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Steve Ballmer is pained by his company's struggles, but his attempts to turn around his company's struggling units have seen little success thus far.   (Source: Reuters)

Microsoft Zune is one of the company's struggling products. Others include its search efforts, its mobile phone efforts, and its tablet efforts.  (Source: LIFE)
CNN Money says that the end may be near for Microsoft's attempts to appeal to the masses

Amid record profits Microsoft has serious cause for concern.  It is coming off the high of the fastest-selling operating system in its history -- Windows 7.  That OS sent its profits soaring and convinced some that Microsoft was no longer on the retreat.

But part of Windows 7's success was due to how poorly received Vista was.  With Windows 8 landing reportedly in 2012, the company may have significant difficulties in convincing the average consumer to upgrade to its latest and great OS.

Other than the Windows brand, Xbox and Microsoft Office are the company's other two major successes in the consumer sector.  But the Xbox trails Nintendo's “family friendly” Wii and the Office team is getting seriously nervous about growing consumer interest in OpenOffice.

On the other hand, Bing has failed to gain even 10 percent of the search market in most metrics, despite a massive ad push and a deal with Yahoo. Zune remains a tiny player in the MP3 market, having failed to become a true competitor in terms of sales to Apple's iPod line.  And Microsoft's smartphone empire, once a major player, is in rebuilding mode after the disastrous Kin and ill-received Windows Mobile 6.5.  It is placing its hopes on Windows Phone 7, but that phone enters a packed market.

Internet Explorer, Microsoft's browser, has long led the market, but has seen a steady decline in recent years, which may allow Firefox and Chrome to eventually reach its formerly insurmountable market share peak.  Microsoft's key hope here is a new product, Internet Explorer 9.  

So while it seems that 
CNN Money's recent headline, "Microsoft is a dying consumer brand", is a bit sensational, it is a claim that is grounded in some reality.  

One of the key points in the article is that aside from the struggles of many of Microsoft's consumer "expansion" business units, it is also bleeding executive talent, like many other struggling firms (HP, Yahoo, etc.).  States the report, "Microsoft's executive suite is in turmoil. CFO Chris Liddel, entertainment unit head Robbie Bach, device design leader J Allard and business division chief Stephen Elop have left within the past year. Ray Ozzie joined the exit parade last week."

The report praises Microsoft's recent efforts, but concludes in cautionary fashion, "Microsoft just has to hope [they're] not too late."

Much like the Romans or Greeks, Microsoft has built a mighty empire, a key part of which are expansions into new arenas -- in Microsoft's case phones, video game consoles, and internet services.  

But much like the Roman empire fell, Microsoft appears dangerously close to losing its expansions to hungrier parties.  But much like Rome, it will likely hold on to its central holdings (Windows, Internet Explorer, Xbox, and Microsoft Office) for some time, even if its other efforts fall into commercial purgatory.

The talent gap is absolutely a concern for Microsoft.  And equally concerning is the fact that the company is being led by Steve Ballmer.  Mr. Ballmer, while a brilliant tactician in some regards and a man with obviously enormous love for the company, has failed to execute a strategy to turn around the company's struggling units -- or one that works at least.  

To succeed, Microsoft may need to move on without Mr. Ballmer.  But who to pick to lead the world's largest software company, perhaps the most powerful technology company in the world?  The leading candidates have already left the company.  That means that, essentially, there's no easy answer to Microsoft's leadership issues and that the ongoing risk to the company is tremendous.

Is Microsoft's consumer brand "dying"?  Not yet, in our minds.  But it lacks the hunger that it once did.  And it most certainly sorely misses the leadership of its founder and chief visionary -- Bill Gates.



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Judged by ratings...
By jskirwin on 10/27/2010 2:21:28 PM , Rating: 4
A similar thing can be said about CNN.




RE: Judged by ratings...
By dusteater on 10/27/2010 2:26:53 PM , Rating: 4
Exactly true.

And I think Microsoft has also been treated unfairly worldwide in anti-trust cases. If anyone deserves that it should be Google, who really is an internet search/advertising monopoly, but of course no one will go after them. Because Microsoft is evil right? And Google's motto is "Don't Be Evil", so they must not be?

It's just a shame Microsoft is forced to work twice as hard as anyone else in these fields because of old biases.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Spivonious on 10/27/2010 2:33:35 PM , Rating: 4
Exactly.

Apple bundles all sorts of software with OSX and receives praise. Microsoft bundles a fraction of that and receives lawsuits.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Shadowself on 10/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Judged by ratings...
By sprockkets on 10/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Judged by ratings...
By jhb116 on 10/27/2010 7:22:41 PM , Rating: 4
Are you even old enough to use Netscape? The reason IE took over - in large part - is because Netscape became bloated (much like many Microsoft products today) and lost its appeal.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By The Insolent One on 10/27/2010 8:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
I call bullshit here. I am old enough to remember Netscape and NCSA Mosaic (as if either of those matter).

Even as late in the game as when AOL bought Netscape, the Netscape browser was faster than IE.

Netscape's death was due to IE being integrated. Nothing more complicated than that.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Boze on 10/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Judged by ratings...
By The Insolent One on 10/27/2010 11:28:57 PM , Rating: 2
Methinks the name of that bundled suite was called Netscape Communicator.

I was only referring to the browser (Netscape Navigator).


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Fritzr on 10/28/10, Rating: -1
RE: Judged by ratings...
By JonnyDough on 10/28/2010 5:57:06 AM , Rating: 2
You said:

"present"
"penetration"
"keep experimenting until they find the combination"
and "crush"

all in the same sentence.

**Giggles like a little school girl**


RE: Judged by ratings...
By pjpizza on 10/28/2010 5:51:39 AM , Rating: 1
When IE 5.5 came around, Netscape required some Java version in the background, which just slowed down my browsing to a crawl. IE 5.5 worked like a charm, much much faster, and I'm sure that's around when Netscape died (good riddance!).

Netscape was maybe a little more in compliance with w3.org, but it ran like a freakin snail in tar...


RE: Judged by ratings...
By pjpizza on 10/28/2010 5:55:35 AM , Rating: 2
Not to say competition is bad… Thank goodness for competition (or maybe we’d be stuck with IE 5.5… Ewwwwwwww...)


RE: Judged by ratings...
By sprockkets on 10/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Judged by ratings...
By Spivonious on 10/28/2010 8:35:35 AM , Rating: 2
ActiveX is no more a threat to standards than Flash or Java. It allowed COM controls to run in the browser.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By sprockkets on 10/28/2010 1:57:58 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, and who was allowed to use ActiveX? Microsoft and Microsoft themselves.

As an example, the old SBC portal page for DSL signups was IE only. This caused major headaches for support since we couldn't register them ourselves, and IE on the majority of computers was hijacked into not working properly.

Thankfully that isn't the case since nowadays activex is depreciated.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Shadowself on 10/27/2010 7:28:59 PM , Rating: 3
Microsoft had more than one anti trust suit in the U.S. The one concerning the integration of IE was the second major one. The first major one was over a totally different issue -- forcing hardware vendors to buy a MS OS even if they loaded another OS onto the sytem was the primary issue if I recall correctly. Additionally, Microsoft was caught doing things that never went to court (like having both public [slow] APIs that they told to ISVs and private [fast] APIs that they used internally for products like MS Office and other MS applications).

