Why Microsoft’s competitors own the applause

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Refreshing my FeedDemon I stumbled on a very interesting post on 4sysops.com :

Vista seems to be a great success – Why Microsoft’s competitors own the applause

Considering the bad and often unfair press that Vista got during the last months, it must surprise many that Microsoft reports the fastest revenue growth in any first quarter since 1999. 88 million Vista copies have been sold by now. That’s more or less the population of Germany. Since many have been waiting to upgrade, mostly because of the bad press, I would expect that it won’t be the last record that Microsoft will set in the near future.

These numbers fit well to a report on eWEEK claiming that Linux loses market share to Windows Server. According to IDC, Linux had a negative growth of 4% in the x86 market in 2006, whereas Windows Server was outpacing the total growth rate by more than 4%.

I must admit that I wasn’t expecting it so soon. When I first played with Windows Server 2008_, I anticipated bad times for Linux to come. I also thought that it will take quite some time until Windows users would give up their beloved XP. So where will this all lead to?_

You might think that I would like these developments since I am running a blog for Windows administrators. The fact is that I am in no way emotionally connected to Microsoft or Windows. If I would come to believe that the future belongs to Linux, I would certainly say good bye to Windows from one day to the other. I work with Linux almost every day, and I confess, it is more fun to play with. However, from a technical and economical point of view, I can’t see how I could justify a move from Windows to Linux in my organization.

So whom can you blame for this development? Certainly not Microsoft. They do what all companies are doing. They try to earn money. I never believed that their success was in any way related to their often rude business practices. The contrary is true. Ballmer and friends did more harm than good to Microsoft with their rude and brash manner. No other company in the software business has such a bad reputation as Microsoft. I think it is the only company where people say that they don’t buy their products because they don’t like them.

Frankly, I believe that one has to blame Microsoft’s competitors for the Windows monopoly on the desktop. Since I have followed Microsoft’s success story (more than 20 years), its competitors always tried to beat them by doing things in a completely different way. IBM, HP and Sun tried to sell their operating systems as add-ons to hardware. What a big mistake! And do you remember the OS/2 fiasco? IBM still thinks that the only use of software is to sell hardware. That’s why they like Open Source so much. Now they don’t even have to pay the programmers anymore. As it turns out now, this stance was the best that could happen to Microsoft.

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