Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Oct 2005 11:16 UTC
Microsoft When Microsoft releases its SQL Server 2005 database on Nov. 7, it will have been five years since the last version debuted. If Windows Vista arrives as scheduled next fall, it too will follow its predecessor by five years. That's a pretty long time to make customers wait for a new release. Too long, concedes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "We just can't make our customers wait three or four years for the things which should have been on more interim cycles." Elsewhere, Bill Gates said that even though Google is Microsoft's biggest competitor, MS is not afraid of Google.
Order by: Score:
Too little too late
by facerw on Thu 27th Oct 2005 12:44 UTC
facerw
Member since:
2005-07-07

In Micrososft's case, several things went against Vista and SQL 2005. First the economy. Not many businesses were planning to spend for Windows XP when Windows 2000 saw to their needs. Second, the same issue came with Office 2003. Most businesses already had Office 2000 or Office XP and never really saw the advantages to upgrade.

Vista unfortunately is far behind for it's deployment that other technologies have already succeeded or surplanted Vista's ideas. In addition, the low end requirements for Vista are out of reach for low end computers. At the minimum requirement, you would need a Pentium 4 with 3GHZ and a 128MB video memory card, not to mention a gig of ram. Until this is offered as a standard configuration at a price which businesses and home users can afford, I'm afraid that Vista could be the next Microsoft Bob.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Too little too late
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Oct 2005 13:20 UTC in reply to "Too little too late "
Anonymous Member since:
---

Indeed, MS needs to pay attention to where PCs are going in the typical case, not the high end case.

As prices fall, that allows the same to be had for way less much more so than spending same to get more HW. MS prefers or assumes the later as it justifies the OS tax but when it becomes possible to build a full function PC for $100, Vista prices and perf requirements are going to look even more rediculous. Anyway MS doesn't pay attention to what users want, only what it percieves they want.

Perhaps MS should really be looking at starting over Windows for the sub $100 time frame, something pretty light on the HW and light as a leaf.

transputer guy

Reply Score: 0

RE: Too little too late
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Oct 2005 14:36 UTC in reply to "Too little too late "
Anonymous Member since:
---

I agree.

If the software of yesterday works fine today, then we don't need more releases (as I type this on a Dell Latitude running Win2K - still works). I don't know where they get the idea that people want software to be released in shorter development cycles. I don't think I've heard, "Damn this Windows XP, it's so old and out-of-date I can't do any work with it."

Where I work, we still use Office 2000. Only the new computers have Office 2003. I don't think we need more releases, we just need better, more secure software from Microsoft.

Besides, if they want to add more functionality or fixes then they can do it in a service pack.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Too little too late
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Oct 2005 15:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Too little too late "
Anonymous Member since:
---

The only company I've seen make a concerted effort to upgrade all of their MS software to the most recent offerings is a non-profit, and that's because they get their licenses for pennies. Having every computer running the same software can certainly make maintenance more straight-forward when you don't have the cash for a dedicated IT department. But, I don't see them wanting to make any more changes for quite some time unless they absolutely have to.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Too little too late
by Celerate on Thu 27th Oct 2005 23:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Too little too late "
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

" I don't think I've heard, "Damn this Windows XP, it's so old and out-of-date I can't do any work with it." "

I agree. When I finally upgraded to XP it wasn't because I wanted to at all, 98 was good enough for me. I upgraded to XP because I needed to be able to run Office 2003 and VS.net 2003 for school work.

When Vista is released I'll be curious about what it can do, but I doubt I'll upgrade until I have to.

Reply Score: 1

Microsoft EA and SA
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Oct 2005 13:17 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

It was a brilliant move on the part of MS to push all of its large corporate customers toward "subscription" services in 2001. They knew they had nothing in the pipeline for the next few years, and came up with a way to make their customers pay for nothing anyway. I know, my company (very large Fortune 500 firm) has been paying millions to MS every year since 2001 in subscription fees, part of the Extortion Agreement...oops I mean Enterprise Agreement. In that time, there's been one new product, Office 2003. We could have just bought it for each station that uses it and saved a ton of cash. But the reason we can't do that, is Microsoft threatened to send in the BSA if we didn't sign up. So we pay our millions and millions of dollars each year in extortion money to keep the BSA out, meanwhile Microsoft laughs all the way to the bank. This is a company that doesn't even have to make or release any software to remain profitable at this point because everyone is so afraid of them, and the clueless MCSEs who run most large corporate IT department have no clue that there's anything else out there.

