And so even though it seems impossible to think that Microsoft would ever be less than its current massive size and influence, it will happen. Not only because of history but because of the reasons in this blog by Quentin Stafford-Fraser.
I'm sure Microsoft will evolve, diversify, maybe go more into games, etc. But they're not permanent the way they are now. Nothing is.
From the blog. This of course is not an issue specific to Microsoft, but an issue with standard big corporate software development in the current model.
The third, and most telling, nail in Microsoft’s coffin was highlighted for me in a talk given by a former Microsoft employee who had recently moved to Yahoo. I can’t remember his name, for which my apologies. But I remember very clearly what he said.
He had developed a new feature for Outlook/Exchange in 2004. It was a cool feature and was due to be incorporated in the next release, in 2007. But then it was deemed to be a little too aggressive to include it so quickly, so it was postponed until the following release, which will presumably be in 2009/10. Six years after he finished it! When he moved to Yahoo, he would implement a new feature and it was not unusual for someone to ask, “Could this go live this afternoon?”