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Say goodbye to Microsoft's exuberant leader

To say that Microsoft has been in a "holding position" for the past few years would be an understatement. The company has floundered in its smartphone efforts (Kin, Windows Phone), utterly failed in its tablet efforts (Surface RT/Surface Pro), and has taken heavy flak for Windows 8. Even its upcoming Xbox One console has come under heavy criticism (to be fair, Microsoft has backpedaled on some of the major sticking points).
 
For years, everyone has been pointing fingers at Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and it appears that the big man himself sees the writing on the wall. Microsoft released a statement today indicating that Steve Ballmer will step down within the next 12 months. During that time, Microsoft's Board of Directors has been tasked with finding his successor.
 
"The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company," John Thompson, committee chairman. "As this work continues, we are focused on selecting a new CEO to work with the company's senior leadership team to chart the company's course and execute on it in a highly competitive industry."
 
For his part, here's Ballmer in his own words:
 
I am writing to let you know that I will retire as CEO of Microsoft within the next 12 months, after a successor is chosen. There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction. You can read the press release on Microsoft News Center.
 
This is a time of important transformation for Microsoft. Our new Senior Leadership team is amazing. The strategy we have generated is first class. Our new organization, which is centered on functions and engineering areas, is right for the opportunities and challenges ahead.
 
Microsoft is an amazing place. I love this company. I love the way we helped invent and popularize computing and the PC. I love the bigness and boldness of our bets. I love our people and their talent and our willingness to accept and embrace their range of capabilities, including their quirks. I love the way we embrace and work with other companies to change the world and succeed together. I love the breadth and diversity of our customers, from consumer to enterprise, across industries, countries, and people of all backgrounds and age groups.
 
I am proud of what we have achieved. We have grown from $7.5 million to nearly $78 billion since I joined Microsoft, and we have grown from employing just over 30 people to almost 100,000. I feel good about playing a role in that success and having committed 100 percent emotionally all the way. We have more than 1 billion users and earn a great profit for our shareholders. We have delivered more profit and cash return to shareholders than virtually any other company in history.
 
I am excited by our mission of empowering the world and believe in our future success. I cherish my Microsoft ownership, and look forward to continuing as one of Microsoft's largest owners.
 
This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do. I take this step in the best interests of the company I love; it is the thing outside of my family and closest friends that matters to me most.
 
Microsoft has all its best days ahead. Know you are part of the best team in the industry and have the right technology assets. We cannot and will not miss a beat in these transitions. I am focused and driving hard and know I can count on all of you to do the same. Let's do ourselves proud.
 
Steve

 
Ballmer’s resignation will mark the penultimate phase of Microsoft’s restructuring efforts that began earlier this year with some executive shuffling. The final phase, of course, will be the naming of Ballmer’s successor.

We're gonna miss old Steve. He may be gone from Microsoft within the next year, but his antics will live on in cyberspace:
 

Source: Microsoft



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Julie Larson
By Captain Awesome on 8/23/2013 10:59:04 AM , Rating: 3
How many months now until Julie Larson has that job?

She's definitely going to get it, because she's the Barack Obama of Microsoft. She's all over the news, she photographs and interviews well, and no one really knows what (if anything) she has accomplished there. But none of that really matters, because there's no possible way she can do a worse job as CEO than her predecessor.




RE: Julie Larson
By retrospooty on 8/23/2013 11:11:04 AM , Rating: 3
I dont doubt it, you might be right, but I think it would be better for MS to get someone from the outside. They need an ass-kicker/decision maker, not another insider that has been there all along in the thick of all the bad decision making.


RE: Julie Larson
By YearOfTheDingo on 8/23/2013 12:23:02 PM , Rating: 2
My money is on Sheryl Sandberg.


RE: Julie Larson
By Monkey's Uncle on 8/23/2013 2:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
No she won't do at all. In order to make it as Ballmer's replacement she has to be able to dance around an auditorium stage like a horny baboon.


RE: Julie Larson
By retrospooty on 8/23/2013 2:50:22 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, but horny baboonery is what got them in trouble. They need a more appeasing ape like a female Bonobo (extra credit to anyone that gets the underlying reference) LOL


RE: Julie Larson
By Motoman on 8/23/2013 4:14:27 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Ya, but horny baboonery is what got them in trouble.


Story of my life.


RE: Julie Larson
By superstition on 8/26/2013 5:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
Female bonobos are actually the ones in charge. Bonobos are matriarchal.


RE: Julie Larson
By Lord 666 on 8/24/2013 10:53:00 AM , Rating: 2
The horny baboon approach would be interesting. It would be funny if a female CEO played to the male IT professional's hormones for sales.


RE: Julie Larson
By Motoman on 8/27/2013 11:51:29 AM , Rating: 3
I see you've never met a females sales rep before.


