Business, General ramblings, Microsoft, Technology, Thoughts, Zune

Microsoft’s Core Competency

I’m back to one of my favorite topics- bashing Microsoft! In one of my previous posts, I had expressed my happiness at the EU decision against Microsoft’s monopoly. This post was triggered because of Microsoft’s announcement of Zune v2. Zune 80 is priced at $249- not at all clever; same pricing as that of an iPod with 80 GB capacity. Which one will you go for? Obviously iPod. OK, all you Zune enthusiasts, don’t start jumping at me now. How many of you are out there any way? I could manually count you 😛 So, don’t tell me that the $249 price tag is very good because we even get Wi-fi. Whom do I exchange music files with? All my friends have iPod, thus putting this Wifi feature out of the scene.

I found an awesome article that talks about Microsoft’s Monopoly in details. Let me quote some of the points that the article made:

Every company has a core competency. What is Microsoft’s? Bill and Steve continuously hawk “innovation” as their core competancy. I’m not so sure. MS-DOS was bought from Seattle Computer. The GUI interface? Wasn’t that started by PARC? Maybe they invented NT? Oops, NT started out as IBM’s OS/2. Internet Explorer? Nope, much of the technology was from the Mosaic browser, licensed from Spyglass. So if they don’t innnovate, what do they do?

So what’s Microsoft’s core competency? My view of the marketplace tells me that their core competancy is monopolization.Microsoft’s main business strategy is the acquisition, exploitation and defense of monopoly power in various marketplaces. Now at last we can explain Microsoft’s loathing for modularity. Modularity enables third parties to interact with Windows. While most normal companies would see this as a customer benefit, Microsoft sees this as a threat to their monopoly. If you can use one piece of non-Microsoft software, and if you can later use that software with somebody else’s software, you can migrate to non-Microsoft software. Would people be tempted to migrate away from crash-prone, intermittent and bloated software if given the chance? Better not give them the chance. Destruction of modularity removes the migration path.

Steve Litt said this in 2000! I just wish that the EU Court decision had come out sooner. I’m just waiting for my ubuntu CD and some free time on my hands.

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38 thoughts on “Microsoft’s Core Competency

  1. very good post. Microsoft has its goose cooked with Vista. Nobody wants it. and in the time(atleast 5 years) that it takes for them to copy leopard oops come out with another innovative OS product other great offerings such as Mac OS X and Ubuntu would have gained considerable marketshare and microsoft’s core competence i.e., its monopoly of the OS market will be at an end.

    perhaps they see the writing on the wall. maybe that’s why Bill wants to quit by next year with whatever glory he has still left.

  2. That’s an interesting point you’ve made. I was one of the people who thought Microsoft had made a clever move by pricing the Zune as the same as iPod Classic. But yea, what’s the use of Zune to Zune transfer when there aren’t many Zune’s around anyway.

  3. @Swen, Thanks 🙂

    @Apollo, Did you see that this Zune is only PC Compatible? iPod is both PC and Mac compatible. They jump into a new business only if it threatens their core business- The OS. That’s really not a very good way of going about doing things…it all looks so half-hearted.

    Bill is no longer the richest man too- now it’s Carlos Slim. Thank you for your detailed comment. Keep visiting! 🙂

    @Ish, Exactly…I don’t need their Wifi connectivity. By the time they pimp up this thing (after probably another 2 more versions), the other competitors will move on to something new. I had expected the newer version to be a lot cooler looking. I do like the big screen and it is supposedly lighted than the iPod 80 GB. But it still looks ugly and that Zune Pad just looks weird! 😐

  4. @Ruhi
    I agree, I’ve tried the Zune out, and it didn’t really feel that great at all so I can easily understand why the iPod is better.

    I’m actually planning on installing Ubuntu as a larger partition on my Vista laptop too, so could finally stop having to use Vista all the time . I actually also heard about a Fedora-based Linux OS, called Vixta. No, I did not just make a typo. It’s made to look a lot like Vista, and is said to be way better than Vista. I haven’t tried it yet though, but may soon. Heres a post on it in case you want to see.

  5. sayasaja says:

    It’s nice article.
    You can imagine, here in Indonesia, where i live in, everybody use microsoft products. But of course Bill will not get much money. Cause most of them love the pirate product. It’s bad, but we have no much money for very expensive windows & office, where the free stuff is everywhere (linux, open office etc).
    Thx. Nice to read your blog.

  6. -kf says:

    “OK, all you Zune enthusiasts…”

    There are actually people enthusiastic about the Zune? Please tell me there is also a Santa Claus. I’ll write him at the North Pole and ask for a MacPro and a 30 inch Apple Cinema Display 😉

  7. @-kf:

    Hahaha…one of the best comments I’ve read in a long long time. Believe me, there are some crazy psychos who are quite blinded and still love Microsoft.

