Along comes Google, the pirate. It uses a new kind of ship, swift and agile that can dart among the lumbering Microsoft galleons. The galleons have three and four rows of heavy cannon, but they are too ungainly to turn, and the big guns, so effective when attacking a fixed fortress, can hit nothing (Apple is far over the horizon during all this, in a high-tech racing sailboat. It’s just one boat, but it flies).
There are some really interesting pieces on information in there:
Microsoft could have taken .NET and created a thin layer of glue onto the hardware, and come up with a really good, robust, and revolutionary OS. When I mentioned this in a previous blog, a commenter who apparently worked within Microsoft research said that a project like that had been going on and some pieces of it might eventually appear in Windows. Of course, it could never be put out there as a real OS because it would compete with Windows and someone has too much turf power for that to happen.
Contrast this with Chrome OS. It’s been pointed out that Android is also being used as an OS, so gasp! There are two potentially competing OSes from a single company! Google shrugs and says “yeah, there might be some overlap, but they were designed with different goals in mind so we’ll just see what happens.” Something that would cause major political battles within Microsoft produces indifference within Google.
And, the piece is full of analogies; I will quote the one with which Eckel ends his piece:
I don’t see how Microsoft can change. What you’ve got is one of those nets in the jungle (think “Lost” here) which springs up and traps people into a hanging ball of bodies. Take one of those nets and fill it with Microsoft VPs. The net is constantly pressing them together as they struggle. No one can see that the net itself is an arbitrary constraint, because it presses everyone into a zero-sum game. Google comes wandering through the jungle, whistling, notices for a moment the ball of VPs fighting among themselves, and wanders on.
Unfortunately, the only way to fix the problem is for someone to come along and cut through the net, while everyone inside is screaming “Don’t cut it! We’ll fall!” And of course there would be a fair number of bruises, sprains and some broken bones. (Important note to Microsoft: I now do management consulting, although prepare yourself for truly outrageous fees, payable in advance. I can definitely come in and fix your company).
Take a look!