Reply Score: 3

v So what
by Sphinx on Thu 27th Oct 2005 13:46 UTC
v RE: So what
by Tom K on Thu 27th Oct 2005 15:40 UTC in reply to "So what"
Yeah..
by jeffbax on Thu 27th Oct 2005 14:22 UTC
jeffbax
Member since:
2005-07-27

"We Just can't wait to charge our customers another $120 for OEM OS" :p

Reply Score: 1

Re: Microsoft EA and SA
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Oct 2005 14:49 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Anonymous wrote:

"We could have just bought Office 2003 for each station that uses it and saved a ton of cash. But the reason we can't do that, is Microsoft threatened to send in the BSA if we didn't sign up. So we pay our millions and millions of dollars each year in extortion money to keep the BSA out, meanwhile Microsoft laughs all the way to the bank."

How about loading OpenOffice and telling Microsoft and the BSA to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. My company did it. You should have seen the flustered looks on the faces of the Microsoft reps.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Re: Microsoft EA and SA
by mini-me on Thu 27th Oct 2005 15:24 UTC in reply to "Re: Microsoft EA and SA"
mini-me Member since:
2005-07-06

Thanks for the good laugh :-)
I really enjoyed this comment :-)

Reply Score: 1

v RE[2]: Re: Microsoft EA and SA
by Tom K on Thu 27th Oct 2005 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Re: Microsoft EA and SA"
RE[3]: Re: Microsoft EA and SA
by DittoBox on Thu 27th Oct 2005 16:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Re: Microsoft EA and SA"
DittoBox Member since:
2005-07-08

Go spourt some 'nads and then come back.

Reply Score: 0

unoengborg
Member since:
2005-07-06

As long as the previous version works, why upgrade.
An upgrade costs money, apart from the licence fees there are costs for training, costs for testing, costs for modifying in house software...

Whatever new things a new version brings, it must increase productivity a lot to make up for all these costs. I doubt that the upgrade from win2k to XP gave such increases in productivity in most companies.

Sure XP probably fixed a couple of bugs, but is it really resonable that you should buy a new version to fix things that shouldn't have been a problem in the first place. You, don't here your car salesman telling you that you have to buy a new car if it turns out that there is some kind of construction error on the brakes. If he did you wouldn't accept it. Why should we accept that in software.

Another consequence of frequent upgrades is that it will be harder to get employ new persons that have experience of the new system. Fewer people available usually means higher salaries.

So, from a business perspective it would be a good thing if Microsft released software even more seldom.
In manufacturing industry you don't do major changes in tools and machinery more than once every 10-15 years. Why should it be different for software.

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

In manufacturing industry you don't do major changes in tools and machinery more than once every 10-15 years. Why should it be different for software.

But at the same time, maintainence on these bits of machinary are done every so many months, regardless of whether there is a something wrong; Microsoft need to release their products, have longer release cycles and update, on a fixed cycle, updates for download - every three or four months, a service pack, every eight to twelve months, a feature service pack which includes enhancements to bring it up to date with new technologies - hypthetically speaking, USB 3 comes out, and the feature service pack brings support for it.

Microsoft need to do is more away from their dependency on Windows and Office upgrades and great products in areas where by they can have a re-occuring revenue stream that has minimal overheads and easy to manage.

Reply Score: 1

v Not afraid
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Oct 2005 15:11 UTC
Release cycles
by CodeMonkey on Thu 27th Oct 2005 15:12 UTC
CodeMonkey
Member since:
2005-09-22

Shorter release cycles are something you tend to see more often in the open source world I think. Everybody wants to get the latest and greatest version of [insert favorite open source product here]. I don't think you see that as much in the commercial software market largely because people have to pay for it. Not that that's really a bad thing, but it's simply that people don't want to spend money to upgrade if they don't have to (look at Win2K -> WinXP, alot of people never upgraded until MS forced them to), where as if they can do it for free, then they get excited about it.

What I think would be benneficial to MS's customers would not be to have shorter times between major releases but to actually have minor releases in between (and I don't mead servicee packs, which are usually just a big collection of bug fixes). Look at Apple, for instance. OSX was released in late 2000 I believe (I could be wrong but I think that's about right). Since then, they've had 1 new minor release every year. Not just bug fixes either, but with new features as well. Sun does the same thing with Solaris making a minor update every few months or so each time with new features and tools, not just patches.

