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"IT shifting away from Microsoft"?

Wonder if anyone saw this link on Slashdot and has comments on the article referenced:

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=13350

Basically it postulates that the IT industry is shifting, albeit slowly, away from Microsoft.  I have no axe to grind with Microsoft nor am I a Linux cheerleader, but IMHO the article may be drawing a reasonable conclusion.

Comments?

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Sunday, December 28, 2003

I have noticed an increase in the heterogeneity of large corporate IT shops; 2 years ago you could pick companies off of the Fortune 500 that had a stated Microsoft-centric IT policy. That doesn't appear to be the case anymore.

I also do think that MS has more high profile diificulties now than ever before. XBox is a money loser (and battling with Nintendo for *distant* 2nd place), .Net adoption has clearly not proceeded anywhere near the rate MS planned (espcially considering the hype), new versions of Office aren't an automatic upgrade, there's nothing exciting coming down the pike for a long time (Longhorn, Yukon, etc...) and MS blamed security issues are a monthly topic.

MS isn't doing anything exciting right now while there's lots of excitement in the Linux community. I can see how the author could relate the two but I don't think that's entirely accurate or fair. For one thing, I don't think that the author entirely understands the corporate volume licensing program. Clearly, there are many corporations that are staying put with software versions and not signing new agreements (i.e. Gartner reports that commercial deployments of WinXP for organizations with 10k+ employees is 6.6%). That definently has an impact.

In terms of Wall Street reaction, the fact that MS is having a flat quarter is an important thing to keep an eye on. MS has been accused in the past of shaving revenue off of fat quarters to prop up lean quarters; I believe there was some creative accounting that went on in the past that doesn't go on anymore. Right now, a flat quarter can be written off (economic slow down, IT spending, etc...). However, I believe that in the near future MS will significantly miss analysts estimates and there won't be a good excuse (espcially if firms like Intel and IBM are doing well). Since MS is the company with metrics that always go up, I could see there being something of a panic around the company's future (bad terms like "market saturation" and "lack of innovation" come to mind), a slew of downgrades, institutional ownership pull back, and an employee morale hit (since they're so loose with option and stock grants). That will stall MS's market momentum and that's when things could get interesting.

Mark Smith
Sunday, December 28, 2003

"MS isn't doing anything exciting right now"

what about longhorn, .net, winfx, xaml...


Sunday, December 28, 2003

"what about longhorn, .net, winfx, xaml..."

*yawn*

Almost Anonymous
Sunday, December 28, 2003

"i.e. Gartner reports that commercial deployments of WinXP for organizations with 10k+ employees is 6.6%"

That's a silly analysis. For corporations, it's tough to argue WinXP over Win2k. A bigger indicator will be adoption of Win2k3 in the server market.

As for the article, well, it *is* the Register, and let me sum up the author's agenda with this one quote:
"Somehow, people didn't buy the fact that $1,000 a head was cheaper than free"

If he can't even make a comparative mention of TCO (if you want to argue Linux's TCO is less than Windows, fine, but it ain't ever free), then IMHO that calls the entire article into question.

Just my $.02

Philo
(obviously, this is solely my opinion and does not reflect the views of Microsoft)

Philo
Sunday, December 28, 2003

There ain't so much exciting going on in Linux right now either.

Ankur
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Why sure there is! In fact, I think MySQL just got transactions a few months ago....

...or use a real database...
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Well, the article had some flaws, but as a general rule, the trend is there and probably growing. Linux is not exactly the hard to use, guru-friendly that it was some years ago, and it's pretty usable for most clueful or semi-clueful people. (even if they don't know how to use the command line).

Not all the software there is up to par or as complete as the equivalent Windows offering. Naturally, there are random problems that may be encountered if you push the system to its limits, but so there are in Windows. (my friend has Windows XP and he can't seem to run Mozilla there for some reason)

Whether Microsoft will survive the hole they dug for themselves or not, is hard to tell. What I think will happen is that if it survives in one piece, it will be just one company among many who ships cross-platform UNIX and Linux friendly products. I think there's still room for innovation and software, and Microsoft are known for improving the usability and feature-sets of products to perfection. This skill is still needed.

