Resistance is Futile

Even IBM is switching to Macs now.

Okay, okay, I know it’s just a pilot program, but I still think it speaks volumes about the changing tides in IT right now.

I love this little bit, though.  Among the (few) complaints the participants had:

Other drawbacks or weaknesses users reported in the Mac platform included support issues with IBM’s Lotus Sametime instant messaging software and a “lack of robustness or support for Microsoft applications – PowerPoint issues, no NetMeeting, [and] limitations for tools running on Internet Explorer.”

NetMeeting?  NetMeeting?  Do people really still use that?  And I guess they didn’t have Keynote installed, because anyone who’s ever used Keynote would care less about PowerPoint issues.  And Internet Explorer?  They’ve heard of Firefox and Safari, right?

Seriously, though, I think this is a good indication of the changes that are going to be happening in the next few years.  Microsoft is having trouble staying ahead of the industry.  More and more people are using Google Docs and OpenOffice instead of Microsoft’s Office.  People are switching to Macs and Linux for their home systems.  Companies are switching to Macs, Linux and Unix like never before.  Meanwhile, MS is wasting resources on the XBox and Zune to try to compete with Sony, Nintendo and Apple in markets where they just don’t belong*.  And while the XBox may be marginally successful (at least from a business standpoint – I know it’s popular with gamers, but it doesn’t make MS much money), the Zune has been a complete failure.  Instead of innovating on the web front, they’re trying to buy out Yahoo!, which will only result in Yahoo! being converted over to the same mediocre MS technologies that run Hotmail/MSN/.Net/Live (or whatever the hell they’re calling it this week).  (On a side note:  I really hope Yahoo! is able to resist this takeover bid.  I like Yahoo! mail better than Gmail, and Flickr better than Picasa, but I’ll switch if I have to!)

Microsoft has gotten too big for its own good.  It can’t adapt fast enough.  It’s sticking its hands into too many pots, and is unable to concentrate on their core business because of that.  The massive Vista failure is only one of the problems they face right now, but indicative of where things are heading for them.

The next five years should be pretty interesting.

* What I mean by “don’t belong” is that they clearly don’t know how to compete in these markets, and would be better off doing what they do best, which is marketing software to businesses.  They can get into whatever markets they please, but I wouldn’t buy a car from them if they put one out, you know what I’m saying?

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2 comments on “Resistance is Futile

  1. On the IE front, it’s not just a question of web browsing, but the large number of IE+ActiveX net apps that are out there. You can argue that there are better ways of doing things, but the fact remains that these still exist. It was a big pain when I was teaching as the on-line homework software we had required IE+ActiveX.

    Incidentally, there is a Microsoft(ish) car out there now. http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-12760_7-9672096-5.html

  2. No, I know the problem is really with web developers using .asp and ActiveX instead of web standards.  But given that this is a pilot program to test for a larger future roll out, it would stand to reason that they’re talking about internal web apps, so it would also stand to reason that they could get their internal developers to rewrite those apps to use internet standards.

    Same thing with their complaint about Lotus Sametime, if they’re serious about deploying Macs, they could get their Lotus team to shape up.

    And, I’m aware of MS Sync.  (That sentence should be read with a dismissive tone and a wave of the hand.) It’ll be interesting to see if that’s another non-starter for MS.  It’ll also be interesting to see what, if any, competition to that comes out in the near future.  But, MS doesn’t make the car, and their system doesn’t (as far as I can tell) run anything critical to the actual functionality of the car.

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