10.30.10

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InformationWeek Global CIO on Today’s Microsoft Possibly Vanishing Within Less Than Five Years

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 3:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Even one of the more Microsoft-sympathetic publications foresees the end of Microsoft, whose struggle against advancement Ray Ozzie warned about earlier this month as he quit

IN one of our later posts we are going to go through Microsoft’s results and explain (yet again) why Microsoft is not telling the full story. Today, just days after Microsoft results which it wants people to believe are wonderful, InformationWeek Global CIO says that “Microsoft [is] Looking Like An End-Stage Company” and expands as follows:

I believe that Microsoft as we know it may not be around in another decade–maybe not even in five years. There’s hardly a single tech industry trend line pointing in Redmond’s favor right now, and some of those curves are about to get a lot steeper, real fast.

We have actually heard from people who predict the Enronisation of Microsoft within a few years. As this one new post (amongst others that cite us this week) put it, “Enron was a cash maven too, till nearly the very end” and Microsoft’s “moves are not a marker of a company with coffers full of cash.”

We wrote repeatedly about Microsoft’s growing debt and other oddities (there is a recorded history of financial fraud at Microsoft). Mini-Microsoft, an anonymous employee of Microsoft, wrote about the company’s latest results, and s/he argues that Microsoft should lay off another 15,000 workers:

I still believe we need to chuck about 15,000 positions (and half of our super-ballooned contingent staff) rather than continue the slow squeeze around the company that’s making this an ordinary job with some extraordinary wonderful people who just haven’t given up on the company. Yet. I hope that the analysts realize that continued, consistent bloodletting because a negative for hiring, and (allow me to be pro-hiring for a moment) if we can’t bring in deep-talented new blood to replace the departed dead wood, our future is doomed to mediocrity.

The blog of Mini-Microsoft is the source of rumoured layoffs that we wrote about recently. Layoffs are usually announced a week or two after results are announced and if the layoffs are slow (or involve offshoring) they may never be formally announced. Either way, be not afraid of Microsoft. Increasingly it will be companies like Apple that find Free software to be a thorn in their behind. Apple is already suing Linux/Android because it’s losing to it. Microsoft may be gone sooner or later (not altogether), but the demise of Microsoft is not necessarily the arrival of software freedom Utopia. The struggle or at least the vigilance will be perpetual because, as Dr. Richard Stallman once put it, “value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history.”

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2 Comments

  1. TemporalBeing said,

    November 1, 2010 at 12:28 pm

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    interesting to see some bigger sources starting to say this. I started saying Microsoft’s days were numbered as soon as the ODF vs. OOXML battle was underway – with ODF approved by ISO and OOXML trying to be, a successful failure when it did at that too. Now it’s just a matter of time until the curves start their sharper descents and Microsoft perishes into oblivion.

    That said, I have also usually stated that they might survive as a company, but will be only a shadow of their former self. In that, they will have a small percentage of the desktop (33% at best!) and not much better elsewhere. They will be forced to port Office to other platforms.

    Though I did see .Net as their attempt at self-preservation. When they first announced it they were strong on its portability factors – that it was not tied to Windows – and that they would be porting their own applications (e.g. Office) to it. Supposing they did do so, then it could be trivial for them to move software to Linux/Mac/Unix/etc. if they provided the .Net framework under a suitable license, though that will probably be the day that pigs fly. Needless to say, if they did port their software as they then suggested (2001 era) they would have a migration path for their own software from Windows to other platforms; however, it is unlikely they ever did so – especially with their larger products.

    And it is more unlikely that some of their alternative OS’s will take off too.

    Though I do have to wonder – is the rising debt a response to BillG’s cashing in of his stocks and options to fund B&MG Foundation? Or as part of his retirement? That would be funny, but not unlike BillG in the least – a cancer on anything he touches.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    A lot of Office headlines in the English-speaking press are about Macs now.

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