There is a pressing issue concerning business documents which must be addressed. Many are so hung up on Microsoft Office that they fail to see that there are other comparable products that they can actually get for FREE! I was recently in an Office Depot store and I happened to walk over to the software section and as I glanced at the Microsoft section, I began to laugh. They are now offering a product called Project Manager and trying to charge $1,000 US for the privilege of using this software. HA!HA!HA! I was born and raised on everything Microsoft and I am here to proclaim to all of you, Apple users or other, there are only a few software products in the world worthy of such a price. Unfortunately, nothing Microsoft is offers is.
I recently spoke at a conference as a Web 2.0 expert and what I told them I now tell all of you. Any company that is shown a future and they refuse to see and align their business models towards that future, will become stagnant or be out of business. Blockbuster was shown the future many years ago by Netflix and because they couldn’t comprehend what they were shown, they laughed. For all intents and purposes, Blockbuster is headed towards the business scrap heap of history. Border’s was also shown a future by Jeff Beezos of Amazon and what did they do? Mocked, laughed and now they are closing stores all over the country. Turns out that Beezos was correct in his forecast and in 2010 for the first time in history, Ebook Sales outpaced paper books and will continue to distance themselves in the market. I am certainly not here to tell anyone that the mighty Microsoft will go their way of these companies. However, and as I told the conference attendees, you will NEVER see Microsoft’s stock price approach the levels that they enjoyed in the early part of the last decade (over $100 per share). It will take some incredible, affordable and world revolutionizing technology for them to even hit $60.00 per share ever again. Until the middle of the last decade, this software Giant owned around 98% of the worldwide operating system share. They are down to 92% as of last month and that number will continue to decline. 92% is nothing to laugh at but for Microsoft, this is totally unacceptable! What is worse is that number isn’t acceptable and there is NOTHING they can do about it. Open Source software continues to grow in popularity and many of the best software developers no longer work for Microsoft or even Apple. They are developing open source content management solutions, Apps and their own software products that continue to chip away at these behemoth’s market share. Truthfully, Microsoft got away from their core business which is software and operating systems and for the last 6 years, have chased market share in areas which they had NO expertise! Tablets, Smart Phones and even an attempt to buy Yahoo! was thrown in for good measure. They developed a search engine which was so pathetic only capturing 6% of the market that they were then forced to partner with Yahoo! for search marketing advertising. Why? To try and compete with Google. So on top of the other distractions from their core business, over priced products, no longer cornering the market on the best talent, they chase a search engine market? The old guys who refuse to step down at Microsoft and turn the company over to the next generation are hastening the day when shareholders will be look forward to celebrating a $25 share price as TOP
SHELF! A little known business document creator and download has also ripped away market share the mighty Bill Gates and company. Openoffice is an open source software product which performs most of the same functions as Office products but is FREE. This software was awarded the 2009 Best Open Source Award and continues to bring the heat on Microsoft Office to the tune of over 20 MILLION free downloads and counting. Surely any who create office documents will know that it is folly to say Open Office has taken 20 million customers from Microsoft. The fact is many people have and will continue to pay for Microsoft and may have just downloaded Open Office for the experience. However, what if only 500,000 of 20 MILLION downloads happened each year because some refuse to pay for what can be had for free? That is $99.5 MILLION taken from Microsoft earnings since Open Office began. Sure that seems to be a drop in the bucket for such a large company but I would venture to guess that 500,000 number is ten times as high. Now we are approaching $1 Billion in Microsoft earnings hits. What am I saying? Nothing really, just that if the tens of thousands of my readers want a FREE business document creation service, head on over to Openoffice.org. That download number just got a little bit higher, no?