The Death Spiral

A reader flamed me recently for commenting that Microsoft was on a “death spiral.” That wasn’t just vindictive thinking because they’re killing my favorite product or because their insecure OS allows malicious software to splatter my Dad’s computer. That was a real live professional opinion from a computer consultant who’s spent 20+ years in the industry and seen ’em come and go. 8″ floppies, paper tape, Winchester drives, Business Basic, Data General, WANG, Digital, blah, blah, blah, ones and zeros? You had zeroes? Now, bear in mind I was also a big Amiga and GEOS fan, so vision is not what I sell to clients. I deliver working code.

Otoh, Mitch Kapor has a lot of experience shipping code, delivering product, selling into the Fortune 100, reviewing business plans, and working venture capital deals. He’s got some of that vision thing too. He had a profile in the Boston Globe recently (sadly, it disappears behind a paywall soon) that talked about his work with EFF and the exciting Open Source product called Chandler, which promises to be a well-thought-out PIM. The killer quote at the end of the article:

”Chandler could fail totally,” he said. ”But open source as a movement is something that Microsoft cannot defeat. . . .Their style of triumph and of dominance is part of an era whose time is passing.”

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.