Immoderate greatness

An interesting post by Matt Asay titled “Two clues Microsoft is losing its way”. Last week I read Microsoft’s new “Get the Facts” (yeah right) browser campaign and had a great laugh. If that’s the best that they can come up with then they are in deeper trouble than they already seem to be.

One would almost feel sorry for them. First Google makes their cashcow Desktop platform irrelevant. Who wants to shell out hard earned cash for a Desktop Operating System like Vista just so you can fire up a browser and get all your work done online? Who needs Vista when you can get a free Desktop Operating System like Fedora?

Once Google gets Google Docs sorted out Redmond’s Office suite cashcow is to follow. After the European Commission forced Microsoft to open up their protocols, companies like Zarafa and Scalix popped up and are starting to eat into their Exchange cashcow. Then there’s this annoying little company called Red Hat that steals away revenues on the server side at a rate that must give Steve nightmares and make chairs fly.  And let’s not forget about Cisco‘s recent product announcements that seem to compete directly with Microsoft.

With Redmond’s cashcows becoming less cash and more cow it makes me wonder where Steve is going to find the budget to finance all those fancy adventures. Bing will need a staggering amount of money over a long period of time if it wants Bing to go anywhere but straight into oblivion. Despite the hype in it first few weeks it just did bing instead of bang. Bing’s market share seems to be well below 5%. Hardly threatening to Google.

I can’t imagine that Microsoft’s shareholders are pleased with the amount of money that adventures like Bing and Vista devour while revenues from a rather disappointing Vista never took off as they did with WinXP. And it seems they never will too as Microsoft has acknowledged an 18-month Windows 7 to XP downgrade policy. What does that tell you about the market’s perception of Microsoft’s latest “innovation”?

Microsoft claims to be innovative and a market leader. Yet from where I’m standing I see a company on the defence, incapable of coming up with an answer to an online future powered by Google and incapable of maintaining its once innovative powers. Immoderate greatness indeed.