Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Paul Graham Claims "Microsoft is Dead"

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the don't-fear-the-reaper dept.

Microsoft 536

netbuzz writes "He doesn't mean dead as in six feet under, but rather that the software giant no longer instills the kind of fear — particularly among entrepreneurs — that it did back in the day when it was making road kill out of companies like Netscape. Microsoft obits have been around for almost as long as the company, but Graham's stature, style and devoted following are likely to make this one a classic."

cancel ×

536 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

It's not dead yet (5, Funny)

scwizard (941758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646207)

But if it keeps releasing "upgrades" that serve to only make your computer slower and slower then it will be soon.

Re:It's not dead yet (2, Insightful)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646253)

As long as they keep making new proprietary protocols, formats, etc and people keep accepting them, Microsoft will continue to dominate the market. Sadly people on the whole are no more against them today, then they were ten years ago. Just look at how quickly .NET has become a popular.

Re:It's not dead yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646569)

It's dead, Jim.

Re:It's not dead yet (4, Funny)

trewornan (608722) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646599)

No, it's life but not as we know it.

Re:It's not quite dead yet (4, Funny)

geobeck (924637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646753)

"I'm getting better."

"No you're not; you'll be stone dead in a moment."

"I think I'll go for a walk."

"Look, you're not fooling anyone."

"I feel happy..."

Interesting (2, Insightful)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646213)

I though people wanted MS to play nicer and I though MS theyself wanted to have a nicer image as well, because the old "aggressive" image was bad. So they do that and have a better nicer image now, and this is bad as well... hmm...

It Depends, Really (5, Interesting)

p3net (1085343) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646223)

While many large companies don't fear Microsoft as they used to, there are still multiple small ones who still have a fear of being swallowed whole or being beaten out of business. Microsoft, if nothing else, still has the power it needs in order to take another (smaller) companies ideas and launch them themselves, creating a hit and effectively driving their competition out of business.

Re:It Depends, Really (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646303)

He waves his hands in the air and says that profitability doesn't matter. I won't argue that. What does matter is that they are still adding more business than companies like Google(though they are losing that lead). In 2006, Google added slightly over 4 Billion dollars of revenues; Microsoft added 4.5 Billion. If Google can maintain it's growth rate, Microsoft is indeed in trouble, but it seems that Google's growth is more and more tied to growth in online advertising, as they have most of that market and don't seem to have much other business.

Re:It Depends, Really (2, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646353)

He waves his hands in the air and says that profitability doesn't matter. I won't argue that.

Why not? Perhaps he should be telling the 100,000+ plus former auto workers that profitability doesn't matter, and see what they have to say.

Re:It Depends, Really (3, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646641)

Different businesses. Software has huge margins compared to autos. Microsoft can go from being the number one software company with 65% margins to an also ran with 30% margins and still be mighty profitable in comparison to many other businesses.

Re:It Depends, Really (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646351)

I think that's the case in any industry, regardless of whether illegal anti-competitive activity takes place. Let's say I make a new style of light bulb that has a small but growing market share, such that GE notices that it's a lucrative market. I might not be making a big profit on it, but because GE has a more well-known name and possible economies of scales that I can't manage just because I'm small, those two factors mean that they can undercut me and put me out of the market unless I can add some other value that GE can't. It's a fact of life. It can also mean that they can help grow the market for everyone because more people know about that type of product.

The article sounded credible until I read. . . (4, Insightful)

idesofmarch (730937) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646241)

Thanks to OSX, Apple has come back from the dead in a way that is extremely rare in technology. Their victory is so complete that I'm now surprised when I come across a computer running Windows.
Come on, 4% market share and you are surprised when a computer does not run OSX?

4% of what? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646311)

what is 4%?, new units, or upgraded, oem or new customers... I read some article not long ago about how you can make %'s look like you want to.

m10

Re:4% of what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646677)

"82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot." Spike Milligan

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646313)

Yeah. That's complete BS.

For one, what turned Apple around was the iMac. It came out way before OS X did, wich was but a mere promisse at the time. OS X only became a relevant factor around Tiger. By that time, OS 9 was dead and the iMac (and the rest of the lineup: PowerBooks, iBooks and the G5) had put Apple back into the spotlight. The iPod locked it there and people (other than Mac followers like myself) started to take notice of Mac OS X around that time.

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646337)

Thanks to OSX, Apple has come back from the dead in a way that is extremely rare in technology. Their victory is so complete that I'm now surprised when I come across a computer running Windows.

Come on, 4% market share and you are surprised when a computer does not run OSX


Apparently, this is so in his circle, as he goes on to say.

But I think it's also a kind of rhetorical flourish: he's saying OS X is so much better, that it's hard to believe that people would choose something different. Of course, it's not, because people have all sorts of other reasons when they're buying than simply "What's the best solution on the desktop out there? I'll get that". But it gets his point across in a flamboyant way.

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (1)

muszek (882567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646579)

I've read in one of his essays (don't know which one, it was a long time ago) that he uses FreeBSD. It's possible that he switched to OS X since then, but I kinda doubt it.

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (2, Informative)

adamwright (536224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646363)

It depends entirely on the environment in which one works. At my university, it is very, very rare to see a Windows machine or laptop being used by academic staff. Offices are probably 80% Mac, 15% Linux, 5% Windows. I am certainly surprised every time I see a Windows machine there!

