So what do you have to say for yourself Microsoft?
As Chairman, Bill Gates stayed pretty silent on the Android issue at the November 19, 2009 stockholders meeting. Steve Ballmer, the current CEO of Microsoft, decided to discuss the issue instead.
“We have greater market share to Google Android. Our objective is to have a leading position among these competitors,” Mr. Ballmer said.
Well, when we have the 4th quarter numbers for SmartPhone market-share, I believe that the Linux-based phone share will be above Microsoft. I do not even think that Nick would bet me another $20. Oh, by the way, Nick has an Android phone. He has been using it since June 2009.
Mr. Ballmer also boldly made another ten year prediction on November 19, 2009.
“When we meet back here in 10 more years, we will look back and say, ‘Wow, wasn’t technology really primitive in 2009? Computers didn’t recognize our speech, they didn’t recognize our gestures .. we didn’t have instantaneous access to the world’s information, we still used pen and paper.’ … Microsoft is investing to be at the forefront of these changes.”
Sorry, Microsoft, you blew it. The Droid already does all that thanks to Google. These were the droids we were looking for.
You had all of the resources to make it happen in 1999:
- You had three of your founders as the richest men in the world. The MSFT stock had peaked at $119 (US $60.928 adjusting for splits) that year. If the 3 billion in research was not enough, you could have found the money somewhere. Now you are only about half of the company value you were ten years go. Where did all the money go? You still do not have a competitive product to show for it. Pink will not pan out. Vaporware is the kindest way to put it. Your own employee put it much more harshly. Success can not be bought.
- You had over ten years between Mr. Gates’ June 15, 1999 testimony and November 6, 2009 Droid release date. Time was on your side as you were already a giant name in computing when Google was a start-up under your radar.
- You had just secured over a hundred licensing agreements for all sorts of “intelligent devices” like personal digital assistants.
- Your company head-count has doubled over the past ten years yet suffers from a brain drain of engineering talent according to this another anonymous Microsoft employee.
How did you let a couple of kids from Stanford who just announced their little search company start-up in the summer of June 1999 beat you to your own Congressional promise?
You a great excuse: you were in court the entire time.
First you had to convince the Unitied States Department of Justice that you were not being monopolistic when it comes to the desktop operating system and web browser. You sited Apple, Linux, and Netscape as competitors in this space. You lost but later you settled with the United States while litigating Netscape to death. Your 750 million settlement with AOL/Netscape bought you browser market share. Even though you supposedly out of court by 2003, you were funding SCO in hopes of killing Linux. Now that SCO is bankrupt, you are busy defending your office suite in court with the Word patent suit and Novell is still suing you over Word Perfect. Do you still find it profitable to sue smaller companies that use Linux in their talking-devices based on the Linux kernel like the TomTom?
You have failed in court.
The ultimate problem for you, Microsoft, is that you can not buy and/or sue open source out of business. Sourceforge does not even scratch the surface at 32 million visitors monthly.That’s right are are millions of us who passionately support non-proprietary software that we use. Is that why you have sponsored the open source census? Face it: you can not innovate faster than open source either. With 2 million of user/developer accounts on Sourceforge alone, your 93,000 person company seems really small. PCWorld asks: Has Microsoft Lost the War against Open Soruce? The answer is yes. Some say you died in 2005.
No matter how you look at it, the facts remain. You lost…
- The kernel behind Google Android phones like the Droid is Linux.
- Netscape is now the open source browser Firefox. There have been over 400 million downloads since I made the bet with Nick in June 2009.
- Sun Microsystems, one your targets via SCO suits, is still sponsoring Open Office. In a few short months, you will have lost majority market share to the Open Office suite.
- The Google/Ubuntu hybrid web-optimized Linux system called ChromeOS will hit your operating system, browser, and office suite market share hard.
Think your cloud computing product, “Azure”, can help you? Your lack of attention to high performance computing has sunk your top500.org market share down to an embarrasing 1%. Why should the world trust your ability to perform under a cycle renting paradigm?
It is all over. You failed your users, your government, and your former CEO’s vision. Your market share is tanking and will be less than half by June 30, 2011. Nick will pay me $20. This personal wager made at the South East LinuxFest in June 2009 has enough interest to attract over 12,000 readers in just a few months. A world with significantly less Microsoft is afoot and this website gives people a forum to talk about it.
This is the beginning of the end for you Microsoft.
“On June 30, 2011, Microsoft will lack majority market share,” says Beth Lynn Eicher.