Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 10th Apr 2008 12:57 UTC, submitted by estherschindler
Windows "In a session at the Gartner Emerging Trends conference today, analysts Neil MacDonald and Michael Silver identified many reasons that Windows (and thus Microsoft) are in trouble. Microsoft's operating system development times are too long and they deliver limited innovation; their OSs provide an inconsistent experience between platforms, with significant compatibility issues; and other vendors are out-innovating Microsoft. That gives enterprises unpredictable releases with limited value, management costs that are too high, and new releases that break too many applications and take too long to test and adopt. With end users bringing their own software solutions into the office... Well, it's just a heck of a sad story for Microsoft."
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Microsoft is in trouble?
by NxStY on Thu 10th Apr 2008 13:40 UTC
NxStY
Member since:
2005-11-12

...analysts Neil MacDonald and Michael Silver identified many reasons that Windows (and thus Microsoft) are in trouble.


Microsoft has monopolies in several areas. They can force any crappy product they want on the market and it would still be widely used, and a standard after a while. So no, Microsoft isn't in trouble, their users are.

Edited 2008-04-10 13:41 UTC

Reply Score: 18

RE: Microsoft is in trouble?
by estherschindler on Thu 10th Apr 2008 15:16 UTC in reply to "Microsoft is in trouble?"
estherschindler Member since:
2005-07-12

The users are in trouble based on what Microsoft has done -- certainly, the people in the room (all of whom were senior IT managers) didn't give off the vibe of "How could you SAY so?!"

But if you read the article, you'll see that the analysts are pointing out that Microsoft itself is in trouble, because its entire business model (not to mention business/sales culture) is based on the old way of doing things. As the world changes, the analysts said, Microsoft will have to change, too.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Microsoft is in trouble?
by lord_rob on Thu 10th Apr 2008 15:23 UTC in reply to "Microsoft is in trouble?"
lord_rob Member since:
2005-08-06

If the consumers of the products created by a monopoly are not pleased by those products, they are still free not to buy them.

And there are more and more people that don't want to buy Windows when they buy a new PC. Sure that's still a minority of the PC owners, but time will tell ...

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Microsoft is in trouble?
by NxStY on Thu 10th Apr 2008 17:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft is in trouble?"
NxStY Member since:
2005-11-12

If the consumers of the products created by a monopoly are not pleased by those products, they are still free not to buy them.


The point of a monopoly is that it limits choice. So it's not that easy.

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: Microsoft is in trouble?
by lord_rob on Fri 11th Apr 2008 14:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft is in trouble?"
lord_rob Member since:
2005-08-06

The point of a monopoly is that it limits choice. So it's not that easy.

The choice is limited, true, but you you ain't forced to buy a PC (Mac anyone ?). Also, if you buy one it's up to you to install alternative operating Systems and free softwares on it.

I can see the growing success of the Ubuntu distribution right now : you can order free CDs worldwide, they are shipped to your doorstep.

Edited 2008-04-11 14:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Microsoft is in trouble?
by bryanv on Thu 10th Apr 2008 19:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft is in trouble?"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

I wouldn't buy it... if it were easier to PIRATE.

Ah, the days before activation.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Microsoft is in trouble?
by RGCook on Thu 10th Apr 2008 18:12 UTC in reply to "Microsoft is in trouble?"
RGCook Member since:
2005-07-12

MS is now a victim of their own monopoly. They can't provide real innovation so folks are sticking/downgrading to XP. Office 2007 is another example. They change the UI but can't deliver a fundamentally better product. While this protects them for now (I agree with your point), it can't hold the barbarians at the gate out forever. Their tools and weapons (FOSS, Linux) are evolving fast and the attack against the empire is starting to take its toll.

I have my doubts that Windows 7 will turn this around. Vista is symptomatic of a broken culture, failed leadership and lost enthusiasm. I find it curious that the corporation shows these signs as Bill G has progressively transitioned to focusing on his foundation.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Microsoft is in trouble?
by REM2000 on Thu 10th Apr 2008 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft is in trouble?"
REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

I agree ive had lots of blurb from Microsoft regarding selling Vista against XP, Exchange 2007 against 2000/03 and event 4.5. As you have stated really the main competition comes from Microsoft itself, why bother upgrading when all of the features of Office were pretty much met in Office 97, let alone, 2000/XP/03/07.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Microsoft is in trouble?
by siki_miki on Thu 10th Apr 2008 19:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft is in trouble?"
siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

With OSS you get improved version of a software for free. With MS you have to pay, for _any_ improvement expect obvious bug-fixes and security improvements. So MS products never get properly polished, instead you get a new version each two years, which again has it's own set of deficiencies (as any version X.0.0 software). Maybe they should learn from Apple.

