August 10, 2005
Where is the value?
M$ seems to be looking for ways to invigorate its business model. I struggle to find anything that could be considered growth in their schema. In fact, one could argue that M$ hasn't delivered any compelling value proposition to the marketplace in quite sometime. They have been saddled with lawsuits, and have been preoccupied with DRM diversion. Oh yeah, they are also busy spreading FUD about open source software.
The long awaited vaporware product previously Longhorn(aka Vista) has been under development for close to three years. The launch date seems to slip with regularity. So, what is common place are constant patches(aka Service Packs) for XP. I seem to remember that NT received six service packs before XP was made available to the public. I estimate that we'll see at least four service packs for XP before Vista arrives sometime in 2008.
As I've stated many times previously, the closed-source, proprietary software development model simply doesn't permit frequent software releases. The finite number of engineers available to review the code, makes it next to impossible to modify the code and release a product without bugs.
In contrast, the Open-source model, as described by ESR deploys many eyeballs on the bugs that would disatisfy the end-user. If you want a more clear definition of how this really works, take a look at ESR's paper, the Cathedral & Bazaar.
Well, Balmer and the Redmond crew will continue to hype a giant whose leadership position is eroding. While its defacto command of the desktop is clear, its only saving grace is the office suite. Essentially, its margins have flat lined while, its competitors are taking position in the embedded software market. Actually, most would agree that the desktop market is drying up and the next area of opportunity is the embedded systems (ie. Smartphones, PDA, PVR).
I don't have all the answers, but I'm clear that M$ will need to discover a killer app that will excite consumers. Unfortunately, I don't think there is much innovation taking place there.
Posted by AG at August 10, 2005 1:12 PM