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Fake Steve skewers the Borg

Fake Steve does a sharp analysis of Microsoft’s fading “copycat business model”

How did Microsoft find itself a leader in nothing and playing catch-up on every front?… They put so much effort into lost causes like search… they keep missing out on new things… Larry’s like, Look, the Borg has never been out ahead on anything. The difference is, they used to be able to catch up. They’ve always been copiers. That’s been their business model from the start. Let others go out and create a market, then copy what they’ve done, sell it for less, and crush them…

What happened?… the Borg got slower. They got big and fat and bureaucratic… everyone else got faster. Another difference was the customer set… on the Web things changed — now you were selling to consumers, and the Borg had no way to coerce or control consumers the way they could coerce corporate accounts.

So what happens next?… Do not be surprised if they find a way to get into services, and build a business around milking their installed base. They’ll call it a cloud business, but really it will mean either building data centers and renting out cycles, or just running customer data centers for them.

Do read the whole piece – it’s full of waspishly acute observations.