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Redmond's One Big Vista Mistake?

Posted by malcolmdavis on August 6, 2006 at 9:55 AM PDT

Several years ago, Apple's Tiger team was under pressure to ship an operating system that would kill Longhorn. Many of the promised features for Longhorn shipped on the Mac's new Tiger OS.

At that time, Longhorn was right around the corner, or so everybody thought.

Now, studying the comments coming out of Redmond, there might be yet another schedule slip in Vista.

"Ballmer admitted recently that one big, wrong decision led to all the Vista delays. They took a "Big Bang" approach and tried to overhaul all of the OS core components at the same time. That strategy eventually led to a fiery development crash." - Read more from WserverNews newsletter

Yet, there are more problems with Microsoft than delays in Vista.

  • In May, Sony's PS2 outsold the Xbox 360 by approximately 11K units. [Among other things, the 360 is not backward compatible with the previous gaming unit, and does not support BlueRay].
  • Microsoft's business model is based on selling software and not selling business services. [Software As Service (SAS) has been around for a while. The last 2 commercial companies where I was employed, and the one I am involved with now, all have a Software As Service business model].
  • Products like word-processing, spreadsheets, mail clients, etc, are all commodities. Hence, what is MS really providing? [People continue to migrate basic office type functionality to FOSS applications.]
  • Alternative development languages, tools, and environments are continuing to grow in popularity.
  • In the past, Microsoft stock options were a huge magnet, and motivation for Microsoft employees. However, with the continue dropping of stock value over the last 5 years, many employees inside the organization are becoming disheartened.
  • IMO: Microsoft does not have a staffing problem, but a problem in organizational structure, mindset, and ego. Dropping Java to create a new language and technology base was a perfect demonstration of the ego. Billions spent on a lawsuit, developing and marketing new technology, and not to include all the time spent that could have gone into creating the ultimate Java platform. When IBM went through their ego trip, IBM acknowledged the problem, hired a new president, and re-focused the company. Is Microsoft ready to do the same?

    Special thanks to Daniel H Steinberg.

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