From the ever-thoughtful Paul Graham: “Microsoft is Dead”:
He cites four main reasons why Microsoft lost their cultural dominance in the tech sector:
3. Broadband Internet.
30 years ago, Microsoft asked themselves a very clever question: How do we make a profitable company, based on the assumption that all hardware will one day be free? I suppose they need to ask themselves another question now: How do we make a profitable company, if people no longer need or want the desktop?
Microsoft’s issue is not a lack of financial, technical and intellectual capital. They have all that stuff in spades. Microsoft’s issue is cultural.
[Bonus Link:] Maybe Paul spoke too soon. Heh.
[UPDATE:] Dave Winer offers some wise and informed perspective.
4. While Paul’s literal view about Microsoft buying up the Web 2.0 world is funny/wrong, Microsoft actually agrees with Paul’s assessment about getting Web 2.0 companies outside of the Redmond fold. For the last couple of years, Microsoft has been spending tens of millions of dollars spinning out technology, companies, and employees in a realization that they won’t live inside the Redmond machine so spin em out. Some make TechCrunch, some don’t. The point is, unlike other monster companies that now lay actually dead, Microsoft does get the point about making some types of innovation happen inside the machine while lots of it needs to happen elsewhere. Message received, Paul.
6. Don is right that if making good money now and for some time to come is a definition of ‘dead’, bring it on. But as I said at the beginning, I believe Paul was using hot words to make broader points.
Since when does growing $4 Billion a year = Dead?
For the record, Microsoft is growing revenues at over $4 Billion a year and is on track for $50 Billion this year. Since when does growing $4 Billion a year equal DEAD? If that is dead I know a lot of companies that would like to be so dead.