Thursday, March 09, 2006

Mr M vs Everyone else?

There was this nice neighorhood full of rich people. All of them were rich but each did their own thing. Mr S built big houses, Mr I made even bigger houses, Mr C made the roads, Mr M built those apartments, Mr O made the big warehouses, Mr A built the fancy million dollar homes. They all made money and they all happy until Mr M started to go richer and richer and the rest poorer and poorer. Mr M began to expand his business and started to become a serious competitor to everyone else. How long do you think Mr M will last before the rest of the gang club together and bring down their common enemy?

Microsoft has grown bigger than ever before and has cut into everyone's market. It has got into the datacenter and edged itself into the racks with its cheap x86 systems and rapidly gain market share agianst Sun and IBM , it has crawled its way into the niche database market and is directly challenging long timer Oracle, it is humping and thumping all across the programming landscape with its .net framework, it is direct competitor to Google and Yahoo in the web search space and its code has spilled onto emedded and mobile devices.

Now whatever Microsoft does was always a success through a combination of user friendly , mature product and aggresive marketing strategy. However lately it seems it is begining to lose some ground. Let me list them so that we all know what is coming and you can say I told you first:
- MSN search hasnt been able to replace Google.
- Dell servers running Windows 2x havent been able to replace Sun systems.
- Staroffice have not died but has grown over the years.
- Oracle has committed itself to grow around Java ecosystem for the next 10 years.
- Web 2.0 is rapidly shifting the paradigm from using thick applications to browser based ajax applications.
- Opensource Movement is bigger than ever and is growing everyday.
- Mozilla is a very good browser and in some respects better than IE.
- Active Directory adoption has been slow and still there exists many NT shops.

These are signs of Microsoft not been successful everywhere , or microsoft's rate of growth in computing markets beyond the home and office desktop hasn't matched the starry growth rate it has experienced in the desktop market.

But the biggest sign of Microsoft failing, in my opinion, has come from IBM and Novell recently declaring intention to replace their internal windows desktops with linux based desktops and not to license Windows Vista. IBM and Novell has been actively involved with the opensource movement for quite some time and with this annoucement it seems that these organisations are reaching critical mometum within themselves that will enable themselves to move away from Microsoft's solutions to solutions produced by themselves and the opensource community. I am sure the next thing IBM will do, in its capacity of being a solutions provider and consulting company , is to try and convince its customer's to migrate from MS based solutions to something else. And when Big Blue decides to do that then based on its customer's base , I am sure the computer industry will witness another paradigm shift.

Computing is not an empire , nor does it needs an emperor. The very basis of computing is sharing and the sharing starts from the electrons travelling down the data buses to all the way up to interopability between discreet applications through XML and beyond to people connecting and sharing through the net. Microsoft , in its greed , has always resisted this truth and to make it share anything has always been a pain in the a**, to put it politely. However this cannot last for ever and one way or other things will change for Mr M , if for nothing else but for the fact that Mr M has been able to piss off everyone else.


Blogger Venkatesh said...

Interesting thoughts, but desktop dominance is still there. The nature of business has changed , where by there is more to IT than just desktop computing. Internet/social networking / web services etc.

7:37 AM  

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