Wednesday, January 31, 2007
what a difference this time around for Microsoft
In 1995 I remember being in a cab in New York and all the driver wanted to talk about was Windows 95. That same year I remember two mothers with their babies in a Starbucks discussing the merits of Windows versus the Mac OS. 1995 was a truly remarkable time in technology and a time when Microsoft truly broke through as a household name. It is interesting that twelve years on and with a huge marketing budget the launch of Vista has not quite captured the same level of attention even though there are billions of people who may be affected by it, compared with the mere hundred million or so back in '95. I know a lot of people will say this shows how Windows is no longer the driver of the tech industry. On that front I'd argue that Windows is still very much at the heart of IT. It's just not that new. Indeed Windows is technically nearly 22 years old now. It seems hard to imagine that some University graduates were born after Windows was first launched. If you think about Windows in this way you realize that the comms challenge with Windows is quite unique in technology terms. Indeed the challenge could be likened to that of an aging rock star that is trying to attract a new generation of admirers. It's a tough trick to pull off but some manage it and I for one wouldn't bet against Microsoft even if Vista hasn't got off to the high profile bang it did when it scored its big hit in '95.