The Next Microsoft

Just browsing through feeds on a lazy Sunday and I saw one titled “Microsoft the new IBM?” on Scoble’s blog. Now, normally I disregard most talking about Microsoft (unless they sell cool communist shirts), but reading that headline reminded of something I heard a while back, although I don’t recall who said it.

“There won’t be another Microsoft because for there to be another Microsoft there would need to be another IBM to bend over and take it in the ass.”

And that got me thinking, who is going to be the company that boffs Microsoft as hard as they did IBM? As Microsoft sees their product share slipping, or starts becoming convinced that some new area of development is the future, I wonder if some small company is really going to pull a big one on them.

6 thoughts on “The Next Microsoft

  1. Microsoft won’t let another company do to them what they did to IBM. Bill Gates and friends know that that is how MS beat IBM, and they absolutely won’t allow it to happen to them.

    My guess is, that will be their downfall (if they have a downfall). Imagine if IBM had stayed out of the PC business because it would’ve affected their mainframe revenue. IBM would have fared no better, and we’d probably all be running Macs by now (and worse off by having to pay monopoly markup on hardware, instead of just the OS). Eventually MS may refuse to jump on some major bandwagon (open source?) and wake up one day to notice a new, bigger empire sprung up just outside the borders of their own. I would’ve guessed game consoles (which are computers, just marketed differently) but MS has caught on to that.

    I’m not holding my breath though. MS appears to be very vigilant – paranoid even – about suffocating / buying out anything that might eventually resemble competition in the future.

  2. A lesser known fact is that IBM is the top software company in the world. Microsoft may have beat them in certain theatres (Operating Systems, Office productivity, etc.), but overall IBM is still IBM and still kickin’ it larger than Microsoft all over the world.

    Now the other problem with “beating Microsoft” would be : what would you beat them at? Its like multi-headed hydra now. You beat them in one place, they do just fine in another.

    I think Microsoft’s overall “defeat” will be won by attrition, as multiple players salt away at Microsoft’s hegemony, and Microsoft makes one screwup after another (eg. Calling opensourcers Communists, lol)

  3. Re: Kafka Well, just as you pointed out, IBM is still huge. It won’t be that Microsoft has to fall, it just needs to get tricked into comitting to something that in the end gets swept out from under them powerfully enough to knock them off balance and let somebody gain an advantage.

  4. I really liked gillian’s Google comment. They’ve got lots of momentum and MS is probably wondering what the hell they’re gonna do.

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