A while back I posted “Does the OS Really Matter?” Daily, the answer becomes more clear – NO!
In spite of the hype around Microsoft’s PDC and the manufactured excitement about Office 12 et al, its desktop dominating days are over. Open Source is bringing a lot of exciting software to our screens – whether we use OS X, a Windows variation or Linux. Just check out the power of these four alone:
- Writely – a killer web based Word Processing program that combines Word functionality with the collaboration mindset of a Wiki.
- Gmail – Google’s great email client with over two gigs of storage (check out how Michael Hyatt is using it as a follow up tool in line with David Allen’s “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” – which I need to finish!) And now there’s Google Talk!
- Zimbra – a web based email/calendar client that blows the doors off Outlook or it’s Mac cousin, Entourage
- Flock – the newest buzz generator from some of the folks who brought us Firefox – a browser for Web 2.0. “A social browsing experience for the two-way web.”
Microsoft’s focus on desktop capability is the crux of why it can’t possibly succeed against Google (or any future Google equivalent). It’s focusing on yesterday’s market. Microsoft’s dominance of the desktop is as relevant to the future of computing as Union Pacific’s dominance of the railroads was to the future of transportation in the twentieth century.
No wonder Steve Ballmer is freaking out when people are leaving the company for Google.
I’ve been a Microsoft user since 1984 when I bought a PC XT with a huge 10mb hard drive. The first word processing program I used was Word 2.0 (when everyone else was using Word Perfect). We still own three PCs running XP and 2000 – along with our four Macs. Other than a personal preference for the Mac interface, my user experience is no longer dictated by the OS developer.
Perhaps the real question is “Has Microsoft jumped the shark?”