Once upon a time, I was a devout Microsoft supporter.

Not because I was ignorant of their flaws, but rather because I worked with large Enterprise (and not-so-large) smaller companies which all worked with Microsoft Tools.

I became a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer sometime around 1997 or so.  I worked with Microsoft development tools back in the 80’s.  I built my own boxes, I’ve owned my own rack-mount servers, I have designed, purchased, and managed a significant move from older Microsoft Technology to aggregate about 15 servers down to 6 using Virtualization technology built into Windows Server 2008.

I have used SQL Server for 15 years, I built one of the first virtual learning tools for Ernst & Young using Internet Technologies for a SAP implementation back in the 90’s.  I go way back with Microsoft.

I say all of this not to brag, but to give some insight that I have grown and owe a lot of my income over the years due to Microsoft and being a part of their Solution Provider programs.

Now, I no longer support their efforts.

Why?  Because I have believed that the writing is on the wall for a few years.  I am building a company which does not push Microsoft tools (at least for now).

I have never been a fanatic about a tool, only the solution.  I want the solution clean, easy to use and understand and cost-effective.   For Enterprises, these solutions are (almost) always Microsoft.  For the smaller company, that is not the case anymore.

Websites?  No need for their tools.  Servers?  Once again, no need for their tools.  Development (my bread and butter), once again, no need for their tools.

Mind you, I said need, maybe not desire.  There are plenty of good solutions around built on solid technology which will fit a companies need.  However; often times, they are not close enough to what they understand (read Microsoft Office) in order to stop the purchase of Office.  That, honestly, is  a training issue.  Corporate America threw training out with the bath water back in the 90’s.

I listened recently to a Podcast where a Microsoft Evangelist (great title!) was discussing what they were doing to integrate using Microsoft SQL Server with WordPress.  Personally, I believe this is a genius idea.  Only, one problem.  It will help the Enterprise again, not the smaller company to much.  No budget to purchase, install, and implement SQL Server instead of the free service already attained at companies such as HostGator.

Why can’t Microsoft, with all of their money (and Research Dollars) invest in a small skunkworks program?  There are hundreds, if not thousands of Linux varieties out there.

Why not create a Microsoft Linux?

Yes, I realize that I will get people razzed up about that, however; give the idea some thought.

Android (Linux) is rapidly gaining ground on iPhone.  The Apple OS is Unix (which Linux is a derivative) with some nice Interface and functionality on top.   People CRAVE the Apple OS, until Windows 7, the last time we craved a Microsoft OS was Windows 95, some with XP.

Why not start the process of created a Microsoft Linux with certain features ‘on top of’ and build in a Linux Office from Microsoft?

Maybe I am hallucinating due to the Mexican Food last night, but I will always owe Microsoft for taking me this far and I would love to see them have an offering in my space that I could offer my clients again.

What do you think?  Is Microsoft have any software that you are fanatic about?  Do you believe they are irrelevant?