Communicate to compete

EWeek reports that Linux began for the first time to steal serious business from Microsoft in 2003. The City of Munich, Germany decided to migrate its 14,000 Windows computers to Linux. The United Kingdom announced government departments would be implementing Linux projects.

In response, Microsoft–until recently high-and-mightily scoffing at the idea of losing anything to Linux–lowered the price of SQL-Server-2000-for-developers from $450 to $49. So says eWeek in a report on this year’s top 10 tech stories.

What’s happening? Is giant Microsoft–long the master of the desktop business universe so to speak–losing touch with the customer? Sure sounds like it.

In addition, SCO, the originator of Unix (heck, at the first software company I ever worked for I was instructed to explain to clients that SCO Unix was the ONLY way to go and would clearly come to dominate the market…and that was back in 1989) began suing people (starting with IBM) for violating its copyright of the open source operating system. The final verdict isn’t in yet. Stay tuned.

But meanwhile, how do you think blogging might have positively affected this situation? HINT: Think communication–between customers and company, company and vendors. If we keep in touch with what our customers are thinking–and what they’re hearing from competitors about what’s working and what’s not–we’re a lot less likely to get blindsided.

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