Here is an interesting post from Computerworld about Linux losing its spark. I wonder how much of the Linux movement was or is powered by dislike of Microsoft. If Linux is losing its steam it could be because the anger or angst about Microsoft has declined. The article I link to here does not propose such a thing as the reason -- instead it lists too many versions of Linux and the decline of the fat client.
Here is an insightful post by Robert Scoble with an interview with Starbuck's CIO, Stephen Gillett, about their new in store digital network -- now live in 6,800 stores and attracting 31 million users per month. The overwhelming majority of users are on iPhones and Ipads -- so that means Safari browsers and no Flash and no dot net for Starbucks.
Here is an article in the Wall Street Journal about Steve Job's not so candid appearance on the earnings call (it sounds like he is reading a statement to me) where he blasts away at a bunch of competitors, calls Windows the most open system in history, links Android to Windows and makes an effort to sweep Microsoft and Google away at the same time.
Admittedly, Microsoft is not the center of any of these events or coverage, but there is an interesting thread running through them all. Collectively they cause me to ask the question: As Microsoft fades in industry importance -- who is going to fill the void? I would argue that there is no one ready to fill Microsoft's shoes and that is creating a vacuum that makes everyone uncomfortable.
It will be interesting to see what news comes out of the Microsoft PDC next week.