Microsoft got its start when it recognized 2 things in 1977:
1) microcomputers needed software, and
2) it was not practical to develop that software on the micros themselves
Then they realized that they could not market their products and that
the micro hardware producers were their customers (1979).
They got lucky when the Intel micro distributors needed an OS and they
made a deal for DOS AFTER recommending DR-DOS (1980). They were creative
in empowering their customers (the hardware vendors) to copy DOS.
Now they are paranoid about losing to competition. Their key competitive
1) the network with NT and Novell is feeling the heat
2) the desktop with Win 95 and IBM, Unix are feling the heat
3) the Internet with Explorer and Netscape is feeling the heat
4) application suites and IBM (Lotus) and Corel are feeling the heat
5) multimedia and lots are posturing but no ONE is feeling the heat
I could go on but this is a book in itself. Sources include the book
about Gates, IBM task force, alliance visits to Bellevue WA (next to
Redmond), various industry analysis including the Gartner Group, and the
InFlow analysis that Valdis Krebs (from this list) has done.
Gates sees that Internet could take over the desktop by replacing the
Windows standard with a browser and Java-based client/servers. Unlike
GM, Microsoft will never get caught in their paradigms. They are scrappy
competitors in the image of their founder and leader. They are constantly
learning from their competitors. Their world view is that their market is
the world of computing and communications that involves people. Because
everyone (except maybe Cray) is their competitor, they are learning lots.
Keith Cowan <72212.51@CompuServe.COM>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>