There's an interesting article on Ars Technica about one developer's journey from Windows to OSX; this is becoming an increasingly common journey. Microsoft's decline in influence seems readily apparent to me as Apple's offerings have matured. The analogy I draw is to that of the US itself. In 2000, Windows was completely dominant. Windows and IE had 90%+ market share, no one but the fringe bothered with alternatives. The same was true of America. The dollar was economic king with foreign currencies often pegged directly to the dollar.

Eight years later, power has shifted greatly. Microsoft is still a power to reckon with but only due to inertia; it has lost tons of developers over the last few years and has very little mindshare left in the software community at large. I'm seeing many startups introducing products which don't even support Windows, including FiveRuns. This would have been unthinkable a decade ago. The economic and diplomatic collapse of America during the same time period seems strangely similar.

What do you think? Is the analogy appropriate? Are Windows and/or America on the way down? Can they regain their respective former glories?

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