Microsoft Fighting Battles on Multiple Fronts

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-12-30 Print this article Print


5. Web-based OS

As the top software maker in the OS space, just about anyone would expect Microsoft to be first to the online-OS market, right? Think again. Google beat Microsoft to the Web. And in the process, it firmly cemented itself as a major competitor going forward. Microsoft had the opportunity to lead the way to the next decade. Instead, it's forced to follow Google. It can still turn things around in the 2010s, but it better hurry up.

6. Google's online dominance

The Web is Google's domain. But with a little more foresight, it could have been Microsoft's. Over the past decade, Google has consistently innovated. The company realized what people really wanted out of Search. They knew what online services users were asking for. Google even understood how to turn Web advertising into a multi-billion dollar business. Microsoft didn't. And now, the company is trying desperately to catch up. If Microsoft started sooner in the decade, it wouldn't be in this position today.

7. Regulator scuffles

Microsoft shouldn't have fought government regulators nearly as much as it did over the past 10 years. The company spent a large portion of its time battling it out with regulators, all the while making it a bigger target for those same governing bodies going forward. And in the end, the government won several of those battles. Microsoft's tangles with regulators turned out to be more trouble than they were worth.

8. Internet Explorer

When Microsoft entered the past decade, the company's Internet Explorer easily ruled all others. Today, it still does, but to a much lesser extent. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera are viable alternatives that have attracted customer attention through neat ideas that Internet Explorer was slow to adopt. Granted, Microsoft's browser is still the market leader. But as it continues to lose market share with each passing year, it might only be a matter of time before Internet Explorer loses its standing in the market.

9. Security missteps

Windows security has been the subject of much debate over the past decade. Some have said that it has improved. Others have said that it has only gotten worse. In either case, one thing is certain: Windows security continues to be a thorn in Microsoft's side. There are more malicious hackers than ever. There are more threats to data security than ever. It's a bad time for OS security. And so far, Microsoft has done little to turn the tide.

10. The battle against open source

For the past 10 years, Microsoft has engaged in a battle with the open-source community that has only further divided the two camps. It should be noted that in recent months, Microsoft has made strides to reach out to the open-source community, but for now, that group is still skeptical of the software giant's intentions. By turning its back on open source for so long, Microsoft has found itself on an island as the market, led by Google, moves to open source and others, led by Microsoft, attempt to keep software closed. 

Once again, Microsoft was on the wrong side of history.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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