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office as a 'platform'

With the introduction of InfoPath in the upcoming Office 2003, Microsoft has started to leverage the idea that Office can be a "platform" beyond Windows, something that is relatively well covered in this article. The problem of complexity is a big one, however. Office is already a huge beast, not easy to work with, and extremely insecure as an environment. On the other hand, I've got to admit that it's quite powerful.

It's been known for a while that it's Office, rather than Windows, that delivers the biggest portion of Microsoft's huge profits. The importance of Windows, however, is not proportional to its profits, since it's the lever Microsoft uses to keep dominance in other areas. It seems that they are finally starting to use Office in the same way (overtly, rather than covertly as in the past), particularly as a platform for business applications. But precisely because they are trying to establish it as a platform they are in a sense competing with Windows itself. Difficult to know if they will have any success at all. Not that Office needs success as a "platform" to maintain dominance, that's pretty much guaranteed with Office's 90%+ market share.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on March 8 2003 at 12:35 AM

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