Intersting title for an even more interesting phenomenon. What does this describe you ask? Well, the coverage ranges at this point from Sexual Identity In America to American Business After The Bubble Burst. Maybe your opinion will call Workable Confusion what it's definition today is: (trumpets please)
Microsoft After XP. Yes kiddies this is another Microsoft post. Of course as an ex-"Softie" I know first hand how good "The Greatest Deal Ever" actually is, if only for what now seems to be a "select few." I can remember the lazy days of 60 almost work hours, constant liquid encouragement, even being entertained by a not quite crossdressing VP and his biker stud. Ahh those were the days. When gays were gays and nobody mentioned it. I can see the grunge crew now, testing their way through at least some of their workload and their doting managers who enjoy the fact that they are smarter than their employees.
Yes, this was before the heady days of the first real competitive threat, good old monopoly holding Netscape which in the course of a few years managed to become the defacto standard for web browsers for Windows. But then, (trumpets again please) the king of the castle decided that the Interent wasn't a fad after all and not only created a browser but bundled it with Windows(?) The end came quick for Netscape as the IE monster snared millions of Dell accounts in it's fourth incarnation(did the first three REALLY suck or what?) The once proud Communicator disappeared faster than a Sony Opteron server and was forced to sellout to AOL just to remain in business.
But what's this, improprieties are found in MS's dealing s and the score is nearly cancelled. Netscape cries foul, we can't compete with free(yes, I spent 39.95 for Navigator). MS stands behind devotion to their customers and the "Freedom To Innovate," but to no avail as one company after and state after another lines up to get their "piece of the pie" totalling up to ten's of billions of dollars and a black eye that may never heal. And if that wasn't enough there was the horrendous "attack from within" exposed by the ruthlessly open IE and Outlook. Company networks ground to a halt, millions of computers had to be restored (hope you kept that backup program running), and email became a long lost accomodation.
For two years this continued, until (not the trumpets again) the lord of the manor declared that there should be more security. The stock went from 120 to 30, consumer confidence opened the door for Linux and a little known web company was well on it's way to becoming a definiton in the dictionary. Through this the beleaguered Windows 2000 had the distinction of being the most secure insecure OS to date, while MS' new eXPerience was being worked on along with the push to 64bit. Even with all of the turmoil, MS was still bouyed by the "Greatest Deal Ever" and continued to make $1B profit EVERY month.
But now, with the screams of bloody murder about the condition of VS 2005 and the lateness of Vista\Longhorn, along comes Google (not really sure how the markets are intersecting) with it's overinflated(?) stock price, deep pockets and no "big-bad-buggy-baggage." MS has a near equal in Google as everything they touch seems to turn to gold. And then to add insult to injury an insider named "who'Da Punk" has turned the inside of MS on its ear with his brash commentary and "Mini-Microsoft" mantra. He has blogged on everything from "no more towels" to the bloated bureaucracy to the unfairness of stack ranking. He has gained a large following and even made it to BusinessWeek.
Oh, woe is Microsoft, attacked from within, embattled without, but oh yeah they still make $1B EVERY month. Time will tell if the "not so revolutionary" Vista will help MS or if it's debut be spoiled by bugs and security holes.
Sounds like Workable Confusion to me.