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Sanity check: The two tides that are turning against Microsoft

Microsoft has a hoard of cash and several mature, money-making businesses. It's not going anywhere any time soon. However, there are two big trends that Microsoft is not well-positioned to benefit from. Learn why.

Microsoft has a hoard of cash and several mature, money-making businesses. It's not going anywhere any time soon. However, there are two big trends that Microsoft is not well-positioned to benefit from. Learn why.

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If you clicked into this article thinking it would be a Microsoft bashapalooza or a vapid prediction about the downfall of the Seattle software giant then you're going to be disappointed.

Microsoft isn't going anywhere. It has a massive installed based of software and $20 billion in cash stuffed under its mattress. It could stop making new products today and survive for a decade off of licensing fees and support contracts from its current software.

See also: What would Larry Ellison do with Microsoft?

However, Microsoft's role at the center of the information technology universe is very much in doubt, for two reasons. The first culprit is Microsoft's own lack of focus and the second is a pair of industry trends that Microsoft is not well-positioned to exploit:

  1. The migration of applications to the Web browser
  2. The rise of the computer phone

Two tides that are turning

The interesting thing is that Microsoft initially had its eye on these two trends over a decade ago and even positioned itself to take advantage of both of them. The company anticipated the Web browser as the next great application platform and that's why it went all out to take down Netscape with Internet Explorer.

Microsoft also saw the potential for the smartphone to develop into a major force in computing. That's why it took Windows CE and turned it into Windows Mobile. Earlier this decade Bill Gates even provided a vision of a future in which a smartphone could be a person's primary computing device that could be wirelessly paired with a full keyboard, mouse, and monitor when the person sat down to work - a vision that will likely be brought to market by other vendors and not Microsoft in the next few years.

The problem in both cases is that Microsoft took its eye off the ball and has let both initiatives languish as it got distracted with ambitious projects like Xbox and Live Search. As a result, Microsoft is not very well-positioned in either case, and there's nothing coming out of Redmond that makes it look like they will change course in 2009.

In terms of applications in the Web browser, keep in mind that I'm not just talking about cloud computing. Many business applications now use the Web browser as the front end platform to deliver applications to users, as I recently discussed in the article Have we now entered the post-OS era? This obviously makes the operating system increasingly insignificant since a user can access a browser using popular Windows alternatives Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux.

Although Internet Explorer is still the world's most widely used browser - despite Firefox, Safari, and Chrome all encroaching on its turf -- Microsoft has done very little innovation with its Web browser during the past decade. And, even more importantly, Microsoft has done very little innovation in building its own browser-based applications.

Microsoft has talked a good game. There was Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie's 2005 memo on "The Internet Services Disruption" which talked about the steps Microsoft needed to take in the new Internet-powered world. There have been the over-hyped launches of Windows Azure, Live Mesh, and Windows Live. And there has been lots of talk about "Software+Services."

In other words, the company's strategy has been all over the map. Ultimately, Microsoft has talked about some interesting ideas but has failed to deliver a clear product roadmap to the market when it comes to Web applications.

Ozzie (right) recently remarked that "there has been a dramatic shift" at Microsoft toward the Web as a platform and he even reiterated the promise of a forthcoming Web version of Microsoft Office. But, the world is passing Microsoft by in the area where the company has its traditional strength and should be a leader. And it's unclear whether or not Microsoft will make this a priority or will simply continue with a reactive Web strategy and ride out the traditional software model for as long as possible.

In terms of the smartphone, the story is much simpler. The Windows Mobile platform is old, awkward, and slow. It has been passed up technologically by BlackBerry, iPhone, and the new Palm WebOS. Even Google Android has leapfrogged Windows Mobile in terms of usability.

While Windows Mobile has arguably the largest ecosystem of mobile business applications next to BlackBerry, RIM has continued to innovate with BlackBerry - both on devices and the backend platform. Meanwhile, Windows Mobile increasingly feels dated and inflexible. Paired with Microsoft Exchange on the backend, Windows Mobile can save enterprises money compared to BlackBerry, but it doesn't offer as many enterprise-class features and its smartphones are often harder to use and more expensive.

On the consumer side, the Apple iPhone and the forthcoming Palm Pre feel much more like small computers, and that's the future of this market. Microsoft could have had a device to match if it wouldn't have gotten side-tracked with the Zune music player, for example. But now, the company is going to need to take a page from Palm's book and completely reboot its mobile OS if it wants to be a player in the smartphone world - and I don't think it can afford not to. Smartphones are the future computers of the masses, especially in the developing world.

Too many north stars, or none at all?

For the first two decades of its existence, Microsoft had a clear north star: "A computer on every desk and in every home, running Microsoft software." It used that mission statement to decide which projects to do, and - more importantly - which ones not to do.

That ambitious mission statement was the product of a populist vision of computing by Bill Gates, who wanted Microsoft to be the most important company in the technology business. And with the spread of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office by the end of 1990s, Gates had largely reached his goal.

The problem was that Gates and Microsoft weren't just satisfied with the spread of the technology. They could never let go of the populist vision. As other popular technologies and companies took center stage, casting a temporary shadow over Microsoft, Microsoft developed a chronic habit of launching new products to compete with the popular new kid on the block.

It created MSN to compete with AOL. It created Xbox to compete with Sony Playstation. It created the Zune to compete with the iPod. It created Live.com to compete with Google. And now it's creating Microsoft Vine to compete with Facebook and Twitter, the hot items of 2009.

