Friday, July 16, 2004

Brad Silverberg, still a visionary?

Former Microsoft Windows honcho Brad Silverberg resurfaced in the press recently with a Q&A session for the Milestone Group. While much space is given to his new venture, Ignition Partners, he did have some interesting thoughts on Microsoft's situation today.

For example, he notes that MS controls 95% of the desktops worldwide, while the growth in the number of desktops is fairly stagnant. That means Redmond needs to pump up upgrades in order to stay in the black. But, as he notes, upgrades are time-consuming and fraught with problems: "The cost of the software is not the factor, you could get Windows for free, and a corporation may decide still not to do the upgrade. That problem I think is their biggest challenge."

He also notes that Microsoft initially made its mark by being the low-priced alternative to high-priced mainframe and mini-computer software, and with Linux and Open Source the shoe is now on the other foot.

It looks like he may have gotten out of Microsoft at just the right time, which augers well for his judgment of companies to fund with his VC firm. Brad Silverberg is still a man to watch.

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