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Microsoft: The Faint Smell of Rot

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the could-happen dept.

Microsoft 903

happycorp writes "A business reporter for ABC/Fortune is asking whether Microsoft is poised to collapse, based on years of industry observation (with successful calls in the past, he notes) rather than purely technical considerations. A short read, with this favorite quote: "if you sniff the air, you can just make out the first hints of rot.""

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903 comments

ABC Columnist Confirms: Something Is Rotting (5, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647832)

This kind of "insight" can be applied to almost every company, and it's about as good as Colin Fry's cold reading ("wait, I think I smell something back there...").

It will however be interesting to see if Microsoft may one day break up voluntarily into different operating units, and thrive in different areas independantly.

Re:ABC Columnist Confirms: Something Is Rotting (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647905)

Indeed. Microsoft is making record profits, and you people say it's beginning to "rot?" Wishful thinking, to say to least.

Re:ABC Columnist Confirms: Something Is Rotting (2, Informative)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648016)

growth is way down in the OS and office departments

Re:ABC Columnist Confirms: Something Is Rotting (3, Insightful)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648075)

It will however be interesting to see if Microsoft may one day break up voluntarily into different operating units, and thrive in different areas independantly.

I expected this to be happening arround... well, now, a couple of years ago. Microsoft has a lot of crappy products, but excellent ones aswell. Hardware is the first one thats pops in my mind, and also Games (specially after the X-Box).

Anyway, don't expect Microsoft to collapse any time soon. Even if they manage to fuck up for years in a row, they've a cushion of pure cash to lay on for quite a while.

Um... (1, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647836)

I don't think it's "rot" that you're smelling...

Hmm.. let me guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647868)

is it filthy lucre? [popealien.com]

Re:Um... (2, Funny)

Randy Wang (700248) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648001)

You're right - it's probably just formaldehyde.

Collapse? (4, Insightful)

2advanced.net (849238) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647837)

They've got enough cash in the bank to run the business for decades if they never made another cent ... They may not be the 800lb gorilla, but I don't know how you could possible predict a collapse.

Re:Collapse? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647911)

The money is largely gone. Special dividend.

Re:Collapse? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647913)

Um, I bet the shareholders would like their money invested somewhere else if the company stopped making profit. That scenario of spending all the cash reserves to keep going for several years just for the heck of it thus isn't likely.

Re:Collapse? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647960)

Well if you read the article you will notice that he said they would die a SLOW death like DEC.

However you raise an interesting point, is all of that money saved in some bank or is it the investors money? if all that money comes from the stock market than a bank, then if a certain number of people with a decent set of it decide to take their investment somewhere else where does that leave Microsoft?

(warning I really don't know anything about such things, but speculating, just observing if their money isn't theres then realistically they can't stay afloat as long as you say)

Re:Collapse? (3, Funny)

PoopJuggler (688445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648002)

I'm not sure the shareholders would be too keen on that

Re:Collapse? (2, Insightful)

Dasch (832632) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648048)

They've got enough cash in the bank to run the business for decades if they never made another cent ... They may not be the 800lb gorilla, but I don't know how you could possible predict a collapse.


I bet they said the exact same thing about Enron...

You can "collapse" and still be rich (5, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648094)

They've got enough cash in the bank to run the business for decades if they never made another cent ...
Which means nothing to a publically held business. If you start to screw up badly, having a lot of cash actually works against you. Your investors are not going to let you squander your assets on a business plan that isn't working. If you're a small company, your investors may well shut you down, since your assets are worth more liquidated than they could ever be as a long term investment.

Of course, Microsoft is too big for that to happen. But "collapse" doesn't necessarily (or even usually) mean total disappearance. It more often means mass firings, loss of market share, plummeting stock price. As happened at SGI.

Speaking of SGI, I worked there during their waning days as a graphic workstation powerhouse. When people talked about where the company went wrong, a common theme was this: Wall Street fell in love with SGI and threw money at the company. All that cash helped them avoid measuring risks carefully or look for efficient ways to do things. By the time money ran short and it was obvious SGI had to reform, it was too late to claim a permanent place in key markets.

That's different from Microsoft, of course, since MS's pile of cash comes from their tithe on every PC sold. But the effect on corporate culture is the same. Cash can be toxic to a good organization.

Re:Collapse? (3, Insightful)

hawx54 (858674) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648108)

It's kind of sad when an OS company can't fail because "it has a lot of money in the bank" instead of because "its OS is actually good and people really like it."