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646473)

I once took a little tour of the Salk Institute near San Diego, CA. Very unscientific, but if peeking into offices and labs has any relevance they are/were heavy Mac and Linux. Didn't see a single Windows screen anywhere *I* could look-see. Maybe some serious Solaris running in the basement too.

As long as I'm stumping; I prefer and use FreeBSD, but I'm not a limelight kinda guy.

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (3, Insightful)

sanity_slipping (514239) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646383)

The next few sentences in that paragraph clarifies what he said:

"All the computer people use Macs or Linux now ... no one who cares about computers uses Microsoft's anyway."

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (2, Insightful)

BlueStraggler (765543) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646389)

If you're not spending your time working in Dilbert land, or maintaining the computers of your inexpert family and friends, then yes, absolutely. Windows is for PCs that don't matter to the future of computing, and its marketshare in the segments that do matter is nowhere remotely close to 96%.

And this is a relatively new trend.

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (0, Troll)

limecat4eva (1055464) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646411)

I can't speak for Mr. Graham, but I know my friends and I all use Macs, and always have. I've actually never seen any of my friends buy a new PC. Of course, I live in Brooklyn; prevailing attitudes towards operating systems must surely differ in red-state East Jesus...

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (1)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646763)

prevailing attitudes towards operating systems must surely differ in red-state East Jesus...
Of course, because we all know that God uses Windows.

Look at it from Graham's Perspective (4, Interesting)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646417)

Come on, 4% market share and you are surprised when a computer does not run OSX?

I think that tells you a lot about Paul Graham's everyday environment. He's working with startups, he's trying to put together teams of the bright and innovative, and what he's finding is that most of these people are not using Microsoft software.

I suppose you have to allow for a bit of statistical bias there. Since Mr, Graham is (presumably) involved in selecting these people, it's entirely possible that a subconscious selection criteria might be "doesn't do windows" or something similar.

Even so, I think he's got a point. How much of that market share is down to corporations who bulk-order generic beige boxes based on buying guidelines that are fifteen to twenty years old? How much is down to private homes where someone wanted to "get a computer" without realising there was a choice, or where the major criteria was that it should be "the same as the one at work".

It wouldn't surprise me at all to find that the Microsoft market share among the up-and-coming wave of computer innovators is actually very slim. And if that is in fact the case, Microsoft should indeed be worried.

Re:Look at it from Graham's Perspective (0)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646653)

Well, you have to realize that he's working with startups that are awash in free VC money. These are the same companies that *usually* (most startups fail) spend millions on offices, salaries, office equipment, and never make a dime. These companies are all about hype, and not necessarily about producing anything. And hey, what's more stylish than to have Apple logos all around the office, declaring to the world that "I can afford to buy overpriced computers!"?

Re:Look at it from Graham's Perspective (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646709)

Real Mac users don't use Macs for the image. Real Mac users didn't just buy their Macs last week at Hot Topic. We've been here on the Mac platform since 1984 and believe me, we hate the recent influx of switcheurs almost as much as we don't give a damn about PC users.

Re:Look at it from Graham's Perspective (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646713)

"I think that tells you a lot about Paul Graham's everyday environment. He's working with startups, he's trying to put together teams of the bright and innovative, and what he's finding is that most of these people are not using Microsoft software. "

Sure, "Bright and innovative" people only use Macs. Buy a Mac and you can be bright and innovative too!

Re:Look at it from Graham's Perspective (2, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646889)

Sure, "Bright and innovative" people only use Macs. Buy a Mac and you can be bright and innovative too!

Well, speaking as a died-in-the-wool penguin-head, I'd obviously have to dispute that :)

Tell you what, think of it in terms of zeitgeist [wikipedia.org] . In the 90s MS had it, and the prospered, due in no small part to the fact that everyone wanted to use Windows. These days, I don't think they do, and I think the talent in the industry is starting to look elsewhere.

Re:Look at it from Graham's Perspective (3, Interesting)

geobeck (924637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646831)

How much of that market share is down to corporations who bulk-order generic beige boxes based on buying guidelines that are fifteen to twenty years old?

More importantly, buying guidelines that say "we need Office, therefore we need Windows", "it's what everyone else uses", "it's the industry standard", "we don't want to retrain everyone on a completely new system"

All of those points have some merit, but none of them are insurmountable. On the other hand, the managers who fear retraining hassles the most are the ones who haven't figured out that it's possible to put e-mail somewhere other than your inbox, that resizing a picture in Word does not reduce its file size, that file != folder, and that an effective presentation does not consist of 120 slides with copy-pasted paragraphs and tacky clip art.

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (3, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646433)

Come on, 4% market share and you are surprised when a computer does not run OSX?
The last number I saw was that Macs now counted for 6% of new PC sales. 6% is huge from a historical perspective, especially given the bulk of new PC purchases are businesses that usually lag the trend.

And I think his point was just that among innovators and edge pushers, Windows is rare -- would anyone really argue with that? While I don't think OS X owns that arena (Linux obviously being another major choice), I don't think you're going to find many installs of Vista.

While I disagree with some of Paul's points, ultimately I think he is absolutely right -- Microsoft's initiatives over the past couple of years have almost entirely been duds. No one really cares what Microsoft is doing, except when they know that it's going to be forced on them (Vista), which is remarkably different than how it has historically been. What do you know -- I just wrote about this [yafla.com] .

The world is getting to be a much better place when Microsoft is freed to compete on actual merit, and not just one division hobbling another based upon the belief that they were their only real competition.

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646769)

"And I think his point was just that among innovators and edge pushers, Windows is rare -- would anyone really argue with that?"

