So is Microsoft dead yet?
That is my default response when any new operating system, feature, or news hits in technology because in the second sentence someone will write how whatever (insert company) does it means Microsoft has missed the boat or is an also ran. I’ll admit that five letter phrase is my fanboy way of buttressing against the inevitable words “Microsoft is dead”. I almost said it in response to Paul Thurrot’s Bad News, Windows Phone Fans: Google Now is the Real Deal; in which he explained that Windows Phone was no longer an innovative operating system because Google’s Google Now exists. The title of this piece and its content did what posts like it always does, send fans into fits.
On the Verge’s Microsoft forum, people posted screeds for and against the premise (and trolls came too because its natural troll bait).
It seems sometimes that to follow Microsoft either casually or professionally is to live in this tragicomedy place where doom and gloom is lurking under every silver lining. A place where its hard not to develop a me against the world mindset and where people can and do sound like they got a custom foil hat on their heads.
Every new deal made by Apple, Google, or whomever means we are one step closer to Microsoft’s irrelevance. HP is doing a Chromebook and maybe even an Android tablet (Microsoft is dead). Xbox creator says stupid, stupid Xbox (Microsoft is doomed). Gabe Newell dislikes Windows 8 (Redmond, bend over and kiss your butts goodbye). I could go but I think you get the picture.
Everyday Microsoft is dead or irrelevant; Ballmer is killing the company and there are people in front of One Microsoft Way waiting on Bill Gates to return no a white horse.
I’m not going to lie and say I’m a voice of sanity in this situation. I’m in the camp that thinks there is a certain amount of bias in regards to Microsoft and that there would be many that would love to see it close shop or go Linux. The truth is that in these circles it can be easy to view the world through fear and doubt tinted glasses.
Now this isn’t to mean that criticism of how certain things are is invalid, its not. It just gets to me how any action done by Apple, Google, or Amazon must be quickly countered; and how in hindsight Microsoft should’ve done X,Y, and Z.
I think there is a thin line that exists between critique, speculation, editorial, and news.
I think we all understand and agree that Microsoft is not in the best position. The trend in computing is moving away from the desktop and is causing a reassessment of the consumer computer market. Microsoft was, along with others, caught off guard by the iPhone and didn’t move quickly to readjust. It’s mobile strategy was undermined by Google’s Android model; and Microsoft’s longstanding internal wars wasted valuable time.
All that aside Microsoft and its fans need to live and deal in the now. More than that we need to quit hitting the panic button whenever somebody does something that means increased competition. And I think that is what this is all about. Microsoft will have to compete because Apple and Google especially want to drink their milkshake. They are not going to go out easily and in many ways are the new boss. For Microsoft the issue is how will they compete in this market; how well can they make their vision work for the public. Competition will not kill Microsoft it will hopefully make them better.
So fellow Chicken Littles the sky isn’t falling