Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 8th Apr 2013 18:16 UTC
Microsoft "After years of domination, Microsoft is finally facing serious threats at the cores of its business, Office and Windows. Consumers and businesses alike are largely purchasing devices based on their capabilities and form factors rather than the software contained within. Windows is slowly becoming commoditized and Microsoft's traditional allies are looking at Android and Chrome OS as viable alternatives, a trend that threatens the Windows monopoly. Microsoft faces a tricky balancing act as it faces a future that's very different from its existing business." Good article by Tom Warren.
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Chrome OS?
by emarkp on Mon 8th Apr 2013 18:47 UTC
emarkp
Member since:
2005-09-10

Precisely who is looking at Chrome OS, and for what purpose?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Chrome OS?
by wojtek on Mon 8th Apr 2013 19:09 UTC in reply to "Chrome OS?"
wojtek Member since:
2010-01-24

don't forget all those corporations that are currently switching to android!... oh lord...

it's even worst assumption that idea of net router running android, which could boost it's networking capabilities (see kikstarter / android police)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Chrome OS?
by bassbeast on Tue 9th Apr 2013 01:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Chrome OS?"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Am I the only one who reads these and hears Mel Brooks saying "Bullshit, bullshit, aaaaannnnd bullshit"? Do they have ANY idea how many fricking billions of dollars is tied up in Windows only software? the same goes for home users by the way, from little Johnny's pile of windows games to that software your grandma loves to make her little calendars with its ALL Windows only.

Frankly the ONLY one truly hurting Microsoft right now is Microsoft. Steve jobs said it more than 20 years ago "Microsoft doesn't have to lose for Apple to win" but I guess Ballmer didn't get that memo because he is so insanely focused on doing everything Apple does and getting Apple's customers (which will happen when hell freezes over, those guys are loyal as hell to the brand) that they are trashing their own company. Its completely bizarre and the fact that Ballmer can't see this is just an indication of the disconnect he has with the guys in the trenches. I mean sure they want to enter new markets but you do NOT get there by destroying the markets you already have, that's just crazy.

PCs aren't going anywhere, if anything its the opposite as what I'm seeing on the ground is everyone has PCs so incredibly powerful they just don't need a new one before the old one breaks, so there is still VERY good money to be made there and I would argue room for growth but as long as Microsoft has such a myopic vision and keeps listening to these goofballs in the press (who thought we would be buying everything from cat food to caskets online during the dotbomb, remember?) their numbers are gonna suck for the oldest reason in the book, you simply aren't giving the customer what they want.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Chrome OS?
by moondevil on Tue 9th Apr 2013 07:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Chrome OS?"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

The old timers here remember this is similar to what happened to Dec (Vax) and also IBM.

Any company might be the giant in the room, but it won't last forever, even if it takes a few decades to fall.

Eventually something will come up and the company will either die (Dec) or adapt and survive while giving space for others (IBM).

Microsoft is still the giant in the room and it won't go away anytime soon, but how many decades will they still manage?

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Chrome OS?
by bassbeast on Wed 10th Apr 2013 11:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Chrome OS?"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

In this case though its nobody but the company itself that is causing the trouble in the first place!

I mean there is a REASON Why tigerdirect has pictures of Win 7 laptops and desktops all over the place, its because that is what the customers WANT to buy, yet according to Microsoft we ALL just want tablets so its tablets all the way down over there.

And I seriously don't think it will take that long Moondevil, i really don't, just look at how the OEMs are selling Chromebooks whereas before anything but Windows was the kiss of death, and now you even have Alienware selling Ubuntu based gaming rigs.

So if MSFT doesn't change course i could see the 2020 EOL of Win 7 being the EOL of the company, because if Win 9 sucks as bad as Win 8 (and from the looks of things its even WORSE than Win 8) then everybody from businesses to the OEMs are gonna be looking at exit strategies. I mean if MSFT simply refuses to sell you an OS you want to buy, what else can you do? That hardware won't last forever and if people can't get something they like from MSFT somebody like Google will be happy to take that business.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Chrome OS?
by shotsman on Thu 11th Apr 2013 09:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Chrome OS?"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Quote
now you even have Alienware selling Ubuntu based gaming rigs.

And exactly how do you see that as an advantage?
Unless they are using the LTS version. Otherwise, I'd look at some other distro especially given their recent performance wrt bugs and then there is that thing called (dis)Unity.

