Countdown to Vista's Demise

Posted November 14, 2007 by Evan Tishuk

Until now, Microsoft could sell code better than anyone, but it seems the company would rather sell services: software as a service, ads, search engine results—you name it. This is like the local storefront that opens as a knife-sharpening business and is soon selling junk jewelry, moose heads, toaster repair, and cheap chocolate. In the meantime, the knife-sharpening business goes by the wayside. This is what has happened to Microsoft, and Vista is the result.

Read the whole Vista Death Watch from PC Magazine. Maybe Microsoft should just sell chocolate moose heads?


Nobrainer ~ November 14, 2007

The example doesn't make sense to me as it seems backwards. The store started off selling a service and ended up selling stand-alone products.

Also, it seems as though MS is adapting to the marketplace. If consumers can get good open source or other good software for free, there doesn't seem to be a lot of room (or reason) for MS to continue to focus on selling things.

olivier blanchard ~ November 14, 2007

That is both a horrible comparison and an inacurate analysis of what Microsoft is doing.

(BTW, the knife sharpening side of the business is not going away.)

What Microsoft is doing is simply opening up more options for its end-users (and yes, opening up new revenue streams, as they should). The model isn't dying, it is simply evolving - and growing.

To put SAAS (software as a service) in perspective, look at its value proposition this way: Hosted services have low upfront costs, which breaks down investment barriers for startups and small businesses. It's a pretty simplistic way to look at it, but even if you never go deeper than this, that's already pretty cool.

I don't really see how that somehow "cheapens" or "junks" Microsoft's offering.

Is it for everyone? No. And that's the beauty of it: Businesses (entreprise or smaller) which choose not to stray from the software/licensing model will still be able to do so. As a bonus, Software Assurance (SA) programs still provide some pretty clutch benefits that companies willing to spend upfront capital can capitalize on.

So whether you decide to stay with software or go with SAAS (or some combination of the two), you really get the best of both worlds. I don't see how that's bad for the end-user. (For resellers, maybe, but that's a different story.)

The writer clearly doesn't have a good understanding of what SAAS actually is, or the reasoning behind Microsoft's growth strategy. (If he really wants to beat his war drum, he might also want to take a look at what Cisco is doing along the same lines.)

As effective as the 'junk shop' imagery may be in conveying his point, I would have had more respect for the writer if he had actually researched his piece a bit better. It was a cheap shot - and a hollow one.


Evan Tishuk ~ November 14, 2007

I don't know Olivier. Vista is a let-down -- especially compared to, well, I'm not even going to go there. You can't be good at everything. I'd rather have a commerical operating system from a company that focuses on nothing but making and maintaining a great operating system. I think the point is that MS over promised, under delivered and is spread too thin. I think we'll be saying the same thing about Google in a couple years when guys like these start changing the game.

olivier ~ November 14, 2007

Good points all, Evan. That's a topic large enough for several blog posts - which may have to be addressed on the soon to launch SYNNEX/Microsoft blog. (oh yeah.)


The world of software is changing so quickly that frankly, I am amazed that the 3-5 year OS development & rollout process is still the MO today. I expect that we will soon see big OS releases like XP and Vista go away, in favor of a more "brick-by-brick" approach - a natural evolution based on the current Service Pack (SP) model.

Vista isn't perfect. Fine. I don't disagree with you there. But the article completely missed the point about SAAS (and where Microsoft is headed) and THAT is what I wanted to comment on.

Big topic. Too big for this comment box. :)

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