  8. @sayasaja:

    Hi Sayasaja!

    Thanks for discovering my blog. The piracy thing is a big problem in India too, where most of the people get pirated CDs. Microsoft is aware of this problem and is trying to introduce cheap versions.

    I agree that Linux would be a great choice in that case. It’s free! 🙂 In fact, I’m waiting to use it myself.

  9. @Raphy:

    I’m actually planning on installing Ubuntu as a larger partition on my Vista laptop too, so could finally stop having to use Vista all the time .

    Yeah, me too!! I read this post about Vixta and it really looks cool. If you try it, then let me know how it went. I love hearing about products that help me eliminate my dependence on Microsoft’s products.

  10. LOL kf’s comment was superb! Hey ask for a MacPro for me too, Santa doesn’t seem to listen to me 😛

    And I real that post about Vixta. It looks nice. I think it will hog less resources also. I wouldn’t be surprised id much less RAM is needed for running it. Vista doesn’t install on machines less than 512MB. Well, it’s a different fact that I installed it for my friend on his 256MB PC but it’s not fun that way. Right now I’m having Vista and XP both and I’m planning on getting rid of Vista. Do you have any clue if the data on my D:/ will be removed if I uninstall Vista? It’s installed on the D:/

  11. @ish, Did you install Vista on D:/ ? Do you have a backup of all your files on another partition? I would recommend that you do that just in case some screw up happens….you never know 🙂 Just write everything to a DVD/CD. Won’t take more than a couple of minutes.

  12. Its sounds correct that Microsoft’s core competency is its monopolization strategy. The question is will it end anytime soon? Or do we have to continue using Microsoft platform even if we don’t want to?

  13. Hmmm … So what OS does your Mom/Dad use? You supply them Ubuntu CDs? And have you stopped using Office at work? Even my friends with Macs use MS Office.

    One thing — I don’t like to read about gross generalizations, esp. those that are not even backed by any numbers or sound arguments.

    Thanks for this post.

    my_reading_list = my_reading_list – 1;

  14. @kpowerinfinity

    Why exactly are you talking about my mom/dad here? Did I mention anything about their preference? I use Office at work because we can’t tamper with the system! If your friends use Office on Mac, then they are stupid. That’s all that I can say. Why didn’t they just buy a Windows PC/laptop then.

    One thing — I don’t like to read about gross generalizations, esp. those that are not even backed by any numbers or sound arguments.

    Then I need to especially thank you for reading my substandard post! 🙂

  15. i use debain OS
    and use open office for office applications..
    I sort of dont like microsoft .. mainly because they pissed me off by recruiting designer of max payne to create halo .. :-/

  16. I do not have much of an opinion abt Ipod and zune. My sony ericcson w8100i plays some music for me and I am happy with it.
    but regarding
    “I’m just waiting for my ubuntu CD and some free time on my hands.”

    I tried that too but I figured its impossible to get rid of windows completely. I mean people love to use word and excel and every one in a while i get one in email.
    Opening them in openoffice might help to read the content, but retaining the precise format is next to impossible..

    dats the only reason i need office and for office i need windows, otherwise i am happy to go ubuntu too…

  17. Haven’t tried Vixta yet, but in case you didn’t know you can download Wubi, which lets you install ubuntu, xubuntu, and all of the different ubuntus easily. It only lets you install a partition of up to 30 GB though, and installs only the latest version. Works nicely though, I had to try it twice but that was because of a mistake of mine by pressing cancel during installation. Heres the link:

  18. @Raphy:

    Thanks so much for letting me know about this. I definitely feel more confident now! I’ll probably try wubi first 🙂 I haven’t ever worked on anything apart from Windows. Btw, I don’t know why your comments keep getting stuck in moderation. I think it’s because of the hyperlink. So, please excuse that.

  19. @tismarkhan:

    Well it’s not really impossible I think…I haven’t tried Open Office, but I know what you mean. There are lots of alternatives out there. I’m sure you know more about it than I do.

  20. @nishu:

    .. mainly because they pissed me off by recruiting designer of max payne to create halo .. :-/

    Oh really? I have Max Payne…it’s so-so. The designing is definitely not nice. Can’t talk more about video games because I don’t play PC Games/XBox/PS

  21. Swen says:

    @Ruhi & Raphy..
    I read about Vixta too.. but do u really need an OS that imitates the look of another OS? Ubuntu, Kubuntu , OpenSuse, etc .. are different.. but good different.

    Also about wubi ..sounds nice.. but frankly the easiest way to try linux is using a live distribution … later you install it.

  22. @Swen,

    but do u really need an OS that imitates the look of another OS?

