Sunday, April 08, 2007

Microsoft is Dead...

Paul Graham's Microsoft is Dead essay seems to be creating quite the conversation. Don Dodge. Dave Winer. lots more. I'm amused that so many people do not get his meaning. Or maybe they just don't want to listen. Didn't they read Innovator's Dilemma?

Maybe I'm just biased by being ex-MSFT and still knowing a lot of people there. Here is how I read the tea-leaves: At Microsoft, 5 years ago people talked about leaving their team, now they talk about leaving the company. Virtually every individual I know and respect at MS talks about leaving. What was the last thing that Microsoft did that really mattered? Vista? me laughs. XBox 360? that is evolution, not revolution. Zune? maybe by V3. Office 2007? cool new toys...

Then there is the fact that I replaced my parents aging, zombie-ified WinME Dell box with an iMac and am helping my neighbor replace a dying Toshiba laptop with a new MacBook. In my humble opinion, most any non-techie who has the money should be buying a Mac, not a PC. User Interface matters, and Macs just work. The Web has finally become what Gates feared it would... Web+Html is the OS for most casual computer users.

Everyone is right... Microsoft is still a gorilla. But you know where the profits are coming from? Cannibalization. They are turning a team of amazing people into a lot of mediocrity. That isn't to say that there aren't great people at MS; just that there very few islands of real talent left.



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