Wednesday, April 02, 2008

ESRI is the Microsoft of Geospatial

Why is it that every time I think of a shortcoming of ESRI, an equivalent misstep by Microsoft comes to mind? You would think one of these companies can learn from the other. For example:

1. ArcGIS Explorer: Late to the game again with inadequate features to even come close to be a rival to Google Earth.

Microsoft Vista: Late to the game with a subpar interface that Mac and Linux have offered for years.

2. ArcGIS Explorer: What is the deal with not packaging .NET with damn install?? GIS For Everybody? hmm, how about GIS questions for every poor GIS Tech getting a bunch of calls asking about installing .NET.

Microsoft XP/Vista: One word: CODECS. Here's a Media Player. You can only play one-third of your crap on it without scouring the web for drivers.

3. ESRI UC: $1300 to get all the info you could get for free from the exhibition hall, hotel lobby or San Diego restaurants. Then after it's all over, you are treated to a $900 coupon to purchase a DVD of the conference sessions. I say pick one or the other. The geo-blogs do a magnificent job covering the UC anyways.

Microsoft World Partner Conference: $1600 to get all the info you could get for free from the exhibition hall, hotel lobby or Houston restaurants, et cetera, etc.

4. ArcGIS Service Packs: We promise 9.x SPx will be out in November, December, June. And it's 2008, so if you are good we'll throw in a free zoom in/zoom out with the mouse wheel feature.

Microsoft Vista Release: Same issues.

5. Both companies have the Federal Government by the b*lls. No middle management guy is going to risk his career on Geoserver or something open source like Open Office to run their agency. They like paying $5,000 for software licenses that they can put the blame on if something goes wrong.

Microsoft is trying to put together this deal to aquire Yahoo. I say let Yahoo do an about face and take them both under her wing.

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