2 October 2005, 02:58 by mark hoekstra

microsoft's midlife crisis

The software titan is balky and bureaucratic. Its huge profits rely on its oldest stuff. Steve Ballmer, whatcha gonna do?

Give us time, Ballmer says. “You could say 1995 to 2000 was about us winning on the desktop. Then 2000 to 2005 we won and drove the server market. And the next five years is all about driving and winning the Web,” he says.

Can someone please tell this man… uuh, never mind ;-)

Some reality:

The company relies on Windows and a suite of desktop applications, products released a decade ago, for 80% of sales and 140% of profits. Newer products, the Xbox videogame machine, the MSN online service, the wireless and small-business software, collectively have racked up $7 billion in losses in four years.

In Web-server software, Microsoft has 20% of the fast-growing market, while the free Apache program, a Linux variant, has 70%, worth $6 billion in revenue had Microsoft gotten the sales. In search, Google and Yahoo get 70% of queries while MSN gets only 13%. Google now gives away features (desktop search, photo archiving) that Microsoft promises in its next upgrade of Windows—which is running two years late.

forbes.com – microsoft’s midlife crisis


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