More Paul Allen book excerpts
Ultimately, he concludes, Microsoft forgot what put it on top in the first place: how to build software platforms that take best advantage of the latest generation of silicon. Google and Apple “have beaten Microsoft to the punch because they’ve been more alert in developing new and innovative platforms. They’ve done a better job of following the chips.”
He still professes some hope: that Microsoft has woken up to the danger, that it can deploy its deep cash reserves, and that smartphone users will be willing to switch to something new that “catches their eye” in a fragmented market. With a quicker development cycle and a “return to its cutting-edge roots” (no small feat) Microsoft might just make it.
But one way or another, according to the man who claims much of the early technology vision behind Microsoft’s success, the PC era on which Microsoft’s fortune was founded is over: “Here’s what the death knell for the personal computer will sound like: Mainly I use my phone/pad, but I still use my PC to write long e-mails and documents. Most people aren’t there yet, but that’s where we’re headed.”