Paul Graham is an essayist, programmer, and programming language designer. In 1995 he developed with Robert Morris the first web-based application, Viaweb, which was acquired by Yahoo in 1998. In 2002 he described a simple Bayesian spam filter that inspired most current filters. He’s currently working on a new programming language called Arc, a new book on startups, and is one of the partners in Y Combinator, a venture firm specializing in funding early stage startups that helps startups move from idea to company.
Graham blogs, “A few days ago I suddenly realized Microsoft was dead.”
“Microsoft cast a shadow over the software world for almost 20 years starting in the late 80s. I can remember when it was IBM before them. I mostly ignored this shadow. I never used Microsoft software, so it only affected me indirectly—for example, in the spam I got from botnets. And because I wasn’t paying attention, I didn’t notice when the shadow disappeared,” Graham writes. “But it’s gone now. I can sense that. No one is even afraid of Microsoft anymore. They still make a lot of money—so does IBM, for that matter. But they’re not dangerous.”
Graham writes: What killed them? Four things, I think, all of them occurring simultaneously in the mid 2000s:
• broadband Internet
Graham writes, “Thanks to OS X, Apple has come back from the dead in a way that is extremely rare in technology.  Their victory is so complete that I’m now surprised when I come across a computer running Windows. Nearly all the people we fund at Y Combinator use Apple laptops. It was the same in the audience at startup school. All the computer people use Macs or Linux now. Windows is for grandmas, like Macs used to be in the 90s… And of course Apple has Microsoft on the run in music too, with TV and phones on the way.”
Full article here.
Microsoft faces mutiny: Dell to expand Linux factory-installed options; HP dumps Media Center PCs – March 29, 2007
Spate of recent Mac security stories signal that Microsoft, others getting nervous – March 06, 2006
Apple’s Mac is not doomed to small market share forever; the ‘Ignorance Lag’ is ending – February 11, 2005
Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 20, 2003