I do not see Microsoft going down just yet

It seems there a few almost guaranteed ways to bring some hits to your tech blog, and maybe even get it dugg:

  1. Say something really, really smart about things that people really want to read about
  2. Say something very controversial about something people love or hate
  3. Declare Microsoft dead

(of course, I always go for approach #1 😉 )

I was reading yet another post over on ZDNet (Is the era of Microsoft ending?) declaring that Microsoft is dead, or soon will be. I do not really see much data that supports anything in the post, and the post itself certainly does not provide any. Microsoft still has pretty good numbers, a fair amount of cash, and some market share to play with. And in many of their primary business units, they have minimal realistic competition. And in areas in which they are late to the table (search, online advertising, etc.), while they are certainly not dominant, they are not out of the game, either.

Will Microsoft reign supreme forever, as it has for much of the last 10-20 years? Maybe, maybe not. Like most businesses, if they fail to adapt to new technologies, new circumstances,  and new competition, they will not be successful. If they do it enough, they will whither and die. Even now Microsoft is going through major transitions, as Gates begins to step away from operations. A transition like this is difficult for any company.

I will repeat what I said above – if they fail to adapt, they will die.

However, I do not see a lot of signs of this happenning right now. yes, there are areas where they have slipped up. The only business that never screws up is one that never tries anything new (and that business is already screwed from the start).

It will definitely be interesting to see where the computer industry is 20 years from now, but I would be very surprised not to see Microsoft alive and well, and extremely viable long after many of us have stopped worrying about it.


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