RE: Julie Larson
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2013 1:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
You're probably right, but that would be a horrible move by Microsoft. I think that people like her are partly responsible for the failure of their latest products. They seem less grounded in usability and more optimized for fashion and trendiness. Microsoft used to be the company you went for when you needed a no-nonsense business product that just got stuff done. It was never the prettiest or the most trendy, but you know that it was usable to get your work done.

If Microsoft puts her in charge, you're going to see a faster move in that direction, and an accelerating decline of the company.

Microsoft is trying to move into a consumer-oriented market that temporarily had huge revenue in the iPod/iPhone/iPad days. Those days are almost over. That market is still there and more popular than ever, but manufacturing has caught up with demand and it's transitioned into a more cut-throat, low-cost market. There are now phones and tablets that would have been industry leaders a few years ago and they're selling for under $200. The low-end stuff is under $100 now.


Retire? More like ousted.
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2013 12:37:35 PM , Rating: 5
It should be obvious to everyone following Microsoft for the past several years that they've lost their direction, and that direction was being controlled by Ballmer.

He had a very bull-headed management style where he basically tried to bully consumers and other companies to move in the direction that Microsoft wanted them to move. It didn't work. The same thing that happened to IBM in the 1980s happened to Microsoft now. You simply cannot move the entire industry in the direction that would be most profitable for you. The industry isn't going to follow you- it's going to move in its own direction and you better cater to it or it's going to leave you behind.

I think that when a company leads the pack for so long it begins to believe that the pack is following it, but the pack isn't. Instead, that company is just the strongest member of that pack for a long period of time. It would be like the leader of the Tour de France looking back and seeing everyone behind him, and then deciding that since they're following him he's going to start leading them through roads that he'd prefer to ride on. Nope, doesn't work that way- they're going to keep following the path that the fans and organizers chose for them.




By retrospooty on 8/23/2013 12:45:02 PM , Rating: 4
Very well said.

Good riddance Ballmer. The mobile revolution nearly passed you by. Hopefully MS can recover from the damage of your lack of vision.


RE: Retire? More like ousted.
By Jeffk464 on 8/23/2013 6:00:02 PM , Rating: 2
funny analogy, I approve


RE: Retire? More like ousted.
By NanoTube1 on 8/24/2013 7:03:26 AM , Rating: 2
Very true, well said.


By Captain Awesome on 8/24/2013 1:29:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well said, but I'm more than a little disappointed you chose to compare them with bike racing yet didn't work in steroids and missing testicles somehow.


Undo
By Da W on 8/23/2013 11:58:57 AM , Rating: 4
MS should take the opportunity to undo what they've done, and take the NSA scandals as an opportunity to become the champions of the anti-cloud movement.

Get a desktop as a personnal cloud for all your other devices. Don't trust GOOGLE with your information. Don't collect user's data and prevent internet services to do so if the user wants to stay private. Stuff like that.

Hurry up Windows 9, scrap metro UI, merge what's good of metro with the desktop, and up the ante with voice recognition that rivals Google's Moto X. Inspire yourself from the "computer" in Star Trek that you never see but is always there. Make you UI toward a minority report kinda thing. Bundle a kinnect or a touchscreen with evey pc. Build you own pcs. kill the small google tablet junks and get people back to a real computer! you have all the tools. you are almost there.

Stop pushing thing that people don't want down their troats. Stop acting like a monopoly, YOU ARE IN A COMPETITIVE MARKET NOW.

Become cool. Become people's friend. Listen to them. LISTEN.




RE: Undo
By w8gaming on 8/23/2013 8:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
The only way to truly kill the so called "Google" tablet junks is to have a tablet priced as low as that. The hardware vendors are all flocking to make cheap Android tablets, which mean even at such low price, there are profits to be made. Microsoft needs to stop thinking like Apple to have only a high price point product, and start to consider several devices of many price points. And if they do not want to make a low end model, they have to priced their software appropriately to enable their hardware partner to do so.


An interesting take on Ballmer
By amanojaku on 8/23/2013 9:39:42 PM , Rating: 3
Just read this on Boy Genius. I have no idea if the site is reputable or not, but I found it to be a good read. I had to post this after reading Reuters' craptastic "Chronology: Steve Ballmer's tenure as Microsoft CEO".

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/23/microsof...

"Despite his missteps, Ballmer was Henry Ford compared to Ed Zander"

http://bgr.com/2013/08/23/steve-ballmer-ed-zander-...




Wow
By mritter1981 on 8/23/2013 5:19:52 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, all I have to say on this is: It's about D@MN time!




Famous last words
By zlandar on 8/23/2013 8:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/23/the-rise-...

