02 January 2008

Vista's Problem: Microsoft Does Not Scale

It is deeply ironic that once upon a time Linux - and Linus - was taxed with an inability to scale. Today, though, when Linux is running everything from most of the world's supercomputers to the new class of sub-laptops like the Asus EEE PC and increasing numbers of mobile phones, it is Microsoft that finds itself unable to scale its development methodology to handle this range. Indeed, it can't even produce a decent desktop system, as the whole Vista fiasco demonstrates.

But the issue of scaling goes much deeper, as this short but insightful post indicates:

The world has been scaling radically since the Web first came on the scene. But the success of large, open-ended collaborations -- a robust operating system, a comprehensive encyclopedia, some "crowd-sourced" investigative journalism projects -- now is not only undeniable, but is beginning to shape expectations. This year, managers are going to have to pay attention.

Moreover, it points out exactly why scaling is important - and it turns out to be precisely the same reason that open source works so well (surprise, surprise):

The scaling is due to the basic elements in the Web equation: Lots of people, bazillions of pieces of information, and gigabazillions of links among them all. As more of the market, more of the supply chain, and more of the employees spend more of their time online, the scaled world of the Web begins to set the agenda for the little ol' real world.


Shannon VanWagner said...

Being labeled as a "consumer" I have to wonder if the "Microsoft Does Not Scale" problem is by design.

What plagues Microsoft software at the very core is that they design their software to a.) be resistant to reverse-engineering and help to dum down the user, b.) be Patentable in their unique, unnecessarily complex, and "freak" design, and c.) to have a singular purpose - to derive more profit from the masses.

Imagine for a moment the possibilities that can be attained once the above restrictions have been removed. GNU/Linux has done exactly that.

Shannon VanWagner

glyn moody said...

Indeed: Microsoft is not only trapped in its methodology, but also in its business model.