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Competing with Vista

As a former Microsoft employee myself, I think Scott is right on for the most part regarding the issues surrounding Vista (and its delays). I'm not however convinced there's a door open for competitors (besides Apple) which is wide enough, and will remain open long enough, for most competitors. From Scott's blog:

However, the door is open for competitors . The bad Vista PR over the last year has made a window - Linux, Firefox and Red Hat should be doing something: a viral ad, a marketing campaign, anything. But they've been awfully quiet and I don't understand why. I think this is the more interesting story than what's going on in Redmond. The MSFT Windows multi-slip ship cycle is an old (perhaps sad) story, but the silence on the battlefront deserves more attention.

Most Microsoft competitors are plagued by several factors:

  • no budget (open source doesn't generate much revenue -- certainly not enough to make a dent even in the US market place)
  • not compelling (Linux is still trying to be a clone of Windows)
  • not better (it's not measurably better than Windows in really any way)
  • no one really cares really (Example: my parents don't care what operating system is on their computer any more than they care about the specifics of the engine in their car. Both get them where they want to go. And, as long as I'm official tech-support, I'm going to put something I'm most comfortable with and the platform that offers the most support). (And the same is true of Firefox vs. IE -- they rarely need to have more than a single web browser open at a time).
  • and did I mention no budget?

What are your thoughts?

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