As Mr. Ballmer looks toward the exit, he may regret his infamous words during a television interview with CNBC in January 2007, in reaction to Apple’s introduction of the iPhone.

“That is the most expensive phone in the world, and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good e-mail machine,” Mr. Ballmer said. “I kinda look at that and I say, well, I like our strategy. I like it a lot.”




news
By mikeyjohn on 8/29/2013 1:23:22 PM , Rating: 2
what Janet answered I didn't know that you able to earn $4204 in a few weeks on the internet. right here jazz77com




is it too late ?
By 9ineballer on 9/5/2013 5:41:14 PM , Rating: 2
i used to be able to defend windows products and consult/ recommend pcs to clients. and well , windows 7 is an awesome os. but vista and now win 8 , combined with all the bloatware that come with a new pc, and it seems i cant even defend the product any longer . sure i use a pc , but if i buy ,say a laptop from a brick and mortar , i gotta spend about 5 hours setting it up to secure and optimize it . whereas macs dont come with all that crap . first i decrapify all the crap that it comes with -2 hours , then secure it via a good free firewall and anti virus , then delve into the services and disable any unnecessary crap and security risks . then go into the startup and disable all the crap that wants to run when i start the computer . then i gotta spend time updating windows . 6 hours easy . and im a computer nerd . your average computer user doesnt have a clue how to do any of that stuff , and so they usually wind up with slow virus ladden pcwith tons of expired trials and norton reminders and problems . there user experiance is in the trash . im not sure if microsoft can even get back in the game after windows 8 . that has put a huge nail in the coffin for consumer pc. i had windows 8 for about a week . omg , what were they thinking . yah they need to fire a bunch of people and get some young fresh minds in there . everything they have put out lately is just wrong wrong and wrong .why would anyone wanna deal with all that when they can get a mac that works great out of the box and doesnt require all that setup .




Oh darn.
By Motoman on 8/23/13, Rating: -1
RE: Oh darn.
By Wonga on 8/23/2013 10:56:59 AM , Rating: 4
I quite like ribbon. I can't comment on the others though, as I haven't tried them.


RE: Oh darn.
By Samus on 8/23/2013 11:20:11 AM , Rating: 2
Unlike Tim Cook, he clearly isn't "getting the job done."

The only real flop Apple has had under Cook was Apple Maps. Microsoft has had numerous screw-ups in the same period, especially the "corporate shakeup" which is a complete joke.

This company needs fresh leadership to truly innovate the next step for PC's, as they have done for 30 years.


RE: Oh darn.
By Apone on 8/23/2013 6:02:04 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Unlike Tim Cook, he clearly isn't "getting the job done."


You mean like how Cook let Apple's stock fall considerably and also at one point let it slide below $400 per share? How Mac OS X 10.7 was a commercial disaster to its customers? How Apple lost the title of "World's Most Valuable Company"?


RE: Oh darn.
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/23/2013 7:24:46 PM , Rating: 1
How he "let it" as if he has control over the stock price?


RE: Oh darn.
By Apone on 8/23/2013 8:49:30 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
How he "let it" as if he has control over the stock price?


Yes he does have control over Apple's stock price. The CEO of a company answers directly to the Board of Directors (who are elected by the owners of the company - The shareholders).

The CEO is ultimately responsible for the company's performance which includes finances, corporate strategy success, and overall bringing value back to the company owners in the form of increased stock prices.

This is why pay-for-performance compensation is common for CEO's and why often there is a high turnover rate in some companies (e.g. Yahoo, HP, Blackberry, JC Penney).


RE: Oh darn.
By sorry dog on 8/24/2013 5:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
Stock price is determined by the value of future cash flow payments.

Part of that can be or is dividend payments. The other part is the cash flow from sale in the future of the share(s).

The first is very much the responsibility of the CEO. The second depends on many things, and some are totally outside the control of the CEO. When part of the price of the stock is based on it's own price in the future, you can understandably have significant variations not related to financial performance.


RE: Oh darn.
By Apone on 8/26/2013 1:00:24 AM , Rating: 2
You have to look at the big picture. Sure everything you said is technically correct, however the CEO is still ultimately liable if he or she cannot bring value back to the shareholders.

The CEO cannot simply say "well it was out of my hands these last few quarters because of [insert excuse here] so that's why I should be allowed to keep my job".

quote:
Stock price is determined by the value of future cash flow payments.


If that's the case, then explain to me how Apple's stock price enjoyed continued phenomenal consistency and growth during Steve Jobs' tenure and then started plummeting after his passing?


RE: Oh darn.
By nikon133 on 8/23/2013 11:32:32 PM , Rating: 3
This.

Also... People like to forget that Microsoft went stale durring Gates last years. Gap between XP and Vista, and Vista itself. Gap between Server 2003 and Server 2008. Even Office had bigger break than usual 3 years. And clinging to old-school Windows Mobile.