From the mid 80s to recent times there has been a long, long list of claimed malfeasance -- most of which has never been proven.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Skywalker123 on 10/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Judged by ratings...
By jonmcc33 on 10/28/2010 1:41:08 AM , Rating: 1
Guess how people got onto the web before Netscape and IE came along? They used the garbage that came with ISP CDs, such as AOL, Prodigy, etc. Microsoft included a free product with their OS so that people can use it instead of the crap that AOL provided.

The reason it took off so well wasn't because it was included with the OS per se. It was because Netscape became crap, especially after AOL acquired them.

The only bad thing that Microsoft did was ActiveX and not updating the browser for over 5 years. The reason I swtiched from Microsoft to Firefox wasn't security. It was stability and features (ie tabs). Of course Mozilla has became quite stagnant themselves with stability and features. With a vanilla install the browser is pretty featureless. It's also horribly unstable with Javascript. So I have since switched to Opera.

Anyway, it has nothing to do with including a free product with their OS. Apple does the same thing with Safari and nobody complains. It's their software so they can include it if they want. If you don't want to use it then use IE to go to your browser of choice's website and download it. End of problem.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/27/2010 6:52:32 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Microsoft incorrectly claimed -- to customers and even in court -- that removing IE from Windows would cripple Windows.


An OS that ships without a browser IS crippled by definition. How are you going to get drivers and software and etc etc without a browser!? You REALLY rather load up a third party browser off a floppy or disk before you can actually USE your OS??? In today's Internet driven times of complete connectivity with the world at all times, an OS without a browser is the dumbest possible idea you could come up with.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Shadowself on 10/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Judged by ratings...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/27/2010 8:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
To the end user, what's the difference?


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Shadowself on 10/28/2010 12:19:33 AM , Rating: 1
Huge difference.

To the average end user (and many, many corporate IT teams -- as what corporate IT decrees the end user must use) being told by Microsoft that the IE browser was an integral and non removable part of Windows made it the only browser they considered. If IE had been a stand alone app like Navigator or another browser, very likely people and organizations would have done comparisons and may not have chosen IE.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By zmatt on 10/28/2010 8:51:23 AM , Rating: 2
Actually Most IT departments are smart enough to make their own decisions about that. Speaking from an IT perspective, we use IE not because we choose to, but because a lot of the outdated and unstable specialty software that our users have will only work with IE 6. IT only has so much power. We can dictate what is on the machine until it pisses off the higher ups.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Hieyeck on 10/28/2010 11:41:11 AM , Rating: 3
Not exactly true.

Until someone can build a browser that can be as locked down as IE via group policy, major corps will stick with IE.

Why lock down settings and choice? Remember, PEBKAC is the answer to most computer issues... Not that I'm complaining. It keeps me (and I suspect many other DT trolls employed).


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/29/2010 6:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To the average end user (and many, many corporate IT teams -- as what corporate IT decrees the end user must use) being told by Microsoft that the IE browser was an integral and non removable part of Windows made it the only browser they considered.


That makes no sense. First off show me where Microsoft "told" IT departments everywhere IE was the ONLY browser they could use.

Secondly, even if that was the case, think about it. So just because you think you can't uninstall a browser means you can't use another browser of your choosing? Huh? Explain to me how that makes sense. It's not like IE was 10 gigabytes and you couldn't just make another browser your default, delete the IE shortcuts, and go on your happy way as if IE didn't exist.

I haven't deleted IE from MY Windows, but I still use Firefox as my main browser and Chrome for other stuff. How is having IE on my machine adversely affecting my use of other browsers?

Your arguments are retarded. Seriously.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By sprockkets on 10/27/2010 10:29:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
An OS that ships without a browser IS crippled by definition. How are you going to get drivers and software and etc etc without a browser!? You REALLY rather load up a third party browser off a floppy or disk before you can actually USE your OS???


The point being made is that Microsoft falsified evidence to make it look like Win98 without IE would run slower. They were forced to admit they lied to the court.

Bundling IE wasn't so much an issue as Microsoft FORCING OEMs to not bundle Netscape or even Quicktime.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/28/2010 9:13:29 AM , Rating: 2
I fail to see, again, how bundling IE with Windows means OEM's also can't install a browser of their choosing as well.

Excuse me, but I guess I have missed the feature of IE that blocked all other browsers from working??

Please, it's ancient history anyway. Give it up.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Hieyeck on 10/28/2010 11:45:12 AM , Rating: 1
Um... what kind of idiot are you...? Money, it always comes back to money. There's probably some stipuation how a Windows license costs X so long as IE is bundled.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/28/2010 9:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
You're the idiot. Microsoft does NOT make money off IE and never has. Arguing over what MS bundles with Windows is stupid in this respect, because once you have Windows MS has already profited from you anyway. MS is NOT in the browser business.

quote:
There's probably


Probably doesn't cut it. Either there is or there isn't, I'm leaning toward isn't.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By The Insolent One on 10/27/2010 6:38:10 PM , Rating: 2
I know this might be a little rudimentary for some of you, but purely what or how much you give away (bundle) has nothing to do with anti-trust issues.

However, when you have a virtual monopoly (95% + or -) in a very visible & growing market, and you give the appearance of using your freebies or bundling in a predatory way, that is what gets regulators salivating.

If you were to hand out $100 bills on the street to everyone who walks by, unless your company is a monopoly, no one would stop you.

And just to point out the obvious, neither Apple (nor anyone else) has even a majority of the market using their OS and/or apps.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By nowhereman95 on 10/29/2010 12:19:14 PM , Rating: 2
Why do you mention Apple? Do they still even make computers? Even if they do, do they matter? Time to move on.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Taft12 on 10/27/2010 3:08:24 PM , Rating: 2
What does anything you just said have to do with MS's brand "dying".

Dying is indeed a tad sensationalist, but it sure doesn't have the mainstream consumer awareness of Apple or Google.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By mcnabney on 10/27/2010 3:11:01 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree. There are fully functional and accepted options to everything that Google does. If Google ceased to exist tomorrow we would all have to update some bookmarks and many would have to scamper for a new email provider. Can you imagine if Windows and Office were instantly gone. Could Mac and Linux really jump in and take over? Not likely. Microsoft has a true monopoly and controls the very environment that everyone else has to play on. Google is just a powerful company.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Spivonious on 10/27/2010 3:19:10 PM , Rating: 5
If Microsoft failed, we'd all continue using the software we already own. When GM closed Pontiac, did all Pontiac cars suddenly break down?


RE: Judged by ratings...
By inighthawki on 10/27/2010 3:22:47 PM , Rating: 2
A monopoly does not just mean they have the majority of the market share. There are alternatives out there to Windows and Office, but just because nobody uses them doesn't mean Microsoft monopolizes that market.

For those living in the past, Microsoft is not a Monopoly just for having a large market share.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By The Insolent One on 10/27/2010 5:29:44 PM , Rating: 1
"Please define 'is'."

