Monopolies upset the apple cart. They force people into situations they would otherwise prefer to avoid. Like the monopolies before it, Microsoft makes its living off of being the only game in town. While other desktop solutions existed (Linux, OSX, DOS, UNIX), no other operating system ran PC applications. When you are Microsoft and have the world by the 'nuts', you can allow yourself to get sloppy, belligerent, obnoxious, and even rude and the world takes it. When Microsoft introduced Windows 95, it marked a significant stake in the evolution of the computer universe. No longer did users have to have niche skills or be experts to use simple applications. When Microsoft introduced Vista, it marked a devolution in that the user was no longer important or even a consideration in the process. Software got complicated again by requiring users to know how to manage security settings to get joy. Somewhere along the way (probably while Microsoft was taking all its money to the bank), the world collectively decided to stop taking it and pushed back at the 'evil empire'.
In areas where wheelbarrows of money are not readily available and the median household income is considerably less then the US poverty level, Microsoft has lost its foothold on the throats of consumers. We now live in a world where users in Asia, South America, Eastern Europe, and Africa are aligning themselves with a flavor of Linux. While Microsoft could justify that turn of events as "those people don't have money anyways", it has no answers to Apple stealing its market share in North America, Japan, and Europe. When your biggest rival doubles its market share in two years (Forbes), you take notice and fight back. Unfortunately, Vista is a punch in the face for most users and Yahoo would rather lay off employees then sell out to Microsoft. The resounding message is that the market is clearly seeking to move away from Microsoft's grip. THIS IS VERY EXCITING FOR CODEWEAVERS!!! This is our opportunity. This can become our Nirvana (or at least my sales' Nirvana).
Winning while others are loosing doesn't sound very sporting. I should hope that we all can win, be happy, find our Nirvana. However, Team Fortress 2 has taught me that winning consists of two very critical elements - beating others while staying alive. If that philosophy is good enough for my 'Heavy', it should be good enough for me. If finding our Nirvana means the Microsoft takes a couple shots to the head, who am I to stand in the way of our happiness.
About James B. Ramey
James B. Ramey is President of CodeWeavers. His life long love of video gaming started at the tender age of six with an Atari 2600 and evolved over time to include Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Apple Mac IIc, Windows PC, and MacBook Pro. When not fiddling with technology, James enjoys cooking, travel, debating politics in the office, and spending time with his wife, daughter, and their three Shar Pei cross dogs. For the past 20 years, James has worked with clients around the world in best implementing technology to maximize a return on their investment. He is a graduate of Moorhead State University and earned his graduate degree (MBA) online from the University of Phoenix. You can find James on Twitter at @jbramey.