Microsoft is dying. The emerging consensus among the digerati is that Microsoft’s hold on the computing industry is in tatters, evidenced by the disappointing sales of the Surface tablet and Windows 8 OS. That means the days when every company needed to spend thousands, sometimes millions of dollars every year to buy, install, and manage Windows, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft Office are over.
This is not a problem specific to Microsoft- it’s just that Microsoft dominated the software landscape so completely that its struggles are going to get the most attention. Any software solution that resembles the old Microsoft computing model is also an anachronism. That’s especially true in the field of litigation software, where law firms rely on software built decades ago for a local network corporate environment.
Unfortunately, most law firms are still bound to Microsoft and old warhorses like Summation and Concordance. Meanwhile, the business community is accelerating adoption of cloud applications. A recent Open Data Center Alliance survey found only 3 percent of companies are not implementing clouds in any way. The desktop computing paradigm has reached its logical conclusion, but law firms are slow to realize this fact.
The Magic is Gone
The truth is that Microsoft’s industry standard applications are no longer the most useful or productive tools available. And it’s not just Microsoft Office that seems bloated and clunky when compared to lean, cloud-based applications like Google’s.
Even iTunes is now such an ugly resource hog that uses more than 90 megabytes of disk space on your computer just to install the application. Too many firms refuse to leave dying platforms because they have sunk millions of dollars in their existing infrastructure. But cloud applications have a much lower barrier to entry than any locally installed software solution, meaning the barriers to exit a Summation or Concordance installation are gone.
The choice is to keep throwing money at a dying paradigm, or choose the new computing model. The time to leave is now.