Also MS tends to change apps, like their UI, just for sake of changing it, so that it would have a new and shiny product look. OK, service packs are exception, but that happens too rarely, and often brings just a load of quite conservative bugfixes.

Big problem for MS is that this isn't the era of rapid informatisation anymore. Selling now means mostly replacing old version with a new, and, in many cases, retraining of staff. No wonder why businesses tend to stay with old versions as long as possible.

With OSS it's different. Community-based approach doesn't allow cutting out a good working part, until no one complains (after a long bitrotting). So software gets upgrades more carefully, incrementally, caring for example about users with old distributions.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Microsoft is in trouble?
by 6c1452 on Fri 11th Apr 2008 03:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft is in trouble?"
6c1452 Member since:
2007-08-29

I use office 97 at work. I honestly didn't notice the difference until I noticed a few usability bugs and went to help->about.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Microsoft is in trouble?
by Priest on Thu 10th Apr 2008 19:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft is in trouble?"
Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

"Office 2007 is another example. They change the UI but can't deliver a fundamentally better product."

I use Office 2007 for school because it is required. There are only a few minor features that are useful, but the layout of the UI has change some and ALL of the formats are incompatible with even Office 2003. Now that ISO has sanctioned OOXML (Office Open XML, not to be confused with Open Office!) as an official standard it looks like they have succeeded in moving the goal posts again.

Office is a staple product in modern business, and it is only a matter of time before companies adopt it again making it nearly impossible for companies to use a competing office product.

The standard has been criticized by many as being intentionally complex and if by some chance some other competitor did succeed in implementing it they would simply move the goal posts again.

That win alone will ensure their dominance for quite a while. Honestly the only chance we really have is to ask ISO to overturn the standard (see noooxml.org).

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Microsoft is in trouble?
by MordEth on Fri 11th Apr 2008 09:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft is in trouble?"
MordEth Member since:
2006-07-16

Hopefully the businesses will have the sense to look at the problems with Office 2007 before it comes back to bite them. I've seen a few too many places that think that password-protecting documents (e.g. financial spreadsheets) constitutes proper security, and if you do that with Excel 2007's new spreadsheet format, it can be defeated with unzip and a text editor.

(You can read how on http://ooxmlisdefectivebydesign.blogspot.com/, in addition to reading other amusingly sad commentary on OOXML.)

Of course, we all know that Microsoft places security first and foremost, because they've told us so. ;)

Reply Score: 1

control the platform
by Yamin on Thu 10th Apr 2008 15:21 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

Microsoft is a little more than an OS.
Truth be told, I'm already virtually a web app person.

It's all about the platform with Microsoft.
Visual Studio is still an amazing IDE, which makes it easy to build Windows applications.

Businesses really don't mind paying for things that work.
For employees making 50k+ per year, what's an extra few hundred to pay for quality software to make them more productive? Just look at the blackberry as an example. It costs a lot, and requires you to go with 'their' platform, but companies are willing to pay because it works well. Even consumers are willing to pay (for example the apple products).

I haven't used Sharepoint or other MS web-like technologies, but this is where they're going to have to make their stand. I don't know what they're doing with silverlight either. But if it makes webapps easier and better to use, it WILL be adopted and MS will be okay.

This doesn't even go into the mobile area. I mean, where was MS in the whole mobile OS market. This is a market they should have owned from Day 0. How did they get beat with mobile email when they owned most of the corporate email market with exchange?


What's disappointing for them is that people like me don't even know where they're going with these technologies. There's a certain vacuum. Or maybe I'm just less interested in MS for some reason. In either case, they need to get these platforms out there if they want to be successful.

It's even more disappointing people are still focusing on the desktop OS as synonymous with Microsoft (including apparently Microsoft...).

Edited 2008-04-10 15:24 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: control the platform
by RIchard James13 on Thu 10th Apr 2008 23:06 UTC in reply to "control the platform"
RIchard James13 Member since:
2007-10-26

Businesses really don't mind paying for things that work.
For employees making 50k+ per year, what's an extra few hundred to pay for quality software to make them more productive? Just look at the blackberry as an example. It costs a lot, and requires you to go with 'their' platform, but companies are willing to pay because it works well. Even consumers are willing to pay (for example the apple products).


I actually think this is Microsoft's core problem. It is not that their applications don't work. It is they don't work as well as intended. If price is no objection then I choose based on functionality alone, if I am doing work aesthetics mean nothing.

