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Seattle P-I vs Microsoft

In response to Steve Ballmer’s prognostication that newspapers will be dead in less than 10 years, Bill Virgin of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer counters with a prediction that Microsoft will be dead in 10 years.

Ballmer’s original statement was: “There will be no media consumption left in 10 years that is not delivered over an IP network,” Steve Ballmer told The Washington Post. “There will be no newspapers, no magazines that are delivered in paper form. Everything gets delivered in an electronic form.”

Bill Virgin finds such sweeping statements tiresome, and strikes back, writing “A far more compelling and convincing business case can be built to support the view that Microsoft will be kaput in 10 years than to expect the extinction of the American newspaper in a decade.”

He elaborates: “Even the core business could wind up being a bit shaky. Windows still dominates in personal-computer operating systems, but even Microsoft isn’t thrilled with Vista; Apple is slowly moving from a few niches to greater acceptance in the corporate world and Linux or something similar could grab more market share.” And their forays into other businesses have been mostly unsuccessful, requiring significant subsidies to continue operating.

In short, it seems more and more likely that Microsoft’s influence will wane and perhaps even disappear, so Bill Virgin’s prediction isn’t all that crazy at all. And he doesn’t even mention OpenOffice or OpenDocument Format, and their emancipating effects on the industry!

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