Paul Graham, founder of Y-Combinator, a venture firm specializing in funding early stage startups, proclaims Microsoft dead in this article.
What he really means, of course, is that Microsoft doesn't matter anymore... largely because of Google.
Don Dodge, who maintains the immensely readable "The Next Big Thing" blog, says that Graham is spewing nonsense, pointing out how profitable Microsoft still is and refuting the four key reasons Graham gives for Microsoft's supposed demise.
* Google is the most dangerous and feared company now
* Broadband Internet connections make the desktop irrelevant
* Apple - "Their victory is so complete I am now surprised when I see a Windows PC"
"Holding up Apple and Google as the Microsoft killers is curious," Dodge says. "Microsoft is a software company. Apple is a hardware company and Google does consumer Web search. I have a lot of respect for Apple and Google, but Microsoft killers? I don't think so."
My comments: Is MS irrelevant? Not for some time to come. It might not be as hip or as cool as the various Web 2.0 companies that keep sprouting up like mushrooms. But it has a huge cash hoard and the advantage of being on almost any desktop PC (except for the ultra cool hipsters who use Mac).
And the Redmond giant is not exactly complacent about online services either. I recently attended a Microsoft Online Services Group summit for the media, and it's clear that MSN Live, which used to be at the peripheral of MS, is now at its epicenter.
It's far too early to count MS as being out of the online media and services game.