A modern computer environment is a lot of systems joined together. In order for them to work well they need to cooperate well. Microsoft gets most of this right but fails at full interoperability. Other companies are releasing products that although might be less functional as Microsoft's are fully interoperable in the IT environment. Plus you can pick and choose from several different vendors to get what level of functionality you want.

Also there are many markets where Microsoft is just not there and because of their lack of full interoperability they cannot compete.

Reply Score: 1

RE: control the platform
by unclefester on Fri 11th Apr 2008 11:43 UTC in reply to "control the platform"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Businesses really don't mind paying for things that work.
For employees making 50k+ per year, what's an extra few hundred to pay for quality software to make them more productive? Just look at the blackberry as an example. It costs a lot, and requires you to go with 'their' platform, but companies are willing to pay because it works well. Even consumers are willing to pay (for example the apple products
==================================================

i don't think you have much idea how businesses really work. Most people in the world earn less than $1000 a year. Some industries have profit margins of 1% or less. Saving a few hundred dollars a head may mean a $50 million dollar profit increase for a large company. Every cent saved is a cent added to profit.

IT is a fantasy world where perfectly good money is thrown away buying things that are not needed. Smart companies should be taking away computers from most staff. Computers are simply a way for most white collar staff to waste time. They should be limiting internet access and severely restricting email usage. They should ban Powerpoint presentations. Companies should be treating computers as expensive tools and nothing more.

Reply Score: 2

RE: control the platform
by Novan_Leon on Fri 11th Apr 2008 14:16 UTC in reply to "control the platform"
Novan_Leon Member since:
2005-12-07

I've used Sharepoint and I will say, it's an awesome product from a usefulness standpoint, and it definitely shows the direction things are going. Web-based technologies are where it's at. I'm not going to say that Web-based solutions will ever entirely replaces the traditional software solutions, but there's definitely going to be even more increased emphasis on web technology and integration between the two.

Reply Score: 1

RE: control the platform
by mslicsme on Sat 12th Apr 2008 17:23 UTC in reply to "control the platform"
mslicsme Member since:
2008-04-11

Yes Microsoft is broken for all of the reasons that have been listed here. Some other thoughts on how they are broken.


The ECAL is a great example of customer price gouging. Stop and think about it. First the Standard CAL (Client Access License) is strictly a licensing terminology to generate revenue. You pay for the hardware, the OS you pay for the NOS you pay for the routers, hubs, switches, and cables to connect the devices put you still have to pay for the invisible CAL. Now back to the Enterprise CAL. It was bad enough that we had to pay for one. Remember for those of you who purcahse the Microsoft Enterprise Server software you pay 4 times as much for it as you do the Std Server. In the past this gave you 100% of the features and benefits of that Enterprise Server now if you want 100% of the features you must purchase not only the Standard CAL but the Enterprise CAL also which is tpically 2 times more expensive than the Standard CAL, and by the way today Microsoft has no tool to give to the customer to know how many devices/users are using an Enterprise CAL. If you install the Enterprise Server with the Enterprise CAL you the customer assume all the risk of it proliferating throughout your enterprise. Yes and Microsoft will hvae a way to count it in the next year or two. In the past if Microsoft added features to the Server they would increase the Server cost but with the ECAL they have gone beyound greedy and have added an exorbitant second CAL. We have seen unprecedented licensing changes over the last 18 - 24 months. Make sure that your Microsoft Account rep agrees via an email to keep you informed on all license changes that will impact your organization financially or operationally.

Microsoft is a monopoly that is trying to hang on to its turf and increase revenue at the same time. They are more fragmented internally than they have been in the history of Microsoft, unfortunately this means that the customer is the one who gets hurt the worst. Revenue has become their only driver not the customer. Microsoft needs to wakeup and understand without the customer there will be no revenue and the competition is now becoming real.

Reply Score: 1

Broken for the following
by kaiwai on Thu 10th Apr 2008 15:21 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd say it is broken for the following reasons:

1) When they add anything, it always seems like a major undertaking. Take Windows Vista and offloading everything to the GPU; in the process of doing that they've decreased performance, increased complexity, and now we're told as a side effect we have crashes caused mainly by the video drivers themselves.

Sure, I can understand the need to off load highly complex effects onto the Graphics card, but there is a fine line between offloading some of the work in an easy, simple but effective way (Compiz/Quartz (2D enabled per application by the developer himself) and various 'Core' technologies by Apple) and how Microsoft have done it.