Sure, I'd take that argument. Innovation isn't about what brand of computer you use any more that it's about what brand of telephone you use. These are just tools.

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646639)

4 percent marketshare is generally considered worldwide.
And to be honest, I think that 95% Microsoft marketshare is inaccurate. I know that there are a lot more Linux users in Europe and Asia than media reports.
Furthermore, I would not be surprised if 30-40% of all worldwide MS licenses are pirated. On the forums i frequent someone is constantly requesting serials for MS Server 2003 and such for their consulting business, showing that in those poorer countries even small and medium businesses are running pirated copies.

In US, it is not uncommon to see a mac laptop in a coffee shop or at a park. At least not in Nebraska. I would guess that around here, Macs have a marketshare and a home presence substantially higher than 4 percent.

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646661)

I guess if you live in a bubble (Web 2.0 or otherwise) it's entirely possible to actually belive this drivel.

MS is far from dead.

The whole "Web 2.0" concept is laughable. Javascript and XML are both somewhat ancient technologies that have stimulated the www. But now we are supposed to believe that since someone made up an acronym to desribe the suite of technologies, everything will be web based from now on? NOT going to happen...

Re:The article sounded credible until I read. . . (2, Informative)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646809)

Thanks to OSX, Apple has come back from the dead in a way that is extremely rare in technology. Their victory is so complete that I'm now surprised when I come across a computer running Windows.
Come on, 4% market share and you are surprised when a computer does not run OSX?
His circle is the über-geek entrepreneurial technical elite who set the direction of computing 10 years out. Among these he rarely sees Windows. That's significant.

I work outside Silicon Valley but in a service/technology company that "hangs" with Google, Yahoo, Redhat, MySQL (and Microsoft) on a regular basis. Our standard desktop is a Windows-based Dell. However, with a perfunctory sign-off from a manager any OS can be installed by the user. We have Ubuntu, Debian, Redhat, Fedora, SuSE, Slackware, and Vista (also requires a sign-off; very few of these, though) desktops. However the biggest buzz among the technical gurus is OS X on the Dell desktops. Once a reference installation was perfected many of us switched to OS X on our Dells. For years private laptops and home machines have been OS X among all classes of employees. Now there are efforts to get OS X regardless of the roadblocks. Why? Because it is intriguing.

What is intriguing to an early adopter gets noticed by people looking to invest in the the next generation of an industry. Nothing Microsoft is doing is intriguing today. Vista's selling point is its attempts to fix the security issues through Nannifying the UI. Yawn. The graphics? Yawn.

Before we started pirating OS X to our Dells we would gather and gawk at Beryl desktops... No one gathers and gawks at anything MS has done (besides the .ANI holes... it's fun to exploit that on the sales people's desktops...).

No one, except Miguel care about what MS does anymore. No one that matters to the next generation of computing, I mean.

Nothing lasts for ever (3, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646277)

and many things that die have a very loooong decline. ''When did the decline start?'', you can argue that for ever. Paul Graham will be proven right - eventually, but when? -- No one knows - but Paul will be there saying ''I told you so !''.

Re:Nothing lasts for ever (2, Insightful)

Horus1664 (692411) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646479)

I agree, nothing does last forever. To my mind Bill Gates knew some time ago that MS needed to 'diversify' at a minimum away from simply providing desktop software. His activities acquiring rights to art of varying sorts, and net-aware businesses in general, hinted that he believed the future of MS lay in content provision on the net.

Whether the way MS finally becomes irrelevant in terms of software production is web apps (which they seem unwilling to attempt), the all-consuming adoption of Linux and open source software in the new economies of Africa, India and China or something else it seems inevitable that the older MS model of controlling the corporate software inventory is doomed. When most computers, globally, use Linux and the highly skilled Indian/Chinese techies establish global support companies for this same software why would Western businesses need to pay top dollar for MS ?

With so much money MS have opportunities to move into whatever type or style of business they want to, but for that they need to be able to relinquish (at least partially) their philosophy that has made them so powerful. This proved hard for IBM in the 70s/80s and may prove just as hard for MS. Many of the people in positions of influence within MS have arived since they became a huge company and do not necessarily have the fresh ideas necessary to significantly change direction, despite the very fluid nature of high tech business.

Although my personal favourite to knock MS from its position in control of global software is the rise of the new economies based on Linux I'm prepared to be proved wrong...I just don't think I'll be proved wrong by MS maintaining its position.

is justin sleeping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646285)

ok, and i really watching "justin" sleep right now?

netcraft (4, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646297)

I won't believe this untill it is confirmed by Netcraft

Re:netcraft (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646485)

It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: Microsoft is dying

        One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Microsoft community when IDC confirmed that Microsoft market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Microsoft has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Microsoft is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

        You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict Microsoft's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Microsoft faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Microsoft because Microsoft is dying. Things are looking very bad for Microsoft. As many of us are already aware, Microsoft continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

        Microsoft is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time Microsoft developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Microsoft is dying.

        Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

        Microsoft leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of Microsoft. How many users of Microsoft are there? Let's see. The number of Microsoft versus Microsoft posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 Microsoft users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of Microsoft posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put Microsoft at about 80 percent of the Microsoft market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 Microsoft users. This is consistent with the number of Microsoft Usenet posts.

        Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, Microsoft went out of business and was taken over by Sun who sell another troubled OS. Now Microsoft is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

        All major surveys show that Microsoft has steadily declined in market share. Microsoft is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Microsoft is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. Microsoft continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Microsoft is dead.

