In this post I do not discover America, so I feel myself a notorious captain, but, firstly, I have not met such a text before, and secondly, there certainly will be dissent. I believe that Microsoft, even if it retains its position of a monopolist in the market of desktop operating systems, can lose most of the importance that this position has given it, and I want to explain why I think so.
The fact that clouds with web services and smartphones with tablets occupy an ever-increasing place in people's lives is not a secret to anyone; The question is, what conclusion from this to do. Some believe that this means a vendekapets (no further than today, another controversy
on this issue broke out on Habré). I do not hold radical positions and I think that the desktop market in the coming years will remain key, and Microsoft will continue to lead on it - I just also think that this leadership will bring him much less benefit. Why?
The fact is that with the advent of clouds and web services, the user, while continuing to sit under the operating system and pay for it, may stop noticing it. The more often he decides to revise his old photos not from the hard drive, but on a social network, the less often he has to deal with the file system. The more often he decides to watch the video online, the less often he has to think about the video codecs installed in his system. The more texts he writes in Google Docs, the less he is worried about the office package of his system. As a result, the operating system will eventually become something like a hard drive for the user: everyone has it, everyone paid for it, but an ordinary user does not even know the name of the manufacturer of his hard drive, there is no particular difference for him between these manufacturers (if only you can store files was), and he could switch to another without any problems.
What is bad for Microsoft if the system continues to be bought in the same quantity? The fact that the company lost the ability to influence users. When you have not only more than 90% of users, but they are also firmly tied to your products, you can dictate your conditions. Spin up new products at the expense of the already popular ones, making them as compatible as possible. Introduce your own formats, and competitors will have to adapt, it will have their headache because of compatibility issues. Lazy to correct some errors, but users will still live with it, they have nowhere to go. "Manufacturer of hard drives," even as a market leader, all this can not afford.
Simply put, one thing is to be the breadwinner for 90% of people (you can demand a lot from them, and they will still stay with you not to die of starvation), and the other is to be a waiter who is preferred by 90% of people (drop it once on them a dish, and next time they will ask to approach another).
Moreover, the “trendsetters”, setting standards, will not disappear. It will simply not be the operating systems, but the most popular web services and browsers. And in these markets, Microsoft now is not that awful, but not nearly as good as in the desktop OS market. And in these markets, both other representatives of the “big three” Google and Apple are active, who will not fail to take advantage of this.
I do not think that Microsoft will completely go into the shadows; followed by a conservative corporate market, and much more. But I think that the changes will still be large-scale.