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The future of Microsoft June 19, 2006

Posted by sdpurtill in Uncategorized.

With the recent news of Bill Gates stepping down to spend more time focusing on his philanthropic efforts, many people are wondering what the future of Microsoft is going to look like. I think one of the biggest problems Microsoft is going to face is the fact that Gates is leaving; he can’t be replaced by anyone. He was at Microsoft from the start, and he’s held a vision for Microsoft like every pioneer of a startup does. Yes, Microsoft was once a startup…

Not only has Bill Gates announced his departure, but Robert Scoble, the most famous Microsoft blogger has announced his departure also. He is going to work for Silicon Valley start up Pod Tech. I thought it was kind of funny when I went onto Pod Tech’s home page and saw in the company’s header “PodTech.net Welcomes Robert Scoble.” Single-handedly, Robert changed the way thousands of developers and others viewed Microsoft. I had a chance to email Robert back and forth a few times, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a post he had written addressing what I had talked to him about in the emails. By doing something as simple as this, my entire outlook on Microsoft was changed. But now he’s gone, and (besides JonathonH) I don’t see anyone else replacing him anytime soon.

Is Microsoft losing it? Is Steve Ballmer going to be their Edward John Smith (the captain of The Titanic)? In the past two months, their shares have plummeted from $27.25 to $22.10. But come on, no one can deny the monopoly Microsoft has on operating systems. Around 90% of the entire world runs on Microsoft’s operating system. I can’t even begin to think of how much that is.

If Microsoft sticks to their original source of capital, their operating systems, they will be fine. But if they keep trying to compete with companies Google and Yahoo! for search engines, they are going to fail miserably. All you have to do is do a search at live.com to see how far Microsoft is behind from Google; Google’s results are almost always far more relevant.

Good luck to Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and the rest of Microsoft. And my best wishes go out to Robert Scoble and his new company.


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