In a sign of the ever-changing times, the Seattle Times has published an editorial by Paul Andrews that compares both Apple and Google to not only Microsoft, but the Microsoft "of old." Mr. Andrew looks at Appleis successful iPod and Googleis successful Internet and desktop search platforms, and wonders how it is that Microsoft has allowed itself to be so outmaneuvered by the two companies.
The comparison lies in the fact that historically speaking, Microsoft has dominated and smashed almost every market it has entered, especially in the 1980s and 1990s. More recently, however, Appleis iPod and iTunes Music Store, as well as Googleis own search site, have resisted any and all efforts from Big Redmond to unseat them as the uncontested leaders in their respective markets.
The Microsoft of old, said Mr. Andrews, would have quickly developed a "WinPod," a "new, cheaper, Windows-reliant MP3 player in versions from Lexar, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung and on down the line."
Likewise, the Microsoft of old "would have unveiled Wingle, a search service that combined results from a Windows PC with Web searches while at the same time making Google searches curiously slow and garbled."
Instead, according to Mr. Andrews, Microsoft has been left flatfooted, and Microsoft shareholders are left wondering "what happened to the old Microsoft way of iinnovatingi?"
There is much more in the full column, which we recommend as an interesting read.