They've gone from one extreme of simply throwing features into a product, to the other extreme of adding features and having that feature permeate every aspect of the product to the point it pushes up complexity, pisses the driver developers off and buggers up performance completely - to the point where users are pleading for the old version of Windows, even after the first service pack has been released.

2) They have created a legacy of 'for ever backwards compatibility'. There is a fine line between providing backwards compatibility and just being plain stupid. Microsoft has crossed that line of being good to customers to the point of being just plain stupid. Set a time line, and then kill the damn feature off. 3 years is long enough for any application vendor to get its act together and update its application.

3) When things need to be fixed up, it should not be avoided. When features need to be added, it shouldn't be done in a manner where by it requires major fixing in 3-4 years time. It should be designed from the ground up to be extensible - the ability to build upon something without needing to re-engineer large parts just to make adding a feature possible.

4) Fire all those who have ever touched, read, laughed or appreciated 'the UNIX haters guide'; sorry, anyone who simply hates a piece of technology because they have a pathetic understanding of it should not be allowed near a computer let alone near a computer used for programming. Microsoft need to accept that their buzz word creation, Windows NT, was doomed from tbe beginning because the design was nothing more than a knee jerk reaction to the establishment rather than a pragmatic evolution upon UNIX.

There is a fine line between saying, "UNIX has limitations, lets fix them" and what Windows NT was - a buzz word compliant product whose technology was chosen, not because it suited a job but because it fit into the trend of the day, "object orientated" and "micro kernel" being the buzz words, with little shown for it. Here we are years later reaping what was sown in the form of the giant ball of crud that exists in the form of Windows. Its the culmination of 20-30 years of zealotry, buzz words and knee jerk reactions; its all coming home to roost - and I for one have no sympathy for Microsoft.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Broken for the following
by g2devi on Thu 10th Apr 2008 16:33 UTC in reply to "Broken for the following"
g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

The funny thing about backwards compatibility is that despite claims to the opposite, Microsoft isn't backwards compatible...at least not at the technology level. Anyone who's programmed for Windows knows that in the life of Windows there are dozens of database object standards created by Microsoft, each of which was claimed "to be the one true database object" at one time or another. Only ODBC seems to have lasted, and although ADO.NET is being pushed as "the one true database object" these days, I wouldn't trust it to last too long.

The simple fact is that if you take a Unix programmer from 1980 and brought him to work on a modern desktop, he'd still be able to find work. Sure, he might not know a modern toolkit, but he could still use sockets, pipes, C, and all of POSIX and be able to do most back-end or low level work with little retraining.

In the Windows world, this is completely different. A Microsoft programmer from 1985 (five years later) wouldn't be able to do much of anything today...not even assembly language.

The conclusion is obvious. In the Unix world, a programmer can keep building up your knowledge since your old knowledge doesn't disappear, whereas in the Windows world, a programmers knowledge level doesn't grow that quickly since your old knowledge slowly becomes useless so unless you know the "latest and greatest", you know very little.

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: Broken for the following
by evangs on Fri 11th Apr 2008 07:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Broken for the following"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07


The conclusion is obvious. In the Unix world, a programmer can keep building up your knowledge since your old knowledge doesn't disappear, whereas in the Windows world, a programmers knowledge level doesn't grow that quickly since your old knowledge slowly becomes useless so unless you know the "latest and greatest", you know very little.


I'm sorry but you're making an apples to oranges comparison. Unix has a development history going all the way back to the 60s. By 1980, you can bet that it's going to be a platform with a fairly stable API. In contrast, Windows 1.0 was released in 1985. November 15, 1985 to be precise. As with any first attempt, you can bet that there will be a lot of change in the subsequent versions. A better comparison would be to take a Windows programmer from 1995 and put him in front of a current development machine.

This is where things will get interesting. While the Unix programmer will be stuck using sockets, pipes, and other POSIX facilities, the Windows programmer will be just as happy with his Win32 API, ATL/COM and MFC. In fact, I would even venture to say that the Windows programmer is able to do more as he is not limited to writing console based applications since MFC is still very much supported and has changed little over the years. On the other hand, your Unix programmer will have to pick up one of the many toolkits and would have had to relearn the toolkit a few times in the last decade. After all, GTK 1 is totally different from GTK 2, and Qt 3 is totally different from Qt 4.

