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Microsoft and its history - Every Dog has its Day...

Microsoft has been overtaken, you just haven't noticed

A customer asked us "Why should I buy a phone system from you? I know Microsoft Teams isn't quite there yet but they will get it to work, we can use that now and wait." The simple answer to that is not only has Teams has less functionality, and a higher TCO, but look at the time and money Microsoft spent on Windows Mobile and never got that right.
The full answer is just look at Microsoft's history with leading products, what has happened to those and where Microsoft finds itself in its corporate life cycle.

History Repeats itself

New and innovative products can win through, and just because something comes from a huge corporation, doesn't mean it is any longer the best way to do that task and you will get better results from looking at things in new ways.

When people first started using computers in their offices the terminals they used were powered by a big, often IBM Mainframe in the basement of the building. When IBM released their "Personal Computer" they unknowingly passed market control to the desktop machine running Microsoft Software, that control has now moved to the Internet. People can work on a multitude of different devices with the processing power residing at remote datacentres or "in the cloud" with Google controlling search, the most used email address/client, the dominant browser, most of the mobile phones in the world and the most used office suite.

Microsoft's History

Microsoft has a history of buying in technology, this started with DOS which they bought in, tweaked, renamed MS-DOS and licenced to IBM for their new "Personal Computers".
Microsoft copied Apple's "Graphical User Interface" which Steve Jobs got from a visit to Xerox Labs.
At this point people used WordPerfect, for letters, Lotus 1-2-3 for spreadsheets and Novell for networking things together.
Microsoft bought in an operating system that became NT4 on their servers as at the same time Microsoft Office was becoming the standard office suite. At this point Microsoft was the dominant force in computing, they had become the standard for Servers / Networking / Desktop computer operating system / office suite, and from here it was easy for them to provide other integrated software.

Bill Gates felt he had beaten Linux and he announced his vision of Windows running on everything, with Microsoft making money from every copy of Windows. That vision never came to pass and now Windows has lost its dominant position with Android taking over as the most used operarting system.

Source: StatCounter Global Stats - OS Market Share

Their history of not living up to promise continued with Windows 10.

With their second give away version of Windows, Windows 11, Microsoft has allowed everything to run on windows - not only has it built in Linux but has allowed Android apps to run like any other program. Their position is now more of a "don't leave us and our chargable products behind" instead of "pay us for Windows on everything".

Continuing to lose market share

When browsing the Internet first started everybody used Mosaic which became Netscape Navigator, but that required you to download a program or buy some disks. Microsoft bundled "Internet Explorer" (IE) with Windows, and managed to kill Netscape. Firefox rose from the ashes and gave IE a challenge. Microsoft decided instead of following agreed standards it would support functionality in a way that other browsers wouldn't.

Then Google released Chrome, and IE's market share has subsequently reduced to under 5%.

Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Browser Market Share

IE had many security holes, and with Chromes dominance, IE's different way of doing things, while simultaneously trying to play catch-up with Chrome and others meant that even Microsoft didn't want to support IE. The problem was people had built sites and services that only worked with IE, so Microsoft is forced to maintain support for IE even though it has release Edge as a replacement.

Edge mark 1 wasn't that popular so Microsoft replaced the "engine" for the program with the same Chromium one that powers Google Chrome.

If you wanted an email account separate from your Internet connection, you would have used Hotmail. Microsoft bought Hotmail, then took years to move the backend control off Linux and on to Windows servers, it has been rebranded Outlook.com and now Gmail has many times more users as an email platform.

Microsoft MSN Messenger used to be a popular "chat" program, but that was closed when Microsoft bought everyone's favourite video calling program - Skype. Skype then took over from Microsoft Lync as their voice communication platform and for a few years it became "Skype for Business", this has now become Microsoft Teams. At the same time, individuals moved to communicate via Whats App messages and video calls, and businesses including the UK Government choose to use Zoom.

Microsoft Office rapidly became the de facto office suite, consigning WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 to history, but as things moved on to be Web based, Google released a free web-based office suite. Microsoft responded with subscription-based Office 365, now called Microsoft 365, and stopped promoting it's traditional installation-based Office 2013 / 2016 / 2019 products. Now more people are using Google Docs than Microsoft Office.

Today Linux is the operating system behind so many things that Microsoft Windows now fully supports Linux, and Bill Gates has resigned from the board of Microsoft.

Choosing a Winner

If we compare what Microsoft and SpliceCom have achieved in telecommunications during the first two decades of this century. Microsoft have had six different attempts at desk communications, and given up on the mobile market:
 2000 - 2003 Exchange 2000 Conferencing
 2003 - 2007 Live Communications Server / Windows Messenger 5.x
 2005 - 2010 Office Communicator
 2010 - 2015 Lync
 2013 - 2015 Nokia Smartphones - The name "Nokia" is now licensed to someone else
 2013 - 2019 Windows Mobile became Windows Phone and support ended
 2015 - 2021 Skype for Business - Skype was the default video conference platform, now it's WhatsApp or Zoom
 2019 -         Teams

In the last five years of the twentieth century Network Alchemy enabled Windows PC and telephone system integration to a price that any business could afford, and in the process won countless awards and Network Alchemy was sold to what became Avaya. With their money, the people behind Network Alchemy and SDX then formed SpliceCom and over the next two decades continued winning awards for innovation through four evolutions of their voice platform and have continued firmware updates and inter-version compatibility throughout that period.

In 2002 you could have bought a Microsoft system and then had to buy 5 more new phone systems. If you had bought a SpliceCom system you could still be using it today, it's last free update was in March 2018 or you could have paid the one off £20 per user upgrade fee and now be on the "Best SME phone system of 2019".

Microsoft is a huge corporation and has added "Teams" to provide basic communications to Microsoft 365 users, SpliceCom is a small British company that has specialised in voice communications and now is expanding in to other communications. When you need to make and receive external calls with Microsoft Teams you need additional functionality licences but this is more expensive than adding a user to a SpliceCom SV1000 which has more functionality, costs less, and will integrate with Microsoft Teams.

Communication methods are now far more varied than ink on paper and people just speaking to each other. Ink on paper, has become email, text messages, Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp, Web Chat, speaking to others, can be face to face, or over the phone or via video calls. For decades organisations have used software to monitor and report on how well they are interacting over the phone with their customers, but have no idea how good they are at responding in written communication.
SpliceCom have taken their decades of experience on providing reporting on voice calls and by linking with Front it can do the same with your businesses Social Media and email interactions. Once you can easily see what is happening, you can see where you need to improve and with SpliceCom you have the tools to do just that.

Once again, an innovative company is providing more functionally at a better price than Microsoft can deliver.

With Voice there really is only one winning Team, call us on 01242 621641 or email sales@cti-uk.com now to get the best solution for your organisation.

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