Shlomi Fish
Sunday, December 28, 2003

I couldn't be bothered reading the whole thing. I found the author's tone childish. Anytime anyone holds up Netscape as an example of a company that "evil Microsoft killed" I roll my eyes - Netscape's incompotence and poor products killed Netscape; in fact most of the companies Microsoft "killed" really killed themselves through stupidity, unrealistic pricing and poor product quality.

I do think the environment is becoming more hetrogenous and this presents a problem for Microsoft. A lot of people seem very wary of Mono, so unless Redmond takes a different tack they're not going to be as ubiquitous as they have been. Personally I don't think that's a big problem - diversity is beneficial.

Still, no one is really trying to compete on the desktop (I say this as an OS X user) so most of us will keep seeing that Windows flag every day.

Walter Rumsby
Sunday, December 28, 2003

"MS isn't doing anything exciting right now"

"what about longhorn, .net, winfx, xaml..."

The technologies are fine, the problem is with the "right now".

.net is right now. Lonhorn is *years* away.

Monopolies have a habit of pre-emptive anouncement designed to freeze the mnarket while the products are developed (because they can).  If the current products security were good enough, they might wait.

fool for python
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Philo has a good point when he mentions the traditional bias of The Register.

It seems to me that the biggest problem MS has is the fact that Longhorn is so far away... not only in release, but even more in market penetration.

Let's say it has a significantly better UI.  That is great, but what is going to make people upgrade to it in sufficient numbers to create a market for it?

The only thing of interest I see happening for MS over the next few years is the penetration of .NET into the market... and I don't see how that is going to help them in terms of revenue.

Scot Doyle
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Yeah, only monopolies do that.

Philo

Philo
Sunday, December 28, 2003

IMHO Microsoft's strategy is to be the _only_ company with a major propriety IT-industry standard. That means maintaining the position Windows and Office have and preventing for example Playstation or Symbian from evolving into similar cash cows as the core MS products. I doubt Bill worries too much about Xbox profits as long as it keeps Sony in check.

Now can MS maintain it's strategy ? my guess would be no. The reason is simple, there is a huge demand in the market for an MS tech alternative, if not for any other reason than to push prices lower and the general dissatisfaction with the Microsoft Tax. It will take a while and MS will probably keep most of the market but that is still very different from the current 'monopoly' position, and it will hit the bottom line.

That said I saw one MS guy (from DirectX team) last month and he was pretty much a genius. I expect very interesting stuff from these boys with big brains and wallets.


-dmann

dmann
Sunday, December 28, 2003

BTW, the article is published at the Inquirer, not the Register :-)

Frederic Faure
Sunday, December 28, 2003

The article is a typical Linux cheer squad wish list. Big deal. As with everything Linux, it pays to look to the fundamentals.


Sunday, December 28, 2003

"The article is a typical Linux cheer squad wish list"

The article is pure FUD. Indeed, my Slashdot account (yes, I fear to say that I do have a Slashdot account...a 4 digit account no less!) currently has a score:5 post in that discussion deriding the conclusions of the ridiculous article.

Having said that, for whatever reason (be it people not having a convincing reason to upgrade, market saturation, etc) Microsoft revenue has flattened and even declined -- This _is_ unprecedented for Microsoft, and in the ramp up to this Microsoft started the whole activation push to try to increase revenue by decreasing piracy (of course the reality is that a lot of the pirates just installed Linux), and by formulated some extremely hostile licensing plans and offensive stances towards business (like forcing you to buy a desktop license for every machine in your organization even if you're buying them pre-loaded from Dell). I expect much more of the same, or worse, as a bit of a desperate campaign to justify the market capitalization continues, as many of the other ventures Microsoft has entered into have been disasterous.

Dennis Forbes
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Of course most of you are coming from US, therefore ýou are accustomed to US-centric views of anything, and choose to neglect the growing Linux usage in the other part of the world.

Side note: in some countries the only way for MS not having to be replaced by Linux in desktop is not to enforce software piracy.

soothsayer
Sunday, December 28, 2003

I agree that the article was pure FUD from a questionable source. Yes it is The Inquirer not The Register, but they were both founded by Michael Magee and are philosophically one and the same. Also, the fact that MSN did report a profit last month and a few other picayune details indicated to me that the writer didn't do his research or put any objective thought into the article.

