The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Friday, June 18, 2004

How Microsoft Lost the API War 

How Microsoft Lost the API War:

However, there is a less understood phenomenon which is going largely unnoticed: Microsoft's crown strategic jewel, the Windows API, is lost. The cornerstone of Microsoft's monopoly power and incredibly profitable Windows and Office franchises, which account for virtually all of Microsoft's income and covers up a huge array of unprofitable or marginally profitable product lines, the Windows API is no longer of much interest to developers. The goose that lays the golden eggs is not quite dead, but it does have a terminal disease, one that nobody noticed yet.

After that little teaser... let me give my little review of this piece. It's long, it's well written, and it's very interesting. It goes into some good explanation of exactly what an API is (if you don't know already). It goes into some history, and he gives a good argument for his point.

With all that said, I'll say this. His point makes one large assumption: That Web Based applications will only continue to grow, and that rich clients will only become less popular and wither away. I'm a big fan of rich clients, and although I can see this as a possibility, I don't see it as a certainty. Declaring that Microsoft has lost the API war at this point is premature. The war has only begun, and there are many battles to be fought.

Semper Fi... Carry On.


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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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