Thursday, January 8, 2009

Microsoft's new groove

I think Microsoft is on the verge of making somewhat of a comeback. Windows 7, the successor to the much derided Vista, has been getting a relatively warm reception as versions have surfaced on BitTorrent. Some have even accused Microsoft of leaking the beta version intentionally. That seems much more likely now that Microsoft has dropped somewhat of a bombshell: they'll released a Windows 7 beta download free to the public in the coming days.

I think this is a case where traditional ideas of monopoly sort of break down. Normally, a market dominated by one player to the extent that Microsoft would tend to be highly uncompetitive. And yet, competition from Firefox, Safari, and Chrome on the browser front and Mac OS X and netbook Linux on the operating system fronts seem to have driven Microsoft from their complacency as of late. They've gone from duds like Windows ME, Windows Vista, and Internet Explorer 6 to imminent versions "7" versions of both Internet Explorer and Windows that look like they might be very successful. Maybe a serious mobile OS contender is in the works?

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