Remember today’s date: January 22, 2009. It may go down in business history as the day that it became clear that proprietary software had been broken by Linux and open-source software.
First, Microsoft had its biggest layoffs in the company’s history. Yes, Microsoft still makes billions, but, for the first time ever, Microsoft is staggering.
It’s actually worse than it first appears. The headlines talk about 5.000 jobs lost. They don’t point out that Microsoft is also cutting up to up to 15% of its temporary and contract workers. Over the last few years, those are the people who actually do a lot of Microsoft’s day-in/day-out work. People who insist that everything is the same as ever with Microsoft have been missing that Microsoft has actually done worse than the general economy. Microsoft stock is worth about half of what it was last year at this time.
Sure, part of that is the economy going down the toilet. Never forget, however, that Microsoft has been heading for trouble ever since it became Vista was going to be a disaster.
As for Sun for years, Sun had a love/hate relationship with Linux and open source. Sun, finally got the open-source message, but it may have gotten it too late.