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Yeah right, Microsoft is just another enterprise software company. Gimme a break.

What other enterprise company has major footholds in even half of the markets that Microsoft has? Who else has Windows?

In a single day, I routinely use up to four different operating systems and none of them are Windows.

Your point? In a single day, hundreds of millions of people use one operating system and it is Windows.

I responded to the sibling comment a while ago, and I'd welcome you joining that thread.

But for a quick synopsis of my response to your statement:

1. Billions of people use computers with a variety of operating systems every day; 2. Thousands of people touch their first computer ever, every day, and very, very few run Windows; 3. Millions of people use computers every day and are still deeply confused when the start button moves.

Regardless, the point I was responding to was that Microsoft had some sort of special advantage over the run-of-the-mill enterprise soul-suckers like IBM or Oracle. They might; but they won't for long.

Ultimately, I don't see how any reasonable person could disagree with simply making note of the fact that Microsoft no longer has the ability to change the course of computing: enterprise or consumer.


Are you aware that like 90% of corporations run Windows? No other operating system can claim anything even close to that.

My point is that operating systems are largely commodified now, and that Windows' strategic value (for both Microsoft and the corporations using it) only holds in very homogenous environments.

That is the state of most corporations today, but at best, I would consider Windows a rapidly depreciating asset (in a strategic sense -- I'm sure it will continue to be a major source of cash for a while).

The person that I originally responded to, whose statement you're apparently defending said:

"Microsoft used to control the future of computing. Now they are yet another enterprise software company with no apparent mission except to make money.


Meanwhile Apple/Google/Amazon/Facebook/etc look toward the future"

I disagreed with the part where they said "just another enterprise software company". I also happen to disagree that they have no apparent mission, but that's another story; please forget that I said it :)

So, would you argue my point for a second? Why is Microsoft NOT just another enterprise software company now or in the next decade? I think I can come up with more, "bigger" and more provable reasons that they are NOT than that they are, but could be wrong. And who knows the future? Right now, they're surely not just another enterprise company and the future is not static, it's based on the now.

I was arguing your point; specifically, I don't think their "major footholds" have sufficient strategic value to push Microsoft into a class of its own.

And to be clear, my "just another enterprise software company" category includes IBM and Oracle, as well. And I imagine Microsoft is still on the top of that list, but I don't think they have a radically stronger position. It is a very profitable position for now, but that wasn't what the original comment was about.

The question is whether they can again "control the future of computing" or just continue to make a lot of money on roughly the status quo (i.e. simply be "yet another enterprise software company"). I can't speak for the original commenter, but I suspect their emphasis was on "enterprise software company with no apparent mission except to make money" rather than "yet another", so that line could probably be replaced with something like "yet another boring, immensely profitable company".

On that question, I think you can make a good argument that some of their footholds are actually a handicap now. For example, Windows and Office make so much money that the company becomes conservative, unwilling to do anything that might significantly disrupt them.

They haven't released an OS without the Windows name in about 20 years now. Even with their mobile OS attempts, it always has Windows in the name. Even the original XBox promotion had a bit of "it's based on Windows" push. And on that line of thought, why hasn't there been an XBox Phone? The smartphone market is largely consumer right now, so why not try a different brand approach?

Yes, Microsoft dominates in the enterprise space right now, but they are losing badly in the consumer space (which will eventually break into the enterprise position) and the cloud space (which is the enterprise position of new companies). What do you see them doing to change the course now?

On a "consumer tech" tangent, IE 11 will finally implement WebGL. Direct3D gave them a unique hold on desktop gaming, paired with a really strong console gaming position. WebGL finally forced them to submit. I expect there are a few divisions that are wickedly pissed off now, and I totally understand why: Direct3D is now in its deathbed.

An utterly dominant, gaming tech position undermined and eliminated in the span of maybe five years.

In the enterprise market, I'd give them a longer timeline, but it's hard to imagine a moribund, hydrogen blimp of that size managing to see (much less avoid) the fireball collapse that's coming.

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