-Bill Gates August 28, 1998


RE: Judged by ratings...
By JakLee on 10/28/2010 6:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Please define 'is'."
-Bill Gates August 28, 1998


"It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is." –Bill Clinton, during his 1998 grand jury testimony on the Monica Lewinsky affair


RE: Judged by ratings...
By pyeager on 10/28/2010 10:56:33 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Can you imagine if Windows and Office were instantly gone. Could Mac and Linux really jump in and take over?


In a flash. Mac/Linux and OpenOffice.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Da W on 10/27/2010 4:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
This is all old news. There is no deniying that Microsoft past 10 years have been a complete failure. Bing does not lift, windows mobile is dead, kin was a disater, Zune HD was not even pushed outside the US, Vista blah blah blah. Only Xbox worked.

It does not mean the future will be so. Microsoft is on every computer, every office, many living rooms, in Ford cars, i really believe their phone effort will pay, and they will have tablets. Their phone/search/tablet efforts are at zero for the moment, then they can only go up right? Their recent efforts since windows 7 has been top notch. Everybody knows the company and every pension plan owns the company.

But, Microsft is loosing market share in free internet browser software, down from their 100% market shares of years ago. OH MY GOD!!!!! THEY ARE DYING!


RE: Judged by ratings...
By inighthawki on 10/27/2010 5:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree, Bing is a great search engine, windows mobile took a break but we won't know if it's a failure until a few months from now, kin...ok, zune hd was awesome and recently went outside the US, xbox is a huge success. This is not to mention there is plenty of extra stuff they have done.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Tony Swash on 10/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Judged by ratings...
By acer905 on 10/27/2010 6:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Strange feeling, but it's true...

Microsoft is going to become irrelevant in the future. Businesses aren't going to play the upgrade game just because MS wants to put out a new OS. This is especially true when the upgrade requires major hardware upgrades, and delivers limited productivity increases.

And, as consumers continue to show people, they want simple. They want pretty. They want the one with the Wifi's and the bigger GeeBee's. I doubt that i will abandon my desktop anytime in the near future, but many people will. Connected mobile devices, with a multitude of accessories (non-proprietary is best) for enhanced functionality (ie extra battery for long trips, Bluetooth keyboard for long text input, dock for monitor/desk usage) are where things appear to be heading.

Microsoft and Windows don't quite fit well into such a scenario.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By acer905 on 10/27/2010 7:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
For you Tony...

Just thinking about stuff... I can see a future product from Apple. They have been seemingly pushing the iPhone and iPad as the next best thing since sliced bread. iOS is getting fairly popular, and is getting features that make it productive (ie copy paste & multitasking). And, with the latest info on Lion, it seems like they are bringing the iOS experience to the desk.

Knowing their penchant for shiny, and seamless integration, it makes me wonder if their ultimate goal is to kill OSX (which would explain why they refuse to come up with, say OSXI, instead putting out 10.# versions) and completely replace it with iOS.

If this is their goal, I think i may have figured out a product for them. While tablets are fine as an on the go device, desk use is not their strong point. People really enjoy their large screens, and (for lengthy text input) physical keyboards. This is where my idea comes in.

Introducing the "iMac; Dock Edition". Imagine if you will a 24" widescreen monitor, with an integrated 1TB HDD, wireless mouse and keyboard, and iPad dock. When you are at home working on your term paper, just plug your iPad into the dock, and work as you have always worked. WHen you wish to leave, simply undock your iPad and take it as you go. But wait! there's more. Next to your iPad dock port is your iPhone dock port. Simply connect both devices to your "iMac; Dock Edition" and run apps from both, with all the power of both.

(to tell the truth... this actually sounds somewhat cool to me...)


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Tony Swash on 10/28/2010 5:51:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Introducing the "iMac; Dock Edition". Imagine if you will a 24" widescreen monitor, with an integrated 1TB HDD, wireless mouse and keyboard, and iPad dock. When you are at home working on your term paper, just plug your iPad into the dock, and work as you have always worked. WHen you wish to leave, simply undock your iPad and take it as you go. But wait! there's more. Next to your iPad dock port is your iPhone dock port. Simply connect both devices to your "iMac; Dock Edition" and run apps from both, with all the power of both.

(to tell the truth... this actually sounds somewhat cool to me...)


I agree.

Actually back in the early 1990s, before Jobs returned, Apple made a subnotebook called a Powerbook duo which could be inserted into a dock on a desktop mac so you could access a screen, keyboard/Mouse and bigger storage. I never had one but I thought it was very interesting as it combined low storage mobility with the power of a full desktop computer.

See here
http://lowendmac.com/misc/mr07/0904.html

Interestingly Apple have over recent years occasionally secured patents on a similar set up and such an arrangement with an iPad is an interesting possibility.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Silver2k7 on 10/27/2010 7:24:39 PM , Rating: 2
"But, Microsft is loosing market share in free internet browser software, down from their 100% market shares of years ago. OH MY GOD!!!!! THEY ARE DYING!"

lol yeah.. well back in the day I actually liked Netscape but todays Netscape (Firefox) i don't like that much..

IE8 does what I want a my browser to do.. ive not seen any reason to switch to something else thought I have Firefox installed.. its always good to have a backup browser just in case some site wont work or whatever.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Hieyeck on 10/28/2010 11:46:38 AM , Rating: 2
Google stuff is just really good. Just because they make bundles of money, doesn't mean it's evil. Google has just as much right to earn ad dollars at the same rate that its competitors do.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By kattanna on 10/27/2010 3:23:16 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
A similar thing can be said about CNN.


CNN in particular and journalism in general.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/27/2010 4:36:42 PM , Rating: 3
People have been predicting the doom and gloom end of Microsoft for 20+ years now.

Move along, nothing to see here. Shame on you CNN, terrible reporting. Microsoft will almost certainly live longer than you. People actually USE MS products, while on the other hand NOBODY watches your network anymore.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By Skywalker123 on 10/27/2010 10:30:48 PM , Rating: 2
and one day they will be right!


RE: Judged by ratings...
By themaster08 on 10/28/2010 1:50:00 AM , Rating: 2
People predict the end of the world all of the time....

and one day they will be right too!


RE: Judged by ratings...
By muIIet on 10/27/2010 7:23:59 PM , Rating: 5
Do people still watch CNN?


RE: Judged by ratings...
By jonmcc33 on 10/28/2010 1:31:08 AM , Rating: 2
I agree but the funny part is that CNN is always swinging on Apple's balls. So I wouldn't expect anything less from CNN at all.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By stimudent on 10/28/2010 8:15:19 AM , Rating: 1
At this rate, it may be just a matter of time until the competition strangles Microsoft to death. I think about 10 years ago or so, Ballmer put his hand over his throat pretending to strangle himself. It was to show what Microsoft was going to do to its competitors. It's now happening to Microsoft. What comes around goes around.


RE: Judged by ratings...
By FITCamaro on 10/28/2010 12:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
Except the government won't bail out Microsoft if they fail like they will with CNN. Of course with Gates hanging around Obama lately, maybe they will.

Most major news outlets are in danger of going out of business. Except Fox. But remember, they're the ones full of idiots, extremists, and racists.


