On the battles of the software industry

Here is a quote from Scott Rosenberg’s insightful post, titled “Clash of titanic business-press cliches”  (emphasis is mine):

Are Microsoft and Google in conflict? Of course. They have fundamentally different visions of where computing’s headed — visions that the Times article, by Steve Lohr and Miguel Helft, ably lays out. But it’s not as if they are feudal fiefdoms fighting over some fixed patch of ground. Their conflict will play out as each company builds its next generation of software and services, and the next one after that, and people make choices about what to buy and what to use.

Those choices are the key to the outcome. In a battle, civilians are mostly bystanders or casualties. In the software business, civilians — users — determine who wins.

2 thoughts on “On the battles of the software industry”

  1. This is true. The consumers are ultimately the ones who decide most disputes. But most consumers are ignorant when it comes to computers. They get given something and told “this is a computer. a computer gets viruses. so you have to get some antivirus software. here it is”, and they think “ok, this is a computer.” What they are really getting is *Windows*. They don’t know that there are alternatives, or don’t bother to set them up, and therefore the market is really controlled by Microsoft, who drives the consumers’ interests.

    Microsoft tells the consumers that they want Windows. The consumers don’t really have a choice. They just take what is given them.

    n.b. I don’t have anything in particular against Microsoft, it’s just that they provide a classic example here of how a dominant company can control the consumers.

    Hopefully with web services we’ll have a turnaround here.

  2. David,

    This is true, but situation is changing to the better with every day. Linux desktops for example, are sold all over the world now, and they are sold pretty good. And the reason is that they are much cheaper than those ones with Windows. Differences in price are much easier to understand than differences between operating systems.

    Also Web is getting a lot of attention. Instead of using Microsoft Live Search, most people use Google. And it works like “Hey, I know this great web site – you just type what you want to find and it finds it. Period”. Web sites are much easier to try for non-technical people. They don’t require any installation or special knowledge. So, it’s much easier to enter competition in this area…

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