Some time after typing my comments about Vegemite and Heinz Beans in my last thread I went into my office and saw the ultimate example of what I’m talking about with Excel’s problems in the world – my Fender Stratocaster (the Stevie Ray model of course with the Humbucking pickups) is sitting in its stand next to my desk.
This is a 50 year old design that is still the most popular electric guitar on the market. I saw one of my heroes, Jeff Beck, playing one on TV last night and then saw “The Boss” playing a Fender Stratocaster and being really cool and sounding real good. Same thing with the young musicians playing last night on all the New Years shows (Strats, Fender Basses, Telecasters and Les Pauls). Just because these are old technologies doesn’t mean they’re not valuable anymore to musicians everywhere.
In fact you can push this analogy down even further to say that if all the orchestras in the world had violins, which they do, should they stop using them with skill and flair just because the violin makers aren’t making so many anymore? It’s ridiculous.
Let’s go even further and substitute the word “violin” for the word “Excel”in the following sentence (or you could even substitute the word “guitar” too for that matter) ….
“Why don’t we develop a strong “violin” after-market? That’s because there are forces working against such a development. Unfortunately someone has decided that because “violins” are played by individuals and because they can sound really bad when played badly, (as we all know), they should all be replaced by prerecorded synthesized tracks.”
How’s that gonna work for you? Is this really the right way to go?
So even putting aside the loss that Microsoft would incur if they continue to let Excel and Access die away, if they hope to continue owning the desktop and selling Windows, spreadsheets and small databases have got to continue on and they have to be allowed to flourish in the interests of everybody, despite the inconvenience it may be to IT managers.