A Free Market and Capitalism
Sure, it has its flaws. But it has its greatness as well. I have been reminded lately why it is so important to have a marketplace that inspired competition. I saw a blog post about the IE development center this morning (via Kent Sharkey), which made me think of this. And, of course, the recent arrival of the MSN desktop search made me think this as well.
Here’s the greatness: IE lay dormant for years with no further development. Now that Firefox has taken off, MS is starting to feel the heat of competition and is actually trying to be competitive again. And is it any surprise that they come out with a desktop search tool soon after Google’s had such great success? Of course not. This is why I really want open source development and generally non-Microsoft development efforts to succeed. They will make Microsoft work harder and do better. They’ve proven that they need competition to innovate, so more power to the competition!
In general, I really like Microsoft’s software. Windows ME was the Satan of all OS’s and they’ve had more blunders, of course, but rarely is there software in the marketplace that (in my opinion, of course) is significantly better and easier to use. I love Windows XP. It is my favorite OS, having now gone through a number of Windows OS’s, a couple for Linux, and Mac OSX (though that is subject to change as I try them out more and get more familiarity with them). I’ve installed service pack 2 for XP and like its additions/changes as well. And I love .NET programming. Ease of use, programming language agnosticism, great documentation, and a great IDE. And I like MS office as well. No complaints there. And Sql Server 2000 rocks.
Stuff where MS loses? Firefox is a huge advancement over IE. There is no doubt in my mind on this one. MSN desktop search? I installed in on my laptop along with Google desktop search. Maybe everything isn’t indexed by MSN desktop search yet, but so far the one from Google is completely beating the pants off of it. Go Google. Thunderbird, which I am currently using, hasn’t impressed me as being better than Outlook. So I’m not sure about that yet.
So, I’m just glad that people are keeping MS on their toes. This is great. And when I find better stuff than MS has to offer (and assuming I have time to dig into it), I’ll switch. I love free market capitalism.