November 09, 2004

Betting on Microsoft

An awful lot of websites out there depend on Microsoft technology to function correctly even though the same functionality could have been put in place in a platform neutral way. Unless you're getting paid to do so, there's no legitimate company interest in doing so. What you are doing, in fact, is exposing your company to the financial risk of redeveloping your website in the case of Microsoft losing market share without any conceivable upside to benefit your shareholders.

Up until now, this has largely been a theoretical problem. Microsoft's Internet Explorer sits atop the browser heap with a dominant 90% user market share. But security problems and a slowdown in new development of the IE technology base means that there is an opportunity out there, one that has recently been taken. Firefox is a very good browser. It's impressive, innovative, and has reached version 1.0. So all the executives who have swallowed the MS developer's koolaid will, in the next months and years, be confronted with a new round of web site expenditures, expenditures that are required because customers will be using Firefox and demand support for it or they will shop elsewhere. Once business starts taking a hit, that seemingly simple technology decision to embrace vendor lock-in of the dominant worldwide player will start to look dumber and dumber.

Will they learn for the next round of technology expenditures? I hope so but I'm not confident.

Posted by TMLutas at November 9, 2004 09:40 PM