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Monday, March 27, 2006

Microsoft Is It's Own Worst Enemy

The NY Times ran a story today detailing the woes of Microsoft nearly 8 years after the landmark anti-trust case against them. The theory that the hugely-popular Windows operating system would stifle innovation turned out to be dead-on. The problem is; it turns out that the innovation being stifled is within the corridors of Microsoft.

Questions abound about the repeatedly-delayed Windows Vista (now set for a January 2007 rollout). Last week, in the latest setback, Microsoft conceded that Vista would not be ready for consumers until January, missing the holiday sales season, to the dissappointment of personal computer makers, electronics retailers, nerds and those computer users eager to move up from a five-year old product(Windows XP).

Having lost the flexibility and manuverability of a small company long ago, Microsoft has stood in the shadows gawking as Apple unveiled four new versions of its Macintosh operating system, beating Microsoft to market with features that will be in Vista, like desktop search and advanced 3-D graphics.

Why is Microsoft so slow? Harvard Business professor David B. Yoffie thinks, "Windows is now so big and onerous because of the size of its code base, the size of its ecosystem and its insistence on compatibility with the legacy hardware and software, that it just slows everything down. That's why a company like Apple has such an easier time of innovation."

Is Microsoft going to wither and fade in the next two months? I would say that it's not very probable. However, if the industry leader continues to watch other pass them by they cannot sustain their popularity among consumers.

By Jason Dowdell at 04:39 PM | Comments (0)

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