[Scoff] If Microsoft bought ESRI; Mimes would rule the Earth
Mimes. Ha-ha. I just wanted to use mimes in my post today. Dave Bouwman and Stefan Geens have been discussing the pros, cons, and questions that would follow speculation of a Microsoft buyout of ESRI lately. I would just like to comment that I think Mircosoft has big plans. Big-big plans. First off, Dave and Stefan are correct that Mircosoft would benefit from the buyout and that ArcGIS would become standard MS Office material, but you need to look past what is already established. Think in terms of XBox, Web 2.0, GeoWeb, 3D Sim, and Virtual Earth. I think Microsoft is hard at work on some advanced computing hardware that in due time will whoop up on whatever someone else cranks out in terms of GIS or geospatial visiualization tools if Arc is combined with Office. With advanced computing and graphics hardware with a Virtual Earth modeled in 3D, the market would shell out some cash to play HALO in downtown Manhattan or Butte, Montana. You could even walk into a shop and order pizza while you're playing online. Of course, I don't know how hard it would be to slaughter aliens or the rival virtual gang down the street while doing so? Which brings up other virtual social network connotations. Which I think I will leave for later. A Microsoft buyout of ESRI is possible. Probable? I don't know. And as for "painting Google into a corner"... That's stretching somewhat. Google will do what Google does best and the market will decide. Just as it will if Mircosoft ever buys, or doesn't buy, ESRI. Keep in mind too that all parties need data to build their worlds. Virtual or real. I still think the mimes have them beat.