in General Coding

Microsoft, the next IBM?

After Microsoft (finally) released IE7 the other day, I felt compelled to at least download and play around with the thing. In many ways, IE7 is a completely acceptable browser – it has the now-mandatory tabs, and allows for adding custom widgets, etc. But what really is the most telling about IE7 is that it lacks any features or overall UX design that is superior to Mozilla browsers – ok, one nice little detail – the new tab button that appears next to existing tabs, which allows for adding tabs with a single click – of course, FireFox can easily be customized to support that. Worse, and I almost think this should be borderline embarrassing to Microsoft, is that it took them this long to deliver a browser that just barely keeps up with the competition – and that, I think, really is what is at the core of Microsoft’s troubles – they move soooo slowly, and even when moving at that dinosaur’s pace, they’re still not innovating. Makes me wonder if 10 years from now (or maybe less), Microsoft will have become the next IBM – a big but mostly irrelevant old-world corporation who has an increasingly smaller share of the technology market. Once browsers apps become more mature than their desktop equivalents in terms of power and sophistication, most people will be doing all their wordprocessing and photoshopping and what-not online, while desktop apps will become sort of like mainframes – catering only to professionals and corporations (as in using desktop apps is something you only do at the office), sort of like what IBM does now….