Humpty Dumpty is falling

Reported right before Christmas (see entry “Communicate to Compete”) that the German government was opting for Linux over Microsoft products. Today the Associated Press reports that the Israeli government has halted all future purchases of Microsoft products.

For a company that has done so much right–you don’t take over the desktop computing business without having done a whole bunch of things right–this is a defining moment. Governments, according to the AP release, make up 10% of computer-related spending around the globe.

I think I also blogged recently that Microsoft fired an employee for a blog entry. Together, these things are not good signs.

The world hasn’t been sitting still while Microsoft ruled. The recent increase in attacks on faulty security in MS products is creating growing opportunities for entrepreneurs who’ve created viable alternative secure software approaches. Check this out: Smart-Data is a Cleveland-based company that builds “hacker-proof, virus-immune” software programs that run an any platform.

Meanwhile, it’s hard to believe Bill Gates won’t fight back. But he may be well advised to do an about-face and head back towards the open environment that provided his genius its original fertile ground. And that may have to include a new year’s resolution to welcome things like open-source and blogging.

Happy new year, Bill. And to all of you.

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