It seems there have always been standards when it comes to software. For two decades, Windows held the coveted spot of the number one operating system. Further, Microsoft managed to create an excellent productivity package that became the standard across offices everywhere. Anyone without knowledge of Powerpoint, Word, Excel, and other software essentials was faced with falling to the wayside, since these programs were so pervasive. But in recent years, that iron hold on much of the software industry by the behemoth from Seattle has loosened. Competition has arrived, and it seems likely to continue to shake that formerly iron grip.
It’s easy to credit Microsoft’s longtime rival, Apple, with being behind the move away from a one-brand industry software dominance. And certainly the various incarnations of Mac OS’s over the years have provided users with steady, reliable, and, some would argue, bug free performance over the years. But it’s not just Apple that is behind these software shifts. Google too, has jumped into the fray. And Linux was almost always there, offering serious tech users a viable interface with their machines.
Along with the advent of competitive threats from these established companies, has come the advent of the cloud. This venue too has threatened the former software mainstream by bringing to the table a new threat: obsolescence. If cloud providers are to be believed, the future is a place where software won’t be purchased as it has been for decades. Instead, software as we know it may become obsolete, and only available online.