An image problem
By iWriteFlops on 10/27/2010 4:16:47 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with this article. In fact, I'd been thinking the same thing lately.

The problem with Microsoft is not that they lack innovation or that they lack resources. The main problem with Microsoft today is image. Ask any high school kid who's heard of Apple and Microsoft what they think of each company. With the exception of the xbox, they will say Apple = cool, Microsoft = old . You can't sell products to consumers when people automatically dismiss them as antiquated before they've even tried them. Consider the new Windows Mobile Phones. Was anyone lining up for them? I can't even tell you for sure if they're available for purchase or not. A lot of people did line up for the iPhone 4. And it's not because it is an awesome phone. It doesn't even make phone calls half the time. It's because to a lot of consumers Apple products are "cool" and Microsoft products are not.

To add to the problem we live in a country that loves good stories. Who has a better story than Steve Jobs right now? He’s the closest we have to a super hero these days. The guy got kicked out of his own company. His ideas were stolen by Microsoft (I know that's not true, but that's what people think). He comes back from all of that to take over the industry. It doesn't get better than that. Then, he even gets sick and survives. The guy could sell pet rocks and everyone would buy them.
Microsoft started in much the same way, a band of geeks going against the giant, IBM. Bill Gates, a kid with a dream of having his software in every home. Great American story. What's the story now? They became wealthy, lost track of their roots, their leader retired, and so the story ends.

You want to know how to sell Windows 8? New story: A small group of Microsoft developers from the xbox division, unhappy with the direction Microsoft has taken with consumer products, breaks off and forms their own company. Their mission to create a new OS that's easy to use for consumers: fast, not bloated. It's going to do what iOS does well but run Windows applications too, just because it can, just to get back at Microsoft. It's not going to be called Microsoft anything, or Windows anything. And it's going to be open source from day one. Small band of developers going against giant Microsoft (of course, they will be funded by Microsoft but no one will think about that.) Then, if you want to be really cool, have the head of that group meet secretly with Bill Gates to get ideas.

I know, that sounds far-fetched, but in my opinion the main thing Microsoft needs is a new image, a new story, and sadly pride may be the thing that kills them at the end.




RE: An image problem
By Pirks on 10/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: An image problem
By Boze on 10/27/2010 10:07:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry but I don't think you could possibly be more wrong.

Windows 7 revitalized the consumer image of the Windows operating system family. Even though I found Vista to be a very good and stable operating system, I was about one month from switching to a Linux variant when Microsoft offered Windows 7 RC1 for download. And I have never looked back. I've wanted to make a Hackintosh, but I've come to realize: What's the point? Windows 7 is a superior operating system that I can run on most any hardware available and works with almost every piece of software and hardware I'd ever want to use.

As far as your crack at Indian technical support, my girlfriend recently purchased a Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 6000 v3.0 - which sadly is plagued with problems, and I don't know if its just that keyboard and Windows 7, or that keyboard period, because I no longer have any XP or Vista machines to test on - which has had technical problems. I called in her stead (she's terribly non-technical) and the Indian gentleman that assisted me was wonderful. Not only did do everything he possibly could have to fix our problem, he shipped us a Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 (mouse and keyboard), brand new in a retail box. The entire turnaround time was 6 days. Now unfortunately, she still has problems with the keyboard (randomly stops functioning for some reason), but I feel confident that when I call back tomorrow, Microsoft is going to work diligently to fix my issue. Microsoft's warranty on their hardware products (minus XBox 360 I guess... I don't know personally) has been flawless, from my personal experience.

I think one of the biggest missteps was Microsoft not actively pursuing the Courier. Even if they were a year, or even two years, later down the road than iPad, Courier would have been a hit with corporate customers and professionals, and probably would have caught on with specific segments of the consumer population (high school / college students).

Microsoft could certainly turn their situation around, but they're going to need to stop internal bickering and more forward as a cohesive unit.


RE: An image problem
By Pirks on 10/28/2010 11:19:46 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
one of the biggest missteps was Microsoft not actively pursuing the Courier
Hence you agree with my point about necessity for MS to develop their own hardware and integrate it vertically Apple-style. Good.


RE: An image problem
By Reclaimer77 on 10/27/2010 5:27:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A small group of Microsoft developers from the xbox division, unhappy with the direction Microsoft has taken with consumer products, breaks off and forms their own company. Their mission to create a new OS that's easy to use for consumers: fast, not bloated. It's going to do what iOS does well but run Windows applications too, just because it can, just to get back at Microsoft.


And they'll be sued into oblivion. Because they only way they could possibly do that is if they had stolen Windows source code before they left.

Your post is one big science fiction short story.

quote:
Who has a better story than Steve Jobs right now?


Bill Gates. There will NEVER be a better "story" than that, come on get real.


RE: An image problem
By Fritzr on 10/28/2010 3:23:20 AM , Rating: 2
It's already being done. Look up the WINE project and it's commercial fork called Crossover.

All that is needed for the stated scenario is for Microsoft to join WINE as a contributor or buy out the Crossover people and continue Crossover as an "independent" operation.

There was an earlier attempt at a Windows compatible Linux called Lindows that was successfully sued out of existence, but Crossover and WINE are peacefully chugging along with the process of adding MS Windows compatibility to Linux. Without MS support and the need to do a clean room write of API support (including undocumented APIs) it is slow going. With MS support the WINE project could successfully kill the market for the MS product on low end and older machines as well as making a dent in new equipment installs.

Add the functionality of the Enterprise support tools and Linux+WINE could be the new Compaq.


RE: An image problem
By Reclaimer77 on 10/28/2010 9:10:20 AM , Rating: 3
WINE is a pain in the ass. Compared to the thousands of thousands of Windows apps out there, WINE has a very short list of supported programs that install and run right out of the box. Then there are those who will install and run, but have some type of broken functionality.

I know Linux geeks have been singing the praises of WINE for a long time, but it's still nowhere NEAR comparable to installing and running native Windows apps on a Windows machine.


RE: An image problem
By The Insolent One on 10/27/2010 11:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, that is a great idea and it's something MS should have been thinking about a long time ago.

Face it, people are tired of spyware and virii, and service packs, and BSODs. They want an "appliance" kinda like their tv or their oven. They turn it on, it works, end of story.


RE: An image problem
By Wererat on 10/28/2010 9:01:56 AM , Rating: 2
>They want an "appliance" kinda like their tv or their oven.

Apparently not, or else they'd have been buying Macs overwhelmingly since 1984. People do like choice, even when the uncountable combinations of hardware cause incompatibilities, disparities, and other assorted varieties of dismay.

More to the point, quite a few enthusiasts *really* enjoy this customization and astoundingly, when Joe Average looks for advice, he turns to his enthusiast buddy/relative, who is not using an 'appliance' computer.

MS' problem IMO is that in most areas they're the follow-up to an already cool innovation. The article has a good point in that when the innovators and leaders are gone, the chances of a new fresh product are pretty slim.


RE: An image problem
By The Insolent One on 10/30/2010 4:42:14 PM , Rating: 2
If you're trying to compare today's market to the market that existed pre-Internet and/or pre-browser, then you might want to recheck your equation.

As for how much control "Enthusiasts" exert on a market, it has about the same effect as a fart in a forest.