That crippling bombshell sent Microsoft fans into a tailspin of mourning and denial. However, bad news poured in like a river of water.

Microsoft isn't dead... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646301)

...it's just pining for the fjords.

Hype, hype, and more hype (0, Flamebait)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646315)

It now seems inevitable that applications will live on the web
Oh, please. Web-based software? C'mon. Ajax and "web-based" applications haven't gone anywhere, and they're not going to. I file this alongside of Java's write once, run everywhere, and "push" technology.

no one who cares about computers uses Microsoft's anyway
I don't care what this guys credentials are... he is clueless.

Please Mod Parent Up (1)

Jane_Dozey (759010) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646459)

Web Applications can't really take off until the Internet has almost full penetration and it's pretty obvious that it's not going to happen any time soon. It'll also need a much higher level of reliability which again shows no sign of happening soon.

Re:Please Mod Parent Up (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646503)

I agree. Maybe, maybe we'll see some usable web apps, but it won't be for at least another ten years. But I think that there will be lots of apps that don't make any sense to ever run as a web app... graphics apps, financial apps, etc. Anybody using web-based apps for anything mission critical today is going to get burned sooner, rather than later. I wouldn't consider using web apps for anything important until Net connectivity is as reliable and consistent as electricity and water. service. We're not close to that right now.

Re:Hype, hype, and more hype (2, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646463)

Oh, please. Web-based software? C'mon. Ajax and "web-based" applications haven't gone anywhere, and they're not going to.


Presuming that you aren't 15 and with no historic context from which to compare, why don't you watch what friends and relatives actually do with their PCs these days. You might be surprised to find that the average user spends vastly more time in their browser than anywhere else.

Re:Hype, hype, and more hype (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646519)

I agree. I spend a LOT of time in a web browser as well. That doesn't mean that I'm going to try to run my company's financial software through a web browser. That would be suicide.

Re:Hype, hype, and more hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646619)

why don't you watch what friends and relatives actually do with their PCs these days. You might be surprised to find that the average user spends vastly more time in their browser than anywhere else.
Perhaps. Certainly those that use webmail, which isn't as many as you might think.

But by and large, they are using their browser for inherently online activities, like news, webmail, instant messaging, eBay, etc. When they want to edit a photo, they do NOT think of web apps (and I laughed to see Graham link "Photoshop" to a kinda-neat-but-oh-so-limited web app that provides marginally less functionality than Paintbrush). When they want to write a letter, they use Word, not Google Docs.

What you and your ilk are failing to see is that a mere increase in time spent online does not indicate that the desktop is dead. It just indicates that people are spending more time online. The activity their web browsing is replacing isn't traditional computing; it's watching television, reading newspapers, visiting brick-and-mortar shops. That means that broadcasters, newspapers, and brick-and-mortar shops should all be worried. It doesn't, however, mean that the authors of desktop applications should be worried. They aren't going anywhere.

Re:Hype, hype, and more hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646829)

"You might be surprised to find that the average user spends vastly more time in their browser than anywhere else."

You might be surprised that they're using their browsers for browsing the internet, not writing letters, editing images or, well, anything else.

When it comes to actual productive work they're using desktop apps, not their web based counterparts.

They may yet win (2, Interesting)

The_Abortionist (930834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646331)

Microsoft may yet win. They seem to be working for once in a coordinated way to dominate (truly, and not by default) the home market:

-Windows Vista with pretty good media center capabilities
-Windows Home Server
-XBOX 360
-Zune
-Windows Media player
-MSN Live
-Various subscription services like XBOX-Live, Zune marketplace

It's quite a line-up and it's becoming more and more integrated.

On the corporative side, while many people prefer usign Unix for certain applications, I dont see Microsoft losing it's overwhelming dominance anytime soon. And with SQL Server 2005, they might increase it in the long run.

To me this story is not different from a iPod killer story. Maybe with the exception that the iPod is one product and it could actually happen one day.

Re:They may yet win (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646507)

They seem to be working for once in a coordinated way to dominate (truly, and not by default) the home market

Virtually everything you listed have been areas that Microsoft has been trying to infiltrate for years, to little success. Indeed, HP just stopped production of what was considered that leading Media Center PC, because no one cared for it. MSN Live is of course a laughable re-branding of a long failing web strategy.

What goes around come around (1)

cjsm (804001) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646343)

You can't be one of the most hated companies in the world without some negative effects.

Re:What goes around come around (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646749)

I'd like to see some sources that back this statement up.

Just as... (1)

Monkius (3888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646391)

..I find that all rational people must agree "everything" "all applications will live on the web" I wonder--is it time for innovators to think more about the alternatives?

Not Yet (4, Insightful)

kraemate (1065878) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646395)

I am a big fan of Paul Graham's essays, and have to admit that this one definitely ranks as the worst. Microsoft today has a lot of money - and i dont think businesses can simply die out in a few years, specially if they are not facing a steep downward slope. I mean, just look at M$'s profits/revenues (cant cite the source, sorry) they appear quite OK to me. I'll only start celebrating when they start posting huge losses, or when windows domination ceases.

Re:Not Yet (2, Insightful)

eean (177028) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646537)

His point is that they aren't dominating the industry, that they'll become another post-80s IBM. And IBM is itself doing quite well, so if I was a stockholder of MS I wouldn't be too worried.

