A recent CNET article that discusses a memo from Bill Gates states that companies should look at alternative means of generating revenues. As he states it…
"This coming ‘services wave’ will be very disruptive," Gates said in an Oct. 30 e-mail to top Microsoft employees, which was seen by CNET News.com. "We have competitors who will seize on these approaches and challenge us."
Has the OS war and feature bloat approach to driving revenue reached a point of deminishing returns? Perhaps Microsoft and other software companies need to look at Internet services such a Livemeeting, Google and Skype for new revenue streams. To prove a point, read the CNET article that discusses Gartners viewpoint on the topic of upgrading to Vista – the next version of Windows for the decktop. Specifcally, Gartner has advised that companies wait until 2008! As CNET quotes Gartner…
The majority of improvements in Vista, the update scheduled to arrive in 2006, will be security-related and most of this functionality "is available via third-party products today," Gartner analysts said in a research note published on Friday.
 
While Vista will "offer incremental, evolutionary improvements" over its predecessors, Windows XP users should "pursue a strategy of managed diversity," the analysts recommended. That means they should only bring in Vista on new machines and that not until 2008.
If this is the case, software companies should persue developing Internet services that provide value to the masses and put less focus on feature bloat and trying to topple the dominance of Windows. Looking at history, I’m reminded of the Netware and Windows battle of the 90s. Novell had 75% of the market back then…you wanted a LAN, Novell Netware was the safe answer. Today, Netware is 2% of the market and nobody talks about except for discussions surrounding replacement with Windows or Linux.
 
What ever happens I’m sure the changes will be comapred with the likes of eCommerce, Internet Phone and the latest wave – online communities.
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