FP!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647840)

Nothing to say really ..

What 8=========D (-1, Troll)

theJerk242 (778433) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647845)

Look at me! I'm on teh salshdort! I hate microsoft! I hate bush! blah blah blah! I'd suck CowBoyNeals cock any day of the week! blah blah blah! Pee in my anus! Oh nooo.....here comes the GNAA!!!! I'm gonna mod you down because you said things I don't like! So spunk on my face n00b!

That was my impression of the basic slahdotter.

Uh huh (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647849)

Apple and Sun will be gone by the end of the year. IBM will collapse under its own weight, Nintendo will be out of business any day now, BSD is dead....

Same crap, different company.

Re:Uh huh (1)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647934)

Five years ago it was a source of pride to go to work for the Evil Empire -- now, who cares? It's just Motorola with wetter winters.

really, huh? 5 years ago == start of 2000 == when windows 98, the most unstable OS (until windows ME cames out), was still the most popular OS on the market.

they put millions of people through half a decade of BSOD's and such. They had no respect, no love. People still make jokes about them to this date even though Win2k/XP is stable.

Let me ask you, when someone comes up to you and says "I work at Microsoft" , what is your first reaction?

Re:Uh huh (4, Funny)

blixel (158224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648091)

Let me ask you, when someone comes up to you and says "I work at Microsoft" , what is your first reaction?

I'm sorry.

Re:Uh huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11648093)

Let me ask you, when someone comes up to you and says "I work at Microsoft" , what is your first reaction?

My second reaction is to offer to pay for their cleaning bill, after I uncontrollably vomit all over them.

Re:Uh huh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11648104)

Let me ask you, when someone comes up to you and says "I work at Microsoft" , what is your first reaction?
Most slashdotters would probably piss their pants, since they would have to be outside of their mother's basement for that to happen. For all of the trash talking that they do, I bet most anti-microsoft slashdotters would be quiet as a mouse when face to face with some microsoft programmer.

Re:Uh huh (4, Interesting)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647939)

Wang will be around forever. Enron does so much enery business, they will never fall. Worldcom has the numbers to survive. Compaq will never collapse under its own weight. Sega makes great games and a great 32 bit console, they will be around forever....

Need more examples? Point is: ANYTHING can die.

Anderson Consulting (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648013)

'Nuff said, about forever.

Re:Uh huh (1)

PoopJuggler (688445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648035)

If it bleeds, we can kill it.

Re:Uh huh (1)

CumInHerTaco (702472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648041)

Wang will be around forever.

"Whoo wanta some wang?!" -Lo Wang

Sorry, couldn't resist... :)

Re:Uh huh (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648069)

"Worldcom has the numbers to survive. Compaq will never collapse under its own weight. Sega makes great games and a great 32 bit console, they will be around forever...."

Worldcom is still around, they just changed their name to MCI. Compaq merged with HP to form one of the largest computer companies in the world. Sega is a major player in independant development, particularly for mobile phones.

None of the companies you listed, except Enron, "died". The Microsoft of today is not the Microsoft of 1995, and it won't be the Microsoft of 2015.

I have no doubts, though, that Microsoft will still be around in 2015.

Re:Uh huh (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648089)

You know what the biggest companies (and the then thought to be best investments)in the world were 75 years ago? Railroads. They succeeded following a dotcom like boom and bust 100 years before and had become huge, go look at what spun out of railroads or was financed by directly or indirectly a rail road company. 50 years ago it was american autos that were kings of the hill, again go look at all the other businesses and industries they produced. Before railroads it was whale oil companies that were the height of business organization and innovation, 50 years from now some kids will invent an industry and the computer companies will be like Kansas City Southern (which was still widely followed until 1999, because they owned the parent company of Janus mutual funds).
The economist took a look at the oldest comapnies on earth, most were asian and the only one with a brand I could recall was Kikkomen (the soy sauce company). I think it was 400 years old or so. Not so much that anything can die, but that eventually everything does.

Re:Uh huh (2, Insightful)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647988)

Nobody is suggesting that Microsoft is going to fold up. Just that they won't occupy the kind of dominant position that they do today. That certainly has happened in IBM's case... remember the days when the phrase "IBM PC or compatible" was commonplace? IBM is still a very large, very successful company but they're just one of many players now instead of the clear leader. I would be very surprised if the same didn't happen in Microsoft's case.

