__/ [r.e.ballard@xxxxxxx] on Saturday 10 December 2005 00:18 \__
> Beauregard Jackson Burnside wrote:
>> Hello chaps!
>> How much market share, bare minimum, would Microsoft need to sustain,
>> including its revenue from other interests, to retain its place in
>> business at the top, and maintain itself without break up?
> This is like a law in statistics.
> Ultimately, Microsoft needs to maintain it's current revenue stream -
> roughly $40 billion per year, to retain it's current market cap and
> share price. If revenue starts dropping, then there is a risk that
> stock prices will fall.
This can be balanced owing to lower wages:
How much did they invest in that move? Was it 3.1 billion dollars?
> Microsoft is being squeezed from several different fronts.
> FireFox and Thunderbird are breaking Microsoft's control over the web
> browser market. Many sites are realizing that when they turn away 100
> million firefox users, they are probably turning them over to
> competitors. Since the user probably got their link from google, the
> customer has a list of competitors to go to. Vendors are now realizing
> that turning away Firefox users, or telling them that their browser is
> unwelcome, is not a good business decision.
Exactly. In reference to the latest post (tease rather) from DFS, media
players and proprietary formats like WMV will no longer be an issue either:
> Thunderbird is cracking the Outlook market, but this one is less
> critical. On the other hand, it threatens Microsoft's "Exchange"
> market along with CLIs and secondary licenses that could run into the
Mail lock-in was possibly a bigger issue, at least for me. That's why
Thunderbird's slogan is "reclaim your inbox".
> OpenOffice is another deep cut. Microsoft is trying to promote new
> versions of MS-Office and customers have decided that they are quite
> happy with what they have from Microsoft, and are supplementing their
> software archive with OpenOffice. Most schools, businesses, and
> government agencies are now developing a preference for OpenDocument,
> partly because it's a known, public, and published standard. Now that
> most of Microsoft's competitors are lining up behind this standard,
> Microsoft will find that about the only "upgrade" people will want to
> see is "OpenDocument" support, which means strict compliance - not some
> tweaked up version with "a few proprietary extensions" that break the
> competitor products.
OpenDocument is hitting the big headlines these days. Many large companies
embrace it so it's only a matter of time before people send each other
OpenDocument files via E-mail, thus urging more people to have OO (or
Abiwork, Star Office, KOffice, etc.) installed.
> Microsoft will still sell lots of Windows licenses to OEMs, but
> corporate customers may be less willing to pay for "upgrades" and may
> wish to install Linux and make Windows the "Client" on their systems.
> Again, this will not shut Microsoft down, but it could cause their
> share prices to drop significantly.
> Microsoft will try to maintain it's market lead through manipulation of
> statistics. By claiming that "95% of all PCs are sold with Windows",
> but if corporate and government customers stop purchasing upgrades and
> support contracts for Office Professional, Windows Professional, and
> Support "Seat Taxes" than can run as high as $50/employee/month, That
> can very quickly cut into Microsoft's revenue streams.
> They might be able to balance that revenue loss with new revenue
> streams such as X-Box and XBox/360, or new web businesses, but they
> will have to go through the type of transformation that is very much
> IBM had to go through a similar transformation in the early 1990s.
> John Akers assumed "If we build it, they will come", and sales
> incentives encouraged sales staff to try to "bait and switch customers
> who wanted RS/6000 UNIX systems and try to sell them AS/400 or S/390
> instead. When Lou Gerstner took over, he forced the sales staff to
> listen to the customers and give them what THEY wanted. He shifted the
> revenue stream from huge hardware and software price tags to consulting
> engagements. Even the consultants were encouraged to remain "vendor
> neutral" and not try to bump competitor products unless the customer
> really wanted them to do so.
> The net result is that IBM caught the Linux craze without trying to
> "hammer it into something BLUE". This support of a strong competitive
> environment has actually improved not only the support for Linux, but
> has also lead to many new opportunities that provide much more "bang
> for the buck" in terms of customer benefit.
> Just as people were convinced that the Mainframe was dead, Linux on
> Z-Series became so popular that even IBM was a bit shocked and
HP are finally selling Linux laptops as well.
>> Accuracy in its entirety is not essential. Just an opinionated ball park,
>> idea, notions or facts, if anyone has them.
> The real question is - how long will Microsoft be allowed to continue
> to force OEMs, ISVs, and Businesses to exclude Linux from the desktop.
> Linux is fully prepared to "Play nicely" with Windows. Microsoft might
> even continue to be installed on 95% of the workstations. However, 70%
> of those workstations will be running Linux AT THE SAME TIME.
Register your machine with the Linux counter ( counter.li.org/ ). It might
help. With the growth, saturation and extension of stats packages, it is no
longer hard these day to predict and reflect on O/S usage based on the World
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