Anyway, opinions aside, just where is Microsoft really losing out to Linux? Their 2 primary sources of profit are the Office Suite and operating systems. In most home and desktop office environments I don't see them losing out to Linux on either of those two fronts.

On the server side, where Linux is growing, are they losing business to Linux or is Linux cannabalizing other *nixes?

Skeptic
Sunday, December 28, 2003

IT shifting away from Microsoft? Absolutely, and not because of any trivial differences between Windows (what ever flavour) and any other OS, but because of global demography.

I think most people who post to this forum simply do not comprehend the balance between the US and Western European (which are the key markets for ALL industrial products) and Indo-China. The latter is by far and away the greatest future market, whether for industrial or domestic products or for services. On the balance of probabilities, my estimation is that they will not choose Microsoft (nor Sun, nor Oracle, nor SAP, nor Siebel, nor...).

This is not to say that Microsoft (and the others) will not remain a major play in  its current (quasi-monopolised) markets, but for a variety of reasons - some economic but mostly social and even more importantly political - I think it will be very hard put to repeat its US/ European penetration on a truly global scale.

David Roper
Sunday, December 28, 2003

It seems like Linux is eating into the low-mid commodity server share from both MS and other UNIX vendors. It's hard to get reliable stats on servers; you really need to look at work done/transactions processed.

Check out the latest Netcraft web server survey: http://news.netcraft.com/archives/web_server_survey.html

You can see from this that IIS peeked around the middle of 2002 and has been losing share ever since. Web serving is definently a commodity and it's clear that Apache is the big winner in that space (and Apache on Linux is far and away the post popular configuration).

Now, I realize that this is an apple to oranges comparision (web server vs. all servers) and that there are problems with the way that Netcraft does the survey (web parking skews the results). Nonetheless, there's something to take away from this.

Mid size business espcially (200-1200 employees) seem to be flocking to Linux for file serving, network services (DHCP, DNS), web serving, and e-mail. Basically, anywhere  that isn't overly driven by "strategic thinking" seems to be deploying commodity services on Linux instead of the MS Small Business Server type packages.

Mark Smith
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Given two installations:
1) MSN, with a few dozen web servers in a farm
2) An ISP with one 4-way box running Apache serving a few dozen picayune websites

How does Netcraft count those?

Philo

Philo
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Basic "web serving" has became a commodity.

So, Microsoft should offer IIS for free, with every version of Windows they ship. They already do that.

They need to work on making IIS a lot easier to configure, and also more secure.

And they also need to offer free Windows to educational institutions, and maybe a Windows Free Edition, which will only act as a limited web server.

Max
Sunday, December 28, 2003

They need to let me use my X-Box as a CHEAP (Java capable :)) web server.

Please.

Walter Rumsby
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Philo,

The netcraft survey will affect MSFTs share in the same way.  I remember reading a while back that in an effort to work around this, some other outfit surveyed just fortune 1000 companies and the percentages were almost identical.

I'll dig around for the link.

Cheers,

Koz

Michael Koziarski
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Philo:

Netcraft is looking at domains. So, 1 server that hosts 100 domains would count 100 times. 25 servers in a round robin configuration supporting 1 domain are counted once.

Netcraft also doesn't take into account that http://www.ebay.com is more significant in terms of workload than http://www.aiworks.com.

Mark Smith
Sunday, December 28, 2003

I have a few comments/questions:

I totally didn't follow this comment: "A lot of people seem very wary of Mono, so unless Redmond takes a different tack they're not going to be as ubiquitous as they have been." What does that mean? My first blush was that you were referring to the Mono Project, the .NET open source implementation. But that doesn't make sense in the context of your sentence, so maybe you meant it as a shorted Monopoly?

What is this FUD I suddenly see everywhere. I've been able to figure out every other weird net-speak acronym, but not this one.

Philo getting a job at MS has bummed me out. I've always enjoyed and respected his (your) comments, and I was happy to hear about your cool job. Now, though, it seems as though every one of your posts are defending MS or cheerleading for them and their products. This is totally understandable as this is now your family, and it's true that I agree with everything you've said both technically and in personal opinion. However I just don't read the comments as being completely objective any more. I've never really noticed this phenomenon before and it's interesting to me.

  --Josh

JWA
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Ok, Googled like I should have and result #1 is: http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Hills/9267/fuddef.html

First line on the page says: "FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt". Got it.

