So here's my official report from the weekend, followed by my prediction that Microsoft will be put in it's place within 5 years. The weekend schedule of computer conference all day/party all night really took a toll on my system, but I'm glad to report that it is almost back to normal. Monday was possibly the longest day ever, after shifting my sleep cycle by like 12 hour abruptly and then having a 12 hour day of class and meetings, followed by almost instantaneous passing out upon my return home. Today I slept right up until my research meeting, and then afterward slept until dinner. I'll probably be up late tonight.

My legs have returned to normal after Friday's incident. For those of you who don't know, which I guess is like everyone since I haven't talked to anyone since I've come back, I had a LOT to drink on Friday, possibly rivaling the New Orleans night. Apparently I convinced my friends to go to Taco Bell, but first we had to stop at Eric's apartment to get coats. It seems that on the way out, I jumped off the top of the second floor stair case. It didn't hurt at the time, but for the next few days there was a shooting pain in my ankles, shins, knees, and butt every time I walked. But that's gone now. I don't really wanna talk about what I did while at Taco Bell. That was also the first time I had Everclear. And why on earth do Pat and Eric only make important business decisions while I'm drunk and not paying attention?

The conference itself was very informational and amusing. Ask me some time about Orwellian technology and I'll blow your mind. Or you can come to my presentation on it next Monday. Microsoft's slogan for their presentation was something like "Microsoft: Sucking Balls and Taking Names." No wait, that's wrong. It was more like "Microsoft: Looking to the Future" or something like that. Well, the presentation was about how NT was better than Unix-type architectures. However, they failed to convince me.

For the record I would now like to officially state that I believe Microsoft will be severely diminished within the next 5 years. They won't go away, I'm sure, but I don't think they'll be nearly as big a player as they have been.

Here's why: Everyone else wants to destroy them.

Recently, Sun and Google teamed up with the express purpose of offering free or inexpensive alternatives to Microsoft Office. And not just word processors and spreadsheets. They want to have full-featured programs that equal Office in power and ability. Whether or not they deliver it has yet to be seen though.

Apple is switching to Intel processors soon. This in itself has no great effect on Microsoft. However, though Apple says they aren't going to allow it to run on non-Apple computers, many experts are saying that Apple is simply saying that now, and they will allow it later. This would be a truly Jobsian move. I just learned the other day that Jobsian was a word. Fewer experts, but experts nonetheless, are saying Apple will stop manufacturing computers altogether, and focus on mobile technology and software (iPod, Mac OS X, iLife, etc.) You might think this would be bad for Apple, and it would be, if not for my next point.

Dell and HP hate Microsoft. Dell has already been selling computers with Linux instead of Windows for years. Michael Dell has publicly stated more than once that he wants to sell computers with Mac OS X instead of Windows. If Dell and HP (former iPod distributor) start selling inexpensive Apple loaded computers, Microsoft will not be able to keep up.

Finally, my last point is more of my opinion, but I've seen early versions of Windows Vista, and I'm not impressed. The interface doesn't look cleaner, it looks busier. I get the feeling that Vista is going to be filled with helpful things, like the paperclip or that word bubble in the corner that pops up and prevents me from scrolling windows until I close it. It seems like if I had it on my computer, I would treat my computer like that annoying kid, who won't stop talking to you while you're trying to get work done. And the rest of the interface seems to have improved eye-candy, and not improved anything else. It has a better core, but no one really cares about that. It's still in early beta, so they may still put out a good product. It's been 20 years, I'd say they're about due.

So, in conclusion, if these things come true, Microsoft won't enjoy nearly as much market share in the coming years. Thank you.