Aug. 9, 2015 Blumbers

Big 20: Microsoft

Twenty years ago you probably had a desktop computer that ran the Microsoft Windows 95 operating system. Ten years ago you had a laptop that ran Windows XP. In 1995 I used Microsoft products everyday because everyone else did too. Today, I don’t have a single one of their products on my device. What happened?

When you bought a PC in 1995, Microsoft dominated the software market. Virtually every PC had Windows preloaded and bundled with a suite of Microsoft Office products like Word and Excel. This dominance also helped Internet Explorer and Hotmail become the most common way people used the Internet.

Some people just did not like Microsoft and continued using Apple Macintoshes. They cost more but were easier to use. Some liked how they could design websites on it. Some said Macs were more secure. Some liked how easy it was to listen to music. Apple was like Britain in 1940. Alone, but still fighting.

Then I noticed a change. Steve Jobs became CEO of Apple and Bill Gates stepped down at Microsoft. Fifteen years ago I began to see people bring their Mac laptops to meetings. Ten years ago I saw people from Microsoft bring Macs to meetings. Five years ago I saw very few laptops of any sort, just iPhones.

It was an interesting transition. While some people took Microsoft to court for being a monopoly, the best way for Apple to win was to make a better alternative. They did.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.