I know that everyone hasn't gotten the memo yet (most have), but the desktop computer has long ago ceased to be the dominant hardware. Even since laptops took over, the trend is clearly showing that mobile platforms are going to do the same to the laptop.

People love to squak about choice even at places like McDonald's. "Give us healthy alternatives" they say. McDonald's offers them on the menu and you know what happens? No one buys them. Having choices sure sounds good, but they don't actually sell.

Fast forward 5-10 years and mobile will be the clear platform of choice, and Microsoft's consumer brand (B2C, which is what the CNN article is referring to) will be a footnote to history.


dying...
By sean001 on 10/27/2010 2:43:21 PM , Rating: 2
I am not sure. But I think CNN should be looking at itself. Lets see,

1. Microsoft is already unquestional leader in cloud computing.

2. Isn't XBOX #1 seller in gaming for last 4 month? Do you think Kinect will make it any worse?

3. Windows Phone 7 will be here in a few days. Isn't that enough to keep those people from CNN to shut the mouth.

4. Microsoft is going to release earnings report tomorrow. You already what is that going to be.

5. What problem do you have now? I know tablet PC. If you know any history about XBOX, netbook, cloud, your mouth should be closed already.





RE: dying...
By Iaiken on 10/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: dying...
By 306maxi on 10/27/2010 4:09:04 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Especially when you factor in that for the price of 4 Kinect controllers I can buy a Wii, a few games AND 3 Wii Motion+ controllers. This will force a low adoption rate and that will cause developers to stay far away, it's a vicious cycle.


Congratulations for having no clue at all. With Kinect you don't buy controllers, YOU are the controller.


RE: dying...
By Iaiken on 10/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: dying...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/27/2010 5:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
Seems like you aren't holding Nintendo to the same standard that you apply to MS... Just saying. Something about your arguments seem a little biased. Okay, not just a little, but a lot.

quote:
But at the current price point, you could STILL buy a Wii with Motion+ and sports resort AND have access to a much larger library of games that use motion controls.


Larger library of games geared for kids 10 and up, sure. Personally I'm a bit on the fence about how big of a deal motion will be in the near future. But with the 360 at least you know you will not be bombarded with games made just for kids with cartoony crap graphics.


RE: dying...
By CptTripps on 10/27/2010 7:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
Clue or no clue, interest or no interest it's still misinformation. Kinect is supposed to be $150 to addon and that will allow two full body players or 4 top half players. That is cheaper than a Wii with just one controller.

Wii + 4 controllers = much more expensive and pure crap in terms of graphics and online connectivity. There are also very few games that appeal imo. Still, this will be around the same price point (wii console plus another 3 controllers +nunchuk) as the kinect bundle.

That being said, this first run of Kinect games does look like ass, the same kind of ass that I scoff at nintendo for. Perhaps it will sell ;)

Me, I will wait until I can perform hand signals or voice commands (no voice command on launch) in an FPS while leaning around corners using my body. The tech is there, they just need to use it right and people will flock.


RE: dying...
By acer905 on 10/27/2010 7:59:07 PM , Rating: 2
I've been back and forth on the idea of Kinect. I just don't see how the sort of motion capture it uses would really be that exciting in many games. However, if they combined the system with VR glasses/helmet, something to submerse you into the game instead of simply looking at the screen, then it would be interesting. Just need to make sure that you have a clear area for playing... Hate to see someone randomly fall over in game because they tripped on the couch!


Microsoft Brand Among Consumers
By limitedaccess on 10/27/2010 2:35:08 PM , Rating: 2
Aside from the Xbox though, Microsoft has not won over home consumers for a very long time now, if ever. Microsoft to me has always been chosen due to a lack of alternatives in the market.

Take Windows for instance, OSX and Linux aren't really true alternatives for most people (due to compatibility), for me I pick Windows to use at home for that major reason, not any other. This is probably why Windows still does very will in this area. If there were hypothetically versions of OSX, Chrome, and Linux that could be completely compatible with all Windows programs, I'm sure it would experience problems there as well.

Internet Explorer now has a wide array of acceptable alternatives such as Firefox, Chrome, and etc. Open Office is a strong alternative for home users (especially being free) to MS Office. MS Search services (Bing, Live) have of course always had to deal with many competitors, some much more established then them (Google).

Only the xbox has managed to succeed over stern competition, though its success if you look at it is as much due to some of Sony's decisions regarding the PS3, as any of Microsoft's involving the xbox.




RE: Microsoft Brand Among Consumers
By Luticus on 10/27/2010 4:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
this is probably why Windows still does very will in this area. If there were hypothetically versions of OSX, Chrome, and Linux that could be completely compatible with all Windows programs, I'm sure it would experience problems there as well
as it stand these 3 would need to get A LOT better in terms of function and features to even be on the same playing field as windows. Linux is nice but it's got a long way to go. OSX is a joke in the corporate world and doesn't support many of the features that make windows great (nor does it have a real answer to them) and chrome is just another Linux in a Google package running cloud-based apps. Windows for me, no contest!

Internet ExploRer 8 is decent enough; if you're a domain admin then you'll understand that all other browsers are a torn in your side because they defy group policy.

Open office is NOT a strong alternative to MS Office. It's a good stand in or stopgap if you can't afford office but in terms of features, interface, usability, and completeness Open Office doesn't hold a candle to MS Office. Sure home users can make open office work but they are loosing out majorly by doing so, if they are fine with that then good, for me MS Office all the way!

As for Bing you are correct that google is a huge and strong competitor. In fact in terms of search Google wins no contest. I just refuse to use Google anymore because I believe them to be evil (despite their slogan)

The Xbox is a great platform. In fact it's an amazing platform! I'm more of a Wii fan sometimes (like when other m came out) but the Xbox will have a long life as one of my most used devices.

As for CNN's predictions I call BS! If GM can turn itself around from near bankruptcy and taking government handouts then I’m sure MS who's products are still relevant, who leads the market in many areas, who is universally accepted as the worlds most powerful tech company, and who is sitting on a pile of cash that could make a lot of other companies awfully jealous... yea, I’m not worried about them for a second. I might be worried if windows and office were "sucking wind", but they aren't. Windows is doing great and so is office.

Well I got to end this rant, I’m installing office 2011 (speaking of office) on my Mac... thank god! Everything else is garbage by comparison.


RE: Microsoft Brand Among Consumers
By limitedaccess on 10/27/2010 4:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
You bring up corporate which is a very different market. But my points were strictly from the home consumer point of view. And objectively speaking Microsoft does not have a strong brand image in this area, and there absolute dominance in the OS area really is one due to necessity.

But for the typical consumer (and no I don't mean the "tech savvy" consumer either), Microsoft isn't really a strong brand to them. They will buy an Apple product (even if it is terrible for them) simply because it is an Apple, that is a strong brand image. For instance Microsofts new win 7 phones, do you think the brand name Microsoft/Windows will have the same sway in that market as Apple for the typical consumer?

