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Comment of the Day October 26, 2005 Microsoft admits it can no longer compete
"Generally, the two Democrats argue that the OpenDocument approach will unfairly block Microsoft from much of the state’s electronic documents business."
If I were an "un-biased" analyst I would write something like...
Attention all investors! Microsoft admits it can no longer compete on technical merits.
Microsoft has admitted that it is incapable of implementing the open document standards freely published by the OASIS group. These standards have been implemented by other software companies like Sun, and even by unpaid volunteer amateurs in the free software community.
Microsoft claims that adoption of Open Document standards that are published and free for all software companies to implement could lock it out of important business opportunities. This would be like an accounting firm claiming that requiring them to be able to add columns of numbers together could jeopardize future business prospects.
This admission of inability to implement simple technical standards comes on the heels of several years of disastrous stumbles by the once great software giant.
Microsoft was never able to produce an OS that ran on the Intel 64-bit Itanium architecture, even though Intel made all of the technical specifications available and provided an emulator before the chip was even produced. Compare this to the fact that The GNU/Linux OS, an OS developed by the efforts of volunteers across the internet, and available for free, was ported to the Itanium before the chips even started coming off the assembly line!
In a recent Wall Street Journal article Microsoft has admitted that its entire software development system was so badly broken that they had to scrap the long awaited "Longhorn" upgrade to their Windows XP Operating System, and completely redesign their development methods from the ground up. Many of the features promised originally have been dropped in order to meet deadlines that are years later than the original expected ship date.
Microsoft has been incapable of delivering the kind of stability and security that enterprise users demand in operating systems, despite spending millions of dollars and decades in development. Compare this to the BSD family of Unix operating systems, that was developed by a bunch of college students. BSD was so capable that it became the basis for AT&T's UNIX, and Sun's Solaris operating systems. BSD is renowned for its stability and security.
But this news about Microsoft being unable to implement the simple Open Document standards means that things are going from bad to worse. The OASIS standards form a set of specifications that tell software writers how to save their data to a file in a special text based format called an XML file. For a software company to admit that it may lose out on business because it is incapable of implementing a function to save a file as formatted text is a monumental embarrassment.
If Microsoft has become incapable of implementing functionality that unpaid volunteers are capable of implementing, how can they even manage to operate as a business?
Microsoft does have huge cash reserves and should be able to re-invent itself as a successful company, but the giant will have to gather its wits and pick itself up after this admission of such complete failure.
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