I nearly fell off my chair reading these lines in a story about M$’s stagnant market cap:
“Google, the leader of the Internet era of computing through the aughts, now has a $200 billion market capitalization and is on the verge of passing Microsoft’s market cap of $215 billion. Microsoft was the leader of the PC era of computing and continues to dominate the desktop, notebook, and server software market for Intel-based x86 computers.”
Close but no prize. M$ was never close to dominating on servers, playing catch-up for years. Certainly they did make a dent in business databases, and authentication but there is so much more that servers can do. Apache has always been ahead of IIS:
Then there’s High Performance Computing where M$’s share is so tiny you may not see it on this chart:
The desktop share was probably as high as 95% at one time but many measures put is as low as 76% these days. M$ is boasting of selling 50 million licences per quarter while PCs are selling 90 million units per quarter. That means the share is shrinking rapidly. If the world’s stock of PCs is 1500 million, 40 million PCs lost to M$ per quarter is about 10% decline in installed base per annum. That does not include older XP machines migrating to GNU/Linux and thin clients. M$ is at the point of losing monopoly power with ISVs, OEMs and retailers. That partly explains the success of Android/Linux.
M$ did have a successful network of enforcers who bullied ISVs, OEMs and retailers into extending the monopoly granted by IBM into every corner of IT but governments were able to curtail the excesses a few years ago and competition is returning to IT. M$ has grown fat and uncompetitive in its monopoly so it will decline for the immediate future. Deals with Novell, Nokia and bullying over software patents are desperate measures of a dying monopoly and they merely slow down the process of freeing IT. They cannot stop it.