Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 yesterday. (Funny, that link says IE7 all over it.)
I have such conflicting feelings about Microsoft. They have provided a ton of my primary software for over 20 years. I started on DOS, then moved through every single version of their operating systems. I learned to install their servers and server products. I was an early adopter of Microsoft Office including my favorite programs Excel and Powerpoint. I try almost all of their software.
However, they have a fatal flaw. They just can not shake off their desktop software roots. It’s all .exe and .msi files. I want Web applications now. The future is thin-client! Why can’t they evolve? I want all of my apps to be online! I know, I know, if everything is online, then they will not have a monopoly of the desktop operating system. My answer to that is: Tough. They had a great run, but you can’t have everything you want forever. They need to focus all their products online as SaaS and charge for use. They need to make the operating system free. They need to dump Internet Explorer and use Webkit or Mozilla, because that will allow them to stop messing up the entire web development world.
I know this is a massive change I am asking for from the Redmond Giant. I fear for their corporate lives. I am conflicted. They are in a position to make some great online software. But I know, they will not be able to change. I feel sad for them.