It was really nice to see a detailed discussion on Accessibility on Destination Linux. I’m sharing this episode with all my friends on facebook.
Meanwhile, I recently came across the news that Microsoft is now giving away Power Automate (its RPA offering) - free of cost to almost all Windows 11 and Office 365 customers. RPA is a Technology that is making waves in recent times (especially in the Corporate world). And since I had an eligible Org Subscription (provided to us by our employer) - I decided to take a look.
I must say here - Microsoft is doing the Exact same thing with Power Automate - what it earlier did quite successfully with IE (using its Dominace in the Desktop OS Market to thwart competition in another market - RPA in this case).
The Technology does hold a lot of promise. I started learning Power Automate - because it has the potential to make life a lot easiser for people with heavy work loads. I was able to design Workflows for some of the tasks that I do repeatedly. If I may say so - RPA is Assistive Technology put on steroids. It’s quick, easy and has lot of potential.
That said, I’m very sceptical of Power Automate. Being a Microsoft product - it’s very tightly integrated with other Microsoft products (like Excel, Outlook etc.). If a user wants to use LibreOffice Calc - instead of Excel for instace - that option is not available to the user. Furthermore, since the competition cannot offer tight integration with Microsoft products - and their RPA offerings cannot be bundled with other Microsoft products / subscriptions - the competition doesn’t seem to stand much of a chance in the long run. Proof of Microsoft’s 3Es Strategy (ie - Embrace, Extend and Extinguish the competition).
Interestingly - Microsoft (with all its Dominance, Power and Might) - hasn’t been able to crush Linux in more than 3 decades. That’s because linux has always remained Free And Open Source. And its technical supiriority has ensured its growth in the server market. And Linux is Decentralized (with a plathora of distributions available) - which makes it that much more difficult to kill with a single shot. To top it all - there is the linux community. In toto - this combination is hard to beat.
So RPA Competition - there are a few lessons here. 1/ Consider going Free and Open Source. You can still Charge corporates for Support. You can still ask for Donations. 2/ Consider bringing out a linux version of your RPA offerings. There are not many good ones out there. And 3/ Use the community to your advantage. It can only happen with a bit of give and take…
I’ll be exploring RPA more - over the next few weeks / months. Please do cover RPA on a future episode of DL. Also do share any thoughts / info that you have on the topic. As always, I’m a big fan of the work you guys are doing. Wish DL All the very Best for the future. Until next time…
Prashanth L. Kamath.