Just think about where it would leave Microsoft if Longhorn gets the ho-hum reception that MSN search got, and it is unable to continue to prevent PC manufacturers from shipping other OSes (or OS-less PCs) when OEM contracts come up for renewal.

Its certainly not a stretch to see Microsoft fall from where they are. They certainly have room to fall pretty far and still remain a very profitable and successful company... just without the kind of dominance they have at the monent.

Wait here it comes... (2, Funny)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647853)

Apple is going to be dead by the end of the year.

Re:Wait here it comes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11648109)

i think you're talking about the pope

Wow- An anti-microsoft person think MS about todie (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647854)

What a revelation. Next up people that hate cities think small towns are wave of future.

Re:Wow- An anti-microsoft person think MS about to (1)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648030)

And I suppose you have other examples of his writing that suggest the author hates Microsoft? Or are you just slinging mud without basis... you know... the thing that Darl McBride catches so much flak around here for doing?

Re:Wow- An anti-microsoft person think MS about to (1)

anonymous_wombat (532191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648073)

You meant this as a joke, but there was an article the other day talking about how some software companies are sending work to places like Jonesboro, Arkansas or Oklahoma City because it is no more expensive than offshoring to India.

It's hard to even make a decent joke anymore.

Zonk, wtf? (-1, Offtopic)

Speare (84249) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647855)

I know this will be modded off-topic, but is there any particularly good reason the whole front page is filled with stories posted by a single editor? How long do you go into hybernation between these spasms of dupe-and-bore postings?

Re:Zonk, wtf? (0, Offtopic)

oneiron (716313) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648086)

I remember a similar episode with samzenpus a couple of weeks ago. It was actually much worse...

Dear Homos (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647856)

Please pick up a copy of Van Halen One.
Beat thyselves about the head and neck with the album sleeve.
Kneel before Roth. He is your one true master.
Live!
All Dave. All Night.
It's DAAAAAAAVE TV!
Fuck all y'all.

What's that smell? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647857)

What's that smell?
Do I smell home cooking?
It's only the river...
It's only the river...

With 34.50B, how can they fail? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647859)

They just gave away 60 billion to stock holders and still have 34.5 billion with zero debt.

Re:With 34.50B, how can they fail? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647953)

Dear lying Queer,
Please pick up a copy of Van Halen One.
Beat thyselves about the head and neck with the album sleeve.
Kneel before Roth. He is your one true master. Live!
All Dave. All Night.
It's DAAAAAAAVE TV!
I have a king dong
Fuck all y'all.

Assuming everything went wrong for MS ... (4, Insightful)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647883)

A company that has more cash reserves than the GNP of a couple of Eastern-European countries taken together, is gonna take a looong time to fall.

Esp. when its flagship products are monopolies.

Re:Assuming everything went wrong for MS ... (2, Insightful)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648085)

A company that has more cash reserves than the GNP of a couple of Eastern-European countries taken together, is gonna take a looong time to fall.

That presumes that the people who own it would be willing to spend their "profit" to allow it to fall slowly.

My money would be on greed and a run on the Microsoft bank when (if) the time comes.

Um,,, Ok... (1)

MSFanBoi (695480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647885)

The freaks have been saying Microsoft (or in Slashdot speak M$), has been going under for years now. yet somehow they keep making more money Q after Q...

You could have said this... (4, Informative)

tmk (712144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647888)

...about the Roman Empire in the time of Julius Caesar. But it took several hundert years until it collapsed.

Re:You could have said this... (3, Insightful)

surefooted1 (838360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647989)

...about the Roman Empire in the time of Julius Caesar. But it took several hundred years until it collapsed.

All empires will fall in due time. Not just MS. IBM, Sun, Wal-mart, The U.S., E.U., etc. The same thing can be said about any dominant business, technology, country, etc.

Re:You could have said this... (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648021)

Yes all empires will fall, but hopefully in our case instead of the US or the EU falling, maybe they can create a new greater empire.

Re:You could have said this... (1)

ATN (630862) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647998)

Ah but it collapsed, it is this knowledge that brings a little bit of hope to my heart.

Re:You could have said this... (2, Interesting)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648015)

in those days, how long did it take news to travel from one side of the empire to the other? how about today?

in those days, how many people's loyalty was just a matter of thinking they were a good empire to invest in and could always pull out their entire investment within seconds? how many believed in the empire's principles, not just its bottom line? how about today?

in those days, how much of life was based on the empire? how many deaths would be caused by the empire's collapse? how about today?

