February 04, 2005

Managing the Decline of Microsoft

Assuming the Bill Gates is not just being a lying weasel (never a sure bet either way) Microsoft's strategy of embrace and extend just died.

New Strategy Unveiled

"Over the years, our industry has tried many approaches to come to grips with the heterogeneity of software. But the solution that has proven consistently effective -- and the one that yields the greatest success for developers today -- is a strong commitment to interoperability," Gates says in the message.

Interoperability is more pragmatic than other approaches, such as attempting to make all systems compatible at the code level, he adds.

Microsoft's strategy will focus on creating interoperability with software that customers currently are using, and on developing applications and Web services based on eXtensible Markup Language (XML).

Interoperability has always been something that Microsoft always tried to poison. They would support standards until they had the upper hand and then "extend" them until only Microsoft tools would allow you to conduct your day to day operations. This has antagonized so many that they're in danger of losing their dominant position. Microsoft's going down because of it and their only hope is to make a reliable promise of interoperability so that large customers can depend that there will never be a next time of being forced into an MS solution when it's not the best solution available because of purposefully placed interoperability problems.

Apple's in the same boat (OS X is a walking testament to the strategy) and if Microsoft's joining them in that uncomfortable boat, they realize that they're only going to thrive by legitimately being the best.

Well, it isn't the first time that Microsoft's promised interoperability but here's to hope, hope that Bill Gates is not being a lying weasel again.

Posted by TMLutas at February 4, 2005 07:28 PM