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John Dvorak's Eight Signs MS is Dead in the Water 711

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-we're-all-obsessed-with-google dept.
j79 writes "John Dvorak has written an opinion piece on why he believes Microsoft is dead in the water. He discusses Vista, Office 2007, MSN and MSN search, the Xbox 360, Pad-based computing, .Net, and Microsoft's obsession with Google. "
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John Dvorak's Eight Signs MS is Dead in the Water

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  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:09PM (#15256123) Homepage Journal
    My god, the marketwatch site is well ahead of the game.

    They have incorporated Web 2.1 Server side blink [blartwendo.com]!

    If you think I'm joking, just look at the stock quotes on the page.

    As for MS being dead in the water, I think they certainly have the sharks swimming around them, but I wouldn't call them dead just yet.
    Remember, its not over until the fat penguin sings.
    • by Gropo (445879)
      The Future is Now [geekt.org]
    • by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:35PM (#15256383)
      I wouldn't call them dead just yet.
      "Dead in the water" doesn't mean you're dead, it means you're not going anywhere fast. In a rapidly changing market that probably would be deadly, but in a world where many people are satisfied with Windows 2000 and Word 97, Microsoft can stay right where they are and continue milking their cash cows for a long, long time.
    • but I wouldn't call them dead just yet.

      If you read the entire article (specifically the last paragraph), you will see that Dvorak agrees that Microsoft is not dead, nor does he expect them to die.

    • by MoxFulder (159829) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @03:02PM (#15256664) Homepage
      I was just about to publish my article, "Eight Signs That John Dvorak is Dead in the Water".
  • If Dvorak is right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RLiegh (247921) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:10PM (#15256132) Homepage Journal
    ...and he almost never is.
  • I love this (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Soporific (595477) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:10PM (#15256133)
    Some more of John Dvorak's keyboard drooling... Why did anyone give this guy a job writing?

    ~S
  • Eight! (Score:5, Funny)

    by tehshen (794722) <tehshen@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:11PM (#15256138)
    I guess if he makes more than one prediction at once, there's more of a chance that he'll be right with at least one of them!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:11PM (#15256148)
    Eight signs Dvorak is dead in the water
  • by X43B (577258) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:11PM (#15256150) Journal
    "John Dvorak has written an opinion piece on why he believes Microsoft is dead in the water."

    If Microsoft is dead in the water, what OS will Apple put on its next gen computers?
  • by RunFatBoy.net (960072) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:12PM (#15256153)
    Is where Microsoft stopped innovating. Whenever you get into a "one-up" cold war, your thinking becomes limited to finding features that are just over what the competitor is doing and not necessarily related to what makes the life of the user easier.

    MS has taken their eye off of the ball and has been concentrating on everything but the user.

    Jim http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net] -- A workout plan that doesn't feel like homework.
    • He says that Microsoft is too easily distracted by companies who are not competitors. Not competitors right now is more like it. 20 years ago Bell Atlantic and Cox Communications weren't competitors either, neither were Sony and Apple. Microsoft obviously sees something in Google that makes them think they WILL be a direct competitor in the future, even if they are only an oblique competitor now.

      I can make a pretty good guess as to what that is--Google provides rich software as a service and they make money
  • Doesn't matter. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gasmonso (929871) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:12PM (#15256155) Homepage

    With a 90% installbase and billions and billions of dollars... Microsoft isn't going anywhere. People are still addicted to their software and will keep coming back for more. They can sustain a lack of creativity for many many years.

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
    • Re:Doesn't matter. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sfjoe (470510) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:20PM (#15256240)

      In the tech industry , the market leader can lose ground EXTREMELY rapidly. Anyone seen a Hayes modem recently?

      • by migwa (19092) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:30PM (#15256342) Homepage
        Has anyone seen a modem recently?
        • by qortra (591818) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @03:50PM (#15257102)
          Why is the parent modded insightful? Modems are all over the freaking place. Any analog large-pipe that carries data requires a modem; cable, DSL (including T1, T3, etc). If you are a home owner with internet access (and don't have FIOS [verizon.com]), you most likely have a modem. And regardless, the point is that Hayes isn't popular anymore. With all their resources, they could have switched to home networking equipment or online multimedia or microwave macaroni and cheese, but instead they faded into obscurity.
      • Re:Doesn't matter. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DA-MAN (17442)
        In the tech industry , the market leader can lose ground EXTREMELY rapidly. Anyone seen a Hayes modem recently?

