Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Feb 2013 21:18 UTC
Microsoft "Although Bill Gates stepped away from his day-to-day role at Microsoft nearly five years ago, he still keeps a close eye on the company he co-founded - and he isn't always happy with what he sees. During a recent interview broadcast this morning on CBS This Morning, the Microsoft chairman was asked by Charlie Rose whether he was happy with Steve Ballmer's performance as chief executive. Noting that there have been 'many amazing things' accomplished under Ballmer's leadership in the past couple of years, Gates said he was not satisfied with the company's innovations." It's impossible to deny by this point that Microsoft hasn't done well in mobile. It would be more surprising if Gates had denied it.
Order by: Score:
Comment by lucas_maximus
by lucas_maximus on Mon 18th Feb 2013 21:28 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

Not surprised.

I was really looking forward to the surface RT and it was overpriced. I can't justify buying a device that I can't program on.

The nokia range of lumias is nice, but the market is swamped with (BTW if you are in Spain) cheap and pretty good Android devices. My neighbour on the bus was showing me her phone and it looked nicer than my old HTC desire for less than €100.

I am a bit of a Microsoft fanboy and I have to admit, that full Windows on an ARM device was what I wanted on a notebook and because of RT that isn't going to happen which is a real shame.

Microsoft is going the way of IBM and tbh that is expected. I still love their developer tools and I still like using Windows.

Edited 2013-02-18 21:29 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by lucas_maximus
by kwan_e on Mon 18th Feb 2013 22:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by lucas_maximus"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Microsoft is going the way of IBM and tbh that is expected.


They're going to hire QM and Maths PhDs and do fundamental science research?

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by lucas_maximus on Mon 18th Feb 2013 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by lucas_maximus"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I don't know, they probably already do. Why don't you ask Microsoft rather than me ... they are probably a better source of their recruiting policies than I.

FFS, do I really have to explain this to the full extent.

The IBM comment is about how massive tech companies fade away but are still there working in the background.

This is what I think will happen eventually to Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by bowkota on Mon 18th Feb 2013 23:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

I think IBM is doing very well. Projects such as Watson are very interesting plus they've always been huge in research.

MS has talented people but bad management.

Reply Score: 6

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I am not saying they aren't doing well. But Microsoft in the 80s and 90s had massive growth, like google did at the turn of the century.

IBM doesn't have that, but it still there and it still making money.

I think Microsoft will become more like that.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by bowkota on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

I am not saying they aren't doing well. But Microsoft in the 80s and 90s had massive growth, like google did at the turn of the century.

IBM doesn't have that, but it still there and it still making money.

I think Microsoft will become more like that.


Agreed.

I hope Windows 8 fails (keeps on failing?) miserably and the board decides to finally get rid of Ballmer. We've seen some very interesting research projects coming out of MS in the past and it only shows that there's potential there, which is currently wasted.
Kinect is a very good example. Huge success in my opinion, not for what it did to the Xbox and gaming but for what it did to academia.
Lots of interesting projects were started because of it, mainly because MS sold it quite cheap to fuel its Xbox economy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by sgtrock on Tue 19th Feb 2013 01:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
sgtrock Member since:
2011-05-13

IBM fading away?? Let's compare financial returns between IBM and Microsoft for the past 10 years, shall we?

https://www.google.com/finance?chdnp=1&chdd=1&chds=1&chdv=1&chvs=Lin...

Looks to me like Microsoft is the one that's fading, not IBM. While Microsoft has been essentially devolving into a two trick pony (Windows/Office on the desktop and Windows/SQL Server in the datacenter), IBM has an incredible range of successes over the same period. You just don't hear about them much unless you work in or near datacenters. That has been their historical strength and they continue to do some really nifty stuff there. By contrast, Microsoft is in danger of seeing all of its markets erode away.

In the broadly defined personal device market, they are in real trouble. They no longer have the #1 OS by marketshare, and by the middle of this year they won't even have the #1 installed base. Android has grown that fast and that big. Microsoft is going to have to retreat into the enterprise and watch the consumer market evolve away from them. Ironic, when the source of their greatest strength in their early days were people sneaking in their own PCs to get work done that the datacenter guys didn't have time or inclination to do!

Meanwhile, the SQL Server/Windows Server combination is coming under attack from multiple directions. The supercomputer and mainframe battles were lost long ago. IIS never had a chance in the Internet facing space, although it was frequently the webserver of choice inside firewalls. That's changing rapidly, though. The SOHO market is being lost to external hosting providers building upon open source solutions. Even the bigger companies are moving more and more work off Microsoft solutions to Linux based ones. And, since IBM has been supporting FLOSS solutions across their entire hardware line for more than a decade, they are ready, willing, and able to take that business away from Microsoft.

Nope, if you're looking for a company that's fading away, you're looking in the wrong direction. Microsoft is the one that's in trouble, not IBM.

Edited 2013-02-19 01:41 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE[4]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by tanzam75 on Tue 19th Feb 2013 07:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

IBM fading away?? Let's compare financial returns between IBM and Microsoft for the past 10 years, shall we?


You have plotted IBM's stock price against MSFT's stock price. That tells you nothing about how well the company has done financially. All it does is indicate how the stock market perceives each company.

Since the end of 2007, IBM's stock price has clearly outperformed MSFT's.

However, when you look at actual financial performance, you see something quite different. Microsoft's financial results have clearly outperformed IBM's over the past ten years.

Operating income, net income, dividends, net cash, you name it. On all of these bottom-line metrics, Microsoft has done better than IBM over the past ten years.

Here, have a look for yourself:

IBM's annual reports: http://www.ibm.com/annualreport/
Microsoft's annual reports: http://www.microsoft.com/investor/AnnualReports/default.aspx

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by sgtrock on Tue 19th Feb 2013 14:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
sgtrock Member since:
2011-05-13

None of which invalidates my main point: When comparing the two companies, Microsoft is the one who is in danger of fading away, not IBM. Microsoft's annual reports only serve to highlight what I stated. Read the financial breakdown by segment in the 2012 annual report that starts on page 22 as a typical example.

I only pointed to the share price comparison because it shows the fact that investors have become disenchanted with Microsoft's lack of ability to innovate in any market. There's a lot of smart money out there that sees the same set of conditions that I pointed to. Now, if you have some evidence that can refute my argument I'd love to hear it.

Edited 2013-02-19 14:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by tanzam75 on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:45 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

You have presented a very distorted view of Microsoft, by taking the dozens of products that it sells and splitting it into two groups -- and then calling it a "two-trick pony."

Well, I can do the same thing to IBM, and show that it is also a two-trick pony. One trick is mainframe/services. The other is everything else. IBM gets just 4% of revenues from mainframe hardware, but 40% of its profit is tied to its dominance of the mainframe world. ( See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/technology/ibm-mainframe-evolves-... )

Oh, but you say, this is unfair. You can't look at the 40% of profit that comes from mainframes, because it is a very diversified revenue stream. Hardware, software, storage, management, consulting services, etc. And what about the other 60%? "IBM has an incredible range of successes over the same period. You just don't hear about them much unless you work in or near datacenters."

