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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a rant post here, and it's computer related, so I figure it should go in the Town Hall.

So, while reading another "Apple is a dead niche company" article, it got me thinking.

Microsoft is a dying company with no future.

Kind of a severe statement considering that M$ currently owns the entire PC world, isn't it? But really, when you think about it, can a software company really keep this stranglehold monopoly forever?

Other mega-companies diversify to keep afloat. After 20 years, most start into other products and services that may either empower or cripple the brand name. For example, IBM used to be the biggest company in the world before the clones came along. They had a stranglehold on the entire computer market with some 90% share, and then the got nailed by a cheap upstart company selling crappy software that would run on even cheaper hardware. They got spanked very very hard, and released an overpriced "competitor" called OS/2, which died a slow, expensive, painful death. But did IBM disappear from the face of the earth? Nope. Big Blue survived because they sell other things... chips, servers, integrated systems, components. Now IBM is doing fairly well considering the tech market today. Matter of fact, their heavy investment in the hardware market may pay off big time, and set Intel on it's ear.

Microsoft can't possibly spring back like that.

What has M$ done to diversify their product portfolio? If another OS were to come along with a better deal, how could they survive? Their attempts so far have been laughable.

M$ invested billions in telecommunications systems and satellites which failed miserably. The set-top box (WebTV) died after a few years of heavy investment. The Xbox is barely keeping up with Gamecube sales, and is only being kept afloat by M$ buying up software companies for exclusive titles (Bungie, Rare, Konami, Digital Anvil, many more)... which is really unsustainable. In 10 years I predict there will be no Xbox 2. But I'll bet you that the PS3 will be a big big seller... and I'm no fan of Sony's.

So what does M$ have to sustain itself for the future? There's always Windows, but lately there's been quite a corporate backlash against the security holes, network problems, ever-escalating hardware demands and spiraling IT budgets. Major players are now turning to Linux, which may or may not be the "next big thing" in IT.

My opinion is that there may be a "dark horse" company out there that can make a Windows-killer. Some OS manufacturer that has a bulletproof GUI with UNIX underpinnings that runs on Intel hardware. Not Apple, although I'd love to see it, but some other proprietary corporate OS. Something small, fast and runs all Windows software.

Kinda reminds me of OS/2, which sucked, but that's another story. Maybe I'm living in a fantasy world, here. All said, what's M$'s "next big thing"? Here's their list:

Tablet PC. Newton, anyone? Nobody likes it. The handwriting recognition is awful, and M$'s reliance on multiple-button mice makes the tablet OS a hellish experience.

FM technology: "Smart" technology, like watches and phones that can get news reports. More like "watches that have rotating adspace". Nothing more fashionable than a big ugly Casio with the M$ window on it. I'll bet Tag Hauer is quaking in their boots.

Windows XXX: Microsoft will finally own up and release an OS that does what 99.9% of it's users do anyways. Surf porn, pirate movies and MP3s, and play games like "porn solitare" and "Murder Blood Death Unicorn Online".

OK, the last one isn't true, but it may as well be. Am I so far off as to assume that the vast majority of PC home users don't organize their pictures, or edit their home movies, or are busy writing the next great Canadian novel? Is the PC a creative tool used by the masses to better themselves and their communities? Bah.

Whew. This turned into a big messy rant real quick. I have to stop before I start bashing the PC-using populace at large. Ah well. That's what happens when you read anything on zdnet on a friday afternoon.

-SJ.

One of my favorite lines from a long-dead series "SeaQuest DSV" goes something like this:

"Five trillion dollars! That's what Apple paid for Microsoft in 2015!"

I smiled at that. Someday it might even come true.
 

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They will crumble....everything does!
 

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It is said that you have to spend money to make money, speculate to accumulate, and MS is certainly doing the spending bit aren't they?

XBox makes money on hardware sales but loses big time for all the marketing that they are doing.

Heavy investments in niche products like the watch things, the WebTV and etc.

Office Sales are slowing down, and they represent a good portion of MS revenues.

But instead of innovating they are pulling things like Buying VPC, making their EULAs über-restrictive and enforcing them with Orwellian flair. (Office 11, due this summer/fall is said to be offered in such a way that you will HAVE to keep paying for it).

While I don't think that MS is going to go the way of the dodo any time soon, I do think they are about to peak (if they haven't already) and maybe come back down a notch or two.

Apple is on (a rather slow) upswing again, and Wal-Mart (of all places) is selling 200$ (USD) Lindows Boxes that do all the basics and they are selling like hot-cakes.

What it looks like from my little universe is that while a lot of people are pushing for more open standards and open, unrestrictive computing (See: Linux and the Open Source Movement) MS is pushing for even more closed down, restrictive computing (See: Palladium and the next version of Office) while Apple is stuck somewhere in the middle. Not quite as open as Linux, but no where near as restrictive as MS.

Just my take anyway.

--PB
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
[apologies to Shelley]

I met a Mac user from an antique land,
Who said -- "two vast and trunkless legs of silicon
Stand in the internet ... near them, on the webpage,
Half sunk a shattered GIF lies, whose fingerprinted glasses,
And greasy hair, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its webmaster well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
"My name is Microsoft, King of Kings,
Look on my GUI ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level Net stretches far away." --
 

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True true true...or at least I hope M$ dies...soon

oh yeah, SeaQuest=uber
They really need to bring that back now.
 

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I think on the notion of Apple being stuck in the middle you are totally correct. They are not fully open sourced but not totally closed up either. They have released a lot of the source code to the open source community like rendezvous, darwin, quicktime, and more but are keeping a lot of the look and feel of the top layer under their own.

It makes sense that they want to protect their intellectual property, but I am sure they will start to ease up on that as well and allow other people to change the interface as well.

Right now with the darwin binaries, there are working versions of KDE to the open sourced community of Apple's to allow them to run the popular Linux windowing environment, plus they have open sourced the X11 code as well for people to work with now.

Apple is becoming a friendly player in the world of open sourced communities. Even the next mozilla will aparently be built around the open source code on Safari that Apple has put back to the community. So while they took the open source, compiled it for themselves, instead of keeping it, it is going back to the community to do as they feel with it. Now thats playing ball in my opinion.

I have no problem with companies maintaining their own intellectual property, however I do have a problem with any company that charges way more money for a product than it's worth such as M$ Office, Windows and yes even Mac OS X is too expensive in my opinion.

Howver, I think people will start to get frustrated with M$ as it is and begin to abandon it. Probably one of the reason that Linux is becomming so popular. The problem most people have with *NIX OS's is supporting them once they screw it up. Sure, it's free to download and install, but once something goes wrong, how do you fix it?

These problems however are becomming less and less of a problem as more people create apps that work with the new OS's to help them maintain their systems on the desktop.

anyways, I foget why I started this reply so I will end it now!
 

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:rolleyes:
Although I believe MS will do something drastic in order to stay alive, they will prosper off of the ineptitude of the human race. Many who go to buy a computer do not know a thing and do not want to either, they want a computer to check their email, play some games, surf the web and do their work on and thats it. Microsoft in its monoloptic position is milking this which from a business stand point is ingenious, but is utterly unfair the consumer. I hope MS dies, and burns horribly, but I do not see this happening as they are desperately trying to stay in control of their little universe. (ala Czar Nicholas II in Russia while everywhere else was evolving)

Some will call it tradgedy, some will call it a step forward, and others will be in the middle setting the fires... But Microsoft will crash eventually as their business plan is not going to work very well anymore, they need to adapt.
 
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