John Dvorak asks an interesting question: Is the party over for Microsoft? While people have been predicting the demise of Microsoft for many years, I think it may be about time to call the game. The end may in fact be nearer than we think. Of course, having something like US$30 Billion in the bank means MS won’t simply go away. They can play the losing game for years to come.
As Dvorak says in his column, Microsoft has a long history of chasing after markets created by other people. What I think he really misses is the fact that Microsoft has never had any other marketing plan. They “borrowed” the DOS model from Digital Research’s CP/M operating system. They then “borrowed” the Windows operating system from Apple. Dvorak’s list is just the continuation of the Microsoft modus operandi from the start.
The problem is, Microsoft is running out of ideas they can take from other companies. Microsoft has been bleeding money in several of these ventures. In addition, they have been caught “borrowing” so many times that competitors and government regulators are now far more likely to call them on it.
Microsoft is set for a big fall, which is odd because I think Windows 7 will be a big seller for them. I just think they have too many irons in the fire pulling them under (plenty of mixed metaphor’s there.) But they don’t understand that selling a good product and simply making it better is a valid business plan. Especially in a recession.