Microsoft Not Immune to Challenges of New Technology Interesting Microsoft story via

This is a great addendum to the Google post earlier.

I know it sounds insane to say that THE company that spawned the world’s richest man (depending on the year) is in danger of fading away but when you think about the changes currently underway I really don’t see it as a stretch.

For years Microsoft has enjoyed the relative security that comes with controlling a product (and subsequent line of productivity software) that is THE cornerstone of personal computing. The first computer I ever bought was a Mac and I remember vividly the frustration of walking into a computer store whose walls will brimming with software titles for Windows – the Mac section, by comparison was a pathetic shelf or two.

Individuals and companies alike have favored Windows-based PCs – in part because of their lower cost but largely because of the widespread compatibility of their software. Who wants to create a document that your friends or clients can’t open or read right?

Fast forward to today’s largely web based world (with a growing measure of mobile computing sprinkled in for good measure). By necessity common formats have developed that allow all sorts of random applications to interact with each other without problem. Google has even pushed out an online productivity suite that includes word and spreadsheet programs.

At this stage do we really care who makes the product so long as we can navigate the interface easily and others can access and edit the documents we create? I’m not saying that Microsoft is going to fold tomorrow or even in 5 or 10 years – what I am saying is that I can absolutely envision a future where the demand for compatibility is so great that it won’t matter if you are running Windows, Mac OS, Linux or some grand new creation so long as you are able to do what you need to do.

The world we live in today is absolutely amazing to me – imagine living 50 years back and being able to fathom the replacement of Ford or AT&T – never in a million years and even those aren’t the best examples given the dynamics of today’s world.

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