I understand that bashing MS is par for the course, but if you intend to do so at least get your facts right.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Broken for the following
by PlatformAgnostic on Thu 10th Apr 2008 17:11 UTC in reply to "Broken for the following"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

I'm not sure where you're coming from, Kaiwai. Windows is quite modular and well-partitioned, at least in the layers I work on. The only problem is that we don't entirely control our own destiny. On the one hand, we have a lot of applications that we need to support (we do kill things when no one is using them, like 16-bit, but that takes quite some time). On the other hand, we do not write the drivers that the OS runs on, so any changes in the graphics stack, for instance, must rely on Intel, NVidia and AMD to support the features correctly and at high performance. It's just the nature of things, we can't turn on a dime because we need to put a lot of effort into testing that performance is acceptable and the external interface has not changed too much. People pay us for that. I don't think your comment about the graphics stack is particularly informed... performance, where it is worse, is still good enough that it is imperceptible to a human being (which is the design goal for any presentation system).

Onto the kernel, which I'm much more familiar with: it's a bit premature to say that NT is doomed now or that it was doomed in the past. The work that was put into making NT stable and SMP-safe would have had to be done with any Unix from the early 90s. Despite what you perceive to be buzzword-drenched marketing, some of those things are actually valuable today. Object-orientation, in particular, means that all of the code that deals with namespacing, access controls and object rights is centralized in two small subsystems. This made adding MAC for Vista a relatively non-invasive operation.

I personally like the 'Unix Hater's Handbook' because it is not so true anymore, but the foibles of Unix mentioned there are really user-unfriendly and are things to avoid in future systems.

Reply Score: 6

Microsoft has handcuffed its future
by zaine_ridling on Thu 10th Apr 2008 15:32 UTC
zaine_ridling
Member since:
2007-05-13

There are three real problems Microsoft faces, one which the author mentioned:
(1) the "global economic retraction" combined with inflation means that fewer users will be able to afford new hardware in the coming years just to run a bloated, crippled, and restrictive OS, much less pay annual subscription licensing for it.
------> Advantage GNU/Linux;

(2) Because Microsoft scoffs at open standards, its OSes are not setup to efficiently take advantage of webware and cloud computing. If nothing else, we all know that Vista has been deeply disappointing to dedicated Windows users. Treating its paying customers like criminals and pirates never helps either, as record numbers of users have migrated to GNU/Linux and OS X. However, Apple still attracts the "computer-as-toy" crowd who don't mind spending exhorbitantly on hardware/software lock-in.
------> Advantage GNU/Linux;

(3) Microsoft's Windows Live strategy is a complete mess geared with traditional Microsoft lock-in traps, and with the prolonged MS-OOXML debacle, the company is rocketing toward AOL-status, i.e., users are embarrassed to say they use Microsoft products anymore.
------> Advantage GNU/Linux.

Edited 2008-04-10 15:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

------> Advantage GNU/Linux;

Or *BSD, or Haiku, or pretty much any other alternative OS? Oh well, I don't care which OS gains the advantage anyway as I think the most important thing is that _end-users_ gain some advantage.

Reply Score: 7

Michael Member since:
2005-07-01

Not really. Advatage to whichever general purpose OS has the best publicity when Microsoft gets in trouble. At the moment, that's Linux, and it doesn't look set to change any time soon.

I can see maybe Solaris or even OS X, if it opens up to the PC world, having the backing to usurp Linux. But that's about it. And I don't really think either of those will happen.

Reply Score: 2

ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

The problem is that linux never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity

Reply Score: 5

RIchard James13 Member since:
2007-10-26

Except in computer gaming. Where Linux has repeatably fallen down multiple times. First we had nothing but that a SVGA library then we got some X fullscreen support, somewhere in there we managed to get joystick support added to the Kernel. Eventually Loki software came and saved us with SDL before dying of corporate rot. SDL is okay but it is a very simple library. There is nothing like even DirectX 3 for Linux still unless you want to install multiple libraries.

For instance if you want to play sound effects using SDL they have to be in WAV format. If you want to use OGG you need to use the SDL_sound library, if you want to use PNG instead of BMP you need to use the SDL_image library etc etc. This would not be so much of a problem if there was more of a presence behind SDL making it move forward with the times. But there isn't and developing games for Linux can be a bit convoluted at times.

Reply Score: 1

lord_rob Member since:
2005-08-06

I think you got it wrong. Double negation, so GP meant Linux missed every opportunities available to it. So yeah gaming is one of those opportunities.

The problem is always money. It's cool to write free software, but if you can't live decently out of your code, you won't especially be motivated. A lot of people excpect free code but don't want to give away their time to code it or help bugfixing it.

Reply Score: 2

zaine_ridling Member since:
2007-05-13

Point taken. I consider GNU/Linux to have a cost advantage if nothing else, and thus, we're back to point #1: affordability.

