"It is not to say that Microsoft won't invent the platforms," said Joe Schoendorf, a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Accel Partners. "But there is a better-than- even chance that a small, as yet unnamed or maybe unstarted start-up somewhere in the world will do it. The idea that a platform that was invented in the last century could carry us through to the next century doesn't compute
Yeah, right - that's what they said about keyboards, and look what happened. I guess Joe's never heard of the old QWERTY path dependency story.
switching costs away from Windows are really, really massive at this point. Anyone wanna calculate them? It would take serious, serious value for someone to displace the platform.
The quote's from this article about Microsoft's future.
If you don't already know, you can read more about the path dependence debate here.
Oh, Hi Microsoft. If you want to know your real threat, it's that someone will co-opt your platform, and parasitize your value - the same way you did to Intel. You think that locking up your source is stopping this - it's not. It's the fact that you are a platform coordinator, and can shut people out economically rather than technologically. But as soon as other platform interfaces become more valuable than yours, you're gonna die. But you're doing a good job of stopping that from happening...so far :)