Well, yes, it is unfair. But so is your characterization of Microsoft. "Windows/Office on the desktop" encompasses everything from the familiar Word and Excel, to consumers products like Skype, to pricey enterprise software like Dynamics CRM, to Lync unified communications, to management tools like InTune. "Windows/SQL Server in the datacenter" ignores things like Sharepoint, Exchange, Exchange Online, Azure, Hyper-V, System Center, etc.

You could just as easily say that Microsoft "has an incredible range of successes over the same period. You just don't hear about them much" -- unless you work in IT.

SQL Server is coming under attack from open-source? Sure. But so are Oracle and DB2. Why is Microsoft any worse off than IBM, which sells DB2? Supercomputers, mainframe, IIS? You're getting hung up on markets where Microsoft never made much money. So if Microsoft never breaks into these markets, how does this cause Microsoft to disappear?

Is IIS losing share in enterprises? I don't know -- perhaps. Yet the Server & Tools division at Microsoft has grown faster than Microsoft overall in recent years. If Microsoft is disappearing in the enterprise, then why aren't its revenues going down in the enterprise market?

What Microsoft is doing is moving from full-spectrum dominance, in which it had a hand in every pie, to a situation in which the IT world has outgrown it. In the enterprise market, Microsoft has discovered that even a non-monopoly position can be quite profitable. This is not so different from the transformation that IBM has undergone.

Edited 2013-02-19 17:46 UTC

Reply Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

They wasn't the power they was back in the 50s and 60s ... where IBM was its own country essentially.

I am sure they are doing well today. But they aren't what they were before the personal computer revolution.

Edited 2013-02-19 08:19 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by sgtrock on Tue 19th Feb 2013 14:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
sgtrock Member since:
2011-05-13

OK, I see your point. Fair enough. I just have a hard time seeing them as 'fading away' these days after having lived through IBM's doldrums in the 70's, 80's, and 90's before they bounced back as far as they have today.

I hope we can both agree that's it's a good thing that they no longer own the computer market, right? A monoculture is never healthy, for one. For another, more choice in a marketplace is always beneficial to the customer because it forces vendors to compete on quality, price, and innovation.

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Their working attire rules were fearsome enough.

Reply Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

** Duplicate **

Edited 2013-02-19 08:13 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by kwan_e on Tue 19th Feb 2013 02:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

FFS, do I really have to explain this to the full extent.

The IBM comment is about how massive tech companies fade away but are still there working in the background.


FFS do I have to explain that IBM is not the example to go to, since they are coming back in a big way.

They're no longer a player in the desktop market, but what they do is hardly background anymore.

Reply Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

In the 50s and 60s IBM was massive. There is a few documentaries on Youtube about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by kwan_e on Tue 19th Feb 2013 09:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

They also use to make cheese graters and sewing machines.

Reply Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Way to go to the miss the point.

The old joke "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM", turned into "Nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft".

IBM is still massive but it doesn't really lead the tech world like it used to.

This isn't bad by any stretch.

Edited 2013-02-19 11:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by kwan_e on Tue 19th Feb 2013 11:47 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Way to go to the miss the point.


Why do people accuse me of missing the point when clearly they're the ones to miss my point. Did it occur to you that I wasn't disagreeing with your comment?

Way to go miss the point.

IBM is still massive but it doesn't really lead the tech world like it used to.


I'd argue Watson is such a huge leap that no one is sure how much of a lead it will end up being. Much like when IBM first invested heavily in general purpose computing. No other tech organization has a Watson in the works.

Then there's all the QM and other science breakthroughs - racetrack memory, atomic imaging, protein folding, cat-brain simulation, various storage miniaturization breakthroughs.

If that kind of science isn't considered leading the tech world, there's something very wrong. Not with IBM, though.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by BeamishBoy on Tue 19th Feb 2013 22:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
BeamishBoy Member since:
2010-10-27

I don't know, they probably already do. Why don't you ask Microsoft rather than me ... they are probably a better source of their recruiting policies than I.


For what it's worth, Microsoft's research division is very impressive. The output of Microsoft Research here in Cambridge alone over the past decade has been immense.

It's also been immensely varied: innovative use of Bayesian nets, reinforcement learning and multi-agent algorithms, functional programming (principally via Don Syme and F#), etc. Really, really talented people.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by Soulbender on Tue 19th Feb 2013 01:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by lucas_maximus"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Microsoft Research. On some ways the Xerox PARC of today.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by twitterfire on Tue 19th Feb 2013 13:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by lucas_maximus"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11


They're going to hire QM and Maths PhDs and do fundamental science research?


They already do that. Ever heard of Microsoft Research?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by lucas_maximus
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 04:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by lucas_maximus"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I really don't think you'd want to do much programming using Visual Studio on a Tegra 3 device.

I felt the same way before I got my Surface RT, but I'm pretty happy with how good Remote Debugging works with Visual Studio.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by lucas_maximus
by nej_simon on Tue 19th Feb 2013 08:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by lucas_maximus"
nej_simon Member since:
2011-02-11

Microsoft is going the way of IBM and tbh that is expected.


Agreed. Microsoft is the new IBM and Apple is the new Microsoft. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by lucas_maximus on Tue 19th Feb 2013 11:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by lucas_maximus"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

What is Google?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by nej_simon on Tue 19th Feb 2013 11:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
nej_simon Member since:
2011-02-11

The new apple?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by tylerdurden on Tue 19th Feb 2013 20:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

so... IBM is the new google

Edited 2013-02-19 20:18 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by zima on Sat 23rd Feb 2013 13:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by lucas_maximus"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

>Microsoft is going the way of IBM and tbh that is expected.

Agreed. Microsoft is the new IBM

Hm, that does fit with how Windows Phone appears to be going the way of OS/2...

Reply Score: 2

I'm amazed...
by tomz on Mon 18th Feb 2013 21:41 UTC
tomz
Member since:
2010-05-06

Ballmer has done amazing things. Not good for either MS or their users, but amazing. Like Katrina or Sandy.

The only one more amazing is Elop, but he is in a category by himself.

Reply Score: 6

RE: I'm amazed...
by cdude on Tue 19th Feb 2013 15:27 UTC in reply to "I'm amazed..."
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Not comparable. Ballmer missed opportunities but Microsoft is still there, making money, having customers, has a future even if not as glory as the past. Microsoft is far away from vanishing, walking dead. They will be there next year too.