Even Ribbon, which originally appeared in Office 2007, must have been envisioned durring Gates era.

Steve had his share of mistakes, but at least he did shake up Microsoft and made it much more dinamic. Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1. Windows Phone 7 and 8. Modern GUI for touch devices. Server 2008, 2008 R2 and 2012. Hyper-V. Kinect. Refreshed existing Microsoft hardware line (keyboards, mice) and venture into tablets.

I hope MS will be smart enough to promote insider, someone who is in MS for a while and knows company well. Bringing random "high-profile" CEO didn't seem to work well in recent past.


RE: Oh darn.
By Donkey2008 on 8/24/2013 2:34:35 AM , Rating: 3
Products take years to design, manufacture, market and bring to consumers. Cook happened to take over in-between product cycles.

But, hey, you are right. He should have waved a magic wand the very day he took over and *wooosh* a bunch of new products to drive the stock to $1000 a share should have appeared. What a total failure having the stock at only $500 (which happens to be almost exactly linear with the historic rising price of the stock). DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERP.


RE: Oh darn.
By Lord 666 on 8/24/2013 3:38:56 AM , Rating: 2
10.7 was under Steve's watch. He even said when the customer spends $20, they can install it as many times they want.

Don't see what the fuss about Lion is. Definitely not a stinker like Vista or Win 8.

Ballmer deserves more credit for Office 365 and hopefully that and Xbox live will ultimately be his legacy. However, Tim Cook is not the right CEO for apple either. While the CEO answers to the Board, their primary role is fund raising for the company By generating interest and providing compelling services/products. Steve got people excited. One CEO that comes to mind is Elon.


RE: Oh darn.
By Helbore on 8/23/2013 7:21:46 PM , Rating: 3
You do realise that Cook has been CEO for only a couple of years and Ballmer has been CEO since 2000, right? Ballmer was steering the ship through Microsoft's greatest period of growth.

You can't compare him to Tim Cook, who still has many years to prove whether he's a success or failure.


RE: Oh darn.
By Flunk on 8/23/2013 11:04:21 AM , Rating: 2
I think it's more a case of too much too quickly. Microsoft has really put off the slow-moving traditionalists, which is a big group in this industry. Add that to a few big missteps they've made and they really need a new, unified and reasonable new direction.

P.S. Someone is going to be annoyed no matter what they do.


RE: Oh darn.
By retrospooty on 8/23/2013 11:09:01 AM , Rating: 5
"P.S. Someone is going to be annoyed no matter what they do."

Totally untrue. Look at Win8... They redesigned the UI for use with touchscreens and removed the old start menu. This works fine for touch devices but awful for non-touch. They didn't have to remove it, they chose to. They could have just left it in and a user could choose which UI they wanted, but no, they forced the touch UI on non-touch devices and pissed everyone off. Had they just left the old alone and added the new anyone could choose which one they prefer and everyone is happy. You would have very few people complaining "I dont want to have to choose"


RE: Oh darn.
By Solandri on 8/24/2013 5:36:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You would have very few people complaining "I dont want to have to choose"

Actually I hear that a lot from users of Apple products. Seriously. They list the lack of choice as a pro, trusting in Apple to have made the best choice for them. After all, a 3.5" phone and 9.7" tablet are the perfect sizes; who would ever want a different size, right?


RE: Oh darn.
By retrospooty on 8/24/2013 9:48:01 PM , Rating: 2
Well Apple fans are a different breed. Clueless on tech issues. You really can't take any of them seriously. Anyone arguing Apples technical merits in 2013 is just a joke. The world has passed them by and they are too technically challenged to even realize it. Just leave them be, and be glad you know better.


RE: Oh darn.
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2013 12:47:45 PM , Rating: 6
quote:
I think it's more a case of too much too quickly. Microsoft has really put off the slow-moving traditionalists, which is a big group in this industry.


I wouldn't say that they're traditionalists. Instead, business is dictated by business need and companies have to cater to that need. While your average home consumer likes a change in fashion once in a while, business has no time for that. It just needs to get things done.

For instance, I manage servers running Windows server at work. I need those servers to run Active Directory, Exchange, SQL, WDS, etc. I need them to perform certain tasks and I need to them to be easy to manage when I have to make changes. Crap like server 2012 is just useless. It's basically the server version of Windows 8. Why do I need touch optimizations on a server? I don't want tiles- I want menus with the options I need to select. This isn't a fashion show, this is business, and by changing everything around to make it look pretty you've needlessly made my job harder.

Meanwhile, more and more servers are running Linux where you look at an ugly black text screen. And you know what? It does everything you need it to do, and doesn't change every time fashion changes.

