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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I really try hard to not argue with people who are smarter then me, but Paul Graham saying "Microsoft is dead"...or irrelevant...is just wrong.

Is Microsoft trendy? No. Decidedly not. The words Web 2.0 and Microsoft do not belong together. That much I agree, but so what? Name a Web 2.0 company which is profitable in the billion+ range?

Google? Not exactly Web 2.0, but ok. Google is currently doing a better job then Microsoft. Of course - Netscape was better then microsoft at one point. So was Lotus. Macintosh. Oracle. Nintendo. etc...etc... All of these companies were suppose to crush microsoft. I find it disgusting how so many people have such short term memories. Microsoft has always sucked early and won in the end. Maybe this time is different - who knows? But the race is a marathon - not a sprint. The starting gun has just fired - are you sure you want to declare the winner?

There are three software customers: home consumers, businesses, and advertisers (via the web).

Now, who sells more home consumer software then Microsoft? Think office, games, Money, etc. Nobody. Period. Nobody even comes close. The second closest is probably someone like Norton and only because Microsoft has not yet fully entered this space.

Who sells more business software then Microsoft? Think windows, office, server products, etc. That's right - nobody! The number 2 is probably SAP, but again - microsoft does not compete in this market.

On to category number 3 - advertisers. Ok, Google wins here hands down, but the market was only proven a few years ago.

Right now, if you want to sell to Business or Home Consumers - you damn well better be thinking about Microsoft. Paul Graham lives in a world where software is 100% focused on advertisers. Hence his delusion. Is Microsoft relevant in this world. No, but it is early days and Microsoft has always been a company which lets other people discover the market. Think Netscape. Lotus. Macintosh. Oracle. Nintendo.

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