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Microsoft Isn't Worth Waiting for Anymore

There was a time when everybody knew that Microsoft would arrive late to a new-technology party, and everybody waited for it to get there. After all, Microsoft was eventually going to crush or subsume all of the companies that had been responsible for the breakthrough, so it made no sense to be an early adopter with the specter of Redmond constantly looming on the horizon.

Well, as Mary Jo Foley so articulately states in this month's Redmond magazine, those days are over. Tablets, portable music players, a mobile platform -- all those trains have left the station, and Microsoft either missed them entirely or is desperately hanging on to its cabooses. (Yes, cabooses. Try to find another tech blog that uses that word.)

Apple, Google and RIM (to name a few) are not Netscape, Corel and Novell. They're big vendors with big leads over Microsoft in key areas, perfectly capable of taking care of themselves and fending off the poodle from the Pacific Northwest nipping at their heels. A Microsoft tablet? Who cares? It's as relevant as the Zune was in the face of the mighty iPod. Windows Phone 7? It might not be a bad mobile OS, but there's no reason at this point for iPhone or Android users to wonder whether they've made a horrible mistake by signing on to some other platform before Redmond had its say.

They haven't. What's stunning, though -- and this is really Mary Jo's point -- is that Microsoft doesn't seem to care. The attitude in Redmond seems to be one straight out of the '90s, maybe even the '80s: "Hey, we'll get to these new markets when we get to them, and when we do we'll clean everybody's clock. This is Windows versus OS2 all over again."

Hey, Microsoft: Not anymore. You're slow and bloated, and your competitors have no reason to fear you anymore. Heed Mary Jo's word -- she probably knows more about your company than you do, after all.

Posted by Lee Pender on April 13, 2011


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