Notice I said MS's customers, not MS. It would be better for their reputation I think, but it could hurt them financialy. People would be less willing to shell out the $$ for the latest and greatest release of a new product because MS would have been doing a descent job at making sure what they had already wasn't outdated.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Release cycles
by sappyvcv on Thu 27th Oct 2005 20:02 UTC in reply to "Release cycles"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

There is only one problem with that...

Apple charges for OSX upgrades about the same what MS charges for OS upgrades (e.g. XP Home upgrade from 9x or whatever).

Reply Score: 1

"If it ain't broke - don't fix it!"
by mini-me on Thu 27th Oct 2005 15:22 UTC
mini-me
Member since:
2005-07-06

The article says that MS's user base is archaic?
Well, as the old saying goes "if it ain't broke don't fix it!" - why go out and spend thousands or millions (depending on the size of your company) to replace equipment and software if it already meets your needs ?

It seems to me that Microsoft is not doing enough market research :-)

Reply Score: 1

Googlesaurus Member since:
2005-10-19

"Well, as the old saying goes "if it ain't broke don't fix it!" - why go out and spend thousands or millions (depending on the size of your company) to replace equipment and software if it already meets your needs?"

The ones really behind the 8-ball are the hardware OEM's, Dell and others. The need to upgrade from a FAST system to a FASTER system is shot to hell.

Not as if the world needs to be running an office suite at 4 ghz. As far as the choice of OS's or office suite goes, it matters not. Whatever works for the users.

Reply Score: 1

Upgrade cycle
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Oct 2005 15:23 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Personally, I would prefer not to have to make major upgrades every year or two (although minor updates would be okay). And if the software or OS is well-designed in the first place, a major upgrade shouldn't be necessary very often.
Microsoft should focus more on customer service instead of pushing out more buggy software...

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous
Member since:
---

What many of you fail to understand is that just because demand for upgrading old software isn't there, there is plenty of demand for new software when deploying new solutions. Assume you are starting a new company (or division), do you really want to use SQL Server 2000, which was released 5 years ago, as your main centralized database? Would you really want to roll out Windows 98 with Office 97?
Computer software is just like any other piece of hardware. For example, if you have a television set and it works, it doesn't mean you will upgrade it everytime Sony releases a new one, but when buying a new tv, you certainly won't want to go buy a model Sony released in 2000.

Reply Score: 2

Anonymous Member since:
---

"Assume you are starting a new company (or division), do you really want to use SQL Server 2000, which was released 5 years ago, as your main centralized database? Would you really want to roll out Windows 98 with Office 97? "

Perhaps not. But it all depends on whether you are creating a completely new infrastructure or not. I donīt think that the main bulk of software sales, is for new customers. Its more about selling additions and upgrades for existing infrastructures. Especially for a company the size of Microsoft.

If you are adding stuff into an existing infrastructure (even if its a new project) you often use the same technologies as you already do. If I have existing SQL Server 2000 servers running, I will not implement SQL Server 2005 for a new project, unless there is a clear business need.

What I experience is, that the corporate world (and granted, its just a part of the customerbase) becomes less and less focused on features and bleeding edge technology, but rather more and more interested in reliability, manageability and maturity.

IT is growing up.

Reply Score: 0

Competitor?
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Oct 2005 16:52 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

"Google is Microsoft's biggest competitor"

Come on. One makes its money from ads and the other from Office productivity software. The only thing they've competed on so far is free search tools.

Reply Score: 1

Apple does the same thing.
by Edward on Thu 27th Oct 2005 17:25 UTC
Edward
Member since:
2005-09-17

"We Just can't wait to charge our customers another $120 for OEM OS" :p

Reply Score: 2

Google isn't close to being a threat
by barkley on Thu 27th Oct 2005 17:56 UTC
barkley
Member since:
2005-07-18

So either all the Google hype has even gotten to Gates or its just some more BS to look like there really is competition.

Until Google actually controls something on the client then the brain damaged media should shut up already.

Reply Score: 0

Release cycles
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Oct 2005 18:20 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

The only reason Vista and SQL have been delayed is because of those blasted anti-monopoly activists. If you want product get off the producer's back and let them code.

Legal issues are nonsense. Microsoft is the new electricity. Natural monopoly in my book.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Release cycles
by butters on Thu 27th Oct 2005 20:16 UTC in reply to "Release cycles"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

"The only reason Vista and SQL have been delayed is because of those blasted anti-monopoly activists. If you want product get off the producer's back and let them code.

Legal issues are nonsense. Microsoft is the new electricity. Natural monopoly in my book."

