Does Microsoft have any real competition?
Does Microsoft have any real competition? Copyright (c) 2003 Gregory S. Diehl In a word, yes.
And I think they are about to get more.
Microsoft is primarily dominant in office productivity software and operating systems.
Windows will be the dominant operating system for some time. But I think things will get a lot more interesting with the Novell / SuSE merger. The giant IBM was already behind Linux. (People forget that if IBM’s software division were a separate company, it would be number two just for Microsoft.) Now, they face the challenge of a company that knows how to market to the business, which Red Hat doesn’t. SuSE gets the channels and business partners you need around the world; Novell can ensure its survival beyond NetWare as a competitor to the hated Microsoft. (Novell feels as strongly about people from the Northwest as Sun).
And speaking of Sun, they are aggressively pushing StarOffice as an alternative to Microsoft Office. It offers file compatibility, so anyone on a budget can at least consider it. Corel is also sticking with WordPerfect and other products, and Novell has GroupWise. So there is at least a little competition in office productivity, although admittedly not much. StarOffice is now available in the retail channel, so that may change.
With Sun and IBM pushing Java / J2EE as a platform for web services, .NET is getting all the competition it can handle. For dynamic web publishing (updating from a database), I seem to see at least as many pages with .jsp (Java Server Pages) or .php (Hypertext Preprocessor) as .asp (Active Server Pages, Microsoft) in the file. Name. (If you’ve ever wondered what those weird things were that weren’t .htm or .html, this is it!)
There are two areas where Microsoft doesn’t even come close to the top spot.
Most web servers are Apache running on Linux, not Microsoft’s internet information server in a Windows box.
In the field of databases, Microsoft really faces stiff competition. IBM remains number one with DB2 and Oracle is close behind. While SQL Server 2000 is much more robust and enterprise ready than its predecessors, it still ranks third. (Although a tighter third with scalability and other features of SQL Server 2000). In the one-bullet charts is MySQL, the Linux of the database world that is gaining more market share in companies that don’t need the features of DB2 or Oracle. .
So does Microsoft have competition? Yes, even in near-monopoly areas, there is at least some competition.