Reply Score: 1

integration
by REM2000 on Mon 18th Feb 2013 22:35 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

it seems that it is obvious to the whole world apart from Microsoft, why can't their software and services integrate, but angry bird on one platform and it runs on them all, a consistent brand (xbox music, zune music, how many more will there be), these are all the reasons why i would fire balmer, he's been CEO of Microsoft for a decade and is responsible for blunder after blunder. Microsoft have a lot of very clever people, the resources and are in a position to really achieve amazing things, but they keep missing it, it's like watching grandpa wake from his slumber and taking a few minutes to orientate himself again, "what? who.. where!"

Reply Score: 1

v RE: integration
by tidux on Tue 19th Feb 2013 00:01 UTC in reply to "integration"
RE[2]: integration
by some1 on Tue 19th Feb 2013 01:13 UTC in reply to "RE: integration"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

There's a reason Java is slow.

Is there? Is it? Do tell.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: integration
by malxau on Tue 19th Feb 2013 02:31 UTC in reply to "RE: integration"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

> [p]ut angry bird[s] on one platform and it runs on them all

Kiss performance goodbye. There's a reason Java is slow.


I like the Steam model. Licensing != binaries, users can have purchased the ability to run any tailor-made binary on a device of their choice with a single purchase.

Of course, it'd help to have a more consistent programming model, but that is separable.

Reply Score: 4

RE: integration
by Laurence on Tue 19th Feb 2013 08:56 UTC in reply to "integration"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I thought XNA was supposed to address the one code base for all Microsoft platforms?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: integration
by lucas_maximus on Tue 19th Feb 2013 11:34 UTC in reply to "RE: integration"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

No, XNA was toolkit for building games on Xbox and Windows.

They killed it, which was a bit of a shame.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: integration
by Laurence on Tue 19th Feb 2013 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: integration"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

No, XNA was toolkit for building games on Xbox and Windows.

...and Windows Phone. Which is what I said.

One Visual Studio project, one toolkit and one code base for all 3 platforms.

Granted you needed some custom code per platform within the project and granted it wasn't "compile once run everywhere", but it was still aiming to unify the aforementioned platforms.

It's a real shame Microsoft killed it; it was the only thing I liked about Windows Phone.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: integration
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: integration"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

"No, XNA was toolkit for building games on Xbox and Windows.

...and Windows Phone. Which is what I said.

One Visual Studio project, one toolkit and one code base for all 3 platforms.
"

Its three Visual Studio projects, wrestling with always having to wait for a shitty content pipeline which was conjoined at the hip with the particular version of VS (2008 at first, then 2010 which its stuck at) and being a second class citizen on Xbox.

While XNA has undoubtedly left a void where it used to be, but XNA was never really any good anyway.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: integration
by Laurence on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: integration"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Ahh I see.

Thank you for the correction ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: integration
by lucas_maximus on Tue 19th Feb 2013 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: integration"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

It was a toolkit for games rather than a unifying framework.

But yes it was available for all platforms. Nelson probably knows more than I because I have never used it in Anger.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: integration
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 19:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: integration"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

This is basically what happened with XNA:

- XNA comes out. Its better than MDX (Managed DX) but its pretty much panned for being weird and not as pretty as it could be. Remember, XNA came out I think a little bit prior to .NET3 coming out. I was actually wrong before, it was annoying to use on VS2005, 2008, and 2010. I hate their damn customized IDE.

- XNA stagnates with not many fixes or advances. Some bones are thrown to us devs here and there. XBLIG placement is still awkward, the Creators Club was terrible and the approval process took fucking forever.

- A lot of time passes.

- Microsoft takes XNA away from us in Windows 8 and WP8. Developers seemingly forgot how much they hated XNA because they got so used to it, but are now up in arms.

It was never a good framework at all. If Microsoft dropped it I hope it is because they're working on something better.

Xbox needs an app store. Maybe this will all tie into that. Hopefully. Xbox has the potential to disrupt gaming and do for games what the phone app stores did for normal software development: Democratize it.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: integration
by Laurence on Wed 20th Feb 2013 00:42 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: integration"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Xbox needs an app store. Maybe this will all tie into that. Hopefully. Xbox has the potential to disrupt gaming and do for games what the phone app stores did for normal software development: Democratize it.

It wouldn't be much of a disruption as Microsoft have already been beaten to that goal at least twice before:

* Nintendo already did that on the Wii. Not just for professional games either, but home brew as well.

* The Dreamcast also did this, but to a far less sophisticated level (but back then the vast majority of people were still on dial up, so the DC still deserves some kudos)

I will grant you that the Dreamcast (as awesome as it was), didn't take off, and the Wii isn't really a "gamers console", but even so, it's already been done.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: integration
by Nelson on Wed 20th Feb 2013 01:01 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: integration"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Sure, but this isn't really about "Firsts" its about who executes it well.

The fact that I didn't even know this was true about Wii should say a lot. Its a great idea, I just think it needs something on a grand sale.

Imagine writing a Windows Store app and having it work across Windows Phone, Windows, and Xbox with minimal changes and a streamlined unified submission and commerce system.

That'd be a disruption. Look at how other phones did touch prior to the iPhone, but it took the iPhone to radically change the direction of the consumer smartphone market.

Another example is Danger with the Sidekicks. (and before someone points it out Linux distros and other OSes had repositories which still are great) With Sidekicks they had an App store of sorts prior to Apple but it really took Apple to set the framework for how most app stores will be run in the future.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: integration
by zima on Sat 23rd Feb 2013 13:37 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: integration"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

>Xbox needs an app store. Maybe this will all tie into that. Hopefully. Xbox has the potential to disrupt gaming and do for games what the phone app stores did for normal software development: Democratize it.
It wouldn't be much of a disruption as Microsoft have already been beaten to that goal at least twice before:

* Nintendo already did that on the Wii. Not just for professional games either, but home brew as well.

* The Dreamcast also did this, but to a far less sophisticated level (but back then the vast majority of people were still on dial up, so the DC still deserves some kudos)

I will grant you that the Dreamcast (as awesome as it was), didn't take off, and the Wii isn't really a "gamers console", but even so, it's already been done.

I don't recall anything like that for the Dreamcast ...was it for software running on its memory cards? Japan-only?

And Nintendo is notoriously unfriendly to indies...

Either way, it would still be a disruption, when on the scale of likely future Xbox ecosystem.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Stephen!
by Stephen! on Tue 19th Feb 2013 00:32 UTC
Stephen!
Member since:
2007-11-24

Is Microsoft basically screwed then? If they continue on the current path with Windows 8, they risk more customer dissatisfaction. If they reverse course, it would be an admission of failure.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Stephen!
by bnolsen on Tue 19th Feb 2013 03:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by Stephen!"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

MS's marketing can spin the failure part when windows9 or whatever is next comes out.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Stephen!
by darknexus on Tue 19th Feb 2013 10:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by Stephen!"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Is Microsoft basically screwed then? If they continue on the current path with Windows 8, they risk more customer dissatisfaction. If they reverse course, it would be an admission of failure.