Re:You could have said this... (0, Flamebait)

grazzy (56382) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648059)

Could you give me your dealers number?

Re:You could have said this... (3, Funny)

rsborg (111459) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648057)

...about the Roman Empire in the time of Julius Caesar. But it took several hundert years until it collapsed.

I wouldn't neccessarily compare Steve "MonkeyDance" Ballmer with Julius Ceaser. Maybe more like Nero or Caligula...

Re:You could have said this... (3, Insightful)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648078)

actually, wasn't the reason the roman empire fell because their armies were too thinly stretched all over the place?

kinda like microsoft trying to move into every market it can

well, he might be an expert (1, Interesting)

Doomie (696580) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647891)

... and he might have a good sense of smell, but he certainly has problems with English -- [...]and all I managed to do was make myself persona non-gratis at HP -- even though he wrote for WSJ/Forbes/whatever.

Re:well, he might be an expert (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647952)

Well, problems with his Latin anyway.

Re:well, he might be an expert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11648080)

No no... that means that he started charging them! You misunderstood.

Re:well, he might be an expert (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648076)


persona non-gratis

does that mean journalists DON'T want to be free?

I'll believe him when... (3, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647894)

I'll belive him when...

...he has massively shorted MSFT.

Re:I'll believe him when... (1)

Geekenstein (199041) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648105)

No, that is when you DON'T believe a journalist, or a stock analyst.

MS is dying? (5, Funny)

tool462 (677306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647895)

I won't believe it until Netcraft confirms it.

Odd smile (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647897)

The moans you hear in the backround when able to post this new article's headline is not what you think, yes, that's right it's actually an ENTIRE orgy of circle jerking, not just a few cubicle loners.

So tell me another one. (3, Interesting)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647898)

Yeah, and in late 2004 the Register posted that Microsoft was about to file for bankruptcy.

(FYI, no B.S.: That article is printed, laminated, and behind a case in one of Microsoft's lobbies.)

Re:So tell me another one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11648103)

I call BS... that story would have been immediately posted on slashdot and duped a few times the following week :-)

Money can undo all the damages! (1)

SilicaiMan (856076) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647900)

With that much cash in the bank, I doubt if Microsoft will go away any time soon. They can easily buy some successful company in a different, yet related, industry and go on if the need arises.


Potential candidates might be Nvidia, ATI, AMD, Symantec, etc .. Hell, I would say they can even go for RedHat or Novell!

I'll believe it when I see it. (2, Insightful)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647903)

Microsoft is dying, the same way that Apple and FreeBSd are Dying.

I'd surely be socked if they did die. But I'd bet money they won't. In fact, I have.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it. (1)

EugeneK (50783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647972)

I'm waiting for Netcraft to confirm it.

root (5, Funny)

Swedentom (670978) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647904)

"The faint smell of root" :-D

Re:root (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647938)

Do you mean to imply they're firmly setting their forseable future into the nice rich soil? Surely, they're rooted, firm and solid. A'ye'sir'e they is.

Re:root (3, Funny)

Swedentom (670978) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648007)

No, I mean to imply I have root access to their servers, and they're indeed going to collapse, from the inside and out.

rm -rf /

Haha, they're going down! No wait... root? This can't be Microsoft's server, it's UNIX? Uh-oh... no... NOO!

[Connection lost]

Re:root (2, Funny)

IthnkImParanoid (410494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648017)

Isn't root Australian slang for "have sex"?

If the smell of root is "faint", you ain't doing it right.

A short read? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647924)

% lynx -dump "http://abcnews.go.com/Business/print?id=88655" | wc
190 1650 10463

Smell of rot (5, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647937)

I'm sorry. That was me.

Re:Smell of rot (1)

drdanny_orig (585847) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647958)

If I had modpoints, you'd get a +1 Funny from me. Thanks for the laugh.

Comparison? (5, Interesting)

Saige (53303) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647948)

Five years ago it was a source of pride to go to work for the Evil Empire -- now, who cares? It's just Motorola with wetter winters.

Umm... no. Definitely not.

As I went from the latter to the former, I can tell you there's a lot of difference. Motorola is bogged down, lacking excitement in teams that should be excited. The place was being "SEI/CMM Level 5"'ed and "Six Sigma"'ed to death. The personality of the employees and teams was as interesting as the endless rows of slate gray cubicles. And it was horrid to take an internal class on Perl, and see experienced software developers that couldn't finish a simple basic program in 20 minutes that I had finished before the instructor was done explaining.

