Thursday, March 30, 2006

Microsoft - Where to for Now

Just reading some enlighting comments from microsofties on microsoft resetting vista.

Before I comment on the current situation with Microsoft just a brief history of my microsoft experience. I started using Dos on 286 for my main project at Uni. Used turbo pascal to create a horse racing handicap system with user interface based on the macintosh. I also played around with first version of Windows at Uni which wasnt a good experience. I started to have a good impression in my first year of work where I was programing with Borland Turbo C++ on Windows (386). One of the most amazing things in my IT life was the ability access functions in a DLL from Word in 1993.

From there I introduced window 3.11 in my company then moved the company to NT when all other companies was using Novell. We ended up moving to NT from VMS on VAX and now I manage teams to looks after three clients running SAP Clients on Windows

I used to dream of having NT after reading a vaporware article on NT from BYTE magazine in 1993. I currenlty have XP on my work notebook and window 2000 on home computer and notebook. This is even though nextstep was my favourite operating system and I have been a regular slashdot reader from before Google.

Why did I stick with Microsoft and persuaded my companies to go Microsoft before they were the standard. The main reaons was I believed in Gates and it was easy to acquire microsoft software for free.

I am guessing what has “really” happened to microsoft
  • Bill Gates has had children so has lost his focus
  • Paul Allen left the Microsoft Board
  • Old Boys Network is alive
  • Culture moving to managing perception instead of getting things done
  • Its not cool to work for Microsoft if you are a geek
  • Best people now want to work for companies like Google
  • Microsoft licensing has screwed people like me who are now in senior management
  • Vaporware
  • Behaviour from the monopoly court case has created a perception that Microsoft the company is not cool and being the man.

The reality is office 97 in my opinion was the best business software ever created and there is not much more value you can add to what you could accomplish with 97 versions of Word, Excel, Access and Powerpoint. For me the only difference from NT to XP is that in XP the games are better and access to a wireless network.

So there are no products that really have added significant value compared to moving from version 3.11 to NT/95. Effect of Bluescreens and security was overated.

So microsofts only competition for Vista is Win2k and XP. If Vista is not backward compatible then it will give people like me the opportunity to try something new.

Crown Jewels for Microsoft is word and excel for business and games for home users.
So the biggest threat to Microsoft is giving people like me the opportunity to change our operating system and for me Google is in the best place to do this with internet based word and excel and for games consoles like Play Stations and Nintendo.

Even though I am in senior management the majority of the time I am just screwing around the internet as shown by this blog. My main task is to keep staff morale high, remove roadblocks for my staff, make sure that everyone is doing there part in the the big picture and reduce risk in meeting the big picture. But the best value I give is making right decisions the majority of the time. What happens is a lot of managers try and justify their positions and salary which in turns introduces more blocks for their staff. Best managers manage themselves out of job so they can spend more time on the internet:)

Okay so where to for now for Microsoft when considering the above.

My REALLY take is
  • Take Google on with an internet version of word and excel
  • Steve Balmer and co to be put in a think tank and get fresh management
  • Reduce the number of PM's as PM’s need to justify existence which means more blocks to the creative flow of work.
  • Stop screwing us with complicated licenses and copyright infringements. You are competing against free software model
  • Vista Roadmap doesn’t really matter and your just competing with yourself. People/Business will still buy windows operating system until the crown jewels are threatened.
  • Focus on XBOX strategy and include media centre
  • Stop trying to patten everything, it shows that you are scared about the future and willing to sit on your laurels. Its also bad karma to patten things other people have already invented.
  • Get the young geeks interested, you cant believe how much power they will have in ten years.
  • Reduce the bad karma from people like me. Gates is doing a good job on this front with his good deeds, where I have gone from a hater, indifferent to writing this post.
  • Take a huge loss in stock value to get rid of the stock watchers and start again.

I can see a day when Microsoft company will creates products like a new xbox which is the size of a mobile connects to controllers and plasma screens through wireless and is used for games, work, communication, browsing, music, dvds where stuff is downloaded from 3G/MediaHub


Another example of the old Digital {Who is going to be Compaq and then HP}


Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

So George, do you have time to weed your cassava garden in Suva? What about Macs? We had this tiny little Mac Classic that we thought was wonderful but you PC guys always put it down! At the Gordon TAFE the multimedia students use the latest Macs. Now we have a Compaq setup and Windows XP so we won't be eating much steak for a month!

9:42 am  
Anonymous George said...

Just like logo etc, just found out that this post is my 300th post on Really.

Interesting as my biggest influence in IT has been Microsoft products.
Age of Empires, Windows, Word
Microsoft Access, lotus notes and Internet Explorer

But now I am mainly using Firefox
Blogger, Google and outlook explorer

5:29 pm  
Anonymous george said...

Read a good article from cringley stating that Applie has rights to Window API which includes XP so that they have working versions that work natively in OS X.

I havent dreamt in years of having a pc like the Intel Machintosh with boot camp but if apple run windows applications natively a lot of what I said above is moot

Next round of buying for our company I am going to purchase a intel machintosh with a dual screen. I wonder how many other executive will go machintosh because we can justify the coolness with functionality

7:14 pm  

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