It's sort of like rearranging a room. If it's your family room you can do it to shake things up and make it more interesting. But when it's your garage and you move around all the tools that you need to get jobs done, it just becomes frustrating. Sure, move the tools to a more efficient spot and then leave them there. Don't keep changing them around because people then have to spend time looking for those tools again. They don't need their garage to look interesting, they just need it to be functional.


RE: Oh darn.
By Ammohunt on 8/23/2013 2:01:24 PM , Rating: 2
You nailed it! Why innovate when you can just sell the same product with a new wrapper. Were i work now; we have office 2013 which base functions exactly like any other previous office product except with the added bonus of burying often used menus in obscure places and cool ui tricks minus the ability to customize the color scheme. Just don't know what Microsoft has been thinking lately.


RE: Oh darn.
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/23/2013 2:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's sort of like rearranging a room. If it's your family room you can do it to shake things up and make it more interesting. But when it's your garage and you move around all the tools that you need to get jobs done, it just becomes frustrating. Sure, move the tools to a more efficient spot and then leave them there. Don't keep changing them around because people then have to spend time looking for those tools again. They don't need their garage to look interesting, they just need it to be functional.


bravo.gif


RE: Oh darn.
By lyeoh on 8/23/2013 7:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
I don't mind change if it's replaced with something that's really much better. The Metro UI is not a significant improvement in most Desktop/Server things.


RE: Oh darn.
By nikon133 on 8/23/2013 11:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
I must say that my company is very enthusiastic about Server 2012. We have chosen Hyper-V for our standard virtualisation platform, and additions to Server 2012 - capability to enable GUI (for configuration) and disable it (for Core functionality) is alone worth it, according to our senior team.

The whole manageability, according to them, has gone a big step up from 2008 R2.

Different priorities, different needs, I think.


RE: Oh darn.
By retrospooty on 8/23/2013 11:59:07 PM , Rating: 2
We are using it too simply for the hyper-v improvements. It's awesome, but I have to agree the ui totally sucks and has no place in a server. Fortunately once its up and running you don't have to log into it and look at it that often.


RE: Oh darn.
By w8gaming on 8/23/2013 7:53:12 PM , Rating: 2
Too much too quickly basically sums it up. And it is a huge mistake which could have been avoided. I have always maintained that the recent failure of Microsoft is due to poor executions of their ultimate strategy. But still, it requires good leadership to correctly grasp what the market currently needs, what they will need in the future, and timed the changes at the right pace so that the market can accept it, slowly gaining traction in a market dominated by competitors, and turns a decent profit at the same time. The problem is many has felt maybe the problems lie at the senior management of Microsoft to have screwed up so badly.


RE: Oh darn.
By ShaolinSoccer on 8/23/2013 11:06:01 AM , Rating: 3
He's probably jumping ship because of things like this:

http://investmentwatchblog.com/leaked-german-gover...


RE: Oh darn.
By Samus on 8/23/2013 11:25:01 AM , Rating: 2
Germany's government and infrastructure is heavily geared toward Linux anyway, so not adopting Windows 8 isn't a huge blow when Windows 7/Vista/XP were already unpopular.


RE: Oh darn.
By Jeffk464 on 8/23/2013 5:53:42 PM , Rating: 2
Thats smart, with the NSA putting back doors into Windows any foreign government would be insane to use it. Its probably not smart for any foreign tech firms to use it either.


RE: Oh darn.
By inighthawki on 8/23/2013 7:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
We all know this isn't true, so why are you just trying to stir up some rumor that somebody is going to read and believe?


RE: Oh darn.
By retrospooty on 8/24/2013 12:04:18 AM , Rating: 3
We don't all know that it isn't true, we suspect it is true. What part of the lying sack of crap US government makes you think they're fully disclosing everything now that its been exposed?


RE: Oh darn.
By Reclaimer77 on 8/24/2013 7:20:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
We all know this isn't true


A few years ago I might have agreed.

But now, no, I really DON'T know that isn't true. It seems entirely plausible.


RE: Oh darn.
By Piiman on 8/24/2013 3:27:42 PM , Rating: 1
MS would have to be dumbasses to do something like put backdoors for the NSA in its OS. If it was ever found out to be true their entire business would be done in a blink of an eye.

Seriously though how do we know any OS doesn't have backdoors? Because it would be business suicide.


RE: Oh darn.
By Solandri on 8/24/2013 5:44:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
MS would have to be dumbasses to do something like put backdoors for the NSA in its OS. If it was ever found out to be true their entire business would be done in a blink of an eye.

The ISPs didn't "volunteer" to let the NSA wiretap their traffic. Many of them protested and took it to court. The secret court ordered them to comply with the NSA, and also ordered them not to tell anyone about it.