At Microsoft, I'm excited about my job and the product I'm working on in ways I never was before. I'm more impressed by both the knowledge and passion of the people here than I ever was at Motorola. It's nothing like anything I saw in my 6 1/2 years at Motorola.

I don't mean to sound like a MS cheerleader here, I just want to make it clear that this is definitely not a valid comparison to anyone who has spent any significant time inside the two companies.

Oh, and the winter here is a hell of a lot better, even if it wetter. And the summers... wow.

uhm... no? (0, Flamebait)

dioscaido (541037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647950)

notion suddenly appeared in my mind: Microsoft is dying What?! Even with all the horrible press in 2004 due to all the security issues, MS increased profit by 11 billion dollars... How is this "dying"?

Even so, do I really need to nitpick this uninformed fool's words? It's 95% opinion, and 5% conjecture. Why on earth did this article get green lighted?

Re:uhm... no? (1)

3nuff (824173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648042)

It's 95% opinion, and 5% conjecture.

That is why it says "Commentary by" near the title of TFA.

This dude is just trying to get a few clicks for his news service, which I'm sure is happening since this is on /.

The Mighty Oak (1)

hardburlyboogerman (161244) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647961)

does not show any weakness until the storm breaks it in two and exposes the rotting core.Same thing goes for Micro$oft.On the outside,looks like it allways did,inside,dying or dead.
This may not be such a bad thing either.

FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11647964)

And one really expects better from the open-source community.

Rot = Market Saturation (5, Insightful)

reporter (666905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647966)

Microsoft's plight is closer to market saturation than it is to rot. Consider what would happen to General Motors (GM) if it almost wiped out all of its competitors in the automobile industry and captured 99% of the market. The remaining 1% goes to the barely surviving competitors. In that case, GM's rapid growth will slow to a crawl. That crawl would essentially be just the sales associated with replacements.

The situation for Microsoft is somewhat worse than GM in our example. Consider Microsoft Word 6.0. Unlike an automobile that wears out, breaks down, and needs to be replaced, Word 6.0 has eternal life. It does not ever wear out. After you have used Word 6.0 for 15 years, Word 6.0 works just as well as it worked 15 years ago.

So, you have no need to replace Word 6.0 unless you want to upgrade. For most people, the upgrade is unnecessary because Word 6.0 already has all the features that you need.

Other software programs have the same "problem". Microsoft has so relentlessly added feature after feature to its products in order to capture most of the marketshare that most consumers now have no further need for additional features.

The only way for Microsoft to grow is to enter into other markets. Hence, you see Bill Gate's fist print in the gaming market as Microsoft pushes the XBox. Unfortunately for Microsoft, there is no guarantee of success in markets beyond the computer-software market.

As a side note, Microsoft will continue to invest heavily in R&D in order to enhance the likelihood of success in those other markets. I would not rule out the possibility of buying Bell Laboratories.

An anonymous underground internet? (-1, Offtopic)

caluml (551744) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647975)

Interested in joining an anonymous, underground internet?
http://meta.fshell.org/ [fshell.org]

Dvorak thinks so... (1)

null etc. (524767) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647976)

This article isn't nearly as amusing as John Dvorak's article claiming that Microsoft will totally disolve in 10 years.

Sure fire way to make MS fail (5, Funny)

DuctTape (101304) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647977)

I have the sure-fire way to make Microsoft fail: I'll invest in it. My history with investments is legend: Iomega, Syquest, Alcatel, to name some.

As soon as the market opens on Monday, I'll buy a few hundred shares, and watch the tumble.

Get out while you can.

DT

Microsoft: The Faint Smell of Rot (1)

alxc (853960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647995)

Interesting read,but I wonder how long the end will take.I'm no fan of MS,but they do have a track record.

Here we go again (0)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11647999)

The Linux Information Minister is speaking

not likely (1)

BeerMilkshake (699747) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648003)


I have gone to some lengths to try to introduce non-Microsoft products to various clients. I have tried the wedge approach of introducing simple effective tools that work within Windows (e.g. Firefox, Thunderbird, OOo, cygwin, Apache) but have had little success.

It is a serious uphill battle. How can MS collapse with so many organizations 'programmed' to buy their products?

The Sky Is FALLING!!! (2, Funny)

litewoheat (179018) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648012)

Yeah, wasn't Apple dead too? Like what, three times now?

