My monthly Tolkien reading yesterday from A Reader’s Companion by Hammond and Scull took me on a journey into the ancient past, both in Tolkien’s Legendarium and in our own world. The rise and fall of empires; the hubris of man and his futile pursuit of immortality; the triumph of time over all things . . . all of this from a few lines of a two hundred year old poem about a three thousand years dead king.
It all started with a note (p. 485) referencing this passage in Chapter 7 Journey to the Cross-Roads in Book Four of The Lord of the Rings:
This came as welcome news to me, especially after last week’s devastating development where Amazon gobbled up GoodReads. Microsoft used to hold the top spot on my boycott list, but thanks to BYOD (bring your own device), I can see the digital writing on the wall for the fall of Microsoft. At least I’ll keep hoping and dreaming of that day.
Dare I compare Microsoft to Ancient Rome? The terrain may be different (virtual instead of reality), but the goals appear similar (world conquest). Instead of taking centuries to rot and collapse, our modern day equivalent is fading into obscurity and irrelevance in a matter of decades. In my lifetime, the hardware has changed dramatically since the mid-70s and the software no less so.
For everyday consumers, I’m not sure Microsoft can salvage their sinking ship. Apple and Android seized the day and their stars are still rising. In the corporate world, Microsoft will remain strong and may succeed in wrestling and cajoling enterprise customers into SaaS (software as a service) licensing agreements. I just don’t see the desktop completely disappearing in some industries (like legal where I’m employed). Document production is still done fastest with a real keyboard, but perhaps voice recognition apps will make even QWERTY disappear soon.
So with Microsoft slipping sliding away, I can return my boycott sites on the next worst case and keep spreading the bad news about Amazon. Buyer Beware! Author Beware!