Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Compaq DOA, Microsoft NT setup cruel and unusual punishment

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:8/26/1999; 4:45:46 AM
Topic:Next clonemaker, Compaq
Msg #:9921 (In response to 9920)
Prev/Next:9920 / 9922

Hi Lance!

Great that you could join us here.

I still plan to write up our conversation at Buck's a few weeks ago.

To everyone else, Lance is the editor of WorldLink, the magazine of the World Economic Forum, the organization that hosts the conference in Davos, the one that the political and economic leaders of the world go to.

Talkin about Bill

We talked about a lot of things, including Bill Gates. Lance said something that came from his recent interview with Gates, I'm paraphrasing the best I can. Gates said that the software industry is unique because in other markets companies have longevity that Microsoft doesn't enjoy. "Coke will still be around 20 years from now," said Gates, "but Microsoft might not be."

This was very interesting to me, because Gates is aware of this, it's virtually guaranteed that the Microsoft brand will be very much alive twenty years from now, if he pays attention to what he himself said.

Coke is a dominant brand. If soft drinks were a fast-moving industry, all Coke would have to do is let new brands innovate, and kick back, and be sure they have all new markets covered, thru acquisition or reverse-engineering.

Which is, of course, exactly what Microsoft does!

The only thing Microsoft has to fear is its own complacency, as illustrated by the story I told today. But eventually they will hurt their good name because people hate Windows so much. Right now they don't know to blame Microsoft. But eventually they'll get a clue, in twenty years, today's ten-year-olds will be thirty.

So Microsoft has to be careful that all this wasted time and frustration doesn't end up tarnishing the Microsoft brand.

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