If not for the "3 year old Surrogates" who invaded the Corporate IT world in the mid 90's, Windows would have never lasted THIS LONG! Windows 8 will be the stake that kills the giant Ogre that is Redmond and Microsoft. "EM" Balmer is already there measuring for the interment ceremony.
Trust me, I was directly involved in a large (ok HUGE) company in the mid to late 1990's when the OS wars (Microsoft Vs Microsoft vs. Novell, vs. UNIX) were in full swing. BY FAR the majority of mindless foot dragging and foul language emanated from the "3 year olds" who had managed to parlay a spot in development
HOW? Well following a stint on the "help desk" where their "rudimentary windows skills" translated into "Server Skills"......Only and I mean ONLY reason this worked was that the Microsoft Servers were SO DUMBED DOWN, that a 3 year old could actually configure them.
I called this process "Click and Hope" in terms of "go through the GUIs long enough, and at some point (like the monkeys typing on typewriters" one would ultimately randomly create something intelligible. The unfortunate thing was that the cost of deployment, support, and overall COI was so inflated by this inefficient model that many companies could not compete.
In 1995 an IBM OS/2 server could serve as domain controller and serve 500-700 users, Microsoft was limited to 100 users max. In terms of application serving and reducing COI of software, again Microsoft with its "flagship" (more like Pirate ship) office ABSOLUTELY fought this concept, and wanted an Office copy on every PC.
Again the 3 year olds complied. Had OS/2 Warp, Sun Solaris X86, or even Novel been given an “equal shot” by the industry (rather than MGMT relying on the “smoke and mirrors” at Microsoft, we would be about 10 years further along right now. With lots and lots of the IT “GURUS” as baristas at Starbucks.
Promises were made to upper management (at our company) from Redmond at "dog and pony" events telling how Windows 95 could extend your desktop to any other PC in the company (forgot to tell you that the other machine would have to mirror yours exactly and that specialized apps on your PC were not accessible to the other PC).
This was major as it was one of the primary reasons Windows 95 was deployed. (BTW) this capability STILL does not exist natively (on Microsoft products anyway). UNIX and LINUX could do it at the time. Now you can use the Virtual PC and other similar technologies to approximate what Microsoft claimed and swore by in 1995! By my count, that is almost 20 years of lies alone!!!
As far as the "3 year old" people taking over IT, no where is this more apparent than today. "Click and Hope" configuration is the norm, breaking standards the goal, and dominance through devotion the only key. Much like a 3 year old clings to a parent for sustenance and survival, so have the masses those beginnings in the 1990’s have devoted their "souls" if you will to promoting a now lumbering and faltering giant.
Unfortunately for many who "banked" on Microsoft dominating for their career span, a younger and hipper crowd has deemed APPLE the new regent and status symbol. While I see neither "winning" long term, they will collectively muddy the waters until a "new" victor emerges.
While many would arguable say that XP and perhaps windows 7 are useful and "easy" to use, never in its history has Microsoft provided a feature rich tool upon which an enterprise could be built. Only the point and click and pictures made this tech viable for the masses of IT incompetents.
And before extolling the innovation of Windows NT, remember that that NT OS was "co-developed" (by co I mean written by IBM and "co opted" by Microsoft) and that the overwhelming success of that project was OS/2 (version 2.11 - WARP). So Forget NT as an "innovation"
Prior to that, Windows 3.1 was a "rip off" of the Mac interface (albeit poorly implemented)
And MS DOS before that was "essentially stolen" from another small company in Washington State and handed off to IBM as a Microsoft "innovation".
With a track record like that, Microsoft in most respects most closely resembles the business model of china (covert cooperate and conquer) using the "enemy's own tools against them.
In closing, let me say that the "success and failure" of Microsoft has been driven by and architected by “3 year olds”, so in fact this thread is ESSENTIALLY TRUE!