Probabilities are fun. If some outcome of the chaos around us depends on events A, B and C, the probability of the outcome is the product of the probablities of events A, B, and C happening.
P(X) = P(A) P(B) P(C)
In IT, “the market” is a huge thing with many players and many customers. The probability of any event in the market is between 0 and 1 with 1 being a certainty. Since nothing is a certainty, all these probabilities are less than 1. Some events are very probable with “M$ making $billions” being very near certainty. Other events like “M$ making Phoney “7″ relevant” are much less probable.
Don Reisinger, over at Channel Insider, has identified a number of events upon which M$’s continued dominance of IT depends:
||Pogson’s Estimate of Probability
||Phoney “7″ works
||Nokia stays relevant
||Office suite in the cloud works
||Threat of Google suppressed
||OEMs love M$
||M$ controls tablets
||IE remains relevant
||Likelihood of M$’s Continued Dominance of IT =
||half a chance-in-a-million
So, I state with confidence, M$ will no longer dominate IT within a few years the way things are going. We are seeing share of client OS drop rapidly, including smart thingies, and Phoney “7″ and Nokia are on life-support. The last bastion of strength will be clients and servers in business which is seriously locked-in. Business is taking the cloud seriously and will move to thin clients, terminal servers and large numbers will realize they can save a $bundle using GNU/Linux or Android/Linux etc. on clients and that will eliminate the tie-in between client and server that M$ has built. The retail market is moving rapidly to accept Linux and ARM in all its forms. All of this hinges on whether or not M$ can rapidly catch up. It has shown with Vista and Phoney “7″ that it cannot catch up and will soon be well back in the pack. M$ may remain huge for several years, but gone are the days when M$ could dictate to the market. Within a year or two the board of M$ will turn on Ballmer and tell the world some other hero will save M$, but it will be too late. The world can make its own software and will.
see Don Reisinger – Channel Insider – 10 Things Microsoft Must Prove In the Next Year
UPDATE There is breaking news on Ballmer. Defending his record, he let slip a month early some numbers from M$’s bottom line: $69 billion in revenue for the fiscal year. Their last 10-Q gave $52.5 billion for the previous 3 quarters so, presumably, M$ expects to take in $17 billion this quarter. Not bad, but that’s the same as last quarter so where’s the growth when the world of IT is on fire? Revenue was $60 billion back in 2008. Where’s the huge pop from “7″ or Phoney “7″ or Bing? It’s not there. How many quarters of low growth will it take to affect Ballmer’s tenure? How long before M$ gives up on money-losing ventures and sticks to the aged cash-cows?