RE: Oh darn.
By inighthawki on 8/24/2013 5:54:17 PM , Rating: 2
And saying there is is just completely heresay, with no factual information which would suggest that there is such a thing.

Just because the NSA has recently been caught with all this spying stuff in the news does not mean any person can just go accuse a company that they clearly don't like of being in bed with the NSA and enabling backdoors into users computers. Without any evidence to back up these claims, it would be slander against any company to make these claims.

I don't even understand where these kinds of rumors started. Microsoft has never had a history of adding any kind of backdoors into the OS.


RE: Oh darn.
By Jeffk464 on 8/25/2013 1:13:11 AM , Rating: 2
Yes you are right, I guess the news stories I have read are mostly speculation and educated guesses. There is no proof that MS has done this with the OS, but they definitely did it with skype.


RE: Oh darn.
By inighthawki on 8/25/2013 5:31:28 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft has claimed that it does not directly allow the NSA access to any of its customers data. Now of course it's in their best interest to say they don't even if they did, but just like everything else, without some kind of evidence or access to source code, this is only hearsay, speculation and guesses. Nobody really knows, so I don't think that anyone really has the right to go around accusing anyone of anything. I'm not much of an Apple fan but I don't go around accusing Apple of having backdoors in OSX, iOS, and facetime ;)

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2421890,00.as...


RE: Oh darn.
RE: Oh darn.
By Jeffk464 on 8/24/2013 6:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
The German government takes it seriously.


RE: Oh darn.
By inighthawki on 8/24/2013 7:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.zdnet.com/german-government-refutes-win...

Stop believing everything you read at face value


RE: Oh darn.
By bug77 on 8/23/2013 11:31:37 AM , Rating: 2
Unlikely. TPM has been there since Vista, IIRC. Most manufacturers just didn't implement it anyway.


RE: Oh darn.
By Totally on 8/24/2013 12:04:16 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, and there are a lot of errors and fallacies in that article that will cause one to raise an eyebrow or two if they actually know a thing or two about TPM. I'm pretty sure it's safe to say nothing was ever 'LEAKED'.


RE: Oh darn.
By inighthawki on 8/24/2013 5:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
You may want to check out this, then:
http://www.zdnet.com/german-government-refutes-win...


RE: Oh darn.
By XZerg on 8/23/2013 11:07:41 AM , Rating: 1
ah let's not forget the good stuff too shall we?

Windows 7 being the biggest one. Xbox360 is also big up there - from zero to equal to Sony in console.

As for some that you mentioned:
Ribbon - it isn't so bad and majority of the blame goes to the screen space than to it. It does offer lot of visible convenience compared just plain old menu.

Windows Phone - regardless they have managed to beat out BB to 3rd place. So not a loser but not exactly VERY successful.

Win8 - i have seen a lot of people who like W8 for their hybrid systems and i for one am looking for a hybrid system too which i will go with W8 but lots of mod to ensure desktop mode is available as default. Can't overlook other benefits of Win8: performance and resolution scaling to start with.

Xbone - aside from the usual bullshit stuff: always on or price [which i still feel is somewhat justifiable]. The dual-os for games and htpc. it does seem a compelling product but has unnecessary bullshit policies that can be and must be removed.

Microsoft at times was a sleeping giant but at the same time is slow to react simply because the massive base it needs to cater its product to.


RE: Oh darn.
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/23/2013 11:23:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ribbon.

Ribbon is divisive... as the above op says, some like it, others don't. I agree it takes up a lot of real estate, but I think in general it is well organized and often it helps me find stuff faster.

My issues with Office are more about stablity of the product. I think it was the worst around the Office 2010 era. Office 2010 is crash intensive -- literally every time I close Word it crashes and then tries to restart. I've stopped sending Microsoft bug reports because it's wasting too much time. The product is a drastic step down from trusty Office 95 I remember using in the misty eyed days of yore... it almost never crashed on my machines.

Fortunately Office 365 Word and other apps seem much more fast and stable. I've been testing them and the difference in speed, memory usage, and lack of crashes is dramatic v. Office 2010. I give Microsoft kudos for '365.

I'm seriously thinking of paying the stupid subscription fee for the stability, if nothing else (darn you, Microsoft).
quote:
Kin.
Agreed, but Kin was meant to be a low-volume product (just not THAT low volume). It was a boneheaded idea. But not nearly as boneheaded as HTC trying to do the same thing years later with the Facebook Phone and producing predictably the same results. You can't market a low-end device as an awesome superstar, price it like one, and expect customers not to figure out. Kin was horrible, but could have done okay at budget price points in developing markets or on pay-as-you-go plans in the U.S.
quote:
Windows Phone (up until *maybe* the current version).
OKAY, on this one I have to say you're full of sh*t.

Here's why.