        Very good point. For a long time the PC's were synonymous with IBM-Compatible. Now IBM's not even in the PC game.
      • Re:Doesn't matter. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by coolsva (786215) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:42PM (#15256456)
        More appropriately, anyone remember Lotus123, SideKick, WordPerfect, WordStar, DBase, ofcourse NetScape, I can go on and on
        Bottom line is, this is indeed a very rapidly changing industry. As long as compatibility (and I mean more than WINE) exists, people will easily switch.
        Im not holding my breath though
        • Re:Doesn't matter. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Slack3r78 (596506)
          More appropriately, anyone remember Lotus123, SideKick, WordPerfect, WordStar, DBase, ofcourse NetScape, I can go on and on
          Bottom line is, this is indeed a very rapidly changing industry. As long as compatibility (and I mean more than WINE) exists, people will easily switch.

          How many of the above were knocked off by Microsoft products?
      • Re:Doesn't matter. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by NineNine (235196) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:42PM (#15256457)
        Lose ground.... so what? Hell, if MS took all of their cash and put it in FDIC insured securities, and didn't sell a single thing, they'd still make more money than all of the other software companies on the planet combined. They don't need to sell anything.
        • Re:Doesn't matter. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kadin2048 (468275)
          True, but in reality this couldn't work. What would happen is that they'd only make money (off of their securities or other investments) at a rate marginally above inflation. Probably substantially less, once you figured in how they're taxed. This would cause their stock to become a huge bear overnight -- why buy a share of MS that only gains a percent a year when you could buy a share of IBM or Apple? So Microsoft's share price would tank, and the company would suddenly have less market capitalization than
        • Re:Doesn't matter. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by idlake (850372)
          Yeah, and investors would pull out all their money, the stock would collapse, and Microsoft would disappear.

          Microsoft exists only because investors (the owners) have continuing confidence in it.
  • by the linux geek (799780) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:12PM (#15256157)
    For once, this guy is actually making sense. When was the last time M$ actually innovated something? It's been a while. Win95 was the last thing I remember, and even that was strongly influenced by both X and the Mac. Vista has become XP with Glass; Office 2007 is a new UI to look better under Vista. IE7 is a Firefox clone, and Microsoft has been spewing Google-copycat programs for a while now.
    • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:29PM (#15256326) Homepage
      By and large I agree with the article. MS has lost it, and Vista proves that. At this rate their "ultra" operating system Vista will come out two years after tiny little Apple's operating system Tiger. And yet Tiger had most of the features that Vista was supposed to have (many of which got cut) such as Spotlight, the Dashboard, OpenGL based UI, etc.

      The last real innovation I saw from MS was Windows 2000. That was such a HUGE step up from Windows 9x for consumers, while things worked well enough that it could be used by normal people since it supported DirectX and other things that NT 4 didn't.

      The next version of Office I do think is interesting though. They are completely changing the UI. This is a BIG decision, but they are going in a VERY different direction and I think it's a good thing. If you turn on all those toolbars for Office to get to all the functions, things are a HUGE mess. It's almost impossible to find many thing.

      Office is trying to innovate. Windows isn't. XBox 360 isn't. MSN isn't. IE isn't.

      By and large, Microsoft has "settled in" and is only starting to stir again. I agree they would be dead in the water if it wasn't for, as another poster pointed out, their huge war-chest. They are going to have to start spending a bunch of that if they want to try to stay relevant.

  • Mine (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:12PM (#15256158)
    My #1 sign that Microsoft is going over the water at 100MPH in a speedboat while her competitors drown: 38B USD in profit.
    • Re:Mine (Score:3, Insightful)

      by demachina (71715)
      Uh, all that really shows is they have an entrenched monopoly, or actually two entrenched monopolies, Windows and Office, and entrenched monopolies are inherently profitable for three reasons:

      A. The have little or no competition so they can charge whatever they feel like for their product

      B. Their product is preinstalled on most new computers sold on the planet and so they get a tax for every machine so shipped.

      C. Developing software is expensive but manufacturing and shipping it costs next to nothing, espec
  • by JeanBaptiste (537955) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:13PM (#15256164)
    I wish I could write something that is as 'dead' as .NET is. I'd be a billionaire.
    • Not sure if you were intending a /sarcasm tag in there, but I've still got two open positions at my company for VB.Net developers. One entry, one midlevel. Know anyone in the Madison, WI area?