    Nope, we absolutely don’t 🙂 That’s one of the reasons I dislike Vista. Those designers are MSFT can never do something that’s original. It’s UI is built along the lines of Apple.

    Also about wubi ..sounds nice.. but frankly the easiest way to try linux is using a live distribution … later you install it.

    Thank you for that suggestion 🙂 I feel quite curious regarding Wubi too. I’ll probably give it a try this weekend (or maybe tonight if I absolutely can’t wait)!

    UPDATE: Btw, read this! and this.:| I feel a little apprehensive right now…Live CD is perhaps the best way to give Linux a try, IMO.

  23. @Ruhi
    Just read the articles…
    *Reaches for SpinRite download link*.

    I didn’t realize that Wubi doesn’t exactly need to create a partition, which is quite impressive but at the sme time, I’m glad I only used it with my desktop which has nothing useful or important. Nothing bad has happened so far, but just in case I’m going to download Spinrite and wait for Wubi to be out of Beta to move it on to my laptop.

    [No links in this post, lets see if it gets past moderation :)]

    I agree, Ubuntu is pretty different than a lot of computers I’ve used. A GOOD different.

  24. Swen says:

    Do that. Maybe give Knoppix a shot. Thats pure live distribution and i started my journey into linux with distribution. And if i remember it ran much faster than the ubuntu live edition.

  25. @Swen, I would have taken your suggestion only if I hadn’t downloaded the Ubuntu 7.04 Live CD yesterday. 7.10 is due for release in a week’s time. I’m sure the Live CD won’t work too fast…Btw, I’m not that geeky 😐 Do I sound like one?

  26. @Swen:

    (finds Swen hiding behind a haystack and beats him up)

    Btw, I tried working with the Live CD yesterday…and it’s quite slow 😦 I was trying to set up my wi-fi and that alone took me a couple of hours. Had to reboot a couple of times too. Did I mention that I’m totally lost?! 😐 I need to learn a lot.

  27. Raphy says:

    Ubuntu seems to be giving me problems now. Can’t connect to the internet, and so I can’t install any new programs because of the way you need to install programs, so of course for now I’ll blame Wubi. So I guess Wubi doesn’t like me enough, but linux might. I’ll install linux the old-fashioned way, and let you know if it works properly.

    AS for the whole microsoft dependency thing, sadly I no longer have a blog to call my own [may the healing begin] so I think I’m going to take a break from blogging and really just work on the “movement”. And when I finish writing the whole thing could you please show it off on your blog. Pretty please? Haha, I think I’ll eventually move it to a new blog, after my break.

  28. @Raphy, what exactly happened? Are you still using Wubi? I have pretty much not worked on ubuntu since two days.

    Haha, I think I’ll eventually move it to a new blog, after my break.

    Which will be even geekier? 😉

  29. omgsplosion says:

    Haha,I dont think thats even remotely possible.

    I found the reason I couldn’t connect though, Ubuntu just doesn’t support a WPA network something, so this will be one of the few times I read the forums looking for a solution. The thing I can’t figure out though is why I have to use XP, then reboot and switch to Ubunutu to be able to use Ubuntu. Once again, going through the forums and such to try and solve it. Wish me luck…

  30. @omgsplosion:

    Oh really? 😦 Hmm..that explains it. I was following the steps mentioned in the forum troubleshooting page, but nothing worked for me and I gave up after 3 hours. I might try to install wireless again…but I’m not too sure. All the best!

  31. oops, I logged in under omgsplosion.. Anyway, I actually got an interesting book recently on how to use Ubuntu’s terminal and everything. If I find a solution in there I’ll let you know. But its a very long book…

  32. Hi Raphy, You have so much of patience 🙂 I would have loved to pick up a Linux book too, but I’m afraid I’m not being able to make time for it because I’m graduating in December and stuff. But thank you for your help. I appreciate it. And All the BEST in your quest 🙂 I might catch up with you soon.

  33. Hehe my laptop shut down as I was partitioning the Hard Drive. Not even my Recovery Drive can help me now. Guess I will be needing Spinrite after all. The book actually came with a CD that included an installation file too, I’ll copy the files of it if I can for others to download if its legal, but the files may be as much as 1 GB.

    Wow, must be a lot of work though if you have no time to read a bit. Then again I’m only in Chapter 5 or 6, installing Ubuntu. Good luck graduating! 🙂

  34. @Raphy:

    Oh really? This is what I’m scared of. I really don’t want my laptop getting spoiled for any reason. If you copy the installation files, then it might not really be legal, you know? 😛 I promise I won’t turn you in. Heh.

    Yeah, I do have a lot of work right- I work part time, plus am a student full time and also looking for jobs and stuff. So, I’m not being able to make any time to read anything extra.

  35. Pingback: Microsoft Fined $1.4 Billion in the Anti Trust EU Case « Time and Again

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