How Microsoft Lost its Dominance

Back in the Nineties, Microsoft was a badass company – determined to eliminate all its rivals. Its business practices were so ruthless, practically every state was taking it to court – except the Feds, who talked the states into letting it take on Microsoft. It went through the motions of doing this, but eventually did little.

Other companies, Netscape and Sun Microsystems (both fine companies) tried to take it on – but failed.

But a new batch of companies – Google, Amazon, and Apple – succeeded.

Google led the way, by inventing a new service – Search. That quickly became indispensable, and generated huge revenues for Google when it added Advertising. It was in business to stay – and there was nothing Microsoft could do about that.

It invented its own search, Bing, but Google countered with a browser – Chrome, that soon took over. Google also took advantage of a new movement – Open Source, and provided much of the software (for free) that made AI such a force in the world. In a word, Google was Open, and forward-looking, and Microsoft was Closed. The world took no notice of this – it understands nothing about Software – but it should have.

Microsoft did respond – by becoming more Open with new versions of .NET, and new a new language, C# (using ideas taken from Java) that were cross-platform (that could run anywhere). It was forced to become better – and it did so – claiming it was its own idea all along.

I am now learning a new language, F#, that Microsoft supports – that it invented, in fact. Its documentation for this is excellent – it is now the Good Guy, helping everyone else. Using new versions of Visual Studio, its excellent IDE. It now wants you to get in bed with it.

People often ask me for my opinion about Windows 10, so here it is – Microsoft started by offering free upgrades to Windows 7 and 8 users. This exposed how buggy it was – Microsoft was using them to test its software. Not very ethical.

As Windows 10 improved, Microsoft dropped the free upgrade, and started charging for it. Windows 10 was actually a whole series of products, that kept getting better. But the best way to get it, was to buy a new computer with Windows 10 on it, There are some good laptops for about $200 that have this – but Microsoft wants you to spend $2000 for one. This is the bad old Microsoft again, intent on screwing everyone!


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