  --Josh

JWA
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Josh - for what it's worth, it's bummed me out as well.

Working as a salesbeing for MS is interesting, because I truly believe in their products. If you'll look over my posts since I've been posting to JoS, in general I've been a staunch supporter of SQL vs. Oracle or MySQL, .Net, Windows vs. Linux, etc. I personally believe that in each case the MS platform has been made easy enough to maintain that it allowed me as a developer to concentrate on the work I had to do instead of being an admin.

The joy of the MS job for me is doing something I truly believe in.

Unfortunately, I'm sure my employment will have that tainting effect on what I write now - people will think "oh it's the Microsoft shill again"

My writing's been off-center lately as I've tried to come to terms with my new position, what company policies are about posting, and how to bring it up on here. Obviously pro-MS stuff (esp. in the normal course of discussion, as opposed to in a "which is better" bunfight) was easier to start on.

(An interesting side effect of the job is that some products are even more interesting to me now as I get exposed to a lot of their capabilities I wouldn't have paid attention to before. Thus the new love of Office 2003...)

...and I won't be posting MS vents as much, as I'm more likely to go hunt down the person responsible, now that I can. [grin]

In summation - I haven't sold my soul, I'm still trying to speak candidly, and I still, sorry to say, happen to like all of Microsoft's stuff.

Philo

Philo
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Philo,

I understand completely, and I agree that you haven't changed what you're saying (though I've noticed the deeper exposure to other apps). It's just a weird phenomenon that I noticed and for some reason mentioned.

By the way, your statement that "it allowed me as a developer to concentrate on the work I had to do instead of being an admin" is spot-on.

Have a good evening,

  --Josh

JWA
Sunday, December 28, 2003

LOL, loved the term "Linux cheerleader".

Brazilian Dude
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Sentence 1:
"I do think the environment is becoming more hetrogenous and this presents a problem for Microsoft."

The "new" computing environment is not just Microsoft. I guess this doesn't require further analysis.

Sentence 2:
"A lot of people seem very wary of Mono, so unless Redmond takes a different tack they're not going to be as ubiquitous as they have been."

Mono would theoretically allow .NET to run on a Linux (or OS X, or PS2, or ...) box, so while MS might lose licensing $ from people not buying Windows, those people could still use Microsoft applications and frameworks written for .NET running under Mono (and theoretically MS could potentially implement everything so that it runs in the CLR - e.g. SQL Server [or at least something like JET], Visual Studio, ASP.NET, etc). This still earns Microsoft dollars, and doesn't lock them out of consideration for *nix machines (right now you're not going to be deploying SQL Server on your nice new Linux server). Most importantly it keeps users doing things "the Microsoft way" - users will still look to Microsoft for direction.

What I was thinking when I mentioned Mono was that Mono seems to offer a way of embracing the "new" hetregenity of the corporate computing environment whilst still doing things the MS way (as outlined above). However (and it is probably just FUD) the majority of discussion of Mono I see seems to say something along the lines of "if Mono ever takes off MS will kill it". (Somebody, I think it was Dennis Forbes... or perhaps Atkins..., posted something positive here about their view of Mono and that really stands out for me because his perspective was different to almost everything else I've heard on Mono).

The general attitude people have towards Mono is important because while people think Mono has no future and if they are planning to use Linux in their organisation, .NET-based development becomes a lot less attractive (sure they could use web services, but once you make that decision you're putting on the ugly suit right there).

Hope that clears things up.

Walter Rumsby
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Walter, Thanks for the explaination. I, for one, sure wish that Mono would take off. I prefer the .NET development platform, and would love to be able to use my .NET codebase for both Win and Linux server apps.

  --Josh

JWA
Monday, December 29, 2003

An objective source the Inquirer is not.  I don't think they've ever made any pretence about being anything but a pro-Linux rag, or at least anti-Microsoft.

That said, industry trends seem to indicate a shift, and there are some other factors that are also important for the shift away from Microsoft.

Based on the hiring ads I see in my area, Chrysler and other auto makers and suppliers are making a huge push for Linux and Java. I don't know the reasons, but it's a fact and automotive suppliers tend to follow the trends set by the auto makers when they can.

