TECHNOLOGY: Windoze a lock, until the competition gets their act together


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His point is a very good one – one often forgotten by those of us who are end users who personally control our own computers. While Windows is, no doubt, the most popular operating system in the world when it comes to home users, it is also, by far, the most popular operating system in the corporate world.

As any person who works for a company can probably attest to, corporations are like huge cruise ships when it comes to IT – they do not turn on a dime. They choose Windows because it is tried and true, everybody uses it, and they get official support from Microsoft.

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Don’t forget the likes of American Telephone & Telegraph Company, I don’t know about you guys but I haven’t whipped out the telegraph anytime recently. It’s just hard to get rid of legacy names, equipment, etc. It’s startup companies that have a real chance to break the mold. If there are really discernible savings or productivity gains in using another platform, these companies will get ahead, right?

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As an old bell head who spent about two decades at AT&T, I’d note that it was a creature of the government (i.e., FCC’s “universal service” mandate) and was destroyed by the government (i.e., Judge Green’s monopoly breakup). In the process a lot of things were destroyed. The careers of good people were sacrificed on the whims of the government. The investors went for a similar ride. Those people, their families, and their friends had their money (including retirements) robbed by a market transformation from government fiat. The government creates the problem and then “rescues” us from the problem they created with all sorts of unintended consequences.

So in the Windoze – Mac – Linux debate, look for the fine hand of the gooferment causing trouble. Look how the gooferment for all intents and purposes makes these companies lobby for their survival; that cost comes out of something somewhere. Look at the FCC — the agency that singly handedly delayed the cell phone for decades and the fax for merely a decade — currently screwing up “spectrum” and then “auctioning” it off; those costs have to come from somewhere. Look how the gooferment uses “standard setting” to anoint winners and losers (e.g., Open Document Format); that all comes from somewhere.

I’d suspect that if the Mac and Linux folks, as well as the WebOS folks and Google Web Apps, can make their offerings invisible to the end user, then they can dislodge Microsoft from the Desktop. We have had these platform debates for eons, and probably will continue to have them.

I’d also point out that the monolithic large companies that are frozen in the Microsoft footprint by their TCO are organizations of the past. Dino the dinosaur. The small – quick – nimble out compete the big – slow – plodding all the time.

Of course, the big fat gooferment likes big – slow – plodding companies who are fat. It leeches off of them and makes dance to their tune. Fortunately for the consumer, and not fortunate for the American worker / economy / country, there are two trends that are stopping that. Offshoring stuff to “better” places (Note the latest example: California farm owners, who need Mexican migrant labor, are moving their farms to Mexico! Moving a farm? Now if they can move, what’s stopping others? Inertia.) and Downsizing orgs into small fry (Look at the activity in technology start ups: start small – stay small – sell out – move on.)

Sorry, but those are the hard cruel facts. The free market will always be open and adapting despite laws, rules, regs, diktats, or wishes. The gooferment is the root of all our problems. And, where there is a will (become invisible) there is a way (displace Microsoft from the desktop).

imho, but what do I know, I’m just an old bell head who thinks Bell Labs was a national treasure.

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