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  (Source: AP)
But Ballmer says improvements, including a new Surface and a new Metro Start Button, will win customers back

At a quarterly all-hands type meeting, Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) boisterous and ebullient CEO Steve Ballmer was more sedate than usual.  While he raved about the upcoming next generation Surface tablet -- which was garnering rave reviews internally -- he also reportedly owned up to an unpleasant fact that Windows 8 isn't selling well.

The news -- which was pretty much a known fact to analysts and tech enthusiasts already -- came shortly after Microsoft's major leadership shakeup, in which it put the people in charge of Windows 8 (Julie Larson-Green, Tami Reller) in charge of key leadership positions over the entire company.

Revenue for the Windows unit dropped 55 percent (-$1.3B USD) in the second calendar quarter of the year (Microsoft's fiscal Q4 2013).  After beating street expectations the previous quarter, Microsoft saw its efforts unravel badly with sales of both Windows and the embattled first generation Surface sinking to Vista-like levels of market apathy.

Steve Ballmer
Windows 8 is turning into a nightmare for CEO Steve Ballmer. [Image Source: AP]

Microsoft and Mr. Ballmer came under fire from some of their major partners.  Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) blamed Microsoft for drooping PC (and by proxy semiconductor component) sales.  Jun Dong-soo, head of the memory chip unit who sells DRAM and NAND to PC makers, called Windows 8 "less competitive" and complained, "[It is] no better than the previous Windows Vista platform."

Those are pretty harsh words coming from a major partner.

At the meeting Mr. Ballmer tried to convince employees that the free Windows 8.1 update would make up for the flop of its predecessor.  He pointed to the return of a "Start Button" (although it's not the Start Button you used to know) and the use of telemetry data to improve weak spots in Windows 8 as critical keys to the turnaround.  He also discussed increasing spending on professional services (consulting), although the leaks from the meeting made it unclear whether Microsoft is looking to recruit outside consultation for itself or make money off providing it to others.

Windows 8.1 Preview
Ballmer thinks a new Metro Start Button will thrill Windows fans back to the ranks.
 
In the second calendar quarter Google Inc. (GOOG) ChromeBooks gained major ground on Windows PCs, establishing a beachhead of approximately 4-5 percent of total personal computer sales, and a quarter of <$300 USD personal computer sales.  Some OEMs such as Samsung and Acer, Inc. (TPE:2357) (another prominent critics of Windows 8) have turned to Chromebook offerings, and may be eyeing dumping Microsoft entirely, shoudl consumers continue embracing Google's offerings and rejecting Microsoft's.

Microsoft can take some solace in that Apple, Inc. (AAPL) saw sales of its Mac computers miss expectations, leaving Google the only clear winner in the PC market for the quarter.

Source: NeoWin



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Windows 8...
By XZerg on 7/25/2013 5:01:32 PM , Rating: 0
what most people can't seem to wrap their head around is what windows 8 meant and why it was released and the timings. I have said it numerous times and will say it again.

What W8 means?
Windows 8 was a testing OS to drive computers/pcs into the next generation of computing - tablets, clouds, touch screens, ... These are some very complex and very demanding endeavors to take on in a single OS that is so widely used - not only by numbers but also for purpose [gaming, professionals, hosting, media consumption, ...] - and to get it right in one go. But W8 isn't stupidly bad but rather does not offer a smooth transition from "olden" days and older programs.

Why it was released?
It was released to sort of beta test out the next generation of computing. And it served that purpose well. Lots of complains/feedback got taken in and Windows 8.1 comes about. Even that I believe will be another beta OS but something that Microsoft has to do to transition the masses to the new interfaces and give sufficient time for all the program makers to deliver a working usable program. Can you imagine trying to build an OS that delivers on both fronts and perfectly satisfy them?

The timings
See the funny thing here is that most people bitching about Windows 8 use Windows 7's "perfection" as an argument, but at the same time fail to realize that it is exactly that that provided the opportunity for the new venture into the next generation computing that Windows 8 represents. When the world is perfectly happy with Windows 7, why not beta test out new OS (GUI and what not specifically) and give a product that software makers and PC makers can use to build on.

So why go and bitch about Windows 8 being horrible compared to Windows 7? If one is happy with Windows 7 then they ought to stay with it. You don't have to continue using/upgrade to Windows 8 if you do not want to. I understand there is the part where Windows 8 is being forced down your throat when you pick up a new system but part of the necessary beta testing needed. :)

Oh and I don't believe we will get a solid replacement for Windows 7 for a while similar to how Windows XP was. But I can say for sure is that Windows 7 style GUI is done with and ought to be as much as I hate to say and admit it for the next generation of computing.




RE: Windows 8...
By name99 on 7/25/2013 7:56:48 PM , Rating: 4
"These are some very complex and very demanding endeavors to take on in a single OS that is so widely used"

Uhh, and who ASKED for all these endeavors to be run by the same OS?
There is one common thread to all the Win8 hatred --- an understanding by users that the job to be done by a tablet is different from the job to be done by a desktop PC.

You can scream all you like about what a great job MS is doing uniting desktop and laptop, but that won't change the fact that MS is uniting two products people DO NOT WANT TO BE UNITED. The bottom line is that MS has only one plan going forward --- to force Windows onto everything, regardless of how little sense it makes.

And it isn't going to end. What's the MS plan as wearable computing becomes the next big thing? To force some crippled and painful to use version of Metro onto smart watches and smart glasses?


RE: Windows 8...
By systemBuilder on 7/26/2013 11:49:40 PM , Rating: 2
Lol, I can see Ballmer trying to shove the "Windows-9 Watchtro" GUI down all the workstation users' throats. Fat chance ...


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