It kind of seems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11648014)

that seeing three articles about the "company" on the front page of Slashdot sorta stinks. Any publicity is good publicity as long as you get the name right. That guy Oedipus comes to mind for some reason. This obsession is disturbing.

Prediction ? (1)

nahnkari (732424) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648018)

Maybe we could try http://www.deathclock.com/ [deathclock.com] .

Put a BMI of 90 or something...fat bastards.

When you're the environment, not the competition (5, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648027)

Microsoft is where IBM was in the old days. The excitement that lures glamor-seeking job applicants can't last when you've already grown to fill your entire ecosystem. Ditto the press buzz.

In other words, where Malone sees senility, he may actually be looking at maturity.

Not a problem, really (4, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648032)

Microsoft will just buy Glade, the company that makes plug-in air fresheners.

Your computer will emit a little wisp of air freshener [gladewisp.com] the mext time you smell a hint of rot.

You will actually look forward to seeing Clippy...

In other news.... (2, Funny)

pploco (694950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648034)

The earth would appear to be eroding away by massive solar winds. Scientists predict the earth to be completely disintegrated in 20 to 30 billion years.

A simple prediction (4, Insightful)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648043)

In 15 years, employers will no longer expect your resume to be in Microsoft Word format.

I think Microsoft will become like J.P. Morgan: still huge, still important, but not what it was.

Somewhat amusing quote from the article: (1)

The Fink (300855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648044)

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

I know this is the same kind of thing that you'd find on any column, but given the material, I just found it somewhat... apropos.

A bit of the obvious (4, Interesting)

TimmyDee (713324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648045)

Certainly this was written to get a bit of attention, but in a way he's just foreshadowing what happens to most businesses, especially those that grow as large as Microsoft has. A brief look through history will confirm this.

AT&T is a good example. Although they were "broken" by an anti-trust suit, they actually volunteered to spin off the Baby Bells as a concession. In their minds, networking and computers were the future. In a way, AT&T had it all going for them. They ditched the tedious Baby Bell system to jump headfirst into a sector that absolutely exploded. Tons of people thought AT&T was the unstoppable 800 lb. gorilla that once it entered the computing/networking segment, it would just dominate it. History, however, has proved us wrong and now AT&T is about to be consumed by one of its children in an odd sort of Darwinist/Oedipal freak of the market economy.

Now, I'm not saying MS will tank tomorrow or even five years from now. What I am saying is that there's always something that destabilizes the status quo. It could be something that they don't see coming; it could even be something they see coming but can't properly react to. In any case, the inevitable will happen and MS will fall. Some day.

Smell My Sig (1)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648056)


It seems on-topic, I think.

I smell something different... (4, Funny)

Alakaboo (171129) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648062)

If you sniff the air, you can just make out the first hints of sensationalistic journalism.

Thats not rot (1)

holzp (87423) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648067)

Thats not rot, thats the smell from the other side of the door where a bunch of their engineers are in a room working their asses off to create something great.

Keep in mind... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11648070)

...that this same columnist called [go.com] some time ago for the shutdown and liquidation of Sun Microsystems.

As far as I can tell, "Gloom and Doom" seems to be his usual mode of operation.

nonsense (2, Insightful)

teh_dg (800496) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648079)

Linux and Firefox hold the world's imagination these days, not Windows and Explorer.
A small fraction of the computer-using world have even heard of Linux, and of those who have, a huge majority can only imagine, because they have never directly used it.

MS have lost some of their dominance, and will lose a little more. They wont collapse any time soon, not while they have real prospect of a decent P/E ratio and not unless something really amazing comes along to do REAL harm to Windows, Office et al. Famous last words and all that, but such amazing things are unpredictable almost by default.

MS seems to be having poor "leadership and vision" right now, these things come and go. The smell has probably been there since they moved out of Gates' garage, such things dont come and go so easily.

"persona non-gratis"? "cynosure"? (1)

aristus (779174) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648090)

Is he beta-testing the new version of ViaVoice?

Sniffing the air: (0, Troll)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648097)

"if you sniff the air, you can just make out the first hints of rot."

No that is just the huge sweat patches on monkey boys shirt.

stinky monkey:

"Developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers *wheeze* developers developers!"

One quick comment: (2, Funny)

alex_guy_CA (748887) | more than 9 years ago | (#11648101)

Wishing doesn't make it so.
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