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