Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, June 4, 2004

Microsoft Doom? Windows Revenue, Mediocre Products, Missed Opportunities

"Microsoft is flush with $56 billion in cash and short-term investments. Income of $16 billion is expected in fiscal year 2005. It dominates the most profitable segments of the software industry-- operating systems and productivity applications. It attracts talented, creative people and gives them the time to innovate. I have no doubt that Microsoft will lead the industry with some incredible advances in the coming years. But Microsoft's market share in desktop operating systems, servers, and productivity software can go no higher. Its core businesses face gradual erosion to competitive operating systems such as Linux and OS X. It faces challenges from new approaches like services offered by Google and the growth of dedicated consumer devices that make owning a traditional personal computer less necessary. Meanwhile, Microsoft doesn't evoke passion in me anymore. Its products don't excite me anymore. I remember eagerly looking forward to Outlook 2003, only to be disappointed by how complex, buggy, and unimproved it was. "Microsoft ought to matter to us. There ought to be more of an intellectual and emotional connection. There just isn't." In an age when retailers hire consultants to analyze what hip kids do, you'd think Microsoft would care more about what the hip kids are doing. They're running around with iPods, using Linux and OS X. A Groundspring intern e-mailed me recently about his new Apple PowerBook: "I think I may be smitten by a computer." That's the kind of passion I'm talking about. In its search for market share, dominance, and profits, Microsoft lost the ultimate battle for our hearts and minds." A former Microsoftie says addiction to Windows revenue, mediocre products, and missed opportunities could doom Seattle's most successful company.



Jeff Reifman -
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posted by Robin Good on Friday, June 4 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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