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John <firstname.lastname@example.org> espoused:
> Looks like MS is turning out to be the biggest Linux advocate of all!
I think that they always were. If you consider that Linux spent its
first several years with no financial backing, no marketing budget, no
professional coders, documentors, project managers, website, mailing list
managers, bug-fixers, security experts, customers, whilst the competition,
MS had fantastic amounts of resource to hit all of those areas, you
really have to consider that Microsoft have lost this game, rather than
the free software folks winning it.
I believe that there was a critical period, about 5 years or so ago,
when MS could've prevented linux from ever becoming a serious threat,
but they'd've had to do so by re-writing Win into something which
would be multi-user, fast, reliable, stable, secure, as NT was supposed
to be. This would've required MS to put engineers rather than marketing
folks in charge of development, which I suspect that they might be
culturally incapable of doing, but it would've worked for them. It
would not have killed free software, but it would've prevented the
huge openings which are now appearing.
I think it's too late now. I suspect that MS have some stark choices
in front of them now (not mutually exclusive):
1) do an Apple, choose an open OS (probably BSD?), buy up the winex
project, and launch Win XP-BSD or something
2) pull out of further desktop OS development, port their applications
to other platforms (linux, bsd, OS-X, Solaris etc.)
3) continue with game-console development, look for a joint-venture
with a major consumer electronics supplier, eg., Matsushita or Phillips,
who'll bring in expertise in high-volume low-margin markets
4) try to have a genuine impact on the mobile phone world
5) attempt a workable PDA - possibly buying in an OS, maybe looking
at embedded linux
Overall, I think MS require a corporate strategy which is not
centred on the future success or even existence of MS Windows,
rather, they need to develop other areas of expertise, in particular,
they must learn how to compete in low-margin, high-volume markets.
Once they've learnt that, it's possible they could compete in
the desktop PC market, however, the windows operating system
is probably now their biggest millstone in preventing likely
future success there. It costs too much for them and for their
Gartner would've charged several thousand quid for this analysis,
although they wouldn've used pretty fonts and put some nice
graphs which nobody understands in with it.
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| Mark Kent -- Take out the ham to mail me. |
"Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberrys!"
-- Monty Python and the Holy Grail