Scientist should start classifying migraines in scale based on the pain inflicted upon an individual. Perhaps they should count number of perceived neuron deaths. At least I think they should. I rate mine a 4 out of 5.
But my headaches can not be as severe as the ones in Redmond. Since everyone (and their pet dog) has a prediction of what the potential takeover of Yahoo by Microsoft means, I decided to add my own opinion to the mess. As Matt Assay points out, lots of money will be thrown around for this acquisition. But rather than the high risks, it sounds like Microsoft has a waken up to a painful realization: no one actually cares about operating systems. This acquisition may actually signal Microsoft’s weakness.
Just look at the way Linus Torvalds views Linux. An operating system should be invisible to a user. The user shouldn’t care about what the operating system does, only that it works. Users only start caring when something goes wrong, software or hardware wise. If it works great.
Hardware manufacturers don’t care either. And the open sourceness of Linux lends well with manufacturers too. Here is a stable ready made platform, not controlled by any organizations. No need to pay per device royalties. No need to purchase expensive development kits to write drivers for. If the manufacturer decides to open source their drivers, they get the added benefit of the community donating fixes too.
Now Microsoft have a problem. They can’t compete with Linux on price. They can’t compete on developer freedom. So they get no love from manufacturers. And most user surf the web most of the time anyways. Almost everyone hates Vista anyways. Some users even find installing Linux sounds less painful than using Vista daily.
In fact this past year has been a headache for Microsoft. The lack luster performance of Vista. Nintendo trouncing both Microsoft and Sony with their Wii. Resistance of the ISO to standardize OOXML. And the year ahead does not look much nicer.
So what to do? Buy Yahoo. Try gaining solid dominance of the web in terms of personal web services. And hope that the cash cows called Windows and Office hold out against the steady march of open source and the web. Maybe the evil smiling duo of Google and Tux will go away by themselves.
Suddenly my migraine does not seem as a bad.