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Apple and MySpace win at Microsoft's expense

Microsoft tries to control all, an approach that has failed on the web, as demonstrated by Apple and MySpace. For its own good, and ours, we should pray that it continues to fail.

Apple's market share in the >$1,000 retail computer segment is an astounding 66 percent, according to eWeek. While Apple is almost entirely alone in this segment of the market, it still speaks to Microsoft's increasingly fragile hold on its once indomitable market power.

But to truly get a sense for why Microsoft has never been weaker, consider where web development is going: MySpace and Facebook, according to new research from O'Reilly Media. The two web platforms have attracted tens of thousands of applications in the past year alone.

If you're a platform company, as Microsoft once was, then this has to be troubling. The web is being built on LAMP and other open-source technologies. It is emphatically not being built on Microsoft technologies. Not even close.

Microsoft's biggest opportunity in Yahoo! is the chance to embrace a more open web platform. Its biggest risk is in frittering years away in trying to make the web, via Yahoo!, conform to .Net and a "control all" approach to technology.

In typical Microsoft fashion, it is trying to get the enterprise to bet everything on Sharepoint. Outside the firewall, however, Microsoft's attempts to get the world to bet on its version of the web should get the cold shoulder.