When Microsoft dons battle gear, it's best to get out of the way. Pastmaster in the art of warfare, it has the reputation of having won every single battle it has fought. It decimated Apple, routed IBM, blasted Borland and broke Netscape's back. As geeks love to say, this company knows how to use FUD devastatingly - stoke Fear, catalyse Uncertainty and create disproportionately large room for Doubt in the minds of competitors. Classic Sun Tzu!
Until now, however, it has always fought and beaten foes with a definite face and form. To put UNIX out of favour with the computing world, it had to beat IBM. In its battle for supremacy on desktops, Steve Jobs and Apple Computers were Enemy No. 1. In the office productivity suite market, it needed to target Lotus and Borland. More recently, during the browser wars, it simply had to focus on Netscape.
But now, for the first time in its life, Microsoft is facing an amorphous enemy. Linux, the free source operating system (OS) that has evolved over the years, owes allegiance to none and is built on the back of a world view totally alien to Microsoft. It is backed by an amazing number of supporters, big and small. The problem with Linux, in Microsoft's view, is that there is no clear target to take aim at.
Chapter I: The Importance Of Being In India
While there are no published numbers, back of the envelope calculations indicate Microsoft's Indian arm currently generates sales in the region of Rs 1,600 crore. That's a little over $330 million. This ties in neatly with the fact that last year, India purchased packaged software worth $409 million - of which 80% were Microsoft products. But, honestly, for a juggernaut sitting on $40 billion in accumulated cash and a projected turnover of $32 billion in fiscal 2003, $409 million is loose change. So what "destiny" is Mistry talking about?
The fast-talking British citizen of Indian origin has been in the country for barely 10 months now. He heads a team of 17 evangelists, keeps obscenely long hours, lives out of his suitcase and has an awfully tough mandate from Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond - do whatever it takes to keep Indian developers and programmers working on Microsoft platforms.
26.8 KB Views: 117