Skip to content

Microsoft in 2023

I agree entirely with this post by Charlie Stross concerning MS Word. I really wish people writing in the Humanities would not insist on using the bloody thing. The problem is in businesses – they love the thing.

It was remarked to me on Facebook that “It would be nice to see the whole [of Microsoft] go under”. And while I agree with that too, I think that, realistically, it will be the Office suite that keeps Microsoft alive, not Windows.

Here is my claim chowder: In ten years time or so you will run your Office for iOS/Android/Mac OSX/ChromeOS/whatever and connect to the Office Exchange server for document collaboration with business partners. The only copy of Windows they will sell will those that run the Office/Exchange servers, plus maybe the odd “desktop” copy to professional organisations. It’s clear their tablet and phone strategy is pretty dead in the water, and its pretty clear that the “tablet” is the consumer computing platform of the future. While I’d love Office to just die entirely, I don’t think it will happen, but they’ll be reduced a business products vendor and suck the teat of corporate documentation and collaboration systems for a few more decades to come. Even though I Think there’s better alternatives even in that space, in the corporate world they are so invested in basic MS Office skills, and those sorts of systems tend to be fairly glacial, it’ll be the one beachhead they keep even as the whole “BYOD” and portable devices trend (i.e. iOS and Android) attacks them at the desktop (Windows) level.