Many of my friends who were long time Ubuntu fans have deserted ship to Debian, Mint and even (say it quietly) CentOS.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Chrome OS?
by bassbeast on Fri 12th Apr 2013 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Chrome OS?"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Wow, I so rarely get to use this in a sentence...WHOOSH. Thanks.

You completely missed that point, the point was not even 5 years ago selling ANY system with anything other than Windows was the kiss of death, sure Dell had a handful but they were hidden on a back page with a half a dozen warnings like you were about to wander into the adult section of the video store.

Now I see Alienware actually promoting a non MSFT gaming rig, you have Chromebooks on the front pages of Tiger...this is unheard of shotsman, completely unheard of and something we haven't seen since IBM pulled out of selling OS/2 20 years ago.

This is why I'm saying I don't think MSFT has that long to change course as its obvious the OEMs are already trying options and you KNOW what that means...they are looking at exit strategies. that is really REALLY not good for MSFT as a company which is why I'll be shocked if Win 9 is as big a fail as i think that Ballmer doesn't get punted by the board, he is killing the company faster than anyone could have even predicted with his "Faux Apple" strategy. Ironic that every time I type his name spellcheck wants to put "embalmer" as that is what he is doing to Bill's company, he is killing the corp.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Chrome OS?
by benali72 on Sat 13th Apr 2013 08:24 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Chrome OS?"
benali72 Member since:
2008-05-03

Bassbeast has got it spot on. MSFT is in trouble because they're messing with their existing business & customer base.

As with Vista, they can pull out of this if Windows 9 re-establishes greater compatibility with the past (flick-on START menu, more normal-looking desktop for desktop users, etc). But if Win 9 continues to disappoint the user base, watch out MSFT. The new form factors are legitimizing alternative OS's, and if MSFT continues to mess with their base, they may fall quicker than one could imagine.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Chrome OS?
by Wafflez on Tue 9th Apr 2013 16:42 UTC in reply to "Chrome OS?"
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

True, pretty much everyone's using Exchange and SharePoint in my country.

As long as business uses Microsoft's platform (and trying to migrate business even to newer versions is hard enough, so switching platform is out of question for sure) and people work on their Windows company computers... Well, I don't see many office people embracing a different platform at home.

I really doubt Microsoft is going to die. Tablets, phones — yes and that's irrelevant. Jobs died, please let his post pc dream die too.

Reply Score: 3

A fork in the road?
by Tony Swash on Mon 8th Apr 2013 19:28 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

The article was very interesting but I could not see clearly how Microsoft hopes to grow in the new tech environments. Microsoft's problem is this: it is selling almost no software in the mobile device markets and at the same time those mobile markets are driving down the price of software. If Microsoft lowers prices in it's old market to remain competitive and to encourage the sale of devices using it's software it will shrink the scale and profitability of that legacy business. That would be a viable strategy if Microsoft was making up the squeeze on software prices by increasing scale by selling into the new device markets, but it is precisely that which it has failed to do. If Microsoft never manages to become a player of significance in the device markets and is left with it's legacy businesses it will see those legacy businesses shrink over time because it will be impossible to sell OS and software licences at the sorts of prices and mark ups it has got used to. It is a very, very tricky strategic situation for Microsoft.

The obvious option is to abandon the ambition of being an OS player in the new markets, drop the notion of using productivity apps like Office as an OS leverage, and become instead a supplier of iOS and Android software. A very difficult thing for Microsoft to swallow and they probably could not do it with Ballmer in charge. I am sure releasing a well designed touch version of Office for iOS (instead of retaining Office as a Windows RT and Windows Phone exclusive) will be the first indicator that they have reluctantly started down that path.

Reply Score: 3

RE: A fork in the road?
by jimmmy on Mon 8th Apr 2013 21:54 UTC in reply to "A fork in the road?"
jimmmy Member since:
2012-01-02

In short, Microsoft needs to become a software company rather than stay a Windows company.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: A fork in the road?
by leech on Mon 8th Apr 2013 22:29 UTC in reply to "RE: A fork in the road?"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

In short, Microsoft needs to become a software company rather than stay a Windows company.


s/become/go back to being/

Fixed that for you...

They used to be a software company, way back when. Remember Flight Simulator?

This is what happens when someone puts all their eggs in one basket. If it weren't for the Xbox, they'd have a really bleak future. But then again their next system sounds even worse, Windows 8 is horrible, and the list of crappy products goes on.

