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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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RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By UnauthorisedAccess on 7/25/2013 7:23:39 PM , Rating: 3
Regarding Steam on Linux, of my collection of 40+ steam games, 20 come up as Linux installable (you need to run steam on Linux, it'll only show you what you can install).

Pretty much all the valve stuff and indie titles though. Linux compatibility IS something that I was looking at during the steam sales though big name games are all still Windows (and sometimes Windows+Mac) only.

As soon as I can get off my requirement of needing Windows for gaming, it'll like in a VM inside my favourite Linux distro. Note that I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By ResStellarum on 7/25/2013 7:42:49 PM , Rating: 3
As soon as I can get off my requirement of needing Windows for gaming, it'll like in a VM inside my favourite Linux distro. Note that I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

Once GNU/Linux steam boxes get going the major titles will flock to the platform, and then desktop Linux will automatically get the content.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By StevoLincolnite on 7/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By NAVAIR on 7/26/13, Rating: -1
By StevoLincolnite on 7/26/2013 7:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not worried about being voted down, this website is more of a popularity contest when it comes to rating people anyway.

I.E. "Not worth Reading and Worth Reading" more or less means "I Disagree and I Agree" to some.

WINE though has surprisingly good compatibility with allot of Winows games, it's not perfect, but I doubt anyone who walks into Linux expects it to be.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By Darkk on 7/26/2013 1:20:17 AM , Rating: 2
As we all know Windows 8 is another Vista. Maybe Windows 9 they will get it right.

Meanwhile, I will be moving towards Linux as my primary desktop and looking into using Wine or commercial product called CrossOver.

Over time we will see more and more native Linux games and apps to the point we won't need anything windows emulated.

Linux is great as a server platform but some headaches are starting to happen with the desktop. I see new desktop environments coming around such as Gnome 3, XFCE, KDE and few others. For awhile I was using Gnome 2 and it was great. Then came around Gnome 3 which is a huge change. While it works but just not the same as Gnome 3. Lucky there is Linux Mint that is based on forked version of Gnome 2.

As you can see there are alot of customization you can do with Linux but issue is desktop there is no real set standard like Windows. So some programs may or may not work right for a particular desktop environment.

So it's a bit of a headache for Linux programmers. This fragmentation needs to stop.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By FITCamaro on 7/28/2013 10:25:29 PM , Rating: 3
Vista was unpopular because it was slow. Windows 8 definitely is not. People just don't like change. There are Mac guys at my office that love Windows 8. Just classic Windows users don't like the changes.

RE: MS just doesn't get it...
By marvdmartian on 7/29/2013 9:37:20 AM , Rating: 2
I think you're close, on your statement. But it should have been "people don't like RADICAL change". And that, most definitely, is what Windows 8 was, in a big way.

Vista wasn't so much slow, as it was a memory hog....which most OEM's didn't realize at first, and which MS didn't help either, by issuing extraordinarily low "minimum specs" for that OS. That's why you saw computer companies, like Compaq, putting out PC's with 1.3 GHz cpu's and 512mb of PC-133 ram, with Vista on them (and yes, I did have to work on one of those).

Windows 8 is a radical change from what people have known in the past, it was set up primarily to be used on touch screen computers (even though most PC's and laptops didn't offer those, when it first came out), and was geared more toward tablet and phone use....but was shoved down everyone's throat by MS, as they forced OEM's to put it on all their new products (as they have every other new version of Windows that has come out).

Thanks, but I'll stick with Windows 7, for the forseeable future.

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