Is MS the new IBM?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
For those of us old enough to remember, there was a time when IBM seemed to own the world. It was so large and so profitable that people laughed at anyone who tried to compete with them.



Then a little company named Microsoft bought a program called DOS and partnered with IBM to install it on this new thing called a personal computer which no one thought was going anywhere.



Today I posit that Microsoft is in the same position that IBM was. And that it too lacks the vision to keep abreast of the important changes in the industry.



An article on CNN has an interview with Craig Mundie, one of the two guys who are supposed to take over for Gates after he leaves.



Among the salient quotes is this one:
So you're starting to see for the first time fashion as a factor driving the replacement cycle for technology. It isn't that the bits wear out or the cell phone stops making calls, it's that fashion that's driving it forward. Not just in a cosmetic sense, but in terms of what's cool, what is it that people want to see now.



So I think the bleeding edge will continue moving forwards and in many cases will be driven by consumer adoption.
Microsoft cool? I don't know anyone who thinks that MS is cool. They are successful, competitive, certainly important, but cool? Can you say: "Zune?!?"



I'm not saying the MS is going away, or that Apple is going to take the lead here, it just seems that the industry is in much the same position as it was in the 80's when a little company did something that changed everything forever.



If cool is the new game, I really don't see Microsoft as doing well on that playing field.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by donebylee View Post


    I'm not saying the MS is going away, or that Apple is going to take the lead here, it just seems that the industry is in much the same position as it was in the 80's when a little company did something that changed everything forever.



    If cool is the new game, I really don't see Microsoft as doing well on that playing field.



    First, Microsoft does not = cool (like you said). To some, yes it does, but to most, it doesn't.



    Second, Apple has a great opportunity here -- Windows Vista is forcing a lot of average people to buy a new computer. Sure, they don't have to, but all of the reviews say to do so. Literally, has there been one positive review of Windows Vista? I have read one, and it was in a Computer Mag -- and guess what? -- they were talking about buying a new computer. Even my local newspaper warned people to upgrade -- saying most people don't (and shouldn't) upgrade until about a year from now.



    And here comes the point. I use to say that for the most part, Apple couldn't do anything to Microsoft. That they ruled the OS Market, and there is nothing Apple could do about it. They would have to force people to switch by buying new computers -- when for Windows, all you gatta do to switch from an older Windows to a newer, is to buy software. But thats not the case. Some people, who bought a computer one or two years ago, can't upgrade to Vista. And when new computers at the better part of the end 2006 started to say, "Vista Ready" -- it told u that some computers weren't "Vista Ready". What does that mean? They might not switch from Vista to XP. Even older printers -- even newer printers -- may not be compatible to Vista. So whats that? Have to buy a new computer, new printers....just to buy Vista? And how much you want to bet that some games will require Vista by next year -- say Halo 2? -- I wouldn't pull it past Microsoft. And when forced to buy a new computer, or upgrade it so it will run, one must ask: Why not buy an Apple?
  • Reply 2 of 10
    donebyleedonebylee Posts: 521member
    I certainly agree that Apple has an opening here, and I think they are doing what they can to try to take advantage of it.



    But my point here is that Microsoft seems to be stuck in a rut, much like IBM was all those years ago. They have adopted a set of rules regarding how they think about computers. I believe this is an inevitable phase in a company's life--call it self-aggrandized complacency.



    There is opportunity here, but I think the biggest opportunity is for a company with a totally new approach. Perhaps that is Leopard, we'll just have to wait and see.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    How about we put it another way.



    Windows is losing marketshare to
    1. Macs

    2. Linux

    Office is losing marketshare to
    1. Mac Users who hate Microsoft

    2. OpenOffice.org

    3. Google (Amazingly enough)

    Microsoft Server Systems are losing marketshare to
    1. Linux

    2. Probably a few Xserves

    Internet Explorer is losing Browser share to
    1. Linux/Mac Switchers (who plain can't use it)

    2. Firefox (has much more of an impact on Winboxes)

    MSN/Windows Live LOST it's Marketshare to
    1. Google

    2. Yahoo

    3. Those other smaller search engines like Altavista

    Hotmail/MSN Mail and Messenger NEVER had the most Marketshare, instead it belongs to:
    1. AOL

    2. Yahoo

    3. Google (mainly Gmail because it's gaining a lot of the market and not so much Google Talk)

    Windows Media Player isn't used by people who
    1. Can't get with this Century and use Digital Audio Players

    2. People with iPods

    3. People who don't like Microsoft or Windows Media Player

    4. In other words, most of the world (if you don't count streaming)

    Nobody cares about WinCE because
    1. Bill Gates announces another WinCE product every year and every year it fails

    2. Nobody cares about Windows Mobile

    3. The Smartphone Market belongs to Symbian

    4. The iPhone is coming out in June

    5. By the time it won the market away from Palm, PDAs were irrelevant

    Nobody will buy a Windows Home Server because
    1. An Airport Extreme can do it all and more

    2. Nobody wants to buy another lousy Microsoft product

    3. Pretty much any router can do it's most basic and useful functions

    4. There isn't a market for it

    Nobody buys a Zune because
    1. Nobody wants another Lousy Microsoft product

    2. The iPod is much better

    3. The Sansa is the second most popular [Dedicated Audio Player] outside of Apple

    4. Microsoft competes in only one market with the Zune

    5. The Mobile Phone is Second only to Apple

    6. It had a stupid marketing team to begin with

    Microsoft is a long LONG LONG way from Cool.



    Sebastian
  • Reply 4 of 10
    skatmanskatman Posts: 609member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by donebylee View Post


    I certainly agree that Apple has an opening here, and I think they are doing what they can to try to take advantage of it.



