söndag, november 06, 2005

Microsoft plays catch up

Jag har tidigare skrivit om den nästan skrämmande snabba utvecklingen av desktop och mjukvarubaserade program vi är så vana vid att använda i vår dator som hela Office paketet och mycket annat. Allt detta är nu påväg att bli web baserat, och effekterna av denna utveckling är nog något vi bara kan se siluetter av so far.

Med ny web 2.0 teknik som AJAX i spetsen som gör känslan på webben mer lik den på vår desktop, aktörer som inte vill konkurrerera med Microsoft via deras affärsmodell och distributionsstruktur samt 2.0 teknik som brukar kallas "mesh ups" som tillåter program att effektivt knytas rakt in i varandra kommer vi att se en rad helt fantastiska tjänster de kommande åren. Och webben kommer att bli den centrala användnings och distributionskanalen ser det ut som.

Denna artikeln highlightar just Microsofts senaste uttalande hur mycket de ligger efter och att de nu måste både utveckla ny teknik för sina produkter samt nya affärsmodeller. Artikelförfattaren reflekterar även över om det kommer att bli lika enkelt att komma ikapp denna gången.

"Microsoft has gotten seriously behind. And on Tuesday Bill Gates finally admitted it. In a wide-ranging set of announcements of future products and a group of sometimes-fumbled demonstrations, Gates and his newest lieutenant Ray Ozzie, one of Microsoft's chief technology officers, unveiled an entirely new strategy for software's titan. They promised to deliver a variety of services over the Internet, many for free and supported by advertising"

"After the Microsoft announcement, I spoke to Salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff. "It's fine to announce something," he says, "but where is their advantage in this situation? They're saying now they'll have advertising in Excel. That's their innovation? Where do they say it will be better or cheaper than everyone else?" Benioff says Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer visited him in San Francisco in 2000 to discuss buying Salesforce.com, but that Ballmer was dissuaded by others inside Microsoft who believed that software as a service wouldn't allow the company to "pull through" its other products. "Microsoft's whole strategy," says Benioff, "is based on pulling through, starting with Windows and pulling through everything else—Office and all its products for servers." (Microsoft declined to comment on Benioff's remarks.)
Benioff noted that while Microsoft is still nowhere near offering genuine hosted versions of its signature Office applications, others are way ahead of them—Writely.com has a Word alternative; Numsum.com looks like Excel; and perhaps most impressively, Goffice is a full suite of business applications available as an online service."



Fortune Magazine on Microsoft playing catch up