I hate to fall for link-baiting, but this piece repeats some points which keep popping up elsewhere, and which distort a lot of technology development. It's called "Microsoft is Dead," and boy, did that title make me yawn from the start. Others have already taken it down pretty well.
- "The third cause of Microsoft's death was broadband Internet. Anyone who cares can have fast Internet access now. And the bigger the pipe to the server, the less you need the desktop." Except when "anyone who cares" cannot. Please consider the rural-urban divide, or studies showing about one-half of American homes lacking broadband. Consider, too, how many points in everyday life lack broadband, like air travel. Or does "anyone who cares" mean the people the author can be bothered to look at (see below)? Which says something about an article claiming someone else isn't very observent or clueful.
Readers of this blog will perhaps recall the several-years-long effort my town has been supporting in order to bootstrap ourselves into broadband. I guess folks in Ripton, including published authors and technology workers, gamers and grandparents aren't "anyone who cares" - to Paul Graham.
- Apple is killing Microsoft. Others have said this, too. I'll believe it when we see Apple win half of the desktop market. What is it now, 10%? It's curious how people making this argument don't cite user stats. Instead we get doomed, laughable assertions on the order of "my friends use Macs" - behold:
Thanks to OS X, Apple has come back from the dead in a way that is extremely rare in technology. Their victory is so complete that I'm now surprised when I come across a computer running Windows.
Doesn't get out much, does he? I guess I'm surprised that airplanes exist, too, since I'm sitting here in an airport terminal and can't actually see one. Whoa! What's that noise?
- This last one is too easy to knock down, but I can't resist: "There can only be one big man in town, and they're clearly it." Oh yes? All technology tends towards a monopoly? That's good to know... at least when we're traveling on Paul Graham's planet.
Again, apologies for leaping onto a link-baiting grenade. But these anecdota points - it's raining broadband, Apple ate the world, and monopoly is the way- keep coming back in many venues, and need swift debunking.
PS: if Graham meant "still alive" or "not very scary" when he wrote "dead," this is why word choice matters, eh?