      -Rick
  • by unity100 (970058) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:13PM (#15256167) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft has indeed shown lack of vision by concentrating not on where its strength laid, the operating system, but instead parleying with the competitors in 'side ventures' it had expanded to.

    I cant complain though, i believe that this has given the open source community time to breath and catch up.
  • by TrekCycling (468080) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:13PM (#15256168) Homepage
    Oh, yeah, he's always an idiot. One of the few examples of where Slashdot hypocricy doesn't happen. We can all agree a monkey with a blackboard and chalk could do a better job.
  • 1) my points are baseless

    2) flamebait!

    3) hey, I might not be right but at least I'm fun to read...

    4) M$ $uck3rz!!1!!

    5) Hey, I own a Mac too!

    6) Did I mention my employers advertisements? Could you buy something please?

    7) I'm too old to find a real tech job. Thanks for the "work"!

    8) Hey, Slashdot linked to me! Again and again and again! I must be doing something right!!!
  • by Aqua OS X (458522) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:14PM (#15256175)
    ... it was written by John Dvorak, and that guy has as much insight as a rock.
  • by BenEnglishAtHome (449670) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:16PM (#15256196)

    of Slashdrones denouncing Dvorak as a troll. Well, that might be right, but he's a successful troll. You can only accomplish that if you put enough truth and insight, wacky and wrongheaded though it may eventually turn out to be, into your communications as to make for interesting reading. Dvorak does that.

    Take this article. I don't know about all the reasons. For example, I'm not a gamer so I don't know crap about the 360. But there's something here for everyone. He says that Vista OS and Office 2007 will be problematic letdowns. He says MSN and the MSN Search Engine are essentially useless. He points out an abandoned former focus, pad-based computing. Is there anything there that's really all that nuts?

    No, there isn't. But then, like a good troll who has thrown out a couple of interesting statements to which nearly everyone can say "He's got a point," he then moves on to the provocation - Preoccupation with Google. He calls it a distraction. He tosses out opinions like they're facts. No matter how you view the relationship between Google and MS, there's something in that paragraph to disagree with.

    Thus, conversation ensues. Slashdot stories get posted. Traffic gets created.

    The man is a damn good troll and he deserves far more props (for that) than he gets around here.

    • by mcmonkey (96054) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:36PM (#15256390) Homepage
      Is there anything there that's really all that nuts?

      Yes.

      I'll put it this way--Sony has abandoned Betamax. They must be dead in the water. DAT was a let-down. No more movies on UMD. DRMed CDs. Time to start short-selling Sony.

      The facts on Sony's failures are not in despute. It's the conclusion, that Sony is dead in the water, that would be nuts.

      Likewise, Microssoft has made mistakes. But with huge leads in the desktop OS, web browser, office suite markets, with signifigant presence in the server OS and application markets, plus the gaming, and, oh yeah, a couple billion in the bank, I would LOVE to be that kind of dead in the water.

      Dvorak throws out some statements to which people who don't think for themselves and figure, it's on the internet it must be true, can say, "he's got a good point." For the rest of us who use our brains, he's full of shite.

    • Just because someone is an exceptional drain on society is not a reason to respect them. That's like saying "You know, she's on welfare, but she has 15 kids. Gotta respect that.", because no, you don't.
  • by nweaver (113078) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:17PM (#15256199) Homepage
    Can we please have a 6 month moratorium on NOT posting Dvorak's trolls on the front page of slashdot?
  • by RingDev (879105) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:17PM (#15256209) Homepage Journal
    My dog's ass sees the sun more often than Dvorak actually calls one correctly.

    -Rick
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:19PM (#15256227) Journal

    Six years ago I had a heated debate with a friend about what should be done about Microsoft. I was (and still am) adamant Microsoft needs legal throttling. Microsoft escaped by the hair of their chin with a fortuitous changing of the guard shortly after losing their DOJ battle (Clinton and Democrats to Bush and the big-money-friendly Republicans). Clearly the new regime had no appetite for any meaningful punishment for Microsoft.

    My friend waved his hands and said, "Let the market forces settle it", to which I pointed out Microsoft had gained so much power and momentum that market forces may have become irrelevant.