Re:Not Yet (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646571)

IBM has quite a bit of money too, yet they've been dead on the desktop for over a decade.

The only mistake I think he made was that more "average people" are voting with their dollars than in the late 80s and early 90s. They have to be coaxed out of their "comfort zone", which can happen, but would be difficult.

I think phase one is that MS loses the technical people, which has pretty much happened (all young technical people I know have either switched or feel "guilty" about not switching, it's the old farts that are hanging on).

It's just that bringing that message to the people is going to be slow... But I believe that it will get there. Especially since I don't believe MS can deliver anymore, unless they do something drastic.

As a side note, I would sum up this essay as, MS used to care only about competition. Now they think they've won forever, so they've stopped competing, just when they needed to (like ignoring IE for 5 years).

Re:Not Yet (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646689)

The thing is that most businesses don't last 10 years from there start date and any that do are very rare. About three fourths of those who survive after that often fold after the key founders leave the company, retire, or die.

However, the small fraction that do last that final hurdle tend to last for several decades and possibly over hundred years. The issue now is to see if Microsoft does last the departure of its founders (including Balmer) which hasn't happened yet in its entirety.

They are pining for the fjords (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646875)

I mean, just look at M$'s profits/revenues . . . they appear quite OK to me.

But how long can they coast? What are you looking forward to from Microsoft now? If you had WinXP, did you upgrade to Vista? Do you intend to? Or do you just figure your next Windows computer purchase (if any) will be the current incarnation of Windows? I can't think of an MS initiative that I just can't wait for. What have they even announced recently? Used to be that a product pre-announcement from would kill a small competitor that was working on the same technology. Even if the MS product never emerged from the mists of vapor.

Microsoft is dying (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646427)

It is now official. Paul Graham confirms: Microsoft is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Redmond company when analysists confirmed that Windows market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all serious users desktops. Coming on the heels of a recent survey which plainly states that Windows has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Microsoft is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be Steve Jobs to predict Microsofts future. The hand writing is on the wall: Microsoft faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Microsoft because Microsoft is dying. Things are looking very bad for Microsoft. As many of us are already aware, Microsoft continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

All major surveys show that Microsoft has steadily declined in market share. Microsoft is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Microsoft is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. Microsoft continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Microsoft is dead.

Fact: Microsoft is dying

Not dead, but irrelivant (4, Informative)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646431)

If you read the actual article, Graham isn't actually claiming that Microsoft is dead (despite his provocative title) but that it is simply irrelevant -- that it's something startups don't need to worry about.

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:Not dead, but irrelivant (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646649)

Graham isn't actually claiming that Microsoft is dead (despite his provocative title) but that it is simply irrelevant -- that it's something startups don't need to worry about.
And that is quite true, but it's not because Microsoft is in trouble in any way, shape, or form - it's simply because most startups aren't trying to sell operating systems or enterprise-grade office software, so they aren't trying to compete with Microsoft's money-spinners in the first place.

Re:Not dead, but irrelivant (1)

kraemate (1065878) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646697)

Not trolling, but was M$ ever 'relevant'? What i mean is, i always thought that M$ never did make any technology products anyways - they always cater to the non-techie masses.

Re:Not dead, but irrelivant (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646857)

So I guess you're saying that things like electrical power, phones, TVs, CD/DVD players, iPods, etc aren't technology products because they cater to the non-techie masses?

What killed the dinosaurs? (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646445)

I think Microsoft's fatal flaw is summed up in this quote:

Microsoft's biggest weakness is that they still don't realize how much they suck.

And they never will. That's why they won't be able to adapt to changing climate conditions in technology and the nimble little warm-blooded creatures they barely notice will thrive and ultimately outlive them.

I mean look, they haven't even gotten rid of Ballmer yet. As long as he's on top it's going to remain the same stodgy old company it is now. MSFT reminds me of some 40 year old guy who thinks he's cool hitting on his daughter's college friends. He's the only one who doesn't realize he's creepy and pathetic.

Re:What killed the dinosaurs? (1)

benzapp (464105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646611)

mean look, they haven't even gotten rid of Ballmer yet. As long as he's on top it's going to remain the same stodgy old company it is now. MSFT reminds me of some 40 year old guy who thinks he's cool hitting on his daughter's college friends. He's the only one who doesn't realize he's creepy and pathetic.

Well, at least he's not hitting on his daughter. Seriously though - I don't know what things are like in your part of the country, but most men have children well into the 30s. I think most men are well in their 50s, when their kids are in college.

Re:What killed the dinosaurs? (1)

pcgabe (712924) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646741)

some 40 year old guy who thinks he's cool hitting on his daughter's college friends

Do...do we know each other?

Re:What killed the dinosaurs? (1)

dapsychous (1009353) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646807)

MSFT reminds me of some 40 year old guy who thinks he's cool hitting on his daughter's college friends. He's the only one who doesn't realize he's creepy and pathetic.

Best. Analogy. Ever.

Because MS has a new strategy (3, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646451)

Small companies don't fear being squashed by MS because that's not their primary game plan anymore. They have achieved the dominance that phase of their company wished for. Now, the new paradigm is to be acquired by them. MS doesn't innovate anymore, they assimilate. [wikipedia.org]

There are thousands of small start-ups that have this as their primary goal. Get a good idea, build it up to where it shows up on some large company's radar, then be acquired by them. Then, retire. And MS is a leader in this area.

Re:Because MS has a new strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646695)

"MS doesn't innovate anymore, they assimilate."