Reply Score: 2

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

Or *BSD, or Haiku, or pretty much any other alternative OS? Oh well, I don't care which OS gains the advantage anyway as I think the most important thing is that _end-users_ gain some advantage.


QFT!

Personally (and despite my username) I really don't care who wins the OS Wars--or if anyone ever actually 'wins' at all, so long as the market evolves to multiple OSes in competition with each other with regards to performance and features while requiring mandatory compatibility for standards. I mean if my Image editor can import and export multiple file formats, then why can't my OS support multiple apps? Why must each app pretend it is the only one of its class that exists?

Will the future be Linux? *BSD? Haiku? SkyOS (assuming they ever let it out of beta)? Who knows and who cares, so long as we can all share files and open them for work on whatever desktop or device we're using at that time!

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2

obsidian Member since:
2007-05-12

Agreed!

I mean, apps like (say) pf (which I'm using on FreeBSD). *Quality stuff*, it really is...

Then you have the KDE team and Python, both of whom have stepped back to take a look at "where to from here", and they've made the call (a good call, imo) to break backwards-compatibility for a cleaner design.

Gradually, as OSS gets a hold of people school-by-school, company-by-company, people are starting to wake up to the fact that MS is slowly becoming more and more irrelevant. Their software is expensive, poor-quality and insecure.

People find that for very many applications, MS just isn't needed any more.

Reply Score: 2

deb2006 Member since:
2006-06-26

Haiku? Come on. We are talking about operating systems, not design studies.

Reply Score: 1

evangs Member since:
2005-07-07


(1) the "global economic retraction" combined with inflation means that fewer users will be able to afford new hardware in the coming years just to run a bloated, crippled, and restrictive OS, much less pay annual subscription licensing for it.

I think this is over played. You can go onto the Dell website and spec out a decent computer for £230. 1.8Ghz dual-core with 2 GB RAM and a 17-inch monitor. Comes with a Vista business license too.

This is hardly exorbitant. You're hardly going to run a current Linux desktop with compiz/fusion on an old machine anyway so if you want the latest features in Linux, you'll need to upgrade to more decent hardware.


(2) Because Microsoft scoffs at open standards, its OSes are not setup to efficiently take advantage of webware and cloud computing. If nothing else, we all know that Vista has been deeply disappointing to dedicated Windows users. Treating its paying customers like criminals and pirates never helps either, as record numbers of users have migrated to GNU/Linux and OS X. However, Apple still attracts the "computer-as-toy" crowd who don't mind spending exhorbitantly on hardware/software lock-in.



I fail to follow the line of argument presented here. MS Scoffs at open standards -> Vista sucks -> customers are criminals -> users migrate?


(3) Microsoft's Windows Live strategy is a complete mess geared with traditional Microsoft lock-in traps, and with the prolonged MS-OOXML debacle, the company is rocketing toward AOL-status, i.e., users are embarrassed to say they use Microsoft products anymore.


I agree that Windows Live sucks. However, users are embarrassed to say they use MS products? They've been embarrassed and griping since 1995 and that's done nothing to hurt Microsoft's market share. Name me a time when people were happy with Windows.

Reply Score: 2

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

evangs wrote:
-"This is hardly exorbitant. You're hardly going to run a current Linux desktop with compiz/fusion on an old machine anyway so if you want the latest features in Linux, you'll need to upgrade to more decent hardware."

I disagree, my oldest machine is a 1.33ghz AMD with a geforce4 and it runs Xubuntu 7.10 with compiz fusion perfectly fine, it has 512mb ram and the system uses 111mb (thats with xfce, compiz fusion, emerald, and kiba dock running!). XP Home SP2 on the same machine use 116mb ram fresh from boot with no 3rd party applications autostarting.

Reply Score: 4

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I disagree, my oldest machine is a 1.33ghz AMD with a geforce4 and it runs Xubuntu 7.10 with compiz fusion perfectly fine

I had Gentoo on my 1ghz AMD Athlon with Radeon 9100 and Compiz worked just fine there, too ;) And so did the rest of the desktop actually. Very pretty, very snappy, and very stable. Just how I like it ;)

Reply Score: 3

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I had Gentoo on my 1ghz AMD Athlon with Radeon 9100 and Compiz worked just fine there, too


I have the latest Ubuntu with Compiz Fusion on my eee pc. 512MB ram, 4GB flash, and an (underclocked) 633Mhz Celeron, and it is quite snappy. Flash movies, like CBS's broadcasts of "The Twilight Zone" are a bit choppy. But I have absolutely no other complaints.

