In the business textbooks of 2025, Microsoft’s slow collapse will be attributed to many things. The failure of Windows Vista to hold the desktop market; Microsoft’s inability to successfully move from a PC product based company to an Internet service based enterprise; and Ballmer’s inability to pull off the Yahoo buyout.
Now, buying Yahoo wasn’t going to guarantee Microsoft transition from a 20th century product-oriented company to a 21st century SAAS (Software as a Service) business, but it was a better shot than the Microsoft continuing to push its confusing mish-mash of Windows Live programs.
As it is, Microsoft’s brand is losing value; Google is beating the pants off the company on the Internet; and Linux and Apple are making gains on the desktop. Adding insult to injury, open-source programs like Firefox are gaining marketshare at the expense of Microsoft’s own products.