Saturday, 6 February 2010

The Decline of Microsoft: A Geek Tragedy?

Does the advent of Apple's iPad tablet computer signal the end of Microsoft? Maybe. Former Microsoft vice president Dick Brass certainly thinks Microsoft's failure to keep pace across the field of personal computing with competitors like Apple and other innovators like Google reflects an anti-innovation culture that has taken root in the corporate giant - click on the post title to read his op-ed piece in the New York Times.

If Microsoft is terminal, as Brass suggests, I, like, I suspect, most non-geeky personal computer users, will view the prospect of their demise with mixed feelings. Microsoft made personal computing accessible and affordable for ordinary folk like me, but its very success in that endeavour made it too big, too arrogant, and apparently too slow to respond to innovation from other companies and even from within the ranks of its own technical departments. The story has all the elements of a Greek tragedy, or, should that be a "Geek tragedy"?.

But then, perhaps Microsoft's decline is not the result of a fatal flaw, but a just punishment from the computer gods for inflicting Vista on millions of unsuspecting users?

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