    While better late than never, I think Dvorak makes some good points, but would focus on one I think he misses the mark:

    Preoccupation with Google. Microsoft is too easily distracted by successful companies who are not competitors. There is a deep-rooted belief that if a company like Google is successful, then they are an enemy per se. So the company obsesses on what Google is doing rather than concentrating on important Microsoft projects. Now Microsoft is about to do a deal with Yahoo to flank Google. This old-lady-like skittishness is unbecoming for a company this size.

    I think Microsoft is right to worry about Google. Google has blind-sided Microsoft on yet another "it's the internet" facet they either glibly ignored, or just didn't see. Google has planted the seed that maybe, just maybe, the OS isn't going to be relevant in the future, thus allowing more free choice, and less dependence on Microsoft. Google's "proof" that XMLHTTPREQUEST can provide responsive web apps as stopgap technology (I can't believe that there eventually will be some better replacement) has spawned many other interesting companies and application.

    Some of these "AJAX" apps are downright useful, and for the casual user, can completely replace their office suites in functionality (for their purposes), and then some (remote, network accessible from anywhere).

    The amazing irony in all of this is Microsoft invented what may end up being the Silver Bullet that defeats them (XMLHTTPREQUEST). And, finally, maybe market forces will level the playing field.

    • by misleb (129952) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @04:04PM (#15257260)
      Some of these "AJAX" apps are downright useful, and for the casual user, can completely replace their office suites in functionality (for their purposes), and then some (remote, network accessible from anywhere).

      You're a moron. The very idea that anyone (or a significant number of people) would want to use a browser based office suite is just... stupid. There is really no polite way to put it. Not only is the technology for it just not there, but the whole idea is just dumb. Who needs to use an office suite "from anywhere?" Do you find yourself in Internet cafes just dying to open up Excel so you can go over your employer's sales figures? Guess what? The kind of people who need to do this sort of thing already have laptops with MS Office installed. And If, for some reason, they can't afford MS Office, there is OpenOffice.

      Who in their right mind would give up a full featured, locally installed, copy of MS Office for some browser based, Javascript powered, HTML monstrosity? Say what you want about MS Office and bloat, but a browser based version would be 1000 times worse. Ajax applications only make sense when dealing with network sensitive information and services such as email, which doesn't even require ajax.

      The amazing irony in all of this is Microsoft invented what may end up being the Silver Bullet that defeats them (XMLHTTPREQUEST). And, finally, maybe market forces will level the playing field.

      No, the amazing irony in all of this (AJAX powered desktop-like appliations) is that it was already tried before with Java applets.

      -matthew
  • CmdrTaco... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:19PM (#15256228)
    Why the HELL you waste our time with Dvorak's nonsensical jabber?
  • As for Dvorak (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pedrito (94783) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:21PM (#15256243) Homepage
    There are more than 8 signs that Dvorak is a gasbag [webster.com]. I site his numerous rambling predictions in the past that have turned out to be wrong more often than not. He just likes trying to raise a stink to maintain his dwindling readership.
  • by MonkeyCookie (657433) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:22PM (#15256254)
    I think Slashdot has given about 8000 reasons why Dvorak is dead in the water.
  • by WombatControl (74685) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:32PM (#15256353)

    I don't think Microsoft is in any danger of dying - companies with billions of dollars in their war chest don't tend to die. What Microsoft will do is lose their dominance of the market to smaller, more nimble competitors. Microsoft is in the same position that IBM was in during most of the 1980s - they have a near-monopoly position in a maturing market, but they're struggling to adapt themselves to changing conditions.

    Like Microsoft, IBM was a massive corporation with an entrenched and risk-averse corporate culture. IBM had the same kind of market dominance and clout that Microsoft has now. IBM came out with their latest and greatest consumer machine in 1984 - the PCjr [wikipedia.org] - but it was a horrendous flop because it didn't take the needs of users into consideration. I'm becoming more and more convinced that Windows Vista will be the same thing - a flop that came about because of a poor understanding of what users really want. I think that the LUA system in Vista will be as badly received as the PCjr's chiclet keys.

    IBM didn't die, but they did lose a lot of money and a lot of marketshare to smaller, more nimble competitors like Compaq. It was only after IBM started refocusing on their core competencies (big iron, blade servers, etc.) that IBM's really regained some of its strength - but even today it doesn't have near the dominance that it did now.