Better to admit failure than to push forward with something that'll drive one's customers away. Admit a failed experiment and move on. They might even get some respect for doing that.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Stephen!
by Novan_Leon on Tue 19th Feb 2013 16:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Stephen!"
Novan_Leon Member since:
2005-12-07

They essentially do this every other Windows OS release anyways. If I didn't know any better I'd say it was intentional. One OS release that is experimental/groundbreaking/severely flawed, followed by one OS release that refines on the strengths and irons out the wrinkles. Wash, rinse and repeat.

Windows 8 = ME, 2000 Professional, Vista
Windows 9 = 98, XP, Windows 7

Edited 2013-02-19 16:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Stephen!
by zlynx on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Stephen!"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

I agree with all of that except 2000 Professional. That was quite probably the best operating system Microsoft released in years. It was my favorite Windows workstation OS until XP SP2.

Server 2003 was good too but too pricey for a workstation build.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 04:03 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

The idea here isn't that they need to retreat from their current course, but double down and increase the pace of innovation and the coherency of their product lineup. They are doing very good things.

Commercial success is a lagging indicator, believe it or not, but no doubt I'm sure that a lot of people who reply to this comment will try to use it to prove Microsoft is headed in the wrong direction.

Microsoft is a company very much in transition. It isn't a simple effort to do such a management and cultural change inside of a company of that scale. There won't always be messaging consistency and sometimes things will seem disjointed, but over time, the story for Microsoft is becoming a lot clearer.

Look at Microsoft just a few years ago. Every product looked differently, there was an absence of designers in the equation. They've since coalesced around Metro.

Xbox, Windows Phone, Windows all running a familiar user interface.

Look at their developer tools just a few years ago. You had XNA on the Xbox, NETCF on WinMobile and pretty much everything on Windows.

Now it's XAML on the Phone, XAML on Xbox, and XAML on Windows. That's a stunning achievement in such a little amount of time.

Look at how dramatically the Windows OS has been rearchitected to work on devices thinner and lighter than an iPad. Windows. On a tablet. That doesn't suck. That's progress.

Sinofsky et all ushered in a new era of discipline at Microsoft. He whipped WinDiv into shape, took what worked from DevDiv, and made a forward looking product in Windows 8. All only 3 years from Windows 7's launch, which was regarded as a tremendous success.

Another example being their phone efforts: They had Windows Mobile, Kin, and Windows Phone. Three competing divisions. Now there is one. That's a huge turnaround. There is less internal duplication of effort and more work towards a common goal.

The NT Kernel is used across devices ranging from small phones to beefy PC towers and server racks.

Azure has seen a phenomenal turn around too. It was basically useless for a good portion of its life. Now it is a very compelling PaaS and IaaS solution for developers. Its a complete joy to use.

Microsoft is also creating new opportunity. Look at SharePoint, look at their Yammer acquisition, look at Bing, look at how they've grown Server+Tools and their Office divisions especially with Office 365.

My point in all of this is that Microsoft isn't exactly stagnant, or fading into irrelevancy. Its just managing a mid-life crisis reasonably well. Transitions take time.

Remember -- this is the company that was ridiculed with their release of the Xbox but they stuck with it to turn it into a success especially with Kinect that pretty much obsoleted Nintendo's offering.

Microsoft is a company with iffy execution, but loads of cash, and very fat cash cows. They are in print money mode for the next decade. To count them out is shortsighted and ignorant of history.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Nelson
by Fergy on Tue 19th Feb 2013 08:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Look at how dramatically the Windows OS has been rearchitected to work on devices thinner and lighter than an iPad. Windows. On a tablet. That doesn't suck. That's progress.

If it doesn't run windows applications can you still call it windows? What is the difference then between linux, android, ios, bb10 etc. That 'thinner and lighter than an iPad' device doesn't even run Firefox.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

My full blown Win8 tablet which is thinner and lighter than an iPad, and has 10 hour battery life, can run Windows apps.

At this point though, it's important not to split hairs, Windows Store apps are Windows apps. They're built using Windows development platform, and share a lot of commonality with Microsoft's other XAML platforms.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by Fergy on Tue 19th Feb 2013 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

At this point though, it's important not to split hairs, Windows Store apps are Windows apps. They're built using Windows development platform, and share a lot of commonality with Microsoft's other XAML platforms.

- So just ignore that real applications like Firefox don't run and will never run.
- And just ignore that having to rewrite your application for windows xaml is the same as rewriting it for linux, android, ios, bb10

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

- So just ignore that real applications like Firefox don't run and will never run.
- And just ignore that having to rewrite your application for windows xaml is the same as rewriting it for linux, android, ios, bb10


I think you missed, so I'll bold it for emphasis:
My full blown Win8 tablet which is thinner and lighter than an iPad, and has 10 hour battery life, can run Windows apps.


I can run Win32 apps on my tablet. And FYI: A lot of these applications already exist on iOS (a rewrite) and Android(a rewrite).

Needing to rewrite an app to fully take advantage of the hardware (via Windows Store apps) doesn't necessarily mean there's an incentive to bring it to Linux or something, because again, developers can now easily make a good amount of income on the Windows Store.

You've seen Netflix, Skype, Hulu, CNN, etc rewrite their apps for the Windows Store because their apps were largely platform agnostic to begin with.

Netflix even uses Windows technology (Rx Framework, adaptive bitrate) behind the scenes so XAML with a media engine that can readily consume that content was a natural shift for them.

CNN usually contracts their work out, and given the return (millions of people downloading your app) its a wise investment.

Hulu is platform agnostic like Netflix because they target many screens. There is probably a lot of re-use of code between Android, iOS, and the Windows Store app.

There are similar stories for many other apps, and its all about making the business case for bringing an app to Windows.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by Fergy on Tue 19th Feb 2013 20:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I can read. It is just that I don't know of any x86 tablet that even comes close to the ipad in terms of size, weight or price. Maybe mention what device you have cause the guessing game is getting old.
Windows has a 90% marketshare because of the apps. When you take away the apps windows is less useful than android or iOS.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 21:42 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I can read. It is just that I don't know of any x86 tablet that even comes close to the ipad in terms of size, weight or price. Maybe mention what device you have cause the guessing game is getting old.
Windows has a 90% marketshare because of the apps. When you take away the apps windows is less useful than android or iOS.


Acer W510. Thinner, Lighter, 9hr battery life (18hr with dock) and for $499 which is the same price as an iPad and includes twice the RAM and twice the storage.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by Fergy on Tue 19th Feb 2013 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Acer W510. Thinner, Lighter, 9hr battery life (18hr with dock) and for $499 which is the same price as an iPad and includes twice the RAM and twice the storage.

