this many angry users, users who say that they have no choice but to be customers. Microsoft is getting so secure in their dominance, that they’re saying the heck with it and robbing people blind on the spot. “So what if you don’t like it?”, their attitude seems to say, “You’ll take it anyway!”
So, you say Microsoft can’t go down because it’s too big? Penguin Pete has given that notion a humorous treatment. He takes a little trip down memory lane through the years, reflecting on all the computer companies who once ruled the market, and are now either flatline or haven’t been relevant in years.
If it could happen to Tandy, Commodore, and Atari, it could happen to Microsoft.
History has shown us that no empire lasts forever. Living in the Middle East, I’m keenly aware of that fact. I’m in driving distance from the ruins of civilizations which were once considered to have the world in their hands, and now their mighty temples and palaces are buried in dust.
For that matter, computers won’t last forever! At some point going forward – a decade, a century, a millenium – someone will invent something new. We’re already seeing the desktop computer have a big bite taken out of its market share with cell phones, PDAs, and gaming consoles that can now go online. And those are markets which, unlike the desktop PC, Microsoft just does not happen to dominate!
So you see, I did hedge my bet! I didn’t say this year or next year, but sometime. Yes, it was a bit of a weasel. And the more I watch the news, the more I think that the decline and fall of the Microsoft empire will happen in our lifetime.
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