Microsoft's name has huge clout in the business/corporate market. But these days for the average home user, I do not see it being there at all. They only use MS products because of no real choice or because it's anywhere. Google and Apple for instance both have much strong brand names nowadays. (I use google for search, but own no Apple products or desire them, just to give an idea of my bias)


By captainBOB on 10/28/2010 12:19:36 AM , Rating: 2
Hate to say, the man has a point. Most people outside the tech literate and corporate don't know about Microsoft, all they know is that its a computer and it has a start menu and to go to the internet you double click 'the blue e', they might not even know the name of the OS let alone what an OS is.

Then you mention Apple, they think iPods, iPhones, iPads. What happens when they realize that Apple makes computers, they'll think if their iPod/iPhone is awesome then an Apple computer is awesome too, even with the 1000+ price tag. This is just something Microsoft doesn't have in the consumer market. People could watch an ad about Windows 7 and not realize it if it wasn't mentioned, while an Apple ad...instant recognition.

What would happen if hell froze over and Apple sold their products for 99% off MSRP for one fiscal quarter?


RE: Microsoft Brand Among Consumers
By nafhan on 10/27/2010 4:42:12 PM , Rating: 2
Alternatives aren't going to come from improvements in other OS's. Alternatives will arise due to the (eventual) irrelevance of the traditional PC (including Macs). More and more of what the average consumer does can be done from web based services that will run anywhere on any device.
MS knows this, and that's probably why they are making such a big push with things like Office 365 and WinPhone 7.
Also, desk/laptop workstations will still exist, but it'll be a niche market for professionals and power users, kind of like SLR cameras.


Inevitable obsolescence...
By lostvyking on 10/27/2010 6:32:40 PM , Rating: 2
Companies like Microsoft only thrive when they are inventing and pushing the limits of technology and innovation. Twenty years ago there was a lot of room for growth. As soon as they stop pushing forward and simply try to coast on what they have already created, they begin to stagnate and become "yesterday's news". The same thing eventually happened to IBM after they were on top for what seemed like forever. They reached the pinnacle of their success and they had no more room to innovate. Where is IBM now? Sure, they are still around, but what are they doing?

I hate to say this but the industry is coming to a stand-still. Look at MS Office. What is new in the last ten years? There have been new versions that have come out but is there anything really new in them? Most people only use 10% of the functions of Word and Excel. "well, we will make it prettier". Or, "the internet is the big thing these days so we will make it internet intensive." This decade it is all about "the cloud". Sigh.

Look for "tablet-friendly" and "smart phone-friendly" versions of MS Office products as they attempt to capitalize off of the tablet and cell phone markets.

Prediction: MS Phone 7.0 will go down in flames.




RE: Inevitable obsolescence...
By xkrakenx on 10/28/2010 2:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
whats IBM doing?

making billions in services software and hardware, and still very relevant where IT / industry / research are concerned.

if consumers decide "MS isnt cool" they could certainly go the same route and survive just fine.

I'd still like to see someone provide a consumer alternative to Apple and their shiny magic though.

maybe it will be google and their hardware partners.


Here we go again...
By XSpeedracerX on 10/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Here we go again...
By Wellsoul2 on 10/27/2010 3:34:51 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Look. No one likes windows. Oh yes plenty of people say windows 7 is great, but this is always in reference to both the general shittyness of windows vista, and the fact that shitty or not, windows is your only portal to access the 99% windows only PC software market. It's so bad that macs can be booted to run windows and thats supposed to be their main competition!


I do like Windows 7 and I hated Vista totally.
Still Win7 is a great product on it's own and a big improvement on XP. They did finally get it right.
So what if Microsoft loses money on some consumer product,
It's unchallenged in the OS market.
Like Google they can afford to dabble in anything.
Microsoft also makes alot of game software and I see no report on that losing money.


RE: Here we go again...
By p05esto on 10/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Here we go again...
By Makaveli on 10/28/2010 10:08:40 AM , Rating: 2
Vista faster than windows 7

oo really.....

http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=678&...

I'm not a vista hater and used it with Service pack 2 and it was great. However after using windows 7 for almost a year it is better. Less of a memory hog, asjusting to the start menu took like 1 day and my SSD performs as it should with proper trim support. Boots and shuts down faster also also better thread management than vista aswell for those of us on i7's with HT.

I would love to see the benchmarks you claim that shows vista is faster.


Sad but true
By arazok on 10/27/2010 4:17:29 PM , Rating: 2
What’s sad to see is how close Microsoft is to not only creating a true home media hardware/software market, and how badly they keep shooting their own foot.

I bought a WHS a few months ago, primarily stream media with it. I already have an XBOX, but due to internal politics and near slightness, they refuse to let the thing play a wide range of popular formats. You can’t even add an mp3 to a playlist with the Xbox unless the media is stored on the XBOX HD. If they could make it so things ‘just worked’, I think you would see a lot of people snapping up WHS and Xbox’s as a valid end-to-end media center. From there, I can see limitless opportunities for growth of devices that work with a home server.

Instead, I had to buy a media center PC just to do what the xbox should already do. That’s no way to get the masses on board.




Really? Dead?!
By nimatra on 10/27/2010 4:48:58 PM , Rating: 2
common guys, be fair! they have done some stupid things with vista, KIN and I don't know Microsoft Bob.
but how could you say that xbox has lost the ground! they have the only online gaming network other than the billizards warcraft that is profitable by itself. Or just look at the games attached rate of consoles, xbox's is 10.8 and sony's is 9.2 and the wii is not something near them at all.
I'm happy that at least no one questioned the Office! I think everyone agree that its nearest competitors are several years behind.
Please define "the dead by the time of the birth" for the zune! they have sold 20 millions of the device which you call it dead. add to that the zune applications for the xbox and now wp7. I mean the mere fact that ipod sells lots more does n't mean that zune is dead. is iWork dead to anyone?
Another thing to remember is the great programming environments that microsoft has made available to its developers, can the stupid object c compete with C# ? or is there any IDE comparable to Visual Studio? and considering these you consider Mac OS as a winner against Windows just because it looks nice?!
I remember when xbox was released anyone in the media saying micorosft should abandon the xbox it's just waste of money and it will never be profitable, now look at entertainment department of microsoft, it generates1b$ in profits and just wait until kinect reaches the store shelves. now, they are saying the same about microsoft's online services.
I remember an article I read somewhere 3 years ago when xbox 360 was eventually becoming profitable saying: "about the Microsoft, it always comes late but catches the crown".




Clueless
By p05esto on 10/27/2010 4:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
Does CNN have any clue how many patents and how many services, software and technologies owns and licenses? They could sit on their thumbs for the next five years and still make more money than any other company. In the business world MS competes with many Gold standard products and in the consumer world Office, OS7, XBOX, IE are still ALL market leaders...how stupid can CNN be?

Who gives a rats rear about a mobile phone? These "smart phones" are such hype, who even cares about cool phones anymore? Wow, I can call people, send a text and do like 2 other things on my phone once in a great while - I could care less about a phone. And for those that have not used a ZEN, it blows the iPod away...much more functional, open standards and doesn't use iTunes which is a big plus.




I love my Zune HD BUT....
By sintaxera on 10/27/2010 9:25:19 PM , Rating: 2
My Zune HD has been rock solid, easy to use with a beautiful screen, wonderful sound, and an awesome subscription service.

