3 minute read

by Adelard Gasana

Microsoft has become what they feared most; the next IBM. With the latest release of their operating system, Vista, you have to wonder how they have lost their focus.

They have a lot of competition and any attempt to expand their brand into other industries seems to fail. Here are some quick examples.

Video Games

With their XBox and XBox360 game consoles, they are now competing with video game veteran Nintendo and Playstation. They are in 3rd place. I have both XBox and XBox360 and I only play 2 games on them; Halo 2 and Halo 3. The rest of the games are pretty much lackluster and I’m a game freak. I had and still have Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Gameboy, Playstation 2 and several games for each system. Why did I buy a game console that I only play 2 games on? Good question, that’s why they are #3. They have attempted to make the XBox360 a home entertainment center which adds competition to NetFlix and Tivo. They sided next to HD-DVD during the HD-DVD versus BluRay war. They created a HD-DVD reader for the XBox360. Sony won the BluRay war and XBox360 is trying to figure their way out of that mess.

Online Search Engine

They are competing with veteran Google and Yahoo here, and have come again in 3rd place. Their search results are simply not good.  ‘nuff said.

Online Advertising

Microsoft was complaining about Google buying DoubleClick. Google is #1, Yahoo is #2 and AOL’s advertising companies is #3. Microsoft isn’t even on the map in my opinion.

Internet Browser

They do have control on this, and are #1 since they started bundling Internet Explorer with their operating systems. FireFox has made a lot of inroads and with the launch of Google’s Chrome Browser (I do not support Google getting into the browser business) Microsoft has their competition growing strong day by day.


Microsoft owns the Microsoft Office business. Bundling Word, Excel, PowerPoint and all into their Office suite which comes with trail versions in their operating system which was one of the best strategies they have come up with.

MP3 Players

Zune, are they serious? This is their attempt to compete with Apple’s Ipod. Explain to me why I would buy a Zune? Most phones come with some sort of MP3 player so this is an interesting battle which goes into the next phase.

Mobile Operating System

Microsoft owned Mobile Operating Systems until Apple came in with the Iphone. They are still competing with BlackBerry, Palm and Apple’s wildly successful Iphone. Google’s Mobile Operating System Android is scheduled to hit the markets as well. The difference between them and their competition on this level is that they are the only company lacking innovation. No one can say who is winning the game, Iphone is the most popular one here and has an innovative development community willing and crawling all over each other to create applications.

Operating System

Here is their bread and butter. But it will not last long. Due to the amount of competition they have, their latest operating system has taken a huge hit in functionality and PR. Apple’s OS X operating system has quickly become the choice of the next generation and tech geeks alike. It’s Unix!

In every field Microsoft is a follower, they are never the first ones to innovate. They are usually copying the competition and playing catch up. Even in the OS market which they did win and much of their success is to their bundling of software. The lack of innovation is why they are in the position they are in. They took out a lot of the software competition and won the browser wars through their operating system stranglehold on the market.

Unfortunately now, with the advancement of the Internet, competition can spring up left and right and faster than ever before. Since they have more fronts to cover, some departments will lack innovation and creativity. The problem comes in when your bread and butter is that place. Here is a funny photo I found while on stumbleupon.com that inspired me to write this post.

If the next generation is not using your stuff, how will you survive? Of all the people in the room one person is using Microsoft’s operating system, assuming? And who knows, maybe she’s smart and installed Ubuntu instead!

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