You can talk all the sh*t you want about Windows Phone. Reclaimer can too. You guys don't own Windows Phones. Maybe you've played with one. But you have not gotten the full experience. So I take your opinions with a grain of salt.

I on the other hand do own a Windows Phone device. Yes, it was a Mango era Lumia 900. It isn't perfect. Its battery life leaves something to be desired. At times I'll wish there was a few more games. But overall in comparison to my Android 2.3 Gingerbread EVO 4G it's a drastic step up.

Nokia's design trumps HTC's. The EVO's battery life was worse even (not that the Lumia 900's is all that good).

But where Windows Phone really shines is the interface and core apps. And when it finally got the Windows Phone 7.8 update that made things even better -- it cut my homescreen of key widgets in half, as I was able to compress lesser used ones and group them together.

Overall the interface trumps everything I experienced with iOS or early Android.

Certainly if I had stuck with Android I might have a different perspective -- ICS and Jelly Bean look like major improvements; the new hardware from Motorola, HTC, and Samsung is upping their game.

But at the end of the day I can say this with some confidence -- Windows Phone is a very good smartphone -- and the Lumia 900 is the best smartphone I have ever owned.

I think you hear a lot of people talking crap about Windows Phone, but I think very few of them actually own one. Of the people who are Windows Phone users, I think most are extremely happy with the platform (I can't recall any I met IRL who talked crap about it or were dissatisfied). The few that aren't probably had one of the first gen handsets like the HD7 that were somewhat laggy on some apps. But anything in the HTC 8X/Lumia 900 era or later is a great experience.

Hearing people hate on Windows phone is kinda like listening to an Apple user ripping on Android and how it "stole from Apple". Don't be that person. Don't be a hater until you've actually owned one and formed rational opinions.
quote:
Win8.
No start button, confusing gestures, and no tutorial of navigating the new interface were all moronic moves.

I actually feel the new Start Page is good -- IF you learn to use it (which with no tutorial, most people won't have the patience to) and IF you have a touch screen (which a large % of laptops don't.

I don't think Microsoft's Windows 8 innovations were useless -- the OS itself uses less resources and runs very fast. Microsoft just utterly failed to explain its vision to customers while also failing to enforce a basic hardware standard (e.g. touch) with OEMs.
quote:
XBox One.
True dat.

Good for them for reversing on the DRM and always on Kinect 2, but the who Xbox Live Gold feature crippling thing is beyond lame.

I'd much rather see them do what Sony does -- lock people who don't pay out of multiplayer gaming. That makes sense, because multiplayer gaming (if the console maker provides the hosting, which they basically have to) is expensive and requires resources. Thus it should not be free.

On the other hand features on my console like the TV Guide are delivered by the cable provider and are basically free to Microsoft. So how the h*ck does it get off banning them? It's just a cheap attempt to force EVERYONE to buy a Gold subscription -- even those who don't want to multiplayer game and hence aren't costing Microsoft a dime.

That scr*w-the-customer attitude makes me thanks, but no thanks to XBone.

I don't have time for multiplayer gaming. And I don't have time for Microsoft lame feature lockouts. I own a 360, but I'm not paying for Xbox Live Gold, and I'm NOT buying an XBone.


RE: Oh darn.
By Samus on 8/23/2013 11:29:14 AM , Rating: 1
I agree. WP8 is pretty awesome as a mobile OS. Next logical step forward from WebOS. Android is just too cumbersome and iOS is just too inefficient at getting anything done.

The problem is apps. At least WP8 has Google Maps now (but still no Youtube client) so it's a gamble on how capable it will be for the power user.


RE: Oh darn.
By Tony Swash on 8/23/13, Rating: 0
RE: Oh darn.
By retrospooty on 8/23/2013 12:50:56 PM , Rating: 2
That is pretty hilarious... If your CEO leaves and your stock jumps that much, it says alot. It says you needed to go long ago.


RE: Oh darn.
By Tony Swash on 8/24/2013 6:33:03 AM , Rating: 1
This article

http://kickingbear.com/blog/archives/354

is a reminder that Ballmer has only recently announced the most profound reorganisation in Microsoft's history, and is adopting BTW a very unusual corporate structure used by only one other big tech company, and is now in the process of walking out the door. The re-org on it's own would have sent waves of uncertainty throughout the company's middle and top management and now the authority of the man in charge is vanishing as he is a dead man walking. Looks like a recipe for chaos to me.

The next couple of years at Microsoft are going to be extraordinarily difficult and demanding for the company and it's managers, it will either make or break the company. Either a miraculous rebirth or a further acceleration in it's decline. I know which one I expect to happen.


