(If they ever had it in the first place!)
I’m afraid I cannot really weep at the disasters befalling Microsoft. They’ve missed the boat in so many ways. Vanity Fair documents the absolutely catastrophic performance of CEO Steve Ballmer over the last decade, and how he has missed almost every opportunity in the new world of consumer smart phones and ipods and ipads. He’s misjudged almost every call, and delivered a corporate culture that’s full of in-fighting that stifles real vision. Check out the figures!
in the last decade Microsoft’s stock barely budged from around $30, while Apple’s stock is worth more than 20 times what it was 10 years ago. In December 2000, Microsoft had a market capitalization of $510 billion, making it the world’s most valuable company. As of June it is No. 3, with a market cap of $249 billion. In December 2000, Apple had a market cap of $4.8 billion and didn’t even make the list. As of this June it is No. 1 in the world, with a market cap of $541 billion.
Ouch! Meanwhile, Apple reinvented the mp3 player in the ipod, then moved that into an iphone, then anticipated the need for an ipad. Microsoft died in all 3 areas, and wasted billions chasing Apple’s market smashing lead. Check out these figures.
Cool is what tech consumers want. Exhibit A: today the iPhone brings in more revenue than the entirety of Microsoft.
One Apple product, something that didn’t exist five years ago, has higher sales than everything Microsoft has to offer. More than Windows, Office, Xbox, Bing, Windows Phone, and every other product that Microsoft has created since 1975. In the quarter ended March 31, 2012, iPhone had sales of $22.7 billion; Microsoft Corporation, $17.4 billion.
The rest of the piece post mortem’s Microsoft’s decline. Apple is back, and while Microsoft might not be about to collapse, their market share has taken a pounding. But the real story? The real story here might not even be the war between Microsoft, Apple, and Google. The real story is lurking in the background, chugging along about 4 or 5 years behind the big 3 players. The real story may just be that despite the fantastic successes (and failures) of the big 3, IBM (yes, I mentioned that rather irrelevant old dinosaur IBM!) are supporting companies that choose to install…. Open Office. What??!!!?
Open Office. The freebie. I’ve avoided using it until recently because, well, it ran too slowly on my ancient old G5 Mac. On my brand new iMac it runs fast enough for my purposes! I’m learning where things are and how it works. I’m learning to love it, for my purposes at least! The thing I love about it is that it is always evolving, always free, and pretty much the same whether I use it on Linux, Mac, or PC. I’ve already ranted about the differences between Microsoft Office for Mac and PC.
Yes Open Office is about 4 or 5 years behind Microsoft in some areas. Apparently, in other areas it is ahead! But there are still some compatibility issues with Powerpoint as it does not translate Powerpoint files that have heavy graphical text editing done. Oh dear, Microsoft users might have to tone down fancy headings when sending a document through to an Open Office user. How tragic.
However, OO is coming along, and with IBM backing OO in the real world of office support, who knows where this will go? As the wiki says, there are some Notable Users:
Large-scale users of OpenOffice.org include Singapore’s Ministry of Defence, Bristol City Council in the UK and Banco do Brasil.
In France, OpenOffice.org has attracted the attention of both local and national government administrations who wish to rationalize their software procurement, as well as have stable, standard file formats for archival purposes. As of 2006 OOo is the official office suite for the French Gendarmerie. Several government organizations in India, such as IIT Bombay, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, the Supreme Court of India, ICICI Bank, the Allahabad High Court, which use Linux, completely rely on OpenOffice.org for their administration.
In Asia, Thailand is another nation that has enterprises seriously migrating to OpenOffice.org such as Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and S&P Syndicate PLC (one of the largest restaurant chains). The adoption rate is relatively slow, especially for small businesses and state enterprises, but the number of success cases is
Apparently, these government bodies don’t mind about a few features of Powerpoint that might not load. They’ll just have to get by with Open Office’s own funky Impress formatting instead of Power-point’s functions. Dear oh dear, how will they survive?