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[News] [Rival] Microsoft Becomes the Next (Stumbling) IBM, Lacks Direction

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Bill Gates doesn't play monopoly? Laugh? I nearly died

,----[ Quote ] 
| Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's High Command, received the same 
| treatment, with one softball question after another. 'Was Vista a mistake?' 
| Not at all, replied Gates. 'We have a culture that's very much about "We need 
| to do better". Vista's given us more opportunities to exercise our culture.' 
| Laugh? I nearly died.    
| It was left to a member of the audience, technology publisher Tim O'Reilly, 
| to ask a searching question. Did Microsoft 'have any really big, hairy, 
| audacious goal' any more? Watching Gates waffle said everything one needed to 
| know about how incoherent and middle-aged his company has become. He didn't  
| have an answer because there isn't one. Microsoft has become the IBM de nos 
| jours. Or, rather, the IBM of three decades ago - a company in the throes of 
| losing an empire and having difficulty finding a new role.     



Microsoft's Desperate Move

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft on Tuesday appeared to hedge its bets on a deal with Yahoo!,
| reiterating its stance that it has many ways to grow its ad business with or
| without the Web portal. "Yahoo! is just part of our strategy," Siebrecht
| said. "We'll get there through organic investment and acquisition. There are
| other companies out there that could help accelerate that as well."
| That message is getting really old, Microsoft. You've either got a game plan
| or you don't.


Frankly Speaking: Microsoft's woes are like IBM's of old

,----[ Quote
| By coincidence, 15 years ago this month, Lou Gerstner arrived at IBM.
| [...]
| Here's the worst part: Microsoft's approach to customers has always been 
| old-school IBM: Lock 'em in. But the first rule of lock-in is this: Never 
| break your customers' software. And the second rule is this: Never force a 
| product on customers that breaks their software when the previous version 
| still works fine.    
| Vista breaks applications. It breaks device drivers. It breaks the strongest 
| reasons for customers to stay with Microsoft. It actually threatens to break 
| Microsoft's customer lock-in.   


Microsoft's Antitrust Case, 10 Years Later

,----[ Quote ]
| In the Freedom to Tinker blog this week, Professor Ed Felten started a series
| of entries marking the 10 years since the Department of Justice brought its
| antitrust case against Microsoft. The past decade has brought a lot of
| changes for Microsoft as well as the entire industry. But if you're wondering
| where things are headed for Microsoft, it might be instructive to look at
| what happened to IBM.


Is Microsoft Aura Fading?

,----[ Quote ]
| Yesterday's early relief rally reversed, and Microsoft's value has now fallen
| by more than $30 billion since it unveiled its bid for Yahoo on February 1.


Microsoft stock drops amid slumping sales

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft Corp., whose Windows software dominates the personal-computer
| market, fell 6.2 percent Fridayin Nasdaq trading after sales slumped, casting
| doubt on whether PC demand can hold up in a slowing economy. The software
| maker reported a 24 percent drop in sales of Windows last quarter and
| forecast earnings that may miss analysts' estimates.    
| [...]
| "The risk is that Linux gets a foothold and then affects their long-term
| revenue significantly."


Microsoft says to borrow money for Yahoo deal

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft Corp said on Monday it may borrow money for the first time in its 
| history to fund a portion of its $44.6 billion unsolicited offer for Yahoo 
| Inc.  



Winner-Take-All: Google and the Third Age of Computing

,----[ Quote ]
| To paraphrase an old comment about IBM, made during its 30 year
| dominance of the enterprise mainframe market, Google is not your
| competition, Google is the environment. Online businesses which
| struggle against this new reality will pay opportunity costs both
| in online advertising revenue as well as product success.

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