A million Mac Converts so far

Slashdot - that pro-microsoft mouthpiece (I'm kidding, okay?), discusses the million or so Mac converts so far.

Oh. Bad news for Redmond. Especially with Tiger on Intel advancing rapidly - and likely to be out before Longhorn Vista.

In the Mac corner, we have extremely simple to use software, no virii, no malware, and since its built on a unix/linix core - relaible. In the Redmond corner, we have Vista - newly started last year, based on windows 2000/XP, after a 12,000 man year "reset" threw away the 3-year effort from 4,000 developers. And claimed to be simple to use, etc. But has that "DRM" stuff hiding in there, preventing you from using your old monitors and viewing your content.

Compare the iPod with Microsoft Media player on a pocket PC, and you see the stark differences in approach.

Microsoft lost its mojo a while ago - even the Robert Scoble blog points this out. They have to turn around the market perception of themselves pronto, whilst actually improving their share price. They have to actually integrate the companies they're buying out (Groove, etc) with their existing product line, before the technology they purchased is actually redundant.

Their two main franchies - well, the ones that make money - Windows and Office - are looking increasingly irrelevevant in the face of Tiger/Linux and Openoffice. Meanwhile, in order to make office simpler, Microsoft are making it the hub of their latest collaboration strategy attempt - remember, Collaboration is what Microsoft have failed to deliver so far..

Their commitment to code quality is in doubt again with the release of Visual Studio.net 2005..

My conclusion is that its going to require drastic measures at Redmond to turn this lumbering beast around. To refocus it on actually delivering value, instead of yearly office refreshes. To actually deliver stability and security, as opposed to patching (often badly) leaks in its own software.

And the drastic measures all start with removing Gates as chief Architect. His "tightly bound" approach -where just about every MS product relies on another - is causing huge bottleknecks in delivery. And lets not forget - customer pain and the perception of lock-in.

Balmer has to go. His credibilty was lost when the chairs started flying. A five year stagnant share price should have nailed his tenure as CEO a long time ago.

Complete autonomy within the divisions would actually help too.

If MS were a forward thinking organisation, it would have already put MS-SQL onto AIX, Solaris, HPUK. It should be considering Exchange and Sharepoint on "big tin". Office should run as well on Mac as it does on Windows, and they should be porting to Linux. But they're not - they're focused on screwing yet more revenue out of an increasingly stale, flaky, and irrelevant Wiindows franchise. This lack of maturity is costing them credibility, customers and mindshare.

Put it this way. If you were a CIO, BP, Consultant, ISV - would you trust Microsoft with your future ? I wouldnt.

Sad really, how the worlds biggest software company has lost focus since Balmer took over as CEO.