So I thought I would kind of ignore Paul Graham’s “Microsoft is Dead” post (articles claiming Microsoft’s death are definitely not new although Paul’s post is worth reading), but then I came across Todd Agasawara’s “Community Report Card”
My take is that if you try to look at Microsoft product by product one thing which you will find in common is that they are doing quite well and innovative in the enterprise world (and PowerShell is one of such areas) and are not agile enough to be as dynamic for consumers.
If you look at the 4 reasons why Microsoft is dead which Paul has (Google, Ajax, Broadband Internet, and Apple Mac OS X), one main thing they have in common is that they are mostly consumer-oriented (today), whereas the areas in which Microsoft is most successfully innovating these days are enterprise-oriented. This is quite natural for a company of their size and market share – although makes them vulnerable in the long run.
I would generally agree with Todd’s takes on particular technologies (although, I would have been more critical on Windows Mobile – the lack of development and innovation in WM is combined with general immaturity and poor stability of the OS – using Cooper’s analogy it is still a “dancing bear”).
I totally agree with Todd on the importance of PowerShell for Windows Server. This is a very powerful enterprise management technology both from command-line/scripting and traditional UI (as demonstrated by PowerGUI) perspective. And the ecosystem getting around the technology: Quest Software’s AD cmdlets, PowerGadgets charts, /n Software’s net cmdlets, Full Armor’s GPO and workflow stuff – promises a good uptake.
On other technologies missing in Todd’s scorecard:
Exchange Server – healthy but risks getting overly complex. We’ll see how the transition to unified messaging (VoIP, etc.) goes.
SharePoint – very healthy – great job from both technology and marketing sides and spreading like wildfire.
Visual Studio – doing great both on the enterprise (Team Foundation Server) and enthusiast (Express) sides of the spectrum. The only drawback at the moment is probably their lack of full Vista (.NET 3) support until late this year.