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Microsoft "dead," at a turning point?

updated 05:10 pm EDT, Tue April 10, 2007

Microsoft Doubts

Microsoft may be at a turning point in its future, according to actions taken by key figures today and over the weekend. Goldman Sachs financial analyst Sarah Friar today removed Microsoft from its conviction list, noting that while the stock was still worth buying it no longer had the same allure as before. A fundamental shift in the market towards the web and the resulting independence from Microsoft's software were cited as the primary reasons, as users no longer needed Windows or desktop utilities for an increasing number of tasks.

"Vista may be the last big operating system developed by the company," Friar said. Microsoft still plans a revision to Vista codenamed "Vienna" for 2009.

This freedom may have helped play into the analyst's observations about rival operating systems from Apple and various Linux distributors, which Friar said were likely to draw business and home users away from Windows over the next ten years.

Google, however, is the primary threat, Friar said. Their "dominance in search, deep pockets, and "cool" factor make it a serious competitor to Microsoft," she wrote, "as it strives to obsolete the desktop operating system." The California-based search engine developer has developed or refined a series of web tools that potentially replace Microsoft's well-established desktop software, such as Gmail (which supplants both Hotmail and Outlook) and Writely (a web-based text editor).

Although strictly professional, the advice reflects an opinion which gathered momentum in the blogging community this weekend. Influential author and venture capitalist Paul Graham has controversially declared Microsoft "dead," pointing to Google as far more "dangerous" thanks to its relentless web expansion. Microsoft no longer posed an immediate threat to Silicon Valley firms by threatening to buy them out or release a direct competitor.

"We [don't] worry about Microsoft as competition for the startups we funded. In fact, we've never even invited them to the demo days we organize for startups to present to investors," Graham said. "We invite Yahoo and Google and some other Internet companies, but we've never bothered to invite Microsoft."

Microsoft has also lost mindshare among the most computer-literate developers, many of whom explicitly prefer Apple systems. Windows has traded positions with Macs as the safe choice for beginners. "I'm now surprised when I come across a computer running Windows. Nearly all the people we fund at [our company] Y Combinator use Apple laptops," Graham added.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001

    0

    Let's hope so

    I'll be happy with MS just losing its ability to control the internet, markets they focus on, and startups they feel threatened by.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Apple

    When Apple brings osX to PC's it will be the end of Microsoft as we know it, maybe not dead but sure close. Only an extra 10% marketshare for Apple will eat away a lot of profits at MS, this first 10% will be the turningpoint. The rats are leaving the ship now and it will sink for sure, 2007 ain't over yet and maybe it will be a great year for all the MS haters out there. :D

    I love to see Balmer go down with the ship.

  1. jimothy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000

    0

    ContentLink

    Forgive me for being off topic, but ContentLink (and similar services) has got to be the most obnoxious thing to hit the web in years. Shame on you for including it on your family of web sites. I understand your need to generate revenue, but is pissing off your readers the way to do it? Yeah, I can disable it, but it seems to always creep back in, and of course, it has to be disabled for each web site.

  1. jimothy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000

    0

    Killing ContentLink

    Forgive me again, but you can kill ContentLink for all sites by putting the following in /etc/hosts :

    127.0.0.1 kona.kontera.com

    Then, run 'lookupd -flushcache' in the terminal, and reload the page. Safari and all other browsers will no longer be able to load this atrocious JavaScript. Die, ContentLink, die!

  1. ecrelin

    Junior Member

    Joined: Oct 2000

    0

    thanks jtimothy

    I haven't done it yet but thanks in advance, that thing pisses me off…

  1. rtbarry

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    waiting for testudo...

    ...to figure out how to use this article to bash apple.

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003

    0

    Everyone...

    Everyone i talk to these days wants to get a mac. No one really cares about msft anymore. The idea that you will be "left behind" if you don't choose msft is one that is slowly fading. All i can say that msft can't fade fast enough. Windows is a buggy infected zit on the face of 21st century technology. OSX has had the lead since 2000, and msft will never re-gain it. Oh, and the idea that msft could buy apple? Yea, never going to happen. I bet in a few more years sun, apple, or google will buy msft just to put it out of its misery.

  1. kevinoliver99

    Banned

    Joined: Apr 2007

    0

    Flv to avi

    I had a really good read on this, very detail, and very useful information. Thanks. http://www.avi-converter.net

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    msft buy apple?

    Apple is at 1/4 the value of msft now so it can't happen anymore, and i wouldn't sell mine to MS in a million years.

    MS is as good as dead, we only need the doctor for the paperwork.

  1. jarod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    0

    LOL

    MicroSHIT has always been dead. It's just people woke up 10 years later after making those filthy raggedy peasants billionaires. Death is the only cure for MicroGARBAGE!

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