People have really bought into the idea that you need fast hardware to have a nice desktop.

On the other hand, one of my clients ordered in an XP notebook the other day, and what got shipped had Vista on it. It was the first Vista machine I've actually gotten to spend some time testing... and I was shocked. Core2 Duo, 2GB of ram. And slow as molasses. The disk churned so much that I had to double and triple check that it really had 2GB of memory. It wouldn't run the software it was purchased to run either. NX client, which about 40 of our users need, would lock up every 60 seconds or so on this thing. We had to install a character based terminal emulator to allow the employee to get to the point of sale and accounting system.

I personally can't wait until they discontinue XP. It's going to make Linux desktops a much easier sell at my client sites.

Edited 2008-04-11 18:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

sbergman wrote:
-"I have the latest Ubuntu with Compiz Fusion on my eee pc. 512MB ram, 4GB flash, and an (underclocked) 633Mhz Celeron, and it is quite snappy."

hehe, if this goes on it will start sounding like a Monty Python sketch. -"I run latest Ubuntu on my p90 64mb ram and on it I run Fedora under qemu and it's all silky smooth" ;)

Edited 2008-04-11 20:10 UTC

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Seriously. 256MB ram and intel onboard video is comfortable. It takes remarkably little processor. Memory is more significant. Actually, 224MB of ram is still OK (e.g. 256MB ram with 32MB allocated to video). Go much below that, and the latest Linux desktops are not quite so much fun anymore.

Specialized ones, like DSL and DSL-N, will run nicely in far lower ram, of course.

Reply Score: 2

Googol
Member since:
2006-11-24

http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2007/12/07/vista-die

why would he recommend an OS that is in severe trouble? Why am I still clicking Gartner-stories at the age of 35..? Why is it not Osnews policy for long now to simply pretend there is no Gartner..? Questions, questions...

Edited 2008-04-10 15:46 UTC

Reply Score: 6

Backwards Compatibility
by thabrain on Thu 10th Apr 2008 19:46 UTC
thabrain
Member since:
2005-06-29

I think the biggest problem we have is Microsoft's need for backwards compatibility.

For example, up until 2 years ago, my company was still running an MRP software which was DOS based. And each time MS came out with another version of Windows, the first question asked was "will it support our MRP software, because it runs in DOS"

Finally I've been able to convert over to using a 32-bit Windows version of the MRP, but I still get asked by people if they can run various pieces of software from the 90's on their systems. (Visio 4 Technical comes to mind)

Now I've read from some other comments on here about how programming for Windows has changed so much that in their mind, there isn't backwards compatibility, however sales are driven from users purchasing Windows to get the "latest" update, but still wanting to run their favorite applications. Business is completely concerned with backwards compatibility, which is MS's bread and butter. But it's costing them in quality of product.

I think running old applications in a VM is a good solution to this problem; while MS can actually build a userland that makes sense and isn't laded with old code.

Reply Score: 2

I was thinking just earlier today
by Freebasen on Thu 10th Apr 2008 19:46 UTC
Freebasen
Member since:
2006-01-11

It seems to me that one of the major flaws with the windows family is the lack of portability. More and more devices seem to be moving away from the traditional "PC" form factor and more towards integrated devices. Apple and the unixes have the advantage of being largely portable by design. Hence the OS loaded on my phone can be a very similar experience to the OS on my desktop because they are based off of the same code base. Going forward I think this is going to be a huge problem for MS. Traditional x86 cpu's are just too power hungry for these small form factors with current battery life being what it is, and the x86 cpu's that are being used are very limited in terms of processing power (think eeepc). I think going forward a modular AND hardware agnostic approach to design is in Microsoft's best interests.

Reply Score: 3

Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Windows NT used to run on multiple architectures. Heck, Xbox 360s use an NT-based OS, and its CPU is PowerPC-based.

Reply Score: 2

If anything...
by FunkyELF on Thu 10th Apr 2008 20:42 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

I'd say if anything, they provide too much compatibility.
It shouldn't be the responsibility of the OS Vendor to make sure software runs on their OS. It is their responsibility to release development tools.

Heaven forbid someone has to re-compile an application.

This is the beauty of open source. New platform?...download, untar, ./configure, ./make WOW!!!

I read somewhere about microsoft fixing bugs for people at runtime. Like software that relied on reading memory right after it had been free()'d. Instead of telling those idiots who programmed it to re-write, they check to see if that certain program is running and if so leave memory available for a little bit.

People expect too much from their OS and not enough from app developers.