    The days of the Windows monoculture are starting to wane - Apple has a product that's more than competitive with Microsoft's offerings. Microsoft, like IBM back then, just isn't nimble enough to meet the demands of a changing marketplace. Microsoft's attempts to do vertical integration aren't working all that well - the XBox Division is bleeding cash left and right despite the popularity of their product, the online division is floundering to compete with Google, and businesses aren't going to retrain their staff to deal with Office 2007.

    Microsoft isn't belly up yet, and probably won't be for a good, long time, but their continued missteps may see them lose a significant amount of money and marketshare.

  • IAD Says: (Score:4, Funny)

    by slashbob22 (918040) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:37PM (#15256405)
    The Inauthentic Paper Detector [indiana.edu] Says:

    This text had been classified as
    INAUTHENTIC
    with a 29.1% chance of being authentic text

    Nice Try Dvorak!
  • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:42PM (#15256447) Homepage
    "There is a deep-rooted belief that if a company like Google is successful, then they are an enemy per se."

    The reason is that Bill wants everybody else's money - not just his own.

    The magnitude of greed in this asshole is mind-boggling.

    I'm surprised he isn't trying to have Microsoft make aircraft, cars and nuclear power plants - or maybe tanks - or run his own bank and stock exchange as well.

    Bill - fix your fucking operating system before you do ANYTHING else today, okay?

    News today is that Gartner is saying no way will Vista ship even to volume licensees in 2006. They don't expect Vista to ship to consumers until at LEAST 2nd quarter of 2007 and possibly even third quarter. The reason is that MS has scheduled only ONE release candidate for Vista. Also:

    "The analysts point out that the release of Vista is more akin to the release of Windows 2000 than Windows XP, which was basically a renovation of Windows 2000. Thus, the timing of Microsoft's release schedule, in which the company allots just five months between the beta 2 release, expected in June this year, and the final product has been questioned.

    The gap between Windows XP beta 2 and final was release was just five months. However, the gap between Windows 2000 beta 2 and final release was 16 months."

    On the other hand, if you view Vista as a gussied up XP, maybe we can halve the difference to eight or ten months. But based on the Microsoft employees who have been bitching on blogs about bad test results being certified as accepted and the like, I'd guess Vista has a long way to go yet.

    And if it comes out of the box with the sort of bugs and bad design features Thurriot was complaining about, it could well be dead in the water.

    Not to mention it will only be installed on new consumer PCs - most of the old ones won't run it effectively at all. So it's doubtful that consumers are going to drive its adoption.

    Even corporationa are probably going to implement it only as machines are upgraded to newer ones via attrition. The article I read about Gartner also says analysts don't expect Vista to be deployed by most corporations until sometime in 2008.

    I foresee Vista being adopted by corporations even more slowly than XP was. In other words, in 2010, probably thirty percent of corporations will still be using Windows XP.

    My prediction: by 2015, Windows is history.
  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:49PM (#15256512)
    Dead in the water does not mean that Microsoft is dying. Dead in the water means that Microsoft is stagnant [answers.com].

    For better or worse, Microsoft will be around for a long, long time. Look how long Western Union lasted after the telephone replaced the telegraph. However, what Dvorak may be saying is that the days of Microsoft being a driving, innovative, vibrant force in the computer industry have long since passed. Microsoft's stock price illustrates [yahoo.com] this [yahoo.com] nicely.

  • you ALMOST got it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moochfish (822730) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @02:52PM (#15256535)
    Dvorak almost had it. People here almost had it.

    Microsoft is starting to look lost because it is focusing so much attention at so many businesses that are not its core: software development. Things like MSN, search, xbox are cash sinkholes that are not what makes Microsoft the powerful and respected (well, maybe not at Slashdot) company that it is. Up to here, everybody is getting.

    But what Dvorak and most of everybody here on Slashdot is missing is that this is not a choice Microsoft has. Microsoft sees 5, 10, 15 years ahead and knows that the days of its packaged software dominance are going to end. With computers reaching the power and speed of "good enough for daily tasks," consumers are less and less likely to want to pay to upgrade to a new operating system. With the emergence of browser applications and the gradual (albiet not full) maturation of free open source alternatives to Office and Windows, Microsoft has serious looming threats in the near future.