Microsoft is it's own worse enemy.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: A fork in the road?
by woegjiub on Mon 8th Apr 2013 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A fork in the road?"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

"In short, Microsoft needs to become a software company rather than stay a Windows company.


s/become/go back to being/

Fixed that for you...

They used to be a software company, way back when. Remember Flight Simulator?

This is what happens when someone puts all their eggs in one basket. If it weren't for the Xbox, they'd have a really bleak future. But then again their next system sounds even worse, Windows 8 is horrible, and the list of crappy products goes on.

Microsoft is it's own worse enemy.
"

I have to disagree here; Blue seems like a great thing, if they can pull it off, and windows 8 is definitely a step in the right direction.

Content needs to use maximum space, so having fluid applications that use the entire screen or tile is definitely advantageous over the archaic floating windows method.

As a GNU/Linux+TWM user, I have to say, I rather think Windows 8 is an improvement over windows 7; you just need to drop the old methods for the more efficient ones (hotkeys, maximised real-estate, etc.)
It's easier said than done, though; look at how strongly people cling to their beloved gnome2 - there are now essentially 4 implementations of it (mate, cinnamon, gnome classic, xfce [arguable, but behaves immensely similarly])

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: A fork in the road?
by pandronic on Tue 9th Apr 2013 06:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A fork in the road?"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Blue seems like a great thing


Metro apps need filesystem access and the ability to truly multitask (and run in the background) like normal apps before anyone can take them seriously.

Also, MS needs to bring back unified search to Windows. The current search is really awful.

Edited 2013-04-09 06:45 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: A fork in the road?
by woegjiub on Tue 9th Apr 2013 12:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A fork in the road?"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

I had no idea of those limitations; I was referring to the metro interface and the rapid updates.

Stupid limitations like that need to go, for sure.
I wonder how they thought it was okay, when even android has better.

Edited 2013-04-09 12:04 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: A fork in the road?
by pandronic on Tue 9th Apr 2013 12:13 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: A fork in the road?"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

My theory is that Metro is just a mobile ecosystem that got strapped on top of good old Windows to help develop the app ecosystem. That's not to say that these kind of limitations are OK for a mobile device. My HTC8S running Windows Phone 8 is just a glorified feature phone - a nice one at that, but certainly not a smartphone.

Reply Score: 3

RE: A fork in the road?
by kwan_e on Mon 8th Apr 2013 23:15 UTC in reply to "A fork in the road?"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

It's strange how Apple apologists attempt to ridicule those who talks about Apple's imminent but not-happening downfall, but forget to realize that they've been predicting Microsoft's downfall for ever too.

People have also predicted IBM's downfall too.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: A fork in the road?
by JAlexoid on Tue 9th Apr 2013 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE: A fork in the road?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

IBM was almost bankrupt in the early 90-ies.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: A fork in the road?
by kwan_e on Tue 9th Apr 2013 13:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A fork in the road?"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

And then it came back. Therefore, the prediction was wrong. How was that even a response?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: A fork in the road?
by JAlexoid on Thu 11th Apr 2013 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A fork in the road?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

IBM had to buy another company's business to recover.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A fork in the road?
by Nelson on Tue 9th Apr 2013 03:06 UTC in reply to "A fork in the road?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

The article was very interesting but I could not see clearly how Microsoft hopes to grow in the new tech environments. Microsoft's problem is this: it is selling almost no software in the mobile device markets and at the same time those mobile markets are driving down the price of software.


It depends how you define mobile, do you include ultra portable laptops? Do you include just cell phones and traditional tablets, what about tablets that are full blown PCs?

The market is being redefined as we speak, and on some terms that may be favorable to Microsoft.


If Microsoft lowers prices in it's old market to remain competitive and to encourage the sale of devices using it's software it will shrink the scale and profitability of that legacy business. That would be a viable strategy if Microsoft was making up the squeeze on software prices by increasing scale by selling into the new device markets, but it is precisely that which it has failed to do.


I think they just need to manage a transition carefully. Hybrid device are going to be the next big thing. If Microsoft can perfect the form factor by iterating on the Surface, then they've already beaten a lot of the major players to the punch. Its a healthy start.

As people start to want to use their devices to work and play, its down to a set of value propositions. Do people still value their Windows software for productivity?

Will people choose Office on Windows over an Office clone on iOS or Android?