I'm sorry... "anymore"?

implications (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646455)

As much as I would love to see Microsoft die, the company is far from dead. Corporate death usually implies both financial insolvency and the loss of the ability to innovate. While Microsoft's domination is waning (I think many will agree with that) and its innovations are lessening, the company has the assets of a medium sized country's Gross Domestic Product. With a financial indication such as that, Microsoft may be able to turn around faster. When a company such as Microsoft resorts to legal threats and intimidation, we see the psychology of the company. The intimidation factor is indicative of significant fear of being outmoded and outdone. Much of Microsoft's bluster has little or no merit, save technologies that they have patent protections on. And even then, patents can be challenged. In order to facilitate a turnaround, Microsoft would need to drop the superiority complex and focus on issues such as interoperability and maybe even open sourcing some. Red Hat and other companies have proven that open source technology can turn a profit. Maybe a good strategy would be to drop the NT Kernel and piggy-back its interface on to top of Linux or BSD and open source Active Directory. I think Red Hat and others have discovered that costs of development come down when you have the community doing a lion's share side of your development for you. I happen to like the UI of Windows, I just hate the NT Kernel and troubleshooting it.

I Claim (5, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646465)

I claim that the word 'dead' is dead. Not dead like 6 feet under, but dead as a meaningful word. It still applies to loss of life, empty batteries and forgotten projects but now it also means 'changed' now, which makes it more ambiguous.

Re:I Claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646545)

I agree. If an article's title, "X is dead", is used to mean something other than "X is dead", then the article's title is wrong. Period.

Phenix (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646471)

From the article:
The last nail in the coffin came, of all places, from Apple. Thanks to OSX, Apple has come back from the dead in a way that is extremely rare in technology. [2] Their victory is so complete that I'm now surprised when I come across a computer running Windows. Nearly all the people we fund at Y Combinator use Apple laptops. It was the same in the audience at startup school. All the computer people use Macs or Linux now. Windows is for grandmas, like Macs used to be in the 90s.

I'm still surprised when I see a computer that doesn't run Windows. But what also surprises me is that at universities and other 'poor' places, people still stick to Microsoft, despite the reasonably good, and much cheaper alternatives. MS has the psychological advantage that people are reluctant to change from what they know to something else, even if that something else is better. But on the other hand, the lukewarm respose Vista has gotten until now shows that MS is indeed dying. I know a few avid MS fans, and even they are pondering wether to invest in a new machine to be able to run Vista, or to stick with XP. However, as many succesful start-ups have shown in the last few years, it takes just one good idea to get to the top fast. MS has so much money that once they start 'thinking outside the box' (management speak for being original) they will be back to the top very soon. By then, people will have forgotten how bad they were, and we will be having the same troubles all over again. I hope I'm not right in this...

Mod Parent Sideways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646505)

Phoenix.

And who the hell is Paul Graham?

Microsoft claims "Paul Graham is Dead" (1)

Z0mb1eman (629653) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646491)

All kidding aside, I don't know how valuable Paul Graham's point is. I basically read it as "the SanFran Web2.0 crowd isn't afraid of Microsoft". He actually sums up my objections perfectly at the end:

"Half the readers will say that Microsoft is still an enormously profitable company, and that I should be more careful about drawing conclusions based on what a few people think in our insular little "Web 2.0" bubble. The other half, the younger half, will complain that this is old news."

I guess I'm in the older half already? Yikes.

At any rate, I guess it's a matter of perspective. This really is more a discussion of Web 2.0 than of Microsoft itself. If you think the "web2.0" stuff is the future of computing, then obviously this could mean that Microsoft missed the boat and is becoming increasingly irrelevant. If you think "web2.0" is a chaotic anomaly from which only a few winners will emerge, then that's another matter entirely (and if that is the case, Microsoft will be there waiting once the dust settles... why would they spend their time chasing after thousands of small fish now?)

Captain of the Titanic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646495)

We have a small problem but there's no reason to panic. This is the finest vessel in the world. There's no danger that it will sink immediately. You have the time you need to make an orderly exit on our many well appointed lifeboats.

I agree with Graham, the writing is on the wall.

Odd definition of dead (2, Insightful)

NotHereOrThere (796706) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646499)

Required disclaimer: I hate MS about as much as anyone else here, but...

This is a very strange blog piece and I'm wondering what part of the galaxy this guy lives in:

1) Since when does "dead" mean a company that is no longer feared? True, MS has lost it's fear factor, but that is nothing like being dead. "Dead" means dead, as in SCO.

2) I wish I had a dime for every time someone says the desktop is dead and all apps will from now on be web hosted. This is so old and isn't going to happen. Sure Ajax has made the web a lot more responsive and desktop-like but there is a long list of limtations having to do with availability, security, etc. It's not all about bandwidth.

3) Take a walk through the airport or just about any business office, the dentist, doctor's office, etc. How many Mac or Linux boxes do you see? Not that many. Sure Macs are a lot more popular now and growing, but to claim that he sees hardly anything but Macs and Linux makes me wonder about what planet he comes from.

It's not dead, (3, Funny)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646513)

Just press ctrl alt del until the task manager comes up and kill whatever's locked it up.

Barbed wire (4, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646523)

But eventually the open source world won, by producing Javascript libraries that grew over the brokenness of Explorer the way a tree grows over barbed wire.
A beautiful turn of phrase, but he's forgetting how much barbed wire Microsoft has laid. Not just Outlook and IE and Word and Excel and Powerpoint, but the way IE renders HTML, and the .DOC format, and billions of lines of Excel macros, and hundreds of millions of vapid PowerPoint presentations. It's like the legacy Cobol codebase - it's never going to go away until some watershed event like Y2K makes it go away.