Sounds awesome. I hope I can get such a device for that price when the time comes.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Nelson
by Laurence on Tue 19th Feb 2013 09:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Look at how dramatically the Windows OS has been rearchitected to work on devices thinner and lighter than an iPad. Windows. On a tablet. That doesn't suck. That's progress.

A 16GB OS footprint for a tablet does suck. It's simply unacceptable.

The issue has never been that Microsoft are unable to progress, it's that their progress has been significantly slower than their competition. And why this is I don't know because Microsoft Research come out with some awesome technology.

Edited 2013-02-19 09:04 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

A 16GB OS footprint for a tablet does suck. It's simply unacceptable.

The issue has never been that Microsoft are unable to progress, it's that their progress has been significantly slower than their competition. And why this is I don't know because Microsoft Research come out with some awesome technology.


Is it really? I know this is heresy on OSNews, but people do actually embrace cloud computing in real life.

I personally store all my photos on SkyDrive. Take a photo on my phone, have it automatically replicate on my Tablet, Desktop PC, and Xbox 360. I was grandfathered in so I have 25GB of additional space for my pictures, videos, and documents.

As for music, I've never really been a music junky to have gigabytes and gigabytes of music, and to be honest, I don't think most people are either.

My mom usually puts Pandora on and lets that play through. I tend to do the same, I simply don't see the need in purchasing that much music or ripping my entire CD collection to my tablet for the hell of it.

But your point is taken, Windows is still too big and has a ways to go, and that will only happen when we can reduce further the dependency hell that sometimes manifests itself, and reduce the need for side by side deployment of libraries.

However I don't think there's denying that a few years ago the thought of Windows on a tablet was a pipedream.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by Laurence on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Is it really? I know this is heresy on OSNews, but people do actually embrace cloud computing in real life.

Some do. Some like to have local copies of their content. Like videos to watch on the train to dull the pain of their daily commute.

As for music, I've never really been a music junky to have gigabytes and gigabytes of music, and to be honest, I don't think most people are either.

If that was the case then the early iPods, with their microdisks, would never have taken off.

Plus what about movies? (see my point above).

But your point is taken, Windows is still too big and has a ways to go, and that will only happen when we can reduce further the dependency hell that sometimes manifests itself, and reduce the need for side by side deployment of libraries.

Indeed. Backwards compatibility is a double edged sward.

However I don't think there's denying that a few years ago the thought of Windows on a tablet was a pipedream.

Microsoft have had Windows tablets since the early days of XP. Probably before then - that was just when I first took an interest in tablets.

It's just back then the UI was lousy (or, to be more accurate, it was lousy for the tablet paradigm). To be completely honest, I think Metro is also a lousy UI (I hated it when I was running Win Phone) but I'll happily concede that's just my personal preference.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Some do. Some like to have local copies of their content. Like videos to watch on the train to dull the pain of their daily commute.


Which is fair, and you can. Some people do by renting or buying movies from Xbox Video, or ripping off of a DVD, or something.

For others who don't do this as often, Netflix or Hulu or YouTube or just private cloud versions of their videos work fine.

Me, personally, I do more music on the go than video on the go, but then again, its almost always using my phone which has an LTE connection and streaming Pandora isn't an issue.

Again, YMMV as it does with most things like this, but my point I guess, is that while they are legitimate issues, they are less impactful than might be suggested.

I just don't think tablets can reasonably accommodate a storage junkie on any platform. SSDs for tablets don't go up much farther than 128GB (unless I'm wrong, is there a tablet with 256GB) so for people with like 100GB of music and videos, it will present a problem.



If that was the case then the early iPods, with their microdisks, would never have taken off.

Plus what about movies? (see my point above).


Funny thing, a lot of the iPods I saw (including my own) never really reached capacity on even just an 80GB unit. And iPod Touches never really had that much space, but were still successful (as successful as the dwindling sector can be)


Indeed. Backwards compatibility is a double edged sward.


Thankfully the Windows Store solves this DLL hell with versioning as a forethought instead of an afterthought.

I think maybe after the first interim release of Windows with some decent improvements to WinRT and an expansion of the kinds of Windows Store apps you can write should make Metro a lot more palatable to people.


Microsoft have had Windows tablets since the early days of XP. Probably before then - that was just when I first took an interest in tablets.

It's just back then the UI was lousy (or, to be more accurate, it was lousy for the tablet paradigm). To be completely honest, I think Metro is also a lousy UI (I hated it when I was running Win Phone) but I'll happily concede that's just my personal preference.


I had a Windows Slate back in the day, but they were clunky and slow and ugly (but great pen support, MSFT has always been consistently ahead here) and I don't even classify them as "Tablets" as we know them today.

But just think before Windows 8. Conventional wisdom was that Windows was too slow, or too heavy, or whatever to run on small devices with resource constraints. That's wildly different than today, and its thanks to the disciplines put in place during Windows 7 that carried over to Windows 8.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by Laurence on Tue 19th Feb 2013 18:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

For others who don't do this as often, Netflix or Hulu or YouTube or just private cloud versions of their videos work fine.

Me, personally, I do more music on the go than video on the go, but then again, its almost always using my phone which has an LTE connection and streaming Pandora isn't an issue.

Streaming would be rubbish for commuting. Your network connection would constantly drop out. (believe me, I've tried).

Funny thing, a lot of the iPods I saw (including my own) never really reached capacity on even just an 80GB unit.

Well yours wouldn't reach capacity as you already said you're not all that into music. So you're argument is somewhat redundant.

I don't even classify them as "Tablets" as we know them today.

You may not classify them as a tablet, but they still were. In fact Microsoft even sold them under that term: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP_Tablet_PC_Edition#Tablet_PC...


But just think before Windows 8. Conventional wisdom was that Windows was too slow, or too heavy, or whatever to run on small devices with resource constraints. That's wildly different than today, and its thanks to the disciplines put in place during Windows 7 that carried over to Windows 8.

That's because conventional wisdom was to use CE for such devices rather than arse about trying to run a desktop OS on an embedded device. Just as the conventional wisdom is not to run Android on PCs nor iOS on my MacBooks.

This whole "one Windows to rule them all" seems backwards to me. I'm 100% for cross platform portability but this is the wrong way to go about that.

Edited 2013-02-19 18:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 19:18 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Streaming would be rubbish for commuting. Your network connection would constantly drop out. (believe me, I've tried).


I meant, for others who don't do much video watching while commuting. For those that do, they can store a few videos locally. Its not ideal, but then again, no tablet has a good solution for this on a decent scale.

Once you pass 128GB of content, you have a ceiling on how much you can extend it with microSD, if you even can (can't on an iPad).

I think the cloud is a more scalable solution and though it may not be ideal for all situations as you point out, it certainly can help in a lot of others.

What needs to be done is to make the cloud less visible in users lives. If the user ever has to think about the cloud, you've lost from a UX POV. Cloud needs to be treated as just another storage medium.