Microsoft should spend more time on shit like when you go to shut down, your computer actually shuts down instead of one program hanging and asking you if you wanna save. Running halt on Linux works like a charm.
At work I need to actually sit and wait for my computer to shut all the way down otherwise I may come in the next morning with a dead battery and a meeting I need to attend. THAT is something an OS should be responsible for!

Another thing is multi tasking. They should spend their efforts on that. Running on a single core machine if a process is hogging the CPU and I bring up the task manager (ctrl + shift + esc) I have to wait until that task is done hogging it until the task manager shows up! Great, now that I can, I don't need to kill it any more. THAT is something an OS should be responsible for.

But instead they spend all their time working on backward compatibility which leads to lazy devs.

They are WAY past due to just break shit and say sorry, you gotta recompile.

Off topic, but Sun should do the same with Java too. Math.abs(Integer.MIN_VALUE) should throw an exception, not return a negative number. That is just an example of shit that goes wrong that they should realize and get on with.

Maybe Microsoft does this because they have the resources to do so. Look at what Apple did with the whole cocoa/carbon thing. Adobe isn't complaining that they have to port one of the biggest apps on the market.

Edited 2008-04-10 20:48 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: If anything...
by rockwell on Fri 11th Apr 2008 03:15 UTC in reply to "If anything..."
rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

//This is the beauty of open source. New platform?...download, untar, ./configure, ./make WOW!!! //

That is also the beast of open source. 99% of computer users can't (and won't) be bothered with cli inputs. If they can't "just click it" they won't bother.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: If anything...
by MordEth on Fri 11th Apr 2008 09:54 UTC in reply to "RE: If anything..."
MordEth Member since:
2006-07-16

This is where distributions like Ubuntu will continue to gain converts, in my opinion. I've helped a few people switch to it, and they're quite impressed by the number of applications which can easily be installed through the package manager, just by checking the items and clicking "Install". In quite a few ways, this is a lot easier than Windows.

Linux is moving past the need to use the command line, even though it's there for the power users. As more hardware vendors start to offer pre-installed Linux, I think it will continue to grow in usage.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: If anything...
by FunkyELF on Fri 11th Apr 2008 18:40 UTC in reply to "RE: If anything..."
FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

That is also the beast of open source. 99% of computer users can't (and won't) be bothered with cli inputs. If they can't "just click it" they won't bother.


I'm not saying the end user would, but someone else would.
I was saying that when you use closed source programs you run the risk of them not working right when your OS vendor comes out with a new release that breaks something.

Only those with access to the code base can change it and make it run on a new platform, or your new platform has a crapload of backward compatibility layers built into it.

With open source it is the same thing, only those with access to the code can change it, except that is everybody in the world.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Fri 11th Apr 2008 12:17 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Actually you could say that Windows is broken (if you think it is) because of the kind of company Microsoft has become: huge, bureaucratic, choked by managerial rituals and not very responsive to its customers or the market-place. And it you do think that, then it's remarkable that the usual remedy has not been applied: a bold restructuring, including if necessary spinning off divisions as IPOs, forced by shareholders and the banks. Instead we're offered the same-old same-old fronted by yesterday's leading man, Senor Ballmer. I don't see Microsoft changing much until a real, far-reaching shake-up happens. In the meantime, they seem to be selling themselves as a kind of public utiliity with a stock performance to match. It's all very dull, though of course many people like that.

Reply Score: 2

Sensible, until the final page...
by rklrkl on Sat 12th Apr 2008 10:51 UTC
rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

The article, very surprisingly for Gartner who are usually the biggest load of analyst windbags on the planet, was actually making sense as I read it. Needless to say, the idiocy of Gartner reared its usual ugly head on the final page.

They'd actually taken the bold step on the second page of suggesting companies look at "OS agnostic" applications (which, in plainer language, means cross-platform Open Source software most of the time). Needless to say, they didn't actually want to name any apps explicitly (OpenOffice.org is the biggie, because replacing MS Office with that directly hits MS'es bottom line).

So I read the final page after mucho criticism of Vista and what do I see? Well, the page on shifting to another OS only suggests that companies calculate the cost of moving - no actual suggestion that they do actually move to another OS (or, indeed, any ideas on how that might be done).

But, wait, it gets worse. They then, as usual, ruin the whole gist of the article by stating that if you're planning to move to Vista, go ahead and install it now! So after berating Vista for how unsuitable it is as an ungrade, they tell you to ignore everything they said earlier - what a bunch of losers you are, Gartner. Mind you, it just continues their history of spouting utter rubbish to the public, so I shouldn't be surprised really.

Reply Score: 2