Gates complained about patent protection law preventing competition.
Once Microsoft was in the position of owning patents and using them to
stifle new competition, it changed its tune. Microsoft became a great
parasite that had developed an intolerance to parasites of its own.
The problem: the company had no capacity to do anything original apart
from extracting the value created by others....
Despite growing all these tentacles in efforts to leech away revenues
from anything successful around it, Microsoft’s new businesses related
to the Zune, Xbox and Windows Mobile have all consumed more resources
than they’ve earned....
Over the past decade, the company has simply grown desperate for
ideas....The problem there is that time ravages all organisms. The
last decade has stripped Microsoft of its perceived immunity,
omnipotence and omniscience, giving it a tarnished brand while its
once weak competitors and former hosts have regained their strength.
Commercial Unix has been reborn as Linux, and has gained a new respect
in the enterprise that no amount of Microsoft-fueled misinformation
campaigns can now slow....
It’s now the third year of the Zune, which failed miserably despite
the company’s best efforts to apply its monopoly power and disgorge
rivers of false information from every pundit pore. The failure of the
second year’s Zune models only proved the fact that Microsoft’s hubris
was the act of a naked emperor. Apple kept one step ahead throughout,
delivering the cheap video Nano to embarrass the original Zune and the
iPod touch to humiliate the second generation....
This is a grave mistake [to expect 3rd party developers to flock to
the Zune].... this time Microsoft doesn’t have the support of its
army of hardware partners. The Zune killed off Microsoft’s MP3
partnerships, leaving it pitted against a variety of
rivals...Expecting developers to flock to the Zune HD in ways they
haven’t flocked to the already existing Zune APIs is rather naive...
This all means that Microsoft should be delivering the Zune HD with an
impressive assortment of clever mobile apps to rival the iPhone and
iPod touch. It isn’t. While CNET regulars are gushing over the very
basic version of Internet Explorer 6 (!) included on it, once the
device hits the street it will be compared against a real mobile
browser and users will wonder why Windows Enthusiast rags were blowing
so much smoke up their… Zune.
In reality, the Zune’s web browser looks terrible. Its virtual
keyboard... covers more of the display and looks clunker, while its
zooming, panning, and general navigation are so bad Microsoft refuses
to demonstrate it in public...The Zune HD goes on sale in a month
using a browser formerly known only to drive Windows Mobile users nuts
and send them off to download Opera.
If Microsoft’s web browser is this bad, you can imagine what else is
wrong. The general navigation is that same awful list of text that
trails off the edge of the screen, something that did not seem to
create excitement in the first two generations of Zune devices. The
Zune HD is Windows Mobile without a phone. Think about how bad that
is. No really, pause and reflect for a moment. Wow....
Today’s Microsoft will die, just like the old IBM monopoly and the
British Empire and the Caesars and the dinosaurs. The only question
is, will Microsoft reinvent itself and live on in a new form, or sink
into history as one of the most troublesome diseases to ever hold back
the progress of our society’s technological advancement?