Second, the right tool varies from shop to shop, having more to do with what the admins' experience has been rather than any particular merits of the package.  For instance, my experience with developing on Windows has been exactly opposite that of Philo. Working on Windows is an admin nightmare for me, while UNIX is fast and easy. That's because my UNIX systems are constantly used for development. My Windows system sits for months without development work being done on it, so when I get on it's highly likely that it will need some major updating.

This means that the young guys just coming out of university, where they spent a lot of time working on Linux or another free UNIX, are going to have a strong UNIX bias. Quite honestly, Microsoft makes a good effort to get Windows tools into the hands of students. Student prices are very low, and they give away a lot of product if you know where to look. But college students will experiment with all kinds of things, and some are bound to get hooked on free UNIX. That means that they'll come out with a strong understanding of UNIX, and if solicited for recommendations on what to use for a project, they'll choose the one they're most comfortable with.

Clay Dowling
Monday, December 29, 2003

It was to difficult to see past the author's obvious hatred and loathing of Microsoft to distinguish between facts and his own version of FUD. I found the article to be about as interesting as a typical SlashDot discussion.

Is Linux a threat to MS? Of course it is. This is hardly news.
Are the Penguin and Open Source advocates going to defeat the evil Microsoft and free the world? Hardly.

It's not a zero-sum game. MS doesn't have to go bankrupt for Linux to be successfu. Likewise, For the foreseeable future, MS will be a huge player in the server market.

Mark Hoffman
Monday, December 29, 2003

"It's not a zero-sum game. MS doesn't have to go bankrupt for Linux to be successfu."

Tell that to the penguinista's

Mike
Monday, December 29, 2003

Walter says, "Anytime anyone holds up Netscape as an example of a company that 'evil Microsoft killed' I roll my eyes"

Here is why i come to that conclusion:

1: Mozilla is a much better browser than IE and has been for a while

2: Given 1, If there was fair competition, IE would have lost significant market share to Mozilla

3: It hasn't.

Therefore, there is not fair competition in the web browser market. By bundling IE with its monopoly Windows product, Microsoft keeps the better browser from gaining market share.

Mike Schiraldi
Monday, December 29, 2003

>>"what about longhorn"

Well, just like always, until you get exposure to the system, you don't think there is any new stuff, or values in the OS.

I have to disagree here!

There is SOME VERY cool new stuff in this new OS. Sure, stuff like the new version of OE for longhorn that allows multiple windows opened for OE is not a big deal in longhorn.

However, some of the of the network stuff (like discovering other computers on the network, and using their disk drive as "ONE" large storage drive is quite neat.

Further, there is some talk of integrated phone service into the system. Again, being able to use the net, your office network and combine the whole thing into a phone system is rather cool, and you can eliminate a pdx by doing so.  Not to mention eliminate huge phone bills.

The new winFS file system based on the database engine is also a rather large step forward. And, like the silly nay sayers, it will be transparent to existing appcltions anyway. However, it will support XML, and lot of other cool stuff too (like networking/file sharing with other computers. Aka peer to peer). This new database file system DOES require NTFS to work.

The fact that each computer can now network and share information via a network socket is much the same difference when going from a multi-user file share system such as a ms-access JET file based system to a database based system like sql server. While a JET file share has always been rated for about 50 users, in practice, 5 to 15 was a reasonable limit, and then after that a truce client to server setup such as sql server makes sense.

Changing the file system to be data engine based concept opens up so many new possibilities.

Also, with such large disk drives, and the average pc with 100,000 + files, something needs to be done for the next generation of computers, and thus once again you need a data engine file system. You get a large increase in network flexibility when you move the file system to a engine based system.

The Internet Connection Firewall is on by default and has been upgraded to be bidirectional, stopping both incoming threats and any outgoing connections attempted by worms and Trojan horses.

Internet Explorer at last includes a pop-up blocker just as every other Web browser in the world does.

Finally, a full speech recognition engine is included, and just might start people using voice stuff.

So, there is a whole bunch of new cool tricks in Longhorn.

The addition of a google like search engine to the file system also makes a lot of sense, as right now trying to organize and file the HUGE amount files on a typical computer is sorely in need of a paradigm change.

So, while LongHorn is not something to get up and jump around the room......longhorn does have a lot of neat stuff for a new OS. I suppose we become so complacent in IT, that a new OS does not get anyone excited, and that is just fine to me. There is also a new UI that extends beyond the simply file folder metaphor that we used since the old apple MAC days for the last 20 years.

