This story, 2003 and Beyond is probably already really widespread. It’s a very L-O-N-G but thoughtful analysis of the computer industry of today.
The piece doesn’t paint Microsoft in a very flattering light. One of the things I’ve noticed about most pro-Microsoft pieces on the web is that they say Microsoft isn’t a normal monopoly, because after they got their monopoly, they didn’t raise prices. Well, I’m not necessarily convinced that every monopoly immediately raises prices. A company gets used to a certain level of growth, which increased market share provides. When market share slams into that wall of 100% and stops increasing, revenue stops increasing unless the market grows. Holding prices steady at that point may encourage the market to keep growing. Then, when the market stops growing, if you’re thirsty for continued growth, you start raising prices.
This piece articulates that, and tells what’s next now that the market isn’t growing anymore.
This is the most thoughtful analysis I’ve seen yet of Microsoft’s very recent history and current plans, pointing at XP, .Net, and Palladium and showing which way they’re headed by pointing out the pattern in the most objectionable features of each new technology. It took me a good 30-45 minutes to read, and I’m a pretty fast reader, but it’s worth the investment of your time.