I'll mod you up before the others mod you down. Mostly because your comment deserves to be seen, not because you're right.

The antitrust laws in the US and elsewhere are there for a reason. In a free trade economy, it is often beneficial for corporations to partner and otherwise collude to promote a single vendor system. However, this is rarely in the interest of the consumer. Monopolies result not because consumers all want the same product, but because the corporations in the particular economic sector want the same product.

This is an inevitability in a free market, and the only way to deal with the consecuences is through government regulation. If Microsoft and its partners in the PC economy want to make Microsoft a virtual utility, then it must be regulated as such. If Microsoft is the new electricity, then Microsoft must be subject to government regulations like the electric companies are.

The distinction, though, between Microsoft and a power grid is that the infrastructure is much cheaper to replace. We're talking about digital bits, not thousands of miles of power lines. Digital infrastructure is naturally demand-based, whereas physical infrastructure is supply-based. Microsoft's digital bits have become bound by the supply-side, and there is no regulatory solution to this situation. The PC economy is historically significant for being interdependent on such a massive and complex scale. All roads lead to Microsoft, even though there are competitors in the PC operating system space.

In essence, the corporations of the PC economy have selected and purchased Microsoft products, so the consumers really don't have an option but to buy it as well.

Reply Score: 1

"MS is not afraid of Google."
by zimbatm on Thu 27th Oct 2005 21:17 UTC
zimbatm
Member since:
2005-08-22

Since when business is about feelings ? I'm tired of buzz and pseudo-manipulated feelings in business.

I'm not bashing Microsoft specifically here, but I wish people would use real facts instead of feelings. If I support GPL, it should be for my reasoning on it, not because I dislike the commercial software producers.

Stop wasting my time. Those feelings make me loose my time. They're not constructive. All those CEO should read the Catalys page at Freenode[1] :-p

Cheers,
zimba

[1]: http://freenode.net/catalysts.shtml

Reply Score: 1

ENTERPRICE INSANITY
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Oct 2005 22:31 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

This is fully insane. Have they though about that most of the companies that involve computers to their ways of working only use internet browser, email, spreadsheet, presentation, wordprosessor and ofcourse their custom made programs (in many cases db related clients. runs on 486). The question is: Why to buy Pentium 4 with 3GHZ and a 128MB video memory card, not to mention a gig of ram? Come on... Since when did companies need such a machines to run word prosessing. Stupidity!

Reply Score: 0

RE: ENTERPRICE INSANITY
by n4cer on Fri 28th Oct 2005 01:52 UTC in reply to "ENTERPRICE INSANITY"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Such companies don't need to buy high-end hardware. Vista's requirements are about the same as XP's. If you want the improvements Vista offers and don't care about running Glass, you don't need a high-end PC to run it. There's even the Terminal Server case for extremely low-end desktops.

Reply Score: 1

Bad for Profit Margins, not Customers
by Celerate on Thu 27th Oct 2005 23:11 UTC
Celerate
Member since:
2005-06-29

I think Ballmer is wrong and knows it, releases separated by 5 years aren't bad for the customer at all as long as bug fixes and appropriate updates are done on time. People thought Windows XP was good enough to use when it was first released, the only reason it isn't now is because people have been told about new features.

Sure there are more features comming in Vista, but Microsoft usually has a serious problem with people sticking with older versions long after a new release anyway. I personally find that upgrading Windows without making a clean install has more undesirable effects than it's worth, so like most people I do a clean install when upgrading. I'm happy not getting new features I don't need, and a clean installation every two years is several hours lost installing the OS, anti-virus, firewall, malware remover, office suite, etc... software when the stuff I have still works. Some people will upgrade simple because they have to have the latest new features (toys ;-)) but I'm not suffering by not having to update every two years.

People who absolutely must have the latest version of any given software can always pay MS to get development and beta releases, don't MSDN subscribers get that stuff?

As a final note most non-technical households either don't upgrade, or buy a new computer every time there is a new Windows release. They don't do it because of any advantage to them, heck in my experience they usually don't even know about the new features and probably haven't since Windows 98; they do it because of the cool factor, because their computer is bogged down with malware, or because of the advertisements. Buying a new computer every two years because of a new Windows release isn't doing themselves any favors, their new computers will be just as slow after a few days of internet exposure without an adequately experienced user, although sometimes it means there'll be one less zombie box on the internet until their new computer gets compromised.

Reply Score: 1

v FUCKED BY BLUE SCREENS
by Anonymous on Fri 28th Oct 2005 04:34 UTC