Microsoft just shot it in the foot though. With a little forethought the Zune HD could have been the equivalent of the I-Pod touch. Instead they completely neutered the future of the device by making it incompatible with the new Windows 7 phones. This made the already small user base resentful, bewildered, and angry.




By Mithan on 10/27/2010 11:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
What people forget is that all tech companies are a single product away from bust or fortune and things can turn around on a dime, or go to hell just as fast.

Microsoft could surprise us all and release something awesome, that everybody HAS to have, just like a Blackberry or Iphone or whatever.

Or they may not.

The point is, things can change in a flash .

We don't know what the next major technology fad will be. All we do know is that there will be several over the next 10 years and several fortunes will be made and lost as a result.

I wouldn't count Microsoft out any more than I would say that Apple or Google will remain strong for the next 10 years.

Tech changes.




Old News
By eegake on 10/27/2010 11:37:33 PM , Rating: 2
I made some nice coin shorting MSFT at the start of the century, enough to put two kids through college.

It was evident then that the most successful business model they ever had (Windows) relied on exploiting customer ignorance, laziness, and fear. By 2000 customers were wising up, particularly enterprise customers. The DOJ had curtailed MSFT's monopolistic abilities, and a completely mistaken notion prevailed within MSFT that they "owned" the customer and that the customer would do as they were told. It was a perfect setup.

Eventually the stock stabilized at lower levels, but the culture of contempt for the customer within MSFT remains to this day. Nothing less than taking Balmer out and shooting him ( and his sycophants ) would be required to *start* at changing this.




Lol Mick
By AstroGuardian on 10/28/2010 4:05:32 AM , Rating: 2
"Much like the Romans or Greeks, Microsoft has built a mighty empire"

Mick, get educated. Greeks never build a mighty empire. It was the Macedonians who crushed the greeks and built the mightiest empire ever. The greeks later invented the story that Alexander the Great was a greek.




Well then!
By JonnyDough on 10/28/2010 5:50:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So while it seems that CNN Money's recent headline, "Microsoft is a dying consumer brand", is a bit sensational, it is a claim that is grounded in some reality.


If anyone would know about sensationalist headlines...




???
By msheredy on 10/28/2010 11:32:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Other than the Windows brand, Xbox and Microsoft Office are the company's other two major successes in the consumer sector.


Doesn't a successful product need to be profitable? It's been know now for how long that MS doesn't make money, they actually lose money on the Xbox. Unless that has changed, and by changed they are making oodles of profits now to make up for lost times, then the Xbox isn't a success. Just because they sell alot doesn't mean it's a success—except maybe to a fanboi.




CNN who???
By xyn081s on 10/28/2010 4:09:19 PM , Rating: 2
Is anybody still watching CNN???




My opinion ^_^
By Setsunayaki on 10/29/2010 1:28:07 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with Microsoft and why Windows was very popular was due to the long lifespan of Windows XP.

Although XP was filled with security bugs and holes...most hackers know more tangible data to hack is kept on more secure comps. Its true you see viruses, malware and spyware on Windows Systems but...

A lot of high-end employees use Apple to store and secure data. The majority of software writers and developers are on Linux...Windows is for the majority.

The only thing Microsoft has which keeps people coming to windows are the fact a generation exists that only knows windows and nothing else, while microsoft will use Direct X to hold the gaming community hostage.

OpenGL for the first time surpased DirectX11. It means microsoft will be forced to compete with OpenGL which means creating a new Windows every 2 - 3 years to release a new DirectX to go against openGL to stay in the market.

I have Windows 7 as a Secondary OS, but since all windows has as a trump card is triple monitor gaming...I have something better on Linux...^_^

Wine + a super cool hardware configuration, latest drivers...I can launch 5 - 6 games, each in their own window, each preserving their framerate and the best part of all....Since its all sandboxed in Wine, and most will code windows viruses and not thing a user has Linux...

It means I am safe and secure. While a game crashes on Windows and if you aren't careful, your system can be forced into restarting or you get sent back to the desktop with memory errors after the crash.

Don't get me wrong. I liked windows for a long time, but right now all windows has is Cosmetics + Direct X and introduces more bloated technologies.

The final case and point:

Why should I be forced into using 2 cores to run a bloated word processor utilizing 10% of 2 CPU cores running at 3ghz at 64 bit, when in 1998 I had a 500mhz processor running a word processor just fine with minimal graphics?

3ghz (2 cores) @ 64 bit vs 500mhz Single core on 32 bit?

This is why I went to Linux...I run a lot of programs which are efficient and coded properly for one core and run fast since the program isn't all about PROTECTING PROFITS through security...(which slows it down)..

If microsoft doesn't extend its product line and plays nice...they will be forgotten. ^_^




It is so true
By macthemechanic on 10/29/2010 7:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
They are so stuck in their ways, they cannot seem to embrace anything truly new without hobbling it with old antiquated methodologies. Examples:

DOS name support.
File Extensions
Registry
Drive letters
Running programs under current logged in user's credentials primarily
Constant "Ok, approve this, Are you sure" messages" on all their frickin' programs.
Windowed view into files
Terrible filing methods
Desktop metaphor
Desktop clutter
Program code strewn all over the drives.
No enforced program uninstall clean up
Have to have a frickin driver for everything
DLLs
Reusable code that nobody seems to ever reuse
Win16/32 models
Partyline type Ring 0 control of the processors

Why? These are horrible. Instead of being so Unix/Linux-phobes, perhaps Microsoft could blend the best and lead by example rather than turn into crotchety old narrow minded programmers with little vision.




Dead Brands
By JEP524 on 10/31/2010 7:16:42 AM , Rating: 2
CNN ought to be an expert on dying brands!




My faith in Microsoft
By kmmatney on 10/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: My faith in Microsoft
By Akrovah on 10/27/2010 4:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For example - why does it blue screen when you change motherboards from Intel to AMD? Or even when you stay within the same processor, but change the chipset? Howe hard would it be to detect that the storage drivers have changed, and just use a generic one sp you can start windows?


Chipset drivers maybe? For Windows to detect that the hardware has changed it must first load, at least partially, and to load it needs to use a driver. My guess is that by default it uses the last driver it was using when the machine shuts down. I realy don't see anythign wrong with this. How often are you changing your MoBo WITHOUT doing a re-install? That just doesn't make sense to me. Are OSx or Linux capable of doing this?


RE: My faith in Microsoft
By wsc on 10/27/2010 6:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
[is] Linux capable of doing this?

Yes, it is. At least unless you had chosen to install
kernel compiled for given cpu.
With most modern linux distros you can simply get
your hd and move it between machines.

You may try how it works in linux with any so called
"LiveCD" or "LiveStick" distro. I.e. any ubuntu image.
( http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download )
It wont touch your hdd and will let you see how linux
is capable of sensing hardware at boot time.


RE: My faith in Microsoft
By Akrovah on 10/27/2010 6:40:27 PM , Rating: 2
I have used a live CD and even attempted to install, but it did not recognize my fakeRAID setup. The only way I could find to get it to do so was a kernel update, that required an installed copy of Linux with HDD space to compile. Or something. That was a few years ago though. Just don't have enough interest in Linux to keep trying.