The number of people testing and using longhorn is growing daily right now. It is also not that far away either. Right now some release dates put is only 1 year away. Regardless, we are talking about a system that is not that far away (more likely 1/1/2 years away).

The requirements of a 800mhz processor, and a graphics card to display folders that get “fatter” with more data in them is rather scary, but then again a 800mhz computer is rather the bottom of what you can get for even used computers today.

Without question we need companies to dream and have a vision for the future. One may not get too excited about longhorn, but at lest MS has a concept of where they want to go in the future, and are thinking about what the ideal OS is.

Have you stopped dreaming of what a new computer should have? If you have stopped dreaming, then it is probably time to move out of the IT industry!

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Monday, December 29, 2003

Albert

"So, there is a whole bunch of new cool tricks in Longhorn."

Everything that you've stated demonstrates exactly the reason why innovation in the computing industry is in the doldrums.

As a bit of a foreward, let me say that traditionally I was hugely pro-Microsoft - I think they have a lot of great products, their current operating systems definitely has tremendous technical merit and can stand on their own, and a lot of the anti-Microsoft rhetoric has been based on, basically, villainizing Microsoft for every world ill no matter how ridiculously unrelated. Netscape can't capitalize on the browser share after undercutting Spyglass by releasing their browser basically for free and then sitting on it and letting it technically decay while they focus on the money making web server market? Damn that Microsoft!

Having said all of that, I am now _firmly_ of the belief, and this is based upon seeing things such as your post, that Microsoft has put a death grip on most innovation in the computing sector. We are basically in a situation now where we await what arrives in the next version of Windows, all prepackaged and bundled up and "free" (if paying a couple hundred dollars every couple of years is what one can call free). Basically competition in a vast swath of software areas has been annihilated simply by Microsoft including a inferior version "for free" in the next operating system that you have to purchase to get support for a new IO standard, or to actually continue receiving patches for the absurdly, ridiculously common security exploits.

Dennis Forbes
Monday, December 29, 2003

---"While a JET file share has always been rated for about 50 users, in practice, 5 to 15 was a reasonable limit,"-----

Do you mean concurrent users or total number of users. What is the blockage; bandiwidth or locking?

Trying to prise this information out of anyone makes looking for WMDs in Iraq a piece of cake.

Stephen Jones
Monday, December 29, 2003

Mike Schiraldi Wrote:

Walter says, "Anytime anyone holds up Netscape as an example of a company that 'evil Microsoft killed' I roll my eyes"

Here is why i come to that conclusion:

1: Mozilla is a much better browser than IE and has been for a while

2: Given 1, If there was fair competition, IE would have lost significant market share to Mozilla

3: It hasn't.

Therefore, there is not fair competition in the web browser market. By bundling IE with its monopoly Windows product, Microsoft keeps the better browser from gaining market share.


The above is a lame and silly argument.  Fact is, McDonalds makes crappy hamburgers, but has WAY LARGER market share then its competitors.  The above logic is sheer non-sense from a business point of view. By your reasoning, McDonalds should have a poor market share because they don’t have the best hamburger. The world does not work that way!

Fact is, now that windows ships with a “good enough” browser, then there is little or no reason for people to switch to a better product. If Netscape had not screwed up, then they most certainly could have held on to their market share. The same goes for WordPerfect (they could NOT have run that company WORSE then they did). I have stated publicly many times that I could run WordPerfect much better myself.

While MS came out with Microsoft Money for a MUCH lower price then Quicken, they have not made that great of inroads into Quickens sales. In fact, less people are using MS money now as compared to Quicken. The last 3 or 4 computers I purchased has MS money incluened in the software bundle. I did not get full ms-office, but I did get ms-works, ms-word, and ms-money as part the “bundle”. For quicken, you still have to go out and purchase Quicken. MS is not really a player in this market, and had to go out and purchase Great Plains software. I don’t even care if ms-money is as good, or better then Quicken!

The same goes for faxing software. WinFax has totally kicked MS’s butt to the point that MS has virtually given up on shipping fax software to be included with windows.

In the above two examples, we are talking about software systems that were bundled or included with Windows, and consumers still consistently go out and purchase separate products.

