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[#] Wed Sep 24 2008 22:14:15 EDT from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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I'm just wondering :


Back, a long time ago, in a galaxy far fa- whoops, wrong room - ok, back when IBM was king (70& 80's), it was assumed they would be a powerhouse for a long time to

come. And now look where they are : I KNOW they're still a huge company (designed the microprocessors for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Gamecube) and have sales of

almost 100 billion last year, but they're not the monolith what they used to be - more behind the scenes.

I wonder, and without bashing, what will become of Microsoft in the future - Google become the next Microsoft? 

What do you think Microsoft will be like in 20 years? Or, if Google is king, who or what will replace them?

Just something to get the neurons firing - and I'd just to hear what everyone's opinion is. 

[#] Thu Sep 25 2008 08:15:06 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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A lot of people wonder the same thing. It probably depends upon who is in charge at the time.

For examples in both directions, look at what happened to various companies when Unix took over the workstation market. One one hand you have DEC, which in the timespan of just a few years went from "Unix is snake oil" to "We're one of the biggest Unix vendors in the industry." On the other hand, there's Apollo, who started out as top dog, fought Unix to the bitter end, and eventually withered away.

Paul Graham declared Microsoft dead about a year and a half ago [].
When faced with this reality, most Microsoft apologists point to the most recent quarter's revenue figures and point out what a powerhouse Microsoft still is. Perhaps, but that's not what he meant. While still dangerous, and still pulling cheap punches (for example, buying its way into getting the Office 2007 file formats declared an ISO standard), Microsoft no longer controls the end-to-end computing experience.

A decade ago, any new Microsoft product could achieve market dominance from a standing start in about a year, simply by virtue of being tied into Windows somehow. Those days are over. Microsoft still holds a commanding lead in desktop operating systems, but even those numbers are inflated -- every computer that has its preload thrown away is counted as a Windows sale, and then for corporate customers who then load a locally standardized image, Windows is counted *twice*. The methodologies used for tallying market share are flawed in other ways, too -- for example, because of the preload problem, most Linux installations are tallied as Windows. I believe that Linux's market share approaches or even meets Apple's. (Comments from the fanbois regarding this will be politely IGnored.)

But where's the end-to-end lock-in? Why hasn't Windows Media Player wiped everyone else off the map the way Internet Exploder destroyed Netscape? Why aren't we all running Silverlight? Why do Sony and Nintendo still have huge market share against the Xbox?

Microsoft is still way up on top, but the requirement of 100.0% market share is baked into their business model, which is now a big problem. It's clear at this stage that they will never be able to monopolize (or even lead) the server market as they had planned to, and even the desktop market is *slowly* slipping away from them. Meanwhile, end-user applications continue to move off the desktop, which is even worse because it changes the marketplace in the same way applications moving off the mainframe spelled the end of IBM's dominance.

So what about Google? Will they be the next top dog? We don't know yet. I personally don't care. Some people like to trash-talk whoever is on top at the moment. Not me. I hate Microsoft, specifically Microsoft. Windows is an abomination that no one should be forced to use (except perhaps the people responsible for designing it). If and when the Microsoft nightmare is over, I will happily live in a world where some other leader is on top. If it turns out to be Google then I'm ok with that because Google has no problem with people using Linux desktops.

[#] Thu Sep 25 2008 13:11:08 EDT from IO ERROR @ Uncensored

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The people responsible for designing Windows shouldn't be forced to use Windows. After all, they designed it and presumably like it that way!

[#] Thu Sep 25 2008 13:34:21 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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I'm personally in favor of putting every last Microsoft employee (and most of their fanbois and apologists) on a big spacecraft and sending it hurtling into the sun.

[#] Thu Sep 25 2008 18:24:36 EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

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used some windows today. well, actualy ran firefox, X11 and putty  on it...

it simply doesn't scale well to user more than 5 windows at the sam ime.

maybe thats the reason why they made it with such a poor multitasking ability...

In the late 90'ies I drowned wintendos with my simple multitasking behaviour...

[#] Fri Sep 26 2008 18:13:20 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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I wonder, and without bashing, what will become of Microsoft in the future
Google become the next Microsoft?

Google is the next microsoft.
What's not microsoft about that?
They're the name everybody thinks of when you think of the biggest mover in the sector for the past bunch of years. They are a huge goliath of a company. They are trying to take over desktop application, they are trying to take over the browser, so they can do more stuff on your desktop (if they were truly not evil they'd have helped an existing product).
They make more money than anybody else in their market.
I rather thought everybody figured they were already the next microsoft.
IBM is like britian, once on top and now happily living life as a very successful has been.

[#] Fri Sep 26 2008 21:33:18 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Please cite examples of Google's anticompetitive behavior. Simply having big ambitions and being the leader in search does not make them Microsoft-like.

[#] Sun Sep 28 2008 09:15:50 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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Depends which part of ms you're talking about. They are like microsoft in their bigness, in their dominance of markets, in their scaring-people-out-of-similar-markets-because-there's-no-point-in-trying-to-compete-ness.
Maybe saying google is the next microsoft is a big too much, but they're in a similar position to microsofts historical position.

[#] Mon Sep 29 2008 14:35:02 EDT from IO ERROR @ Uncensored

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Ah, but Google actually has competitors. And unlike Microsoft's competitors, Google's competitors are inferior.

[#] Mon Sep 29 2008 16:09:26 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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Fair enough. So if google is really better at everything it tries to do, is it okay that they effectivly push everybody else out of the market?
If so, then what's the difference.

[#] Mon Sep 29 2008 16:09:57 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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It's okay to have a monopoly if it's a 'good monopoly' (with the added bonus that they tell us they're not evil)?

[#] Mon Sep 29 2008 16:52:03 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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It's an issue of anti-competition, I think.

Microsoft leveraged their monopoly to prevent others from participating int he operating system space by preventing vendors from selling any operating system but theirs (in a variety of ways).

Consider what is good for the consumer: anti-competitive practices that prevent any hope of improving a product line at all, or a competition waged entirely on whether or not the merits of the product hold up to user demand?

[#] Mon Sep 29 2008 19:18:00 EDT from IO ERROR @ Uncensored

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It's okay because somebody who actually has a better idea than Google could push them out of the market. At least if they execute it well.

[#] Mon Sep 29 2008 23:14:07 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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and you could say that's happeneing to MS by google and open source...

[#] Tue Sep 30 2008 08:15:17 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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...except that Microsoft was pretty much handed their market share on a plate (by a naive IBM in 1981), and merely played a good game of maintaining lock-in from generation to generation using anti-competitive tactics. Google *earned* their market share with a superior product.

[#] Tue Sep 30 2008 23:12:29 EDT from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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The Matrix is the next level. Virtual Reality replaces computers.

[#] Wed Oct 01 2008 15:41:21 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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I'm not quite ready for direct-to-neural netting.

[#] Wed Oct 01 2008 16:51:18 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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anti-competitive tactics. Google *earned* their market share with a
superior product.

I'll concede the google superior product.

[#] Wed Oct 08 2008 18:19:12 EDT from davew @ Uncensored

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Wed Oct 01 2008 15:41:21 EDT from fleeb@uncnsrd

I'm not quite ready for direct-to-neural netting.

Heh, my spoken language is sometimes shocking for people. I hate to think what they'd make of my thought language 8-)


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