6 Jan 2006 01:48
Re: Nomination for Ordinary Committee Members
Brent Wallis <brent.wallis@...>
2006-01-06 00:48:57 GMT
2006-01-06 00:48:57 GMT
On 1/6/06, James Purser <purserj-YdU1NdTxqHYAvxtiuMwx3w@public.gmane.org> wrote:All valid points....but
I'd hazard to say that Microsoft's dominance today can be more
attributed to inertia and ignorance that clever marketing. Sure
marketing plays a part but as the saying goes "Nobody ever got fired for
If I may, it is worth pointing out some economic realities (for the sake of cheering up those who are dissapponted with the current state of play (a state I suffer periodically as well..... ) :
- There is no precedent in human history where a single entity has been able to monopolise something indefinitely without doing something to "engineer" the situation in that entities favour.
- This "engineering" comes at a cost....it could be marketing related....right down to "dirty" deals done on the side....it could be restrictive product distribution....or the artificial monopoly that patents create.......it doesn;t really matter what the nature of the market engineering takes, all one needs to understand is that it costs dollars/resources!
- The cost of this engineering becomes greater when the market involved is considered "emerging"....a useful metaphor is stretching a rubber band of fixed length. The more you stretch (eg the more you try and engineer a monopoly) the more energy it requires to keep the thing stretched (ie the more you try and prop up a monopoly the more money it takes to do so.)
When considering MS and their position in the "emerging" market of personal computing there is clear evidence that their 95% monopoly is already "stretched" to it's limit no matter how much money and FUD they throw at it:
- Their share price has stagnated for 5 years!
- Their share price would have been at least 20% lower today if they had not started issuing dividends.
- They missed an entire cycle of releases for a new desktop offering.
- The latest critical WMF security issue was first patched by a lone (albeit extremly knowledgable and skilled ) individual almost a week before their "machine" could get one out. This in itslf should be ringing very loud alarms bells on Wall Street... an individual performed far better than a multi billion dollar business on that businesses own products! Imagine the incredulity if Holden recalled a bunch of Fords and fixed a safety issue for them..... this is not good for MS at all and seems to indicate that their development and maintenance model is struggling to match the outcomes of the Open Source model.
- Their business model is locked into the FAT PC for without that they would lose another important piece that assists ther monopoly...lockin. Their business model prevents them from doing things like creating a live CD version of Windows.....or selling Office for Linux.... or any numer of other things that Open Source Freedom not only allows but facilitates and encourages. Lockin comes at a price for MS as well, it restricts their ability to "change", an important fundamental if a business is going to survive in the long term.
The bottom line is that market is stacked up against MS and their "rubber band" is forever hungry for dollars....they can;t stretch the rubber band any more because it has a fixed length. Their ability/capacity to change is hampered by their own business model. All their dollars are doing is maintaining the status quo.....It can;t continue without something breaking... nothing is forever.
Personally, I feel that the release of Vista this year will provide more opportunity than anyone realises. Vista for MS is critical for their ongoing monopoly. If it fails in some small way....(like a security exploit released in the first few months of distribution which would make the Trusted computing thing a joke) I reckon they will have real trouble.
I think the only downside we face is that market forces in this situation are "slow" and sometimes it looks like nothing is happening....but for all of you who have worked on and/or used/deployed Linux in the last 10 years... ponder where we are now when compared to 1995...
If you don;t feel warm and fuzzy after doing that I would hazzard a guess that you are probably not of this earth...
I don;t know of any other collaborative and complex human endeavour that as come so far in such a short time!