    But my point here is that Microsoft seems to be stuck in a rut, much like IBM was all those years ago. They have adopted a set of rules regarding how they think about computers. I believe this is an inevitable phase in a company's life--call it self-aggrandized complacency.



    There is opportunity here, but I think the biggest opportunity is for a company with a totally new approach. Perhaps that is Leopard, we'll just have to wait and see.





    What rut is Microsoft stuck in? Vista is crude and raw right now and application support is also rather dismal. If you're smart, you'll wait until the service pack 1, until hardware drivers mature, until software support has been ironed out.

    Vista offers nothing must-have right now that XP doesn't.



    Apple hasn't had a new approach in OS since original OS X was released and Leopard will be another, essentially, super service pack for the same old pony. Apple is still learning how to take a completely user unfriendly UNIX and make it hospitable for an average joe. You're all invited to be beta-testers... for a price of course.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by donebylee View Post


    Among the salient quotes is this one:
    So you're starting to see for the first time fashion as a factor driving the replacement cycle for technology. It isn't that the bits wear out or the cell phone stops making calls, it's that fashion that's driving it forward. Not just in a cosmetic sense, but in terms of what's cool, what is it that people want to see now.



    So I think the bleeding edge will continue moving forwards and in many cases will be driven by consumer adoption.



    This is a great example of how clueless they are at MS. But take a step back and ask yourself why he would say something like that, fashion factor isn't something MS commands, so why is he saying that? My guess is this, Apple. They look at Apple and think it's success is due to Apple making cool (fashionable) products. Completely clueless these guys at MS are. I mean... How hard can it be to see that function is senior to form and not other way around?
  • Reply 6 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by skatman View Post


    What rut is Microsoft stuck in? Vista is crude and raw right now and application support is also rather dismal. If you're smart, you'll wait until the service pack 1, until hardware drivers mature, until software support has been ironed out.

    Vista offers nothing must-have right now that XP doesn't.



    Apple hasn't had a new approach in OS since original OS X was released and Leopard will be another, essentially, super service pack for the same old pony. Apple is still learning how to take a completely user unfriendly UNIX and make it hospitable for an average joe. You're all invited to be beta-testers... for a price of course.





    yeah the thing is that Vista won't have a lot of time around (like XP) because MS planned Vienna to release at 2009 so for many people, waiting for SP1 to upgrade for Vista only to be able to use it for say... 1 to 1.5 years that's just stupid... i'll go grab my new Mac anyday
  • Reply 7 of 10
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by illutionz View Post


    yeah the thing is that Vista won't have a lot of time around (like XP) because MS planned Vienna to release at 2009 so for many people, waiting for SP1 to upgrade for Vista only to be able to use it for say... 1 to 1.5 years that's just stupid... i'll go grab my new Mac anyday



    Vienna will be released in 2009 if they plan to release it tomorrow. Gotta have room for delays.



    Sebastian
  • Reply 8 of 10
    I actually read a rather compelling article - can't, however, for the life of me remember where - that predicted Vista would be the last true revision to the Microsoft OS. And I think they may be right. More and more these days, people are coming to realize that Microsoft is not their only option. And while businesses and Joe Public won't be booting into YellowDog any time soon, there is room for OS X to make a dent in Vista's ivory tower.



    So long as they get Leopard out sometime soon.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    donebyleedonebylee Posts: 521member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Democaster. View Post


    I actually read a rather compelling article - can't, however, for the life of me remember where - that predicted Vista would be the last true revision to the Microsoft OS. And I think they may be right. More and more these days, people are coming to realize that Microsoft is not their only option. And while businesses and Joe Public won't be booting into YellowDog any time soon, there is room for OS X to make a dent in Vista's ivory tower.



    So long as they get Leopard out sometime soon.



    I wanted to read the article that you refer to, but couldn't find it. I remember it was being talked about a couple of weeks ago...oh well. Maybe someone in here will know which article it was and provide a link to it.



    (I googled "last OS" and came up with several references to blogs and forums and one link to an article that is no longer free...maybe someone else will have better luck or can provide a synopsis)



    But you make a point very similar to what I was getting at: the time is ripe for the next paradigm shift in computing. I suspect it is going to come from some company or group of people that we have never heard of before.



    I expect Microsoft to ignore it and/or denigrate it. I hope Apple pays close attention and learns from it.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by donebylee View Post


    I certainly agree that Apple has an opening here, and I think they are doing what they can to try to take advantage of it.



    But my point here is that Microsoft seems to be stuck in a rut, much like IBM was all those years ago. They have adopted a set of rules regarding how they think about computers. I believe this is an inevitable phase in a company's life--call it self-aggrandized complacency.



    There is opportunity here, but I think the biggest opportunity is for a company with a totally new approach. Perhaps that is Leopard, we'll just have to wait and see.



    As long as Bill Gates is alive and influencing MS at all I'd never say that MS is in a rut. That company is the definition of corporate paranoia. That is why all those shady practices when at the peak of their dominance.



    They are constantly looking for that next market. They've invested tons into the XBox and now Zune. They did the browser wars that held zero profit simply to make sure they held some critical piece of the internet ecosystem. The XBox is their entryway into the living room where Apple intends to compete.



    No, I wouldn't say MS is any rut as to how they think of computers.



    Gates is as important to the mindset of MS as Jobs is to the mindset of Apple. Paranoia that your company will go the way of IBM is as strong a motivator as any other and more than most. More than equal to Jobs vision of transforming computing as MS is willing to follow as well as lead.



    The industry will be a poorer place when both or either men are gone.



    Vinea
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