Clayton Christensen has advised Microsoft to learn to love Linux, since it is a disruptive technology for the company – and that in order to break into the market, they should purchase RIM.
I agree in principle, but Microsoft has so much cash that they don’t really need to set up a company to kill their old business. But as I have said before, they are at the place where IBM was in 1988, making a lot of money and looking invinsible, but being annoying to many people with little money and little use for mainframes. And along came Bill Gates, with Windows 2.11 and cut-and-paste between Excel and Word.
Actually, I thought this would happen at the desktop, with Netscape (in 1995), or perhaps Google (next year) creating the net-centric application suite. But it seems we need to move to handhelds before this takes off, a market dominated by telephone operators and OEM producers, with tiny processors, shoddy cameras and customers willing to invest in inferior, low-margin technology to get portability.
So, we’ll see whether Bill Gates can do a Lou Gerstner operation – but odds are against it.