Embrace – Extend – Extinguish March 8, 2006Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
Every now and then, someone will try to drag me into the Mac versus Microsoft argument but I am largely disinterested in it. However, yesterday I came across an article that suggested one could summarize Microsoft’s business philosophy very simply: embrace, extend, extinguish.
From the perspective of software users, the implementation of the business plans begins when Microsoft announces with fanfare that they are going to “embrace” a technical standard or some function. The next step is that they “extend” it with proprietary additions you will have to pay for. Finally, it is “extinguished” because either the market is dried up due to their monopoly position or the standard has out priced itself.
Technology pundits have noticed this same process in applications included in the Windows operating system and point out the defragmenting utility Microsoft forced Peter Norton to license to them, or to the Media Player that caused such problems for RealPlayer and other similar applications. The European Union has even successfully sued Microsoft over this issue.
For school district administrators, such a policy makes planning quite a difficult matter. Only one thing appears to hold true and that is that you cannot hold on to the same application or operating system for too long without being forced to change it to keep up with the new standards.