Reading a posting this morning for “The Death of .NET” and wanted to elaborate a little bit on one of the comments that was made.

But there lies the difficulty: We are in an increasingly consumer-centric world and increasingly things that don’t have a consumer message are seen as obsolete or unimportant.

A lot of the time the press and much of what we see is written from the view of a consumer and consumer products.  How to build web sites, how to market, how to ….  However there are a lot of companies out there, some of which are household names, which aren’t really consumer companies.  Probably the 3 most notable these days are IBM, Microsoft and RIM.  IBM isn’t a big surprise there, but MS and RIM?  You basically need to realize that although both RIM and MS play in the consumer market, the bread and butter of their profits are driven from companies.  RIM certainly sells Blackberries to you and I, but when it comes down to it, it is the Blackberry Enterprise server integration and all of the security that surrounds the Blackberry that makes RIM money.  MS has a similar issue such that the bulk of its money comes from commercial sales of Windows and Office to businesses, both big and small.  This is also the reason neither of the companies are going bankrupt and time soon, they have a vested infrastructure, which although it can be replaced will last at least a decade even if they completely drop the ball.

Google and Apple are on the other side of the coin.  They are consumer companies that dabble in the commercial business, and have the exact opposite problem.  People like them, they want their stuff, but how they do business makes companies nervious.  Google can’t simply access any company data and scan through it to see what you need to buy… that would have implecations from insider trading to security, to industrial espionage, to heaven knows where.  Apple, cannot simply throw a solution out today and then take it back tomorrow because not enough business used it.

As individuals we often forget that if something happens to our phone we throw it away and get a new one, but as a company if 1000 phones just went offline for even an hour, it just cost the company untold sums of money.  Requirements are different, the solution is different, the marketing is different.