SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

More Microsoft Bashing (Not Really, But the ‘Softies Will Think So)

Posted by Bob Warfield on November 23, 2007

I’ve written before and gotten a lot of comments on what I call “Microsoft’s Expensive Rift With the Web“.  Many of the commenters mistakenly thought I was positioning Java against .NET and bashing Microsoft.  I don’t as Microsoft Bashing so much as identifying an area where their tactics are hurting Microsoft more than the competition.  In reality, I was lamenting that Microsoft’s “winner take all” view of everything makes their life more difficult than it has to be in these times of Open Source. 

Stowe Boyd passes along a similar article that Matt Asay wrote that has a good way of showing how their approach as applied to the Office Suite Wars Part II (they won Part I) is their Achilles Heel.  In essence, his view is that Microsoft is fighting the new war with the old tactics.  They’re fighting a rear guard action to hold on with the desktop when they hsould be fighting to win the Office in the Clouds War.  Shades of Dunkirk if they aren’t careful.

Then there’s this edgy (sorry, no pun intended!) comment from Umair Haque:

No one’s gonna give up preference info to a player like Microsoft – because no one trusts Microsoft. And trust is at the heart of value creation in the edgeconomy.

Part of the problem I’m writing about is this trust issue.  And the lack of trust comes when a company tries to hard to make themselves a winner by making everyone else the loser.  As Haque puts it:

The fundamental problem is that Microsoft is playing massconomy games in an edgeconomy. Coercion doesn’t work; closure doesn’t work; and, most definitely of all, evil doesn’t work.

And those games are wired into it’s DNA. Microsoft will never – ever – pioneer new market space, explode a value proposition, or redesign a value chain.

The one place I think I’ll disagree with Umair is that I hate to ever say never.  The guys at Microsoft are smart.  They just haven’t been able to learn a new strategy.  But maybe with enough new faces there will be a new strategy.  Time will tell.

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Take heart, Microsofties.  I think Oracle will more likely be slaughtered first by the Cloud than Microsoft Office.

3 Responses to “More Microsoft Bashing (Not Really, But the ‘Softies Will Think So)”

  1. More Microsoft Bashing (Not Really, But the ‘Softies Will Think So)

    Interesting point at smoothspan.wordpress.com

  2. klunernet said

    I must agree with you on the point that the Guys at Microsoft are smart. Specially the techs are. I think the techs would love to try something new. More often then not, it’s the management types who run interference there.

    Now, not to be a management basher, but I think for one, Microsoft could do better with a new CEO. Steve Ballmer is still relic from a distant past. His attitude towards Open Source (which he always seems to call ‘Linux’) is something from the middle ages, definitely not a way of thinking a CEO of a major company should entertain.

    I think that Microsoft will learn eventually, and most people will rant, complain, yell about that too. Because they will think Microsoft will do the old Embrace, Extend, Extinguish dance again. If Microsoft is truly smart, they will prevent doing that. But changing ‘a way of life’ is always hard to do.

    Interesting times lay ahead, for people like me, who are in the Open Source camp, and for people like the Microsoft crowd, who don’t dare think Open Source right now, but even so, Microsoft has started taking small steps in the direction of the Open Source crowd.

  3. […] that you’re either all-Microsoft or no-Microsoft is my “web rift”.  I’ve written about this a couple of times before, and it never fails to raise the ire of some Microsoft fan or […]

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