Microsoft’s Vista Challenged to Keep Pace With Rivals

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Microsoftis developers face a "tricky challenge" in following up after Vista, according to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal [Free Access]. Robert Guth tackled the issue in a piece focusing on the ways in which the Internet has changed since Vista development began at Microsoft more than five years ago.

Mr. Guth noted that during this period of time Apple developed iTunes and the iPod, Google developed a superior search engine followed by Web-based software tools, and the Mozilla foundation developed Firefox.

The article poses some serious questions for Microsoft. Will the PC emerge to play a central role in storing music and watching videos? Will customers migrate to on-line services to store their photos and documents instead of, traditionally, on a local PC? Will users tire of endless software updates on their PCs that are better handled by Web-based software that is automatically updated? Mr. Guth quotes Steve Ballmer extensively in response to these questions.

Finally, a possible source of friction between two senior executives and their future development strategy was presented. The article asked a lot of questions and provided insightful answers regarding what Microsoftis strategy will be for an encore and how theyill shape their OS of the future to meets the demands of users on the new Web.

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