Look up. No, not all the way up, just a little bit. There, to the right of my picture.
Notice anything different?
This site gets a slight makeover today, one so subtle you might not notice it at first. Its title is no longer Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report. Instead, it’s called simply The Ed Bott Report.
If you’re a regular reader of my work here at ZDNet, you’re probably saying, “It’s about time.” In fact, the title change reflects how my interests have expanded in the five-plus years I’ve been publishing here. I still talk a lot about Windows, and I write reviews and do hands-on articles about other Microsoft technologies, too. But these days you’re equally likely to find stories about products and services from companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon.
In part, this change is a reflection of how Microsoft’s competitive position has changed in the past decade and especially in the last five years. The lines between companies and markets are increasingly blurred. Once, not that long ago, Microsoft had a DOJ-certified monopoly on personal computers. Today, Microsoft is still hugely successful in the enterprise, but the company’s share in the PC segment is slowly eroding. In other essential tech categories (especially mobile) Microsoft is struggling just to become a serious player.
It’s no accident that Apple’s phenomenal success coincided with their decision to remove the word Computer from the company name. And Google, which started out as a search company, is now in the operating system business and competing with a vengeance against both Apple and Microsoft. You can’t understand any one of those companies or talk about its future prospects without looking carefully at its competitors.
If your budget is tight—at work or at home—all this competition is a mixed blessing. It creates interoperability headaches, adds complexity, and opens opportunities for bad actors to exploit security flaws. It also makes the stakes higher for adopting new technologies—there will be winners and losers, and if you back a loser the costs can be painful.
For me, this new competitive landscape is exhilarating. I’m happy to have a broader mandate to write about tech topics that matter, without being constrained by old labels.
A big thanks to all of you who have read my work and sent me questions, comments, feedback, and suggestions. Your input is what makes this all so rewarding.