Well yours wouldn't reach capacity as you already said you're not all that into music. So you're argument is somewhat redundant.


Me? No, but are a lot of other people really that different from me? I've seen a lot of people who buy such outrageous sizes (me included) but don't use anywhere near that amount of space.


This whole "one Windows to rule them all" seems backwards to me. I'm 100% for cross platform portability but this is the wrong way to go about that.


I'm not 100% happy today with how things are, but I do see the potential and where things are going. I don't dispute there are rough edges and limitations, I just dispute the impact of said limitations. They're no more major than the rough edges that Windows Vista or Windows 7 had. Product engineering is not perfect, and given a finite set of resources and the logistics of the matter, I can understand why trade offs had to be made.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by Laurence on Wed 20th Feb 2013 00:23 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


I meant, for others who don't do much video watching while commuting. For those that do, they can store a few videos locally. Its not ideal, but then again, no tablet has a good solution for this on a decent scale.

erm, any tablet is a decent solution for this.

I think you're getting a little carried away with the > 128GB figures. My point was just that many people do use local storage on tablets.

Me? No, but are a lot of other people really that different from me? I've seen a lot of people who buy such outrageous sizes (me included) but don't use anywhere near that amount of space.

My music collection is > 250GB and I still have a stack of vinyl and CDs yet to copy. So yeah, some other people really are that different from you.


I'm not 100% happy today with how things are, but I do see the potential and where things are going. I don't dispute there are rough edges and limitations, I just dispute the impact of said limitations. They're no more major than the rough edges that Windows Vista or Windows 7 had. Product engineering is not perfect, and given a finite set of resources and the logistics of the matter, I can understand why trade offs had to be made.

To be frank, that's just making excuses.

Microsoft have one of the deepest pockets and best research labs in IT. If anyone should have been capable of pulling off a decent tablet, it should have been Microsoft.

Edited 2013-02-20 00:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by zima on Sat 23rd Feb 2013 13:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

>As for music, I've never really been a music junky to have gigabytes and gigabytes of music, and to be honest, I don't think most people are either.

If that was the case then the early iPods, with their microdisks, would never have taken off.

They hardly taken off, really. iPod became big only with later, smaller-storage models: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ipod_sales_per_quarter.svg

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by twitterfire on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11


However I don't think there's denying that a few years ago the thought of Windows on a tablet was a pipedream.

Lol, you maybe live on Mars. ;) Windows is on tablets since 2002. If you don't believe me: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Tablet_PC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Those are not tablets as we know them today.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by Laurence on Tue 19th Feb 2013 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Those are not tablets as we know them today.

But tablets as we know them today don't run desktop OS's (iOS != OS X, Android != Xorg/GNU/Linux). It was never a pipe dream to run desktop OSs on a tablet, not back then and certainly not now.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 18:53 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

But under today's constraints? Consumers expect fast+fluid OSes with great battery life in thin, light, and cool (as in temperature) form factors.

The tablet idea as Microsoft saw it in the early 2000s was a failed idea. Apple really brought and defined this new market segment, and it is the game Microsoft is playing now.

I think that running full Windows on a device designed to compete with the iPad wasn't really seen as logical by many prior to Windows 8. Including myself. I was one of the people who argued for scaling Windows Phone up to tablet sizes.

However after using Windows 8, after seeing its battery life, and its new APIs, I see that the point is to unify the codebases.

Windows devices run Windows at heart. Real Windows, not WinCE with a limited kernel.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by Laurence on Wed 20th Feb 2013 00:34 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

But under today's constraints? Consumers expect fast+fluid OSes with great battery life in thin, light, and cool (as in temperature) form factors.

The tablet idea as Microsoft saw it in the early 2000s was a failed idea. Apple really brought and defined this new market segment, and it is the game Microsoft is playing now.

No it's not. Microsoft are doing the same thing they were doing a decade ago: they're still trying to release a desktop OS for the tablet. Except this time they've bolted on a jarring shell that is so inconsistent and counter-intuitive that even IT professionals are struggling to use it.


I think that running full Windows on a device designed to compete with the iPad wasn't really seen as logical by many prior to Windows 8. Including myself. I was one of the people who argued for scaling Windows Phone up to tablet sizes.

That would have made sense.


However after using Windows 8, after seeing its battery life, and its new APIs, I see that the point is to unify the codebases.

You don't need to unify code bases. I repeat, no other OS vendor does this. Google aren't releasing Android on laptops; they have ChromeOS for that. OS X and iOS are hugely different as well.


Windows devices run Windows at heart. Real Windows, not WinCE with a limited kernel.

You mean that "limited" kernel that's been powering far more varied hardware and range of embedded systems than NT ever had?

Though let's be honest, the kernel is pretty much besides the point. Android and Ubuntu Desktop run the same kernel (more or less), but very different user lands. I very much doubt that NT itself needs 16GB of user land.

Or let's put it another way, what's NT's footprint on the Xbox360? It's only a few hundred megs on the original but I've never owned a 360. If MS can pull it off for a games console then they have no excuses for the fail on the tablets.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by Fergy on Tue 19th Feb 2013 20:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Is it really? I know this is heresy on OSNews, but people do actually embrace cloud computing in real life.

I have a 1GB data limit(on my phone)per month in the Netherlands. Bye bye cloud computing. At home I can go easily 100+GB.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 21:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

1GB of data will be spent during even casual browsing and media playback, I think you have a bigger issue on your hands than Windows 8. I'd look into switching carriers, that's ridiculous.

But I hear your point, and it isn't a perfect solution. Some apps (I think the SkyDrive app included) are conscious of mobile plans, data caps, and roaming because of WinRT APIs and become more conservative with data bandwidth accordingly.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by Laurence on Wed 20th Feb 2013 00:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

1GB of data will be spent during even casual browsing and media playback, I think you have a bigger issue on your hands than Windows 8. I'd look into switching carriers, that's ridiculous.

That's pretty normal

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by M.Onty on Tue 19th Feb 2013 13:01 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

Commercial success is a lagging indicator, believe it or not, but no doubt I'm sure that a lot of people who reply to this comment will try to use it to prove Microsoft is headed in the wrong direction.


Using commercial success as the yard stick to measure the soundness of a commercial company's strategy is not entirely unreasonable.

Microsoft is a company very much in transition. It isn't a simple effort to do such a management and cultural change inside of a company of that scale. There won't always be messaging consistency and sometimes things will seem disjointed, but over time, the story for Microsoft is becoming a lot clearer.

...

My point in all of this is that Microsoft isn't exactly stagnant, or fading into irrelevancy. Its just managing a mid-life crisis reasonably well. Transitions take time

...

Microsoft is a company with iffy execution, but loads of cash, and very fat cash cows. They are in print money mode for the next decade. To count them out is shortsighted and ignorant of history.


