Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 7th Apr 2014 22:17 UTC
Microsoft

It looks like the Internet of Things could be the next big computing battleground, and Microsoft seems willing to sacrifice a few battles in order to win that war. Facebook is chasing virtual reality; Google wants home automation, smartwatches, and internet-connected glasses. More than 200 billion devices are likely to be connected to the internet by 2020, a huge example of the way the technology industry will shift and new battles will emerge. Satya Nadella believes the future isn't Windows desktops, Windows tablets, and Windows Phones. It's not Windows everywhere, it's Microsoft everywhere, offering software and services for every device - including an entire world of interconnected devices that have yet to be built.

The speed with which is doing this u-turn makes it quite clear that people within the company wanted to do this for a long, long time (otherwise it could not have been done this quickly), which implies that Ballmer may have simply held these changes back.

The elephant in the room here is that while people talk about Microsoft as if the company is down and out, it's still hugely profitable and has consistently been posting great financial results. It's just that Microsoft's money isn't coming from sexy products like smartphones and tablets, but from enterprise and backend stuff - stuff the technology press either can't write about, doesn't understand, or both. It's very similar to all those articles claiming Apple no longer innovates and disrupts, even though the company sent shockwaves through the microprocessor world.

In any case, it seems like Microsoft finally found the right direction in this new world.

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Microsoft's money is from lawsuits
by ozonehole on Tue 8th Apr 2014 00:50 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

The elephant in the room here is that while people talk about Microsoft as if the company is down and out, it's still hugely profitable and has consistently been posting great financial results. It's just that Microsoft's money isn't coming from sexy products like smartphones and tablets

Increasingly, Microsoft's money comes lawsuits. The huge amount they rake in by threatening Android vendors is classic. They also fund the highly misnamed Intellectual Ventures which is a blatant patent-troll.

On the technological front, I just recently had firsthand experience trying to install Linux on a Windows-8 laptop with UEFI Secure Boot. It was damn near impossible, as you couldn't boot to BIOS without first loading Windows. This is Microsoft's wet dream - force laptop makers to manufacture machines that can only run Windows.

I've been forced to buy Windows in the past (because it came pre-installed) but I will no longer do so. Windows pre-installed is in my opinion a virus. No more compromises - I'm going to vote with my wallet.

Fortunately, there are still a few ways to escape Microsoft's clutches. I just bought a desktop with no OS preinstalled - I put Debian on it without issues. When I decide that I need a new laptop, it will probably be a Chromebook.

My old 2G cell phone is Nokia, but now that Microsoft owns that company, you can rest assured that Nokia is scratched off my list when I get a replacement phone. I won't buy any Android phone if the manufacturer is paying Microsoft for a "license."

Microsoft - the company that ruined computing. I probably won't live long enough to experience the day when I can dance on Microsoft's grave, but it's nice to dream about it.

Edited 2014-04-08 00:54 UTC

Reply Score: 5

drstorm Member since:
2009-04-24

dafuq man?

Reply Parent Score: 2

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

On the technological front, I just recently had firsthand experience trying to install Linux on a Windows-8 laptop with UEFI Secure Boot. It was damn near impossible, as you couldn't boot to BIOS without first loading Windows. This is Microsoft's wet dream - force laptop makers to manufacture machines that can only run Windows.

Eh... I don't know. Yes and no. I bought a Lenovo laptop which came with Windows 8 and "Secure" Bullshit enabled, and before I attempted to install Linux I just went into the BIOS/UEFI and disabled a few things--specifically the atrocity I just mentioned, some Windows 8 presets option and a few other things. I also had the option to use (exclusively or by preference) the BIOS compatibility mode instead of UEFI during boot, but I didn't. Installed openSUSE with no trouble at all, running it now with far fewer problems than Windows 8.1 (always crashes on boot since updating).

So... as long as you're using a standard Intel/x86-based machine, you should be able to install other operating systems. For now, at least... they will probably try to lock out all competition with no way whatsoever to put anything but their own shit on a system eventually, just like they do with ARM-based machines. So... look in the BIOS and see if there's a setting; if you can't find it, look more and/or call the OEM. If you still are unable to do it, and/or they say it is not allowed, send it back and tell them where to stick it.

Reply Parent Score: 6

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

The uEFI thing is still a crap shoot. I have systems that will boot like a normal system, but you can't ever really get out of the uEFI bios and into a regular bios.

Reply Parent Score: 5

somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

you probably mean things like Secure Boot and such.

UEFI it self was supported by linux long before it was on windows. IBM X-series (their linux server series) shipped with UEFI long ago and there never was any problem.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Hans Otten Member since:
2009-12-24


Increasingly, Microsoft's money comes lawsuits. When I decide that I need a new laptop, it will probably be a Chromebook.


Where do you base your bold statement "Increasingly, Microsoft's money comes lawsuits." on?
Micorosft makes its large income (a lot) from selling licenses for software (Backoffice products like Windows server and a lot lot more of mission critical products, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows).

And yes, they are not the only company getting income from licensing their IP. All IT companies do, just have a look at teh Apple versus Samsung case. Whatever our opinion on IP is, it is done by all IT vendors, also Google, Apple, and a long long list ..

Getting a Chromebook is trading in one devil in for another evil: Google.

So get off your soapbox shouting religious opinions. Be realistic: Microsoft, Apple, Google, Oracle, Sony and all these companies are alike and have the same business practices. As a consumer I just use the most capable and affordable products and have no love or hate for any of them, and just a sane distrust for companies that make huge profits.

Reply Parent Score: 1

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

And the difference between UEFI Secureboot and a Chromebook is...you can actually turn off Secureboot! Not to mention NTLoader has supported multiple OSes at least since Win2K, maybe NT 4 but its been too long for me to remember. I find it quite ironic how many will whine about having to switch a single UEFI setting to disable Secureboot while not saying a peep about Google locking down bog standard laptops worse than cellphones.

As for TFA this is something many of us have been begging for for years, that instead of trying to jam mini desktops onto everything (or in the case of Metro trying to jam a cellphone UI onto everything) that they would instead focus on a "it just works" mantra so that the most important stuff, the data, stays the same no matter the UI and form factor.

I think we can now safely say that guys like me were correct, it WAS Ballmer putting the brakes on the company by acting like it was still the early 90s. Its just a shame they had to waste years and billions of dollars to figure that out.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Then you wake up and realize that every one of these decisions was made while Ballmer was CEO.

Low cost/free Windows was a decision made under Ballmer as rumors had been circulating for months.

Universal apps and API convergence was started under Ballmer (unless WP8.1 was developed in the month or so Satya's been CEO.

Office for iPad was undoubtedly developed while Ballmer was CEO.

The decision to open source .NET was made THREE YEARS AGO.

The fact that people jump for joy at this because they're ignorant to Ballmer's hand in this is cute, and indicative of the perception problem he faced.

Satay is great and I'm sure he'll be a fine CEO, but none of this was his doing (besides obviously playing a part in the decision making as part of the SLT, but still the buck stopped with Ballmer)

This is just Microsoft arriving at the destination that their very long roadmap depicted, people like me saw this coming. Other people call this a new Microsoft.

If you've been watching them open source project after project, SDK after SDK and integrating with open source tooling none of the .NET stuff surprises you.

If you worked with WinRT, saw WP8.0s start on convergence then none of the universal app stuff surprises you. Its just better tooling on existing concepts (PCLs) with a more shared API surface.

If you read Microsoft's developer documentation you'd see that they've been talking about adapting their UI to the form factor with adaptive layouts. This is just more formal guidance and tooling.

This should surprise no one.

Reply Parent Score: 2