Summary: With neither a tombstone nor an announcement, Microsoft products are popping
Late last week, with absolutely no public announcement, Microsoft quietly retired one cog in its antipiracy machine.
Microsoft has no “antipiracy machine”. It’s called counterfeiting, not piracy. And Microsoft loves counterfeiting in many cases. In a way, “Genuine Advantage” cannot possibly qualify as a product. It’s just a two-word euphemism which strives to spin an antifeature as a feature (using two positive words, “Genuine” and “Advantage”).
More recently we came to realise that Microsoft’s latest phone platform is a failure in the market, which ought to confirm the imminent death of Silver Lie [sic]. Microsoft tried using its phone platform to duck claims that Silver Lie was dead. Likewise, Zune has been carried along despite it being mostly neglected for years (but not formally discontinued). In IRC today, Oiaohm writes: “Really lot of MS dead products don’t get advertised any more. Instead they just fade out. [About Zune] Notice how they avoided saying this is dead. They just merged it into Xbox and Windows phone. Basically MS is getting better at hiding their dead.” There will be more of that in today’s IRC logs.
a lost decade that has seen its fortunes sag in multiple businesses, this same company is–not without justification–referred to affectionately as the underdog by the head of a Web business that did not even exist when Microsoft first developed an Internet browser. A Newsweek columnist recently dismissed Microsoft as no longer a source of fear in the technology world, but rather “a bit of a joke.” Nearly ten years ago, a newspaper had declared Microsoft a step away from “world domination.”
How did such a seemingly indomitable enterprise lose its formidable grip on the marketplace? Are Microsoft’s best days now behind it? Can it recover its former glory (if not its notoriety) in the twenty-teens?
Microsoft’s conspicuous slide attests to the tenuous nature of power and supremacy in the Internet age, and the degree to which the product itself–technology–can radically reshape business models, creating new markets for upstarts and opening pathways around previously insurmountable gatekeepers. In an era in which innovation is perhaps more important than ever, Microsoft’s experience illustrates how nothing is really certain for anyone.
• Windows is not for fingers.
• Windows is too bloated for mobile devices.
Microsoft is more or less finished in this area, but it has the nerve to extort its rivals using software patents. When many of Microsoft’s products are dropped the company will technically be a patent troll in an increasing number of areas. █