    Microsoft is smart. It is trying to reinvent itself BEFORE the trends of technology FORCE it to. By finding a new cash cow to rely on, it can sit comfortable the day a new version of Windows *doesn't* gain wide adoption (thinking - of course - two or three versions from now). Traditionally, that cash cow was and is Office. Let's not forget many people are perfectly content with Office 97 and see no need to upgrade to the newest version. This will only become more common as the Office product matures further. And as I stated above, and with the news that ODF is now an ISO standard [slashdot.org], even Office is no longer a safe bet *in the long term.* Microsoft execs realize this threat is not yet mature as everybody here on Slashdot wishes, but DOES realize that given enough time, their Office revenue stream will dwindle as well.

    So what happens? Microsoft looks at the current fastest growing technical market and tries to enter that race: search (Google), online ads (Google), online content deliver (iTunes). Microsoft is banking on online content distribution and services. If they're smart, they will tie their Office products with various online services to create the next generation online desktop Office applications. They will then charge a subscription fee and serve ads. THAT is where Microsoft is going. And they've got 40 billion dollars to ensure it happens.

    And what about the xbox? It's got NOTHING to do with anything. It is Bill Gate's life long dream to make Microsoft an entertainment hub. But if all the threats mentioned above come around in full force as they probably will in 10 years, this dream will probably never fully materialize. It's just the world's richest man making his company invest in his pet project.
    • I think this puts it almost perfectly.

      Quite frankly, when I look at the Microsoft monopoly, I see a monopoly that's actually in very poor health. It isn't going to fall over soon, but it isn't going to last too many more years either.

      As far as I can see, Microsoft has two core products:

      1. Windows - it's a good product to have as a cornerstone, because everybody will need to keep it updated to be current. However, it's a product that is under siege. Every malware writer out there has it in their sights.
  • by hexix (9514) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @03:00PM (#15256640) Homepage

    No fan of Microsoft here, but I think Dvorak really misunderstands the problem. Yeah, Vista slipped, and that probably sucks for Microsoft. Not sure it's really the death of Microsoft.

    I think what we're really seeing is that Microsoft is a much further thinker than Dvorak is. Not that outhinking Dvorak is really a hard accomplishment. What amazes me is that Dvorak thinks Microsoft is just making an enemy out of Google because they're successful. I think Microsoft is much smarter than that.

    What is Google's business model? Advertising. What does Google create? Just about everything. Google is looking at old products and businesses and thinking about how to make them free of cost but full of ads. This definitely should scare Microsoft.

    Google has search, mail, and now calendar. What happens when they get a word processor, spreadsheet, and a presentation program? And what happens when consumers look at the money they are paying for MS Office when they are no longer using it?

    If Microsoft doesn't at least consider being able to switch to an ad-supported services company, then I think this might just happen and then Microsoft truly will be dead in the water.

    However, for some reason John Dvorak sees Microsoft competing with Google as purely a distraction. I think Dvorak needs to be thinking on a grander scale.

  • by kimvette (919543) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @03:05PM (#15256690) Homepage Journal
    8. Preoccupation with Google. Microsoft is too easily distracted by successful companies who are not competitors. There is a deep-rooted belief that if a company like Google is successful, then they are an enemy per se. So the company obsesses on what Google is doing rather than concentrating on important Microsoft projects. Now Microsoft is about to do a deal with Yahoo to flank Google. This old-lady-like skittishness is unbecoming for a company this size.


    He just doesn't get it. He really doesn't. Google hired an engineer Microsoft did not want Google to hire. *throws chair* Steve Ballmer is going to fscking kill Google!!!111!!!
  • by WiseWeasel (92224) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @03:10PM (#15256732)
    Wow, that's one of the more sensible things I've ever read by Dvorak. I can't say I disagree with any of his arguments, and MS truly is unexciting and completely lacking in vision and direction (except for the Xbox division). Then again, the Xbox division is pretty much the only one that makes products that target consumers instead of targetting corporate IT as their market. The major problem with MS software is that they've completely lost touch with consumers, and haven't the slightest idea of how to design software that consumers want to use. They add requested feature after feature, without any oversight on workflow or comprehensive interface design. In the end, we just get incredibly bloated software with functionality randomly scattered throughout the interface in inconsistent ways.

    It seems they really need to refocus on individual consumer needs instead of what businesses need, and not be afraid to refactor their software with top-to-bottom interface redesigns when functionality and/or workflow changes significantly.
  • by jbplou (732414) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:25PM (#15258784)
    His arguement is that open source systems are free. Well .Net is free so if there is a problem with system costs that is an OS issue not .Net which is free just like Java.

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