Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lessons learned from HD-DVD death

RoughlyDrafted Magazine has a severely biased article against Microsoft that does what most anti-MS types do: blame MS for everything wrong in the industry. The article has valid points, but is annoying repetitive with some claims.

Anyway, a semi-counter point was made by me in's coverage of the story:

Open-office is a usable product, unless you want workhorse with multiple sheets and functions along with VBA/scripting support. Macs are nice and Apple makes some great servers, but the software library is limited and end-user hardware prices are outrageous. Linux is a great open source product, but there are so many distributions of it that it can get convoluted; not to mention it is far from user-friendly. Oracle on Unix is definitely a performer, but the maintenance/administration is extremely high; SQL is just as capable nowadays and I see more and more 3rd party vendors moving to it. Why? Because it's a hell of a lot more functional to administer than Oracle. And I'm an Oracle guy!

It's easy to say, "Microsoft is bad, such and such is viable replacement," but they aren't going to understand the core of business.

Sure, Java is usable and open source. Linux is open source. But they come at the cost of training and productivity. Using the alternatives take more time and add a plethora of administrative headache. .NET blows Java out of the water as far as productivity goes. Microsoft knows IT. They know developers. They are extremely innovative in that arena.

End-users will not see past the 360 and the Zune, which Microsoft doesn't have the background in like they do with IT. They are treading carefully, but know they have to be appealing. What's benefiting Microsoft in 360-land is that they provide their top-tier development tools to developers, increasing their productivity. Nintendo and Sony can't hold a candle to those tools, regardless of what a few specialized developers out there say.

Yes, RROD was bad. But so was DRE on the PS2. None of these companies are innocent. If Apple took over, they would just be the new Microsoft; their business practice isn't any better. Same with the companies that are behind Blu-ray. Microsoft just shows what happens when a business gets too large. But any of these companies would love the opportunity to steal Microsoft's shoes.


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