Even beyond Windows, or other mobile OSes optimized for serious work? Can you multitask more effectively on iOS or Android vs Windows 8?


If Microsoft never manages to become a player of significance in the device markets and is left with it's legacy businesses it will see those legacy businesses shrink over time because it will be impossible to sell OS and software licences at the sorts of prices and mark ups it has got used to. It is a very, very tricky strategic situation for Microsoft.


I'm not convinced that Microsoft's dominance is at all threatened, or the PC market is shrinking as much as its evolving. Plus, the lul in PC sales will eventually create a boom which will benefit Windows 8. Its not like people are exactly running to ChromeOS. Acer sold something like 400,000 chromebooks in like 8 months. (While hilariously making fun of the Surface which sold that much off of a $1300 model in a month)


The obvious option is to abandon the ambition of being an OS player in the new markets, drop the notion of using productivity apps like Office as an OS leverage, and become instead a supplier of iOS and Android software. A very difficult thing for Microsoft to swallow and they probably could not do it with Ballmer in charge.


No. No. God no. They'd be throwing away the keys to the kingdom. Microsoft has the most competent cloud computing platform built on Windows, Office still sets the bar for productivity suites, and the installed base of Windows is stupidly big.

Windows users still vastly outnumber iOS, Android, OSX, and Linux combined. If Microsoft can herd even a fraction of those users to Windows 8, they exposure would be incredible.

There's evidence they're doing just that, albeit slowly. If they can get a ton of eyeballs on the Windows Store, the value proposition to developers will be too strong and their platform will skyrocket, having a halo effect on their services.


I am sure releasing a well designed touch version of Office for iOS (instead of retaining Office as a Windows RT and Windows Phone exclusive) will be the first indicator that they have reluctantly started down that path.


They can do this without giving up on mobile. The two aren't mutually exclusive. They already offer Outlook, SkyDrive, and a bunch of Xbox Live games on iOS.

Windows Azure supports PaaS using Windows technologies or you can run your flavor of Linux using IaaS. They recently launched an off premise implementation of Active Directory with federation with on premise instances.

The Xbox 360, and the next, which is going to run the Windows Runtime and a variant of Windows, is another area they've been successful in -- and an area which was the subject of ridicule not unlike that seen with Windows Phone.

I think no one needs this to happen more than Microsoft. Its going to take a herculean effort, but I'm confident they'll get through it in more or less a favorable position to them.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: A fork in the road?
by Kivada on Tue 9th Apr 2013 09:23 UTC in reply to "RE: A fork in the road?"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Maybe so, but still, Microsoft's failure, just as with any other monopoly, is good for the industry as a whole.

We can only hope that Microsoft, Google's and Apple's big market share holders take a big hit and allow for more players to take to the field.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: A fork in the road?
by tylerdurden on Wed 10th Apr 2013 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE: A fork in the road?"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17


No. No. God no. They'd be throwing away the keys to the kingdom. Microsoft has the most competent cloud computing platform built on Windows, Office still sets the bar for productivity suites, and the installed base of Windows is stupidly big.

Windows users still vastly outnumber iOS, Android, OSX, and Linux combined. If Microsoft can herd even a fraction of those users to Windows 8, they exposure would be incredible.


Unfortunately for Microsoft, the mobile market has already surpassed the PC Market. Smart phones have outsold PC for a couple of years, and tablets will be there in a couple of years.

Those two markets are comoditiced now and have brutal growth rates, the problem for Microsoft is that they do not have a controlling presence in either. And this is a new situation for them.

Although Microsoft may have the keys to a very large kingdom, that kingdom is stagnant. So who knows...things are going to get interesting.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: A fork in the road?
by ilovebeer on Thu 11th Apr 2013 14:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A fork in the road?"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Although Microsoft may have the keys to a very large kingdom, that kingdom is stagnant. So who knows...things are going to get interesting.

What world are you living in where continuing to sell hundreds of millions of units per year is considered "stagnant"? Also, do you think peoples home computers are the only place Microsoft is deeply entrenched? I hope not because that's far from the truth.

Microsoft isn't going anywhere any time soon whether you like it or not regardless of their success or failure on cell phones.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: A fork in the road?
by tylerdurden on Thu 11th Apr 2013 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A fork in the road?"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Sometimes it's helpful to actually read a post before replying to it...

Reply Score: 2

v Or....
by tkeith on Tue 9th Apr 2013 11:04 UTC