It's not about whether it's "dead" or not... (2, Insightful)

ghostunit (868434) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646541)

Mr. Graham's definition of "dead" in this essay only encompasses the activity in his field of work (startups). What I would like to know is how much longer will we *normal people* have to put up with microsoft's influence and products?

How much longer will we be forced to use their software at work, such as Windows and .NET?

How much more time of our life will be wasted having to fix some Visual Basic monstrosity and the like?

How much longer until they can no longer damage others through their inmoral and sometimes illegal business practices (SCO anyone?)

Re:It's not about whether it's "dead" or not... (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646785)

If you don't like using Microsoft at work, then find another job that lets you use the technology that you want. Quit painting things like they're holding a gun to your head to use these products, because they're not. If you're passionate about not using them, then why do you continue to use them at work?

Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646553)

He doesn't mean dead as in six feet under

So basically he lied in the title to be deliberately provocative. Paul Graham is trolling.

Re:Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646615)

Paul Graham is trolling.

He usually is. I read "Hackers and painters". Overrated bullshit.

The article is essentially true (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646567)

I think he describes the situation pretty accurately.
Microsoft does suck big time, a lot of their recent technologies are either dead in the water, or quickly heading there. Their upper management doesn't realize how much they suck, so they keep pushing the train in the same direction.
This is evident from all the soundbytes that Monkeyboy and Gates are pulling out of their ass.

I am a big fan of OS X, a huge fan of OS X, and I do understand that MS has an unimaginable cash reserve and are still profitable. But for all their might, people in the know don't look to them as trend-setters. They are more of a nuisance and a headache, especially in the underpaid tech support department.

Zune, Vista, Urge, Plays for Sure, MSN Search, Live (WTF is Live anyway?) are all examples of how to royally fuck up a product that your competitors are wildly successful with. (In some cases technically superior as well. Linux for example is free and would accomodate the needs of most home users.) Yes, you might say that sooner or later Vista will be a de facto standard, but look at all the stories from the experts. The message is to run away from it as fast as one can. In the OS satisfaction department, Vista and OS X are completely reversed, meaning for every one person that doesn't like OS X, you'll find one person that does like Vista.

Re:The article is essentially true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646825)

"They are more of a nuisance and a headache, especially in the underpaid tech support department."

When I was working tech support, I preferred to think of Microsoft as job security. Because of their incompetence, I'd have a job for life!

Seriously, I've had two jobs so far that were created specifically because Microsoft technology sucks (tech support and programming).

I actually RTFA (5, Insightful)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646573)

I know there are going to be hundreds of posts claiming Microsoft isn't dead and that they are still a very profitable company etc etc, but that's not what the article is about, so you might as well mod those posts down now. The idea is that Microsoft's throne as supreme monopoly that can do whatever they want and everyone will follow is over. I whole heartedly agree.

There was a time 5 years ago that if MS released a technology, now matter how bad, would become the de-facto standard for no other reason than MS released it. MS has yet to do anything new in about 2 years that has become the supreme technology just because they blessed it. Their game of catchup with Google has yielded nothing powerful. Their strategy has been mostly centered around Windows Live, which has yet to garner any real interest. All their Web 2.0 stuff is massively better than what they were releasing 5 years ago (their mapping software isn't half bad), but I've yet to interact with someone who's excited over it. I know a lot of web developers who get a boner over the Google maps API though. Even their desktop software hasn't yielded anything terribly popular. People will keep using Windows and Office, but be extremely slow to adopt any of their new technology.

I guess the real nail in the coffin is that there's no single company for MS to set their sights on. The entire web is surpassing them, not just Google. Google is giving important direction and acting sort of as a leader for the industry, but I see just as many interesting things coming from outside of Google as in. How can MS compete with that? They can keep trying to break IE as much as possible, but even there they are being forced by the market to become more standards compliant.

I don't think MS will just go away and they probably will be relegated to Windows and Office until those are slowly chipped at. The OS market will one day reach the maturity hardware has and there will be standards and most common software will be written in cross platform toolkits. It will happen so slowly that we'll step back and say "Remember Microsoft 15 years ago?" just as we are saying today "Remember Microsoft 5 years ago".

YAWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646585)

When is slashdot going to get back to news for nerds and stuff that matters instead of being an anti-microsoft FUD orgy?

"Their victory is so complete" (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646595)

For some reason that quote reminds me of this one:

"Take your Jedi weapon! Use it. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!"

Luke did take his weapon, he did hate, and he did try to strike the Emporer down, but it turned out his journey towards the dark side wasn't complete after all. And neither is Apple's.

Monty Python is right! (1)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646627)

They aren't dead... it's just a flesh wound. Seriously though there is some writing on the wall. They haven't been able to derail Linux despite several proxy lawsuits. They are spending money hand over fist in order to stay in the music business and the same is true for the gaming business. According to Businessweek MS loses $71 on every xbox 360 sold! The NT kernel has reached it's end of life, and all you have to do is look at Vista to realize that it is a Frankensteins monster of ideas from *nix and MacOS X. Microsoft for the most part is hemorrhaging cash on all but two fronts in the industry, and that is for how long? Does anyone know how to play taps? This is going to be one very drawn out, slow, and boring funeral.

