The economic evolution of computing platforms appears to be guided by a number of ‘Laws’ that are independent of any specific underlying technology. These ‘Laws’ help explain the evolutionary trajectory of mature platforms and can act as a predictor for the trajectory of emerging platforms and behaviors of those that control them.
The first three laws of platform economics are: Value always migrates up the stack, Value gets integrated over time, Those that control platform evolution get to define how value is extracted. A definition of each of the ‘Laws’ is provided below: Continue Reading
Part 2 of this series of articles looked at how transitioning from scarcity to an abundance of fundamental computing resources enabled the historic one-to-one relationship between operating systems, applications and underlying hardware to be broken. Part 3 will examine how the ability to decouple hardware and software evolved into a new strategy for managing IT systems — saving company’s millions of dollars in the process — and laid the foundation for today’s cloud computing architectures. Continue Reading
Part I in this series of articles outlined the impact that the economics of scarcity has had on both software architectures and the structure of the computer industry over the last forty years. Part II of the article will discuss the transition from the economics of scarcity to the economics of abundance and how profoundly that has altered — and continues to alter — the computing landscape. Continue Reading
We are currently witnessing a major pivot in Microsoft’s core business model. It is starting to become clear that — as Steve Ballmer recently announced — Microsoft is deadly serious about becoming a global leader in consumer “Devices and Services.” Successful execution of this strategy will require the company to control everything from manufacturing, distribution logistics through to retail.
The company appears to be focused on executing a ‘Leader’ strategy in the devices business which would give them even greater control than Apple famously does over the end user experience. In addition the company is likely to repurpose its online service investments to add value to this new device-led strategy. A-la Apple, consumers will have no choice but to use Microsoft own services when using a Microsoft mobile device and competition authorities will be powerless to prevent it.
If correct, this pivot will has profound implications for the structure of the company, shareholder value and for the entire mobile technology industry. Continue Reading
This weeks Partner’s conference has once again exposed Microsoft’s complete lack of any credible consumer strategy. On the one hand Ballmer claims he’s going to leave no “stone unturned” competing with Apple. Yet on the same day he also states that Microsoft’s own Windows 8 hardware “Surface is just a design point.” Note to Steve: Those are two mutually incompatible objectives.
If Ballmer really is serious about competing with Apple then Microsoft will need to control its own hardware destiny — in pcs, tablets and smartphones — and be completely committed to that strategy. Unfortunately that will also require a willingness to throw the OEM partner community under the bus. Protecting OEMs while aggressively competing with Apple are incompatible strategies. A textbook case of the Innovators dilemma.
Shareholders are likely to pay a very high price if Ballmer continues to believe the fantasy that he can accomplish both these competing objectives and still be successful in the consumer business.
Just for fun — and in no particular order — here are some technology industry predictions for 2012. Continue Reading
This weekends pranking of the future Apple store in Hamburg shows just how far perceptions of Apple and Microsoft have changed. This puts Microsoft in the position of being the scrappy competitor fighting against all the encompassing dominance of ‘The Man”. If we’re not careful the act of putting a little Windows logo in the rear window of your car may become the very definition of geek counter-culturalism
[Updated with Windows 7 File location]
The update of my iPad to version 3.2.1 of iOS failed last night. iTunes reported that an ‘Error 14′ had occured (Not very helpful) Subsequent attempts at un-docking and re-docking resulted in iTunes trying and failing to restore the device. Here’s how I fixed the problem.