Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Microsoft in crisis: it's more than Vista

To put it mildly, I've never been a Microsoft fan. I think MS Word alone has knocked billions of our GNP. Their path to power was littered with the corpses of better solutions. On the other hand, I've always given them credit for Microsoft Excel, I think XP was a very good OS until the security crises of the past few years (not as good overall as OS X, but good), and I've always thought they made superb hardware. Really, they've been a good hardware company.

Then I bought the Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000. It takes real genius to produce an XP STOP screen on startup -- the rarely seen XP Blue Screen of Death (not on my home machine, on my pure work laptop). Only Microsoft would have the knowledge and cojones to hack into the ring 0 driver code of XP and do something like this (my guess is that the LifeCam software was written for Vista).

Microsoft is in deeper trouble than a Vista product delay. They increasingly feel like a company coming apart at the seams. This won't be pretty, but maybe it's the best alternative we have to a stifling monopoly. With luck they'll be back in 10 years -- without the monopoly ...

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