If MS had come out with a good version of MS-money, they most certainly could have prevented Quicken from gaining, or getting any reasonable amount of market EVEN IF quicken had a slightly better product. However, MS does NOT have a competitive product to Quicken.

With the web browser, it is just a stupid browser, and the consumers could not care less, and they did not in regards to Netscape. However, Netscape really screwed up their product, and caused a very loyal following to dump the product. If Netscape was well run, and did not give up their market like they did, then they MOST CERTAINLY could have held on to market share. Fact is, MANY OTHER companies have survived free bundling of products from Microsoft VERY WELL! I have no sympathy Netscape.

There is NO reason why Netscape had to give up such a large market that they owned. WinFax and Quicken have not given there markets up to MS despite the bundling stuff. Bundling is stupid an lame argument for failure here.

Anyone who has read on the subject knows the US government case against MS in regards to Netscape is complete crock. The fact of Mozillina being better now is too late, and it is not near enough better to cause consumers to switch. If it was good enough to cause consumers to change, they likely they would.

The fact of virtually all of the competitors to Macdonald’s having better hamburgers also does not cause consumers to switch. There is whole host of issues like how well Macdonald's caters to kids etc at play here.

Microsoft has not put much of a dent in Sony in regards to the playstation. And, the gain of market share for the pocket pc has also halted against the Palm os. These two examples are areas outside of the OS, but again show that MS just can’t simply take over a market. They can’t with Quciket, WinFax, and a host of other products.

So to simply point out that Mozilling is a better browser, and the fact that more people don’t use the product is a VERY LAME argument here. It is not enough to be better, you have to get consumers to change. Macdonald’s knows that very well!

Hence, one cannot over simplify things, and things are much more complex then the browser being better. Perhaps you never had a Macdonald’s burger, and don’t understand business.


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Monday, December 29, 2003

So which is it: Mozillina, Mozilling, or Mozilla? :-)

Frederic Faure
Monday, December 29, 2003

Albert,

"WinFax and Quicken have not given there markets up to MS despite the bundling stuff. Bundling is stupid an lame argument for failure here."

Firstly, please use the proper names for products: Mozilla, McDonalds, etc. I don't know if you're doing this intentionally or as a typo|ignorance, but if the former it's childish and unprofessional (similar to "Winblowz", "M$", "Microsloth", etc).

Getting to the crux of your position, firstly 95% of your whole argument relates to MS Money which has absolutely nothing to do with the operating system. Pick a better example, as if Microsoft _did_ include MS Money "in" Windows (perhaps changing all integer math instructions to go through the MSMoney.dll to convince the world that it's "integrated") I guarantee the market for Quicken would be annihilated. This would be proposed as a "win" for consumers while they're being fed a maginally different "new" version of the operating system for $200, with MS Money "for free". Regarding the faxing, I'd need a bit more information about that : I recall nothing about functional fax integration into Windows.

Your whole McDonalds analogy is just piss poor as well (as analogies usually are -- they're an incredibly weak method of arguing anything) -- McDonalds is one of the _best_ at the market that they're in: Inexpensive, fast burgers and fries. They succeed because of this. Sitting in a fancy New York restaurant for two hours to eat a $50 burger is hardly the same competitive sphere.

Having said that, the other comment about Mozilla being a better browser, yet still not achieving credible marketshare, exactly proves the point of Microsoft thwarting innovation -- Microsoft is pulling a Netscape and letting IE rust (all to convince us to spend $200 on the next version of Windows, which will inevitably end up being a minor chrome finish on XP with a "free" new IE 7 in it), while Mozilla is storming ahead, but most consumers have the "Better stick with Microsoft 'cuz one day, way in the future, they'll have a superior version, and I want all of the IE specific sites to work" fear, so they just ride out IE, perhaps shoe-horning add-ins and work-around cludges to try to achieve some of the functionality that Opera, Mozilla and others have had for well over a year now. It really is a sad demonstration of the chilling effect Microsoft has had on the computing market.

Dennis Forbes
Monday, December 29, 2003

-----"Anyone who has read on the subject knows the US government case against MS in regards to Netscape is complete crock."-----

Well, I have read the whole of the findings of fact (a few tens of thousands of words and nearly as long as an Albert Kallal post on JOS).

