Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Pity poor Microsoft's midlife crisis

Filed under
Microsoft

Even as the champagne flowed in Seattle, things didn't seem quite right. The share price is flat - and has been for quite a while. A company that was famously lean, mean and agile has become sluggish as it wades through the treacle that all large corporations accumulate. The next release of Windows - now called Vista - has been repeatedly delayed, and when it arrives it will be only a shadow of its predicted self.

It's getting harder and harder to persuade customers to upgrade from older versions of Office and Windows to updated releases. The threat of open-source software grows by the hour, and although it hasn't yet reached the average user's desktop, it has foiled Microsoft's attempts to capture the server market. And last week, former Silicon Valley titan Sun Microsystems joined with tech powerhouse Google to announce a free web-based competitor to Office.

Internet Explorer is losing market share to the open-source upstart Firefox. The European Commission refused to buckle under pressure and continues to insist that Microsoft unbundle its Media Player software from versions of Windows sold in Europe, and make details of the necessary programming interfaces available to competitors. It appointed a special commissioner last week to keep an eye on Microsoft's conduct.

Most worrying of all in an industry based on the creation of pure thought stuff, Microsoft is finding it harder to recruit world-class engineering and software talent. The best of this is now going to Google - which explains the bitterness of the recent court dispute in which Microsoft sued the search company for allegedly luring one of its senior executives.

Gen-Xer Microsoft has grown up and is beginning to experience the mixed blessings of corporate middle age. On the one hand there is the respectability and status of being the most famous company in the world after Disney, and the complacency that comes from having $US50 billion ($A66 billion) in the bank.

And, as if to confirm the suspicion of internal unease, we recently saw the announcement of massive corporate restructuring.

Then there's the furring of the corporate arteries, the slowing of reflexes and the dawning realisation that you are no longer the coolest kid on the block.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

'Open' Processor

  • 25-core open source chip could pave way for monster 200,000-core PC
    PRINCETON UNIVERSITY BOFFINS have developed a 25-core open source processor that can be scaled to create a monster 200,000-core PC stuffed with 8,000 64-bit chips. The chip is called Piton after the metal spikes driven by rock climbers into mountain sides, and was presented at the Hot Chips symposium on high-performance computing in Cupertino this week.
  • New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design
    Researchers at Princeton University have built a new computer chip that promises to boost performance of data centers that lie at the core of online services from email to social media. [...] Other Princeton researchers involved in the project since its 2013 inception are Yaosheng Fu, Tri Nguyen, Yanqi Zhou, Jonathan Balkind, Alexey Lavrov, Matthew Matl, Xiaohua Liang, and Samuel Payne, who is now at NVIDIA. The Princeton team designed the Piton chip, which was manufactured for the research team by IBM. Primary funding for the project has come from the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
  • Manycore ‘Piton’ Climbs Toward 200,000-Core Peak

Android Leftovers

Lubuntu 16.10 Beta Out Now with Linux Kernel 4.4 LTS and the Latest LXDE Desktop

As part of today's Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) Beta launch, Simon Quigley from the Lubuntu Linux team released the first Beta build of the upcoming Lubuntu 16.10 operating system. Read more Also: Ubuntu MATE 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) Beta Removes the Heads-Up Display (HUD) Feature Ubuntu GNOME 16.10 Beta 1 Released with GNOME 3.20 and GNOME 3.22 Beta Apps Ubuntu 16.10 "Yakkety Yak" Beta Released, Ubuntu GNOME Has Experimental Wayland

Facebook open sources its computer vision tools