I think you're right about not writing them off yet. They could just buy their way back into the game if all else fails. As to the success of their recent 'innovations' as a way back to the top of the pile, I think it requires a degree of faith that goes beyond cold analysis to hold the view you expressed above.

Here's my view: I have no affection for Microsoft, or any of their products, which I don't use any more. But perhaps the best thing that could happen in the computer industry in the next decade would be for Microsoft to get richer and richer and richer, either by their cash cows, by innovations, or by good fortune. The richer they get, the richer Gates gets, and almost all of that goes to the eradication of deadly diseases in the real world.

I think eradicating polio, which will pave the way for the eradication of TB, even AIDS, would put all the ups and downs of MS/Google/Apple, Win/OSX/Linux, iOS/Android/BB/Win into the shade of relative irrelevance.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Using commercial success as the yard stick to measure the soundness of a commercial company's strategy is not entirely unreasonable.


Eventually, no, but I don't think it comes right away. Plenty of eventual market leaders did not become so overnight. It took Android years, many, many terrible years before it became this self sustaining powerhouse. Similarly with the 360.



I think you're right about not writing them off yet. They could just buy their way back into the game if all else fails. As to the success of their recent 'innovations' as a way back to the top of the pile, I think it requires a degree of faith that goes beyond cold analysis to hold the view you expressed above.


I think if you've seen posts where I've recently been critical, you'll see I don't make excuses for them where I think they don't deserve one. I'm very candid with my opinion of what Microsoft should fix. I just don't think that they need to fundamentally change direction. I feel that they actually have a compelling value proposition, they just really, really suck at closing the deal.

Another example I'd give of a dramatic turn around is Windows Live. Anyone remember the inexcusable mess that was? Look how it is now. Outlook. Skydrive. People (contacts in the cloud). Office 365. Its becoming way more coherent.

Reply Score: 3

Bill Gates remains the chairman
by Nth_Man on Tue 19th Feb 2013 12:27 UTC
Nth_Man
Member since:
2010-05-16

> he still keeps a close eye on the company he co-founded

Bill Gates remains the [chairman of the board at Microsoft](http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/exec/billg/), and hand-picked all the other board members - who pick the CEO and evaluate his performance, give him goals and guidance, set his pay, bonuses and options, and set policy. Bill Gates is still very much responsible for what goes on there, and weighs in on every big decision.

Reply Score: 5

Well
by twitterfire on Tue 19th Feb 2013 14:01 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

Windows was their best selling product and they did poor in the mobile space so they decided to sell Windows on mobile devices, too. Bad idea.

Unifying desktop and mobile operating systems might be a nice idea but not if you do it at any cost.

Cramming Windows on mobile devices sucks and forcing desktop users into using a mobile UI like Metro is a terrible idea, too.

They should have gone the Apple way: one OS for the desktop with a desktop UI and one very slim OS for phone and tablet. Try to unify mobile and desktop OS little by little.

They still don't have a native framework for GUI RAD like Qt. MFC is a joke in 2013. WPF is cool but you can't develop native apps, which is a shame. Why not enable WPF for native apps? And if you kill XNA, why don't let C# programmers use DirectX?

Imo they should do the following: let both C# and C++ developers target WPF and Metro using both managed and unmanaged code and let C# developers link with DirectX using both managed and native code.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Well
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:13 UTC in reply to "Well"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Windows was their best selling product and they did poor in the mobile space so they decided to sell Windows on mobile devices, too. Bad idea.


Windows Mobile actually achieved decent sales success and Windows Phone has sold millions of devices. The only issue is that it is not hundreds of millions of devices, but hey, things are improving.

I'm not entirely sure its a bad idea, and people who have tried Windows Phones find they generally review very well, perform very well, and have acceptable battery life.


Unifying desktop and mobile operating systems might be a nice idea but not if you do it at any cost.

Cramming Windows on mobile devices sucks and forcing desktop users into using a mobile UI like Metro is a terrible idea, too.


I don't think Desktop users are forced into using Metro at all, in fact, I'm writing this comment on IE10 running on the Windows 8 desktop. This is a myth.


They should have gone the Apple way: one OS for the desktop with a desktop UI and one very slim OS for phone and tablet. Try to unify mobile and desktop OS little by little.


Apple's strategy made sense for Apple. They bootstrapped their Tablet OS on their Phone OS. Microsoft has bootstrapped their Tablet OS on their Desktop OS.

Both leveraged success in one area to attempt to create success in another area. Its paying off for Microsoft. Their Windows Store is still growing at an astonishing rate.

What has actually happened is amazing. Now any developer, be it a student, or just a hobbyist in their basement, can write a good app using very good tools, and make some additional income through the Store. This has significantly lowered the barrier to entry on Windows when it comes to software development.


They still don't have a native framework for GUI RAD like Qt. MFC is a joke in 2013. WPF is cool but you can't develop native apps, which is a shame. Why not enable WPF for native apps? And if you kill XNA, why don't let C# programmers use DirectX?


WPF is a large, complex, largely managed code beast. It is amazingly powerful, but with that power comes a complexity that boggles the mind. You can do anything in WPF, including shoot your foot off.

Metro takes WPF slims it down, simplifies it, and makes it suitable for development in 2013. It also enables you to use it from C++ which is something you asked for.

As for DirectX, Windows 8 has made this easier with the Windows Runtime. Now you can just write a simple DirectX wrapper in C++/CX, deploy it as a Windows Runtime component, and project it into C# and use it as if it were a C# class.

In fact, this is exactly what SharpDx does on their Metro profile. If you're looking for something close to XNA, try MonoGame which is Mono's implementation of XNA and works on Windows 8.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Well
by twitterfire on Tue 19th Feb 2013 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Well"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11


Metro takes WPF slims it down, simplifies it, and makes it suitable for development in 2013. It also enables you to use it from C++ which is something you asked for.
No, I didn't ask for this. WinRT is forcing me to distribute an application trough Windows Store, which is something I dislike.

What I asked for, is a quality (as in Qt) framework with RAD tools for developing GUI apps which is usable from both C# and C++ and which is available to both managed and native applications. Metro/WinRT isn't something like that.


As for DirectX, Windows 8 has made this easier with the Windows Runtime. Now you can just write a simple DirectX wrapper in C++/CX, deploy it as a Windows Runtime component, and project it into C# and use it as if it were a C# class.

I know that and I dislike it. I also know about SharpDx and I dislike the fact that I need it to write DirectX apps using C#. I want Microsoft to add official support of C# to DirectX.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Well
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 19:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

No, I didn't ask for this. WinRT is forcing me to distribute an application trough Windows Store, which is something I dislike.


I'm sorry, but this is a reality you'll have to accept. The Windows Store is the future of application development on Windows.

You wanted a native XAML stack, sure, you got it, Microsoft agreed with you. With the Windows Store, you come to a fundamental disagreement with their vision for the future.