Thats pretty sweet about the HDD moving working between systems though. Not something I would be likely to make a lot of use of, but neat anyway.


RE: My faith in Microsoft
By kmmatney on 11/1/2010 7:38:10 PM , Rating: 2
yes - it is the storage drivers - but there are default Microsoft drivers that work with just about everything. Why can't windows use those drivers, instead of blue screening? That would be more useful. I usually just uninstall any custom drivers before I swap out motherboard, but this isn't always possible if the old motherboard has problems.

I usually just go into a repair-install, but it would be far easier to be able to bypass the current storage drivers - at least to get into safe mode. Should be able to do this at the startup prompt when you hit F8.


RE: My faith in Microsoft
By Smilin on 10/27/2010 5:02:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There are a lot of things that continue to bug me about Windows. For example - why does it blue screen when you change motherboards from Intel to AMD? Or even when you stay within the same processor, but change the chipset? Howe hard would it be to detect that the storage drivers have changed, and just use a generic one sp you can start windows? Windows has had this problem forever, and it still exists in Win 7.


Really? Look man if you're dumb life is going to be harder for you. You just need to face the facts.

As for your motherboard you're blaming the wrong company. Microsoft doesn't write Intel drivers. Intel writes intel drivers. Why Intel drivers don't work with an AMD product? Please tell me I don't have to explain that too.


RE: My faith in Microsoft
By ninjaquick on 10/27/2010 5:04:28 PM , Rating: 2
You sound pretty arrogant, expecting a commodity provider to provide for your every whim... it is pathetic people like you that make windows lag behind because they can only change so much without people complaining about everything they do.

Seriously you are the cancer that forces Microsoft to not completely redesign Windows or anything they make for that matter.

You can't call the Zune a failure. The Zune HD out specs even the newest iPod, looks better and costs less while doing it. The problem is that Apple commands a price premium so they are expected to be premium products, Microsoft's mistake was to try to math that inflated price point.

And do you know anything about computers? at all? really? Try running OSX on a pc, but use say, a 9800XT from eons ago... does it run? no? didn't think so. You said it yourself, you are a programmer, make an OS, then, that can run on almost any hardware you throw at it. Tell me if $$$.


RE: My faith in Microsoft
By R3T4rd on 10/28/2010 10:55:56 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize...he said is a programer.

12yrs as and System Admin. I work for a top 10 Fortune 500 Company, and all or most the programers that I meet, have no clue on hardware nor do they no much about building PC's. Sure, if you ask them what sub systems to call or compiling DLL's etc or if you want to do this or that from/for Windows, they'd know in a heartbeat.


RE: My faith in Microsoft
By kmmatney on 11/1/2010 7:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
Although I'm a programmer (Microsoft Certified Professional) , have a Master's in Engineering from UCLA, and have been building PCs since the 286 days - I used to overclock by soldering in new crystal oscillators. So I know a lot about computer hardware. It doesn't mean I have to be happy about everything Microsoft does.

Just yesterday, I used my Win 7 computer to align a new SSD partition for another computer. This went OK - however when I removed the SSD from my system (it was connected on a spare SATA port) Windows told me my HW config had changed, and that I may have a counterfeit copy of windows. I got this from temporarily adding a new HD, and then removing it. WTF!


RE: My faith in Microsoft
By kmmatney on 11/1/2010 8:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not arrogant - and overall I like Windows 7 (most of it anyways). Although my copy of Win 7 informed me again (yesterday) that my OS might be counterfeit. All I did was connect an SSD to a spare SATA port, and then remove it later. That was enough for my OS to think I had installed the OS on another computer. I think this would piss anyone off who regularly swaps out hardware in their computer. But overall Windows 7 is pretty nice.

But just because they make a nice OS, keyboards, and mice, doesn't mean that everything they do is great. I still feel that not allowing people to opt out of the new ribbon menu in Office was a screw up. The new 16:9 screens are already small on vertical space, and the ribbon connector makes it worse. You can minimize it, and put custom buttons on the title bar, but its still not the same as having fully customizable toolbar. Everything new Microsoft puts out seems to be less customizable than previous versions.

And the Zune is a failure, by any commercial measure. I'm not saying it's a bad device, but Microsoft didn't give much incentive to buy one. When they first came out, I was hopeful that they would be a cheaper alternative to the iPod. Instead, they simply matched the capacity and price of Apple. Even worse, it took them forever to come out with a flash-based player. Most people who wanted a disk-less player already bought Nanos by then (including me). When they finally came out with solid-state players, they were still the same price as Apple.

If they made the new Mobile OS compatible with the Zune HD, that would be very cool. But they didn't do this either - leaving Zune HD users a bit disappointed to be left out.


RE: My faith in Microsoft
By Danish1 on 10/27/2010 5:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There are a lot of things that continue to bug me about Windows. For example - why does it blue screen when you change motherboards from Intel to AMD? Or even when you stay within the same processor, but change the chipset? Howe hard would it be to detect that the storage drivers have changed, and just use a generic one sp you can start windows? Windows has had this problem forever, and it still exists in Win 7.


Not sure what you are doing but last time I upgraded my desktop it was from AMD to Intel when I was still running XP and I simply plugged the HD in the new system and XP booted up just fine.

Maybe you are changing bios mode from IDE to ACHI which will break windows but there are ways around that.


RE: My faith in Microsoft
By kmmatney on 11/1/2010 7:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
yes, sometimes it works OK, and sometimes it doesn't. Buy why can't they just default to a Microsoft storage driver to at least let you in safe mode, and remove the Intel or AMD driver, or whatever it is that is making it imcompatible? I usually do a repair-install, but its still a pain.


RE: My faith in Microsoft
By mfeller2 on 10/27/2010 6:52:22 PM , Rating: 2
Linux is not far enough along to be an alternative to Windows.
I am a Linux user for 15+ years, and have been "willing to work" to get it running as I expect on my PC. I had a PC catastrophe a few months ago, and had to start from scratch in terms of a Linux install. Tried a couple of versions of new distros (Ubuntu, CentOS), and ran into irritations with both. Wouldn't hibernate with the USB hub plugged in. Unplugged the hub, and when hibernating, the USB keyboard and mouse would be disabled on resume. Power moding for the CPU had an issue. User switching in the GUI had an issue. Simple stuff that just works in Windows (and worked with the older Linux install--seems like Linux is going backwards on the little things). I decided I was tired of futzing with the OS, and just wanted something to work, and went to Windows. It was the quickest path to getting a PC that behaved the way I wanted it. (And I ended up setting up a separate Linux box for file sharing and a few other services, but not used as a desktop PC).


RE: My faith in Microsoft
By Lerianis on 10/29/2010 4:27:27 AM , Rating: 2
All those reason are the EXACT reason why I keep telling people that Linux is NOT A GOOD OS FOR MOST PEOPLE!
It takes a techie to get the damned thing working correctly, and I'm a techie.... and I honestly STILL haven't been able to get Linux to work on my Gateway P-7811FX so that it can connect to the internet.


RE: My faith in Microsoft
By R3T4rd on 10/28/2010 11:19:01 AM , Rating: 1
LOL....


"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini














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