Microsoft is So Screwed

Now hardware builders like Dell are publishing notes for installing Google Chrome on their low cost netbooks. This little puppy runs Ubuntu Linux and while the install is still for geeks I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the open source community creates a installer for newbies. This will be followed by official pre-installed Google Chrome releases from the hardware makers themselves.

The key to all of this is user adoption of course and if Google has really build a no-nonsense operating system and the hardware costs stay low Google will stomp all over Microsoft in the personal computing market segment. Read my first post on Google Chrome to hear how I think Microsoft can survive Google Chrome.

google chrome on dell

Microsoft will not survive Google Chrome

I just watched these two videos produced by Google that demonstrate Google Chrome OS. Basically Google has taken the Pareto principle and applied it to an operating system providing more than 80% of what average users need their computer to do. I suspect Linux, Apple will survive Chrome but Microsoft will need to shift its focus.

  • Linux will probably take the smallest hit because most geeks that use Linux will continue to do so and if anything dual boot Chrome. Linux also has the advantage of being an open source community and not a corporation.
  • Apple has a diverse collection of strong footings like iTunes, iPhone, iPod, in addition to supplying a hardware/software package that is way ahead of the competition in terms of usability.
  • Microsoft will be hit hard by Google Chrome because their Windows foundation will be weakened as common end-users begin to adopt this easy to use option. Apple has already shown that usability is the giant’s Achilles’ heel. Like most giants Microsoft has multiple strong footings like Apple but the demand for Windows will begin to shift away from home users. If Microsoft fails to see this unavoidable truth and doesn’t start to shift resources to their core strengths they are sure to fail.

I realize this is an outlandish prediction but it’s based on a simple idea. When someone (including a corporation) focuses on their core strength they succeed. Google has always seemed to do this extremely well. They are also masters of innovation and seem to still be growing fast and exploring new areas… which could actually be thought of as a core strength in itself.

Microsoft appears to be at a stage in it’s life were some serious change needs to happen. I suspect it’s because they are clinging to past successes instead of embracing the future of open source code and fulfilling user needs. To compete for mass user adoption one must keep up with what users want.

For example… Apple helped move the cellular phone industry ahead in one huge leap forward with the introduction of the iPhone. Google is about to do that to home computers. Those that aren’t well positioned and exercising their own strengths will figure out the hard way that old-school models are a recipe for failure.

From my perspective Microsoft’s core strength is it’s ability to provide enterprise scale solutions. Google tends to scare corporations because of their blackbox systems and unlimited thirst for data. So it makes much more sense to me for Microsoft to move more of its resources to enterprise solutions and away from home users. If they want to compete with Google in the home computing space quickly come up with a revolutionary simple new tool like Google has… otherwise don’t waste any more time in battle with someone who has you beat.

Jane Devin is coming for a visit!

Julia and I have been following Jane Devin online for quite some time and now she’s on an adventure which you can follow at Finding My America. Jane will stay with us here in Fair Oaks for a few days and we’ll probably make a trip up to the family farm for a close-up peek at rural California and my Tiny Free House project.

I’m personally looking forward to chatting with her about the world of writing and blogging since she’s got a lot more experience there than I do. For example you can read some of her work at the Huffington Post and past wirtings on personal blog, If you want to connect with her you can follow Jane on Twitter and FaceBook.

It’s exciting to play a small part in a project like Finding My America. I suspect not even Jane knows exactly where it will bring her but like most follow-your-nose adventures it’s often more about the experiences gained from the walkabout than the destination itself. Kind of like life don’t you think?

See you soon Jane!

Are we closer to the Legalization of Marijuana?

News came out this week from the AMA (American Medical Association) that they are taking a fresh look at their position on pot. For the longest time they’ve held the position that marijuana had no medical value.  Here’s what they are now saying… which may open the door for research.

Marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods.”

I’m not going to hold my breath on this but it seems like a step in the direction of legalization. But I imagine that the large business interests still standing in the way just like heart did back in his day. Below is a funny cartoon describing one opinion on how marijuana prohibition got started in America.

marijuana cartoon

So to answer my own question… I think marijuana will eventually be legalized and regulated but I imagine we’re still a long way from that happening.

The main problem is that commercial hemp in general would present a major competitor to existing large corporate powers. We see this same issue standing in the way of a better health care system and we’ll see it every time competition appears in any space. It’s really too bad that America can’t move forward strategically unless is happens to coincide with the current economic power structures. Who knows maybe the internet and social media will wake the people back up and get the majority off their butts and demand action… but until then I suspect we’re in for more of the same.

P.S. Here’s the blog post where I found the cartoon. Funny stuff huh?

Rupert Murdoch’s plan for Self-Destruction

Have you heard that billionaire Rupert Murdoch wants his content removed from Google? I think it’s a great idea. Clinging to old-school ideas is a wonderful self-destructive approach to business and I can’t think of any organization I’d rather see self-destruct. Just think of the wonderful positive effect this will have on the world. This Murdoch quote says it all:

Rupert_Murdoch“I think we’ve been asleep. It costs us a lot of money to put together good newspapers and good content and they are very happy to pay for it when they buy a newspaper, and when they read it elsewhere they are going to have to pay.” [Source]

That’s right buddy boy… you keep right on thinking boneheaded ideas like that. Keep your old school head tucked right there between your cheeks and if you focus your brown shirts on monetizing the old-school way and you should be bankrupt by the end of 2010. Go get-em Murdoch! Show those Silicon Valley blokes how to run a newspaper!

Is it too early for champagne?

The Real Problem with Greenwashed Marketing

I got into a little bit of a row recently with the guy that runs Holy Cow Products. We had a little back and forth in the comments section of a greenwash of the week post on The Good Human.

The interaction itself and the little bit of product research I did on green cleaning products started me noodling over the real problem with greenwashing; which is that most people make product decisions based on product packaging and marketers know it. It’s a marketers job to do everything they can to sell products and build positive brand reputations. So it is a natural step for some folks to skirt the edge of what is legal and ethical especially during hard economic times.

I realize that most folks are just trying to realize their own dreams. In many ways I respect this kind of entrepreneurial spirit. The problem is that unsubstantiated product claims and product design mislead people and will eventually cause the business failure as the truth emerges. Failure is not inevitable because guys like me and David (The Good Human) that point out the truth. Failure is inevitable the moment the decision is made to market the product as something it is not.

Choosing to put people and the planet before profit is a more sustainable business model. As the internet and social media become more popular business ventures that don’t adopt a high level of ethics will fail faster simply because the truth will always surface.

I hope more business folks realize that by taking the high road they are choosing to make more money over a longer period of time. If you make a product or are working to build a brand put a focus on ethics, people, and the planet, and your profits will be longer lasting. Social media is here to stay… well at least until the power goes out permanently.