That's fine, you can't please everyone on everything they want. I'm with you on the need for a native XAML stack though, and for me, I'm pleased I got it.


What I asked for, is a quality (as in Qt) framework with RAD tools for developing GUI apps which is usable from both C# and C++ and which is available to both managed and native applications. Metro/WinRT isn't something like that.


Metro is exactly that. I just don't think you've used it enough. Everything in that paragraph I can do using WinRT.

In fact, I can do even more. I can write half of my app in C++, and have it seamlessly project itself into C# where I don't need to do any interop.

A C++ WinRT component would still be new'd up like a C# object. That's amazing.


I know that and I dislike it. I also know about SharpDx and I dislike the fact that I need it to write DirectX apps using C#. I want Microsoft to add official support of C# to DirectX.


It'd be nice if they did, and they might in the future. I just don't know if the performance hit would be worth it for a lot of scenarios.

The mapping of types in WinRT would make writing a low level API component pretty much a non-starter. But who knows.

I do hope they write a nice fill-in for XNA.

Reply Score: 3

Money
by twitterfire on Tue 19th Feb 2013 14:35 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

If money are the problem, they can try to resurrect Steve Jobs from the dead and hire him as a CEO. I bet than in 2 years MSFT shares will worth 10 times they worth now. If resurrection is not possible, they can use a medium and hire Jobs over a long distance. ;)

That way they can fire 90% of the employees, because they can copy most of the software and throw some gay UI over that.

Reply Score: 1

Not fading away
by twitterfire on Tue 19th Feb 2013 15:08 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

Microsoft are not fading away. They are just as successful as before when it comes to desktop, mobile and server market share.

On desktop they do great, on mobile devices very poor, on consoles they do great, on servers and data center they do an average job and when it comes to cloud, they do average.

They aren't doing much better than 3 or 3 or 5 years ago, but they aren't doing worse either. That's not fading away, that's just stagnation.

And if Bill isn't happy, why the heck doesn't he push for a new management? And try to hire guys with visions and ideas not just technically skilled guys.

Look at Google, damn it! I did a set of Google interviews and I know what kind of people do they seek and how they manage the employees, how they assign and evaluate work, how is to work at Google. Microsoft is just too rigid, inflexible, frozen in a stiff corporate mentality. If Eric Schmidt will ever be in search for a job, they should hire him.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not fading away
by cdude on Tue 19th Feb 2013 15:41 UTC in reply to "Not fading away"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

On consoles is just not a total disaster thanks to Sony's customer punishment. XBox still has a long way to go to break even and bring back all the money home it took to get it into market.

Same cash-throw strategy failed to work for Bing and WP cause competition isn't as stupid as Sony there.

And competition comes. Chromebook and Android, Valve game consoles just started.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Not fading away
by Nelson on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Not fading away"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

The Xbox isn't about making money. Its about having influence in the living room.

That you can't see that is very telling. Microsoft is now in the best position it can possibly be in for conquering the living room, the TV is the next stage for the war of ecosystems and no one is better off than MS.

Even Apple is itching to get into this space. Microsoft was way way ahead of the curve with IPTV and what they've done with mindshare, turn people's perceptions of an Xbox from a Console to an Entertainment Hub is important in their next step to this end.

If Microsoft can keep their execution up, keep landing content deals, then the living room is theirs (that was after all, the entire reason for Microsoft even launching a console)

Keep in mind that consoles are a cutthroat market with razor thin margins. Its never been about gaming influence as much as its been about maintaining Windows and pushing Windows into the living room.

Its also had a halo effect in keeping DirectX relevant via the Xbox 360. Ensuring that the majority of games that used OpenGL were slow ports was a huge victory for them when it comes to changing developer hearts and minds.

Bing is actually doing well, and moving to do better, and I think this is one area of Microsoft where the pace of innovation is high. Bing has come a long way and it is extremely well managed. They just need to make a bet on a larger scale.

Bing is the other half of a one two punch for entertainment. I'm actually very bullish on Bing, this is one sector where they have nowhere to go but up, and have been doing so at a good pace.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Not fading away
by zima on Sat 23rd Feb 2013 13:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not fading away"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Bing is actually doing well, and moving to do better, and I think this is one area of Microsoft where the pace of innovation is high. Bing has come a long way and it is extremely well managed.

Isn't Bing a bit meh if you're not in EN place? (or even "not in US")

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not fading away
by tanzam75 on Tue 19th Feb 2013 17:59 UTC in reply to "Not fading away"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

They aren't doing much better than 3 or 3 or 5 years ago, but they aren't doing worse either. That's not fading away, that's just stagnation.


Microsoft net income for fiscal year:

2006: $12.6 billion
2007: $14.06 billion
2008: $17.68 billion
2009: $14.57 billion
2010: $18.76 billion
2011: $23.15 billion
2012: $23.18 billion (excluding aQuantive writedown)

Tech is a peculiar industry, in which a 65% increase in earnings over 6 six years is considered "not much better." If we're not seeing a hockey stick, then we think a company is about to go bankrupt.

Edited 2013-02-19 18:00 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Not fading away
by twitterfire on Tue 19th Feb 2013 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Not fading away"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

Going from 2006: $12.6 billion to 2012: $23.18 billion it is 100% more profit, not just 65%.

Reply Score: 2

PieterGen
Member since:
2012-01-13

I'd say this is what happens to all large tech comapies, especially if they are enterprise-oriented.

They start out by making innovative, new, "disruptive" products. Then they grow. Being bigger = being more bureaucratic and = taking less risks. Why risk to company if you are successful? So growth leads to "milking the cows". Also, their new corporate customers are also, by definition, risk averse.

So the formerly innovative IT-company gets big and risk averse, and has clients who are big and risk averse. And that means there is room for a new "disrupter". And so the wheel spins.....

I also think that Open Source software is almost allways more on the forefront of innovation, because there are no companies behind it who try to lock-in customers. Instead, this innovation is tech driven and not profit driven.

Edited 2013-02-19 15:54 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Tue 19th Feb 2013 19:21 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Even if Microsoft has total failure in mobile and with Windows 8, it still is doing a lot of business with government and the military. If Windows died, Microsoft would certainly not die with it.

Reply Score: 3

not satisfied?
by TechGeek on Tue 19th Feb 2013 22:45 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Not satisfied? Its a freakin greek tragedy. Nokia which jumped all aboard the Microsoft ship went from 35% of the market 2 years ago to 3% today. That's pretty much a catastrophic failure. I wouldn't be surprised to see them out of business soon. Course, thats one less big supporter of Linux and open source in the market. I think that was the whole point anyway. I think Microsoft just couldn't fill the vacuum left by their decline. Instead Samsung came along and scooped it up. Better them than Microsoft anyways.

Reply Score: 2