In the latest episode of This Week In Tech, John C. Dvorak and Leo Laporte think that Microsoft is "dead in the water" because the company is so stagnant. I'm not entirely in agreement, but they do have a point.
Longhorn certainly has become a joke. Honestly, Windows XP has been solid for me since beta 2, with not a single blue screen that I've had. It's not high on the "pretty" factor like OS X or anything, but I'm not sure if I even need it.
But while that gets the headlines, other parts of Microsoft have been getting it together. The forthcoming Visual Studio 2005 and .NET Framework v2 are just around the corner. Granted, they're screwing that up with this asinine segmentation of the Visual Studio line (the idea that the testing stuff comes in one particular edition and not all of them shows that some marketing moron is still driving development), but for those of us already using .NET, it's a huge improvement.
The Xbox 360 has potential way beyond gaming. The quest for the ultimate "set-top box" is still something that I'm not sure consumers are ready for, but it sounds like 360 will be that box, even if they don't push it as such... at first. I say ditch the whole Windows Media Center and push 360.
Despite being a big fan of Microsoft, the company frustrates me so much. The kingdoms don't talk to each other enough or understand what the others do. While the Xbox group is out to change the world, the Windows group doesn't appear to be doing anything except dragging its feet on a product that only serves one purpose: To generate upgrade revenue. The product has no clear point to it or vision.
It should be an interesting fall/winter as these two major products hit the street though. I'm looking forward to it.