Perhaps you'd like to post here going through them to say where you think the judge is talking a load of crock. If you don't have access to the findings of fact send me an private message and I'll email you the text.

Stephen Jones
Monday, December 29, 2003

C'mon Stephen, anyone who used Netscape 4, or worse still tried to do DHTML, CSS, heck even HTML for NS4 knows it was a very poor quality, highly unstable product.  IE4 was clearly the better product - Netscape tripped itself over, even if Microsoft had the company in their sights.

Walter Rumsby
Monday, December 29, 2003

I used both Netscape 4 and IE 4, indiscriminately. What made me change was IE5 beta. and now I've changed back to Netscape 7.0 because it's a lot better than IE.

The point is that when MS decided to do the bundling it didn't know it was going to produce a better product than Netscape. It is quite possible that IE would have won on a fair playing field, but MS was determined to make sure there wasn't going to be one, which explains why it went in for all this integrating IE to W98 nonsense.

Remember that MS had signed an undertaking not to do what it did do.

To give an analogy, it is possible that the girl I'm after may chuck her current paramour for me any time now. But that doesn't allow me to kidnap him and lock him up in a bedroom with all the doors and windows sealed, particularly after I've been bound over in court for doing the same thing to the partner of the last girl I had the hots for.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

interesting article about Office and Israel Government:
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=55243

you can read also how MS can stop this: simply changing to an more appropiate (low) price their products when the damage grow.

Happy New Year!

Guillermo
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

"To give an analogy, it is possible that the girl I'm after may chuck her current paramour for me any time now. But that doesn't allow me to kidnap him and lock him up in a bedroom with all the doors and windows sealed, particularly after I've been bound over in court for doing the same thing to the partner of the last girl I had the hots for."

[Philo backs nervously away from Stephen...]

Philo
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

"Here is why i come to that conclusion:

1: Mozilla is a much better browser than IE and has been for a while

2: Given 1, If there was fair competition, IE would have lost significant market share to Mozilla

3: It hasn't.

Therefore, there is not fair competition in the web browser market. By bundling IE with its monopoly Windows product, Microsoft keeps the better browser from gaining market share. "

Regardless of what you think about the Microsoft vs Netscape antitrust case, it is a fallacy to say that given fair competition, the superior product would win.  That is often not the case, because there are other factors involved.  Besides things like marketing, consumer loyalty, etc, you also have issues defining "superior".  In many ways Mozilla is superior to IE.  In other ways (such as rendering pages written for IE which Mozilla still can have problems with), IE is superior.  There are many small programs available that provide most of the primary benefits of mozilla (popup blocking, tabbed browsing) with the IE rendering engine.  Given all this, it is not at all clear that Mozilla is the "superior" product (in fact on Windows I currently use Avant Browser, one of the aforementioned wrappers on the IE engine, because in my experience it works better than Mozilla).

But the fact is, even in the absense of monopolistic actions, the "superior" product often does not in fact win (though as I mentioned, defining which product is "superior" is usually not a trivial thing to do, as different people have different priorities)

Mike McNertney
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Dennis writes:
"and by formulated some extremely hostile licensing plans and offensive stances towards business (like forcing you to buy a desktop license for every machine in your organization even if you're buying them pre-loaded from Dell)."

What does this mean?  Is this referring to saving money under the open licensing agreement?

Brian R.
Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Who gets the product keys, anyway?  Does the IT person have to call up Dell, etc. to know their product key, or does it come w/the new PC?

Sorry, I've never purchased a brand name PC w/OEM SW.

Brian R.
Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Dear Brian R,
                    There are a couple of things here. Basically a company that has all its software licensed from MS can find that it still has to pay Dell for the copy of XP installed because MS has an arrangement with many computer manufacturers that they will not sell computers without a license.

                      The second matter has to do with cloning. Most companies install cloned images of software on lots of different machines. Obviously this produces problems with product activation and MS has been known to say that if you clone a copy of Xp that does not require product activation, such as the corporate version, then you must pay again for the license even though you are cloning it to a machne for which you already have a valid XP license. I don't know the exact situiation with this, and I suspect it varies from country to country since different legislations interpret the licensing info differently, but I reckon it will lose MS more money in the mid and long term than it will manage to collect at the moment.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, December 31, 2003

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