New York Times: Microsoft Storms the Web Again

“Roger McNamee, a general partner at Integral Capital
, a Menlo Park, Calif., firm that makes venture
capital and public investments in technology companies, took
time last week to discuss the magnitude of the challenge facing
Microsoft. Here are excerpts
from the conversation:”

“Q. Last week, Microsoft trotted out some executives to
underscore its commitment to Web-based software applications. Isn’t
this a song we have heard before?

A. In 1995, Microsoft made a strategic shift from ignoring the
Net to making it an absolutely top priority. Still, the company has
remained remarkably PC-centric. And if it is open to any criticism,
it is that it has become extremely Windows-centric.

“Q. Who do you see as Microsoft’s principal competitors?

A. If you ask Microsoft about competition, they would cite Sun
Microsystems and America Online and Novell as clear competitors on
the Web. But right now, almost all of the innovation is coming from
the start-up community, which is not unusual.”

“Q. What is likely to be the best indicator of how well
Microsoft is doing in the Web-based software business?

A. If you are an active Web user, the key thing to track is the
percentage of Web-based, must-have software that comes from
Microsoft. These days, those sorts of things are coming from
someone other than Microsoft.”

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