RE: Oh darn.
By retrospooty on 8/24/2013 10:25:12 PM , Rating: 2
It is going to be tough, but there is time and plenty money to fix it... The total lack of customer focus they have shown in Win8 and the XboxOne have got to stop. They need to bring back the "let's give them exactly what they want and then some" attitude they put Win7 out with or face further decline.


RE: Oh darn.
By Jeffk464 on 8/23/2013 5:56:11 PM , Rating: 2
What is cumbersome about Android? I find it much easier to use than windows and it runs better on much lesser hardware.


RE: Oh darn.
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2013 8:06:07 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I asked myself the same when I read that. Perhaps he simply hasn't experienced Google Now. It's really streamlined how I use the smartphone, it's almost telepathic in how it displays useful data just when I need it. I now perform most of my daily functions JUST through the Google Now widget either through cards or commands.

Even if you just want to use Android as a dumb app shortcut launcher like iOS, kinda fail to see how that's cumbersome.


RE: Oh darn.
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2013 11:59:24 AM , Rating: 2
Its kind of ironic reading a web tech journalist telling someone they can't speak on a product without owning one personally. Why are we here if not to learn and discuss these things and make informed decisions?

Also I hoped after all these years conversing with you here and in emails, you wouldn't categorize my opinions as just "talking crap".

I'll justify my 'crap talking' when I get home in more detail :)


RE: Oh darn.
By rdhood on 8/23/2013 12:12:26 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
s kind of ironic reading a web tech journalist telling someone they can't speak on a product without owning one personally. Why are we here if not to learn and discuss these things and make informed decisions?


Exactly. Do I really have to own a Yugo or a Pinto before I can call them crap?

Seriously, just about everyone has access to these technologies if they want to test drive them. No need to own a Vista machine or a win8 machine to form an opinion.


RE: Oh darn.
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/23/13, Rating: 0
RE: Oh darn.
By Motoman on 8/23/2013 12:13:23 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
You can talk all the sh*t you want about Windows Phone.


You misunderstand my intent there. Perhaps I should have qualified it differently, but I was really talking to the utter failure of WP on the market, essentially forever, until *maybe* now. The jury's still out on that.

Personally I really don't give a rat's a$s what OS is on a phone. For the *vast* majority of users, there's no difference. Every OS has screens with icons on them. Icons launch apps. Yay. Beyond that, I can't understate how little I care about whatever other "features" there are in a phone OS. I need to be able to make phone calls, text messages, surf around on the internet, and play a couple games.

EVERY phone OS does that, and has for at least the past 15 years or so.

So no...I'm not saying that there has necessarily been anything "wrong" with WP as a product. I included it in my list because of it's utter failure as a product that people will buy - for whatever reason that is. Personally, I really couldn't care less what OS was on my phone so long as it did the basic things noted above.


RE: Oh darn.
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/23/2013 12:45:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You misunderstand my intent there. Perhaps I should have qualified it differently, but I was really talking to the utter failure of WP on the market, essentially forever, until *maybe* now. The jury's still out on that.

Personally I really don't give a rat's a$s what OS is on a phone. For the *vast* majority of users, there's no difference. Every OS has screens with icons on them. Icons launch apps. Yay. Beyond that, I can't understate how little I care about whatever other "features" there are in a phone OS. I need to be able to make phone calls, text messages, surf around on the internet, and play a couple games.

EVERY phone OS does that, and has for at least the past 15 years or so.

So no...I'm not saying that there has necessarily been anything "wrong" with WP as a product. I included it in my list because of it's utter failure as a product that people will buy - for whatever reason that is. Personally, I really couldn't care less what OS was on my phone so long as it did the basic things noted above.
Fair enough, I suppose I can understand from that perspective.

I just interpreted your comments to be a misinformed attack on the platform (as in saying it wasn't usable/easy to use) as that's what many similar commentaries I've seen have been. I'm glad you clarified what you meant, though, and sorry if I was a little harsh on you.

My nerves are setttled. :P


RE: Oh darn.
By Jeffk464 on 8/24/2013 4:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
WP is unsuccessful because it was late to market, everyone is already comfortable with android and iOS. They actually have some really nice products now but why leave android?


RE: Oh darn.
By inighthawki on 8/24/2013 4:52:44 PM , Rating: 2
The same reason they left iOS for android?


RE: Oh darn.
By stimudent on 8/23/13, Rating: 0
RE: Oh darn.
By karimtemple on 8/23/2013 1:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ribbon.
What, didn't you play Ribbon Hero? =p


RE: Oh darn.
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/23/2013 1:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
By retrospooty on 8/23/2013 4:46:59 PM , Rating: 1
It's not like its just DT. The whole internet is on fire with the exact same discussions going on here... It's not even just tech sites... Hell, the stock jumped 7 points instantly this morning on the mere thought of new leadership. That means investors see the same thing we all see.


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