Everyone in my kindergarten agrees (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646633)

This is old news!

The desktop is dead?!? (4, Insightful)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646651)

Maybe I'm a dinosaur (OK, I like BASIC and assembly, so that's a given) -- but I don't see the benefit to putting applications on the Web. I'm no paranoid tinfoil-hat cypherpunk, but I don't trust the reliability and security of running my applications via a connection to the great Out There. Downloading open-source solutions, compiling them, and running them over a LAN, perhaps, but I don't see the venerable hard drive (read: fast local storage) going away anytime soon.

I can see inherently Web-centric applications (email, searches, etc) as migrating to the Web -- but for things like word processing, circuit simulation, and (most dramatically) video editing, I can't imagine how running these over the Internet is going to work, let alone make them Better. Even with the new fiber-optic cable they just finished burying here.

Do I just not "get" it? Why should I use Web-based applications when OpenOffice works just as well? Why complicate things by introducing more points of failure (the whole Internet connection chain of devices, software, and protocols) into the mix?

What is this guy smoking, and where can I get some (1)

pyite69 (463042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646655)

Perhaps random startup companies no longer fear Microsoft, but there is a reason why it is virtually impossible to buy Linux pre-loaded.

It is the fear of a sudden $500 million increase in Windows licensing fees, a la what happened to IBM in the mid 1990's.

His Ajax quote is absolute nonsense. (1)

ardor (673957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646683)

Photoshop with Ajax? Just imagine this nightmare, both for users and developers. Imagine Maya with Ajax, SolidWorks, AutoCAD, *any* PC game, Mathlab, Mathematica, R, ... with Ajax.

Technically, flash is way ahead of Ajax, and even with it you cannot pull of the apps mentioned above.

Still a chance to redeem themselves? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18646719)

IMHO Microsoft could easily redeem themselves by simply releasing scaled down versions of vista that will run on older hardware. It was a big mistake for them to not think of small businesses and put them high on the priority list of customers. Most small businesses that I deal with will not even consider an expensive hardware upgrade and an even more expensive set of site license purchases just so they can run a more "secure" version of Windows. The software giant could create a huge market overnight if they just quickly took advantage of the huge existing number of desktop work stations that have p111s and older p4s with 256 meg of ram. After all the Aero desktop is not a priority for someone running Quicken.

It is telling that a scaled down version of Vista is already available to customers in countries other than the so called first world.http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/wi ndowsvista/editions/starter/default.mspx [microsoft.com]

Considering the fact that the majority of small businesses in so called developed countries are living a hand to mouth existance the move to create a secure cheap version of Windows might increase Microsofts revenues. There are many who would welcome not having to run stupid anti-virus crap just so that they can do their books!

Just like Lisp (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646775)

MS is dead just like Lisp

PS, note for stupid moderators, Paul Graham is well known as a Lisp advocate.

Microsoft is dead... (1)

tjansen (2845) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646783)

...yeah, and Lisp is alive!

50 Billion and an army of Lawyers (3, Interesting)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646789)

This would suggest that Microsoft is only asleep, not dead.

They can always wake up, decide to toss out the old OS code, or run it in virtual mode, then build a brand new OS from scratch. Maybe this time, they can let Cutler run wild without without the need for backward-compatibility and make something worth looking at? As Vista is quickly becoming this decade's Windows M.E, Microsoft is going to have to consider taking the big leap.

In the mean time, they can still just sue the crap out of any entreprenuer, right or wrong, because there are few with that kind of cash and time on their hands. Most if not all would just settle, giving Microsoft access to their inventions anyway.

"Of course by 'dead' i mean... (1)

don'tyellatme (837496) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646797)

...not dead." -Paul Graham

Shows that MS marketing is effective (2, Insightful)

dioscaido (541037) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646805)

Microsoft is bigger than ever, makes more money than ever (with a consistent double digit growth every quarter), and has its hads in more areas of peoples lives than ever before (PCs, business [large, midsize, small], gaming, mobile devices, cars, television, movies, etc...). At the same time, their marketing team for years has been working on making their company seem more 'friendly', not the beheamoth aggressive cut-throat company of times past, but a kinder, gentler, trustworthy Microsoft. This might not have a huge effect on real techie crowds like Slashdot, but you can see their effects on the general populous, where Microsoft shows up in near the top of the country's most trusted companies.

It would be a mistake for any company to think that Microsfot is dead.

Microsoft is Dying (4, Funny)

Angry Black Man (533969) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646819)

It is official; Paul Graham: microsoft is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered microsoft community when IDC confirmed that microsoft market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 97 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that microsoft has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. microsoft is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict microsoft's future. The hand writing is on the wall: microsoft faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for microsoft because microsoft is dying. Things are looking very bad for microsoft. As many of us are already aware, microsoft continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

Windows is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long timeWindows developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Microsoft is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Vista leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of Vista. How many users of windows are there? Let's see. The number of Vista versus windows xp posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 Vista users. Vista posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of windows xp posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put windows at about 80 percent of the microsoft market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 WinXP users. This is consistent with the number of WinXP Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Hotmail, abysmal sales and so on, Windows NT went out of business and was taken over by the Vista team who sell another troubled OS. Now Windows Vista is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that microsoft has steadily declined in market share. microsoft is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If microsoft is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. microsoft continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, microsoft is dead.

Fact: microsoft is dying

To paraphrase... (1)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18646873)

Microsoft claims Paul Graham is dead.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>