The result is a company that now has so many north stars that it effectively has none at all. Microsoft has lost its focus and its CEO, Steve Ballmer (right), has done little to help. While Ballmer is an excellent business administrator and motivator, he's not the visionary Gates is. However, at this point he doesn't even need to be a visionary. He just needs to let go of Microsoft's populist aspirations and pick what kind of company the 21st century Microsoft is going to be, focus on 2-3 things, and spin off, sell, or shut down the rest of the stuff.

For example, Microsoft would be far more useful to the world - and far more profitable - if it focused on just these three things:

  1. Use its expertise and experience in software applications (including OS) to create a new breed of applications that have seamless online/offline capabilities from the Web browser
  2. Reboot Windows Mobile and bring Bill Gates' vision of the mobile computer to life
  3. Make its enterprise software, especially Exchange and SQL Server, highly affordable and scalable so that it can help businesses of all sizes create their own private clouds in the years ahead

In this vision of Microsoft, it becomes a software platform and applications company that stretches from the smartphone to the desktop to the data center - and it quits wasting money on Xbox, Zune, and Live Search. This scenario may or may not be the answer, but at least it would have some focus.

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

271 comments
brokndodge
brokndodge

microsoft does not innovate. they wait for someone else to come up with a great idea. then they wait for that idea to become popular. then they try to learn from the mistakes that person made along the way. then they release a similar product, file for a patent and sue the hell out of their competition. the guy that invented the tech ends up paying microsoft royalties for using his own technology. microsoft doesn't care who invented it or how late they are to market. they have $20 billion to spend on marketing and lawyers. they will be on topbecause for the masses they ARE the computer. if it isn't microsoft it's not a computer.

mailboweb
mailboweb

They do innovate, but leave the introduction to others when they( the others) have nothing else to offer. Its all economics. How many small companies owe there existence to Microsoft's policies?( and international law :) If an upgrade of the OS is to extreme an lot of companies fold. That is an fact! If the perfect OS sees the light, then say bye bye to most small independent software( and hardware) companies. One reason you buy PowerDVD, or use WinAmp is because Microsoft does not give an full feature media player with there OS. Just something to consider. Its an give and take situation. You can go Mac, but they are roughly two times more expensive. There is no choice about that.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

You believe it's a good thing that Microsoft has such a hold on the market and such inflated pricing that small businesses go bankrupt over maintaining there information systems?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

tilt sensing, touch sensing, eye tracking, gesture tracking, voice recognizing computers.. there are some interesting things if you look outside the normal two for input devices. voice control will mature to deal with the controllers voice versus the rest of the noise. It may still be limited to personal use though as an office full of voice controlled systems will suck quickly. voice control of your squad in military strategy games is great. Listening to my cubicle neighbor dictate to the computer all day won't due though. It limits where you can use it as the primary input. I hear the problem with gestures is strength. If the airmouse is anything to go by now, you can only hold your arms at the screen or wave them around so much. I can think of a few programs where gesture input would be the ideal primary method but mass input is still keyboard or voice. OCR even if it's from any kind of physical medium assuming it matures along with the rest. Given long enough, it may even be direct input though likely not wired as it is in sci fi. Work could be fun given a customizable 3d space. Games with full immersion are a given. Give me that small datajack behind my ear and a mono-filament patch cable.

mailboweb
mailboweb

"If I remember my history correctly, some of the first PC's, there was a race to find a visual way of interacting with the system. One came up with a touch screen, and the other came up with the mouse. The mouse won as it was far easier to use and didn't smudge up the screen. I don't believe we will regress that far into computing, no matter how hard Apple tries to regress computing! " ..I must disagree on that one. PC power and software have seriously advance today. Reducing Smudges is just an mater of using the right filter to the screen. i don't see an problem there. I is true that for some applications you will need an pointing device, lest say drawing. But combined with speech recog,hand movemet recog and eye movement recog. I really feel we cover all needed movements here. Windows 7 gives us some indication of voice recog in windows, but I suppose it will depend on the available hardware, say more directed microphones that can only picks up selected voices or from specified directions. Filtering out the rest. Eye and movement software is available. I am used to using webpads, and for what they present now, its faster to use the hand then an mouse in some applications. Granted that on the desk it will need other means of use. But even Virtual keyboards and virtual recog is a very interesting technology i would really like to use. Check out the DigiDesk. Its already in interesting concept that could works.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Touchscreen on PDA since the Newton 2100.. well, that's a given. After you have a touchscreen notebook (Panasonic CF-25, CF-27), it's like having a hand tied behind your back when you have to give it up. Just being able to poke [OK] instead of reach for the mouse or pad makes the difference. Grabbing a window and dragging it around with your fingertip; that's the stuff. Granted, we're still in the novelty fase of multi-touch input. Things like tactile response remains very important though. Think onscreen keyboards; you need to feel if your on the keys and if you've pressed one. You can do the vibrate trick for a click but how do you simulate the feeling of centering fingers over static keys? In terms of history, I'm not sure when the touchscreen first turns up. The first I saw where Squirel point of sale terminals. In terms of the mouse, I believe that competed with the light-pen initially. No touchscreen, just a laser pointer to move your radar data around. My guess would be that between the light-pen and the mouse, the later was cheaper to implement. Because of our evolution including hand-eye coordination, the mouse was not more difficult to master than the light pen. At the same time a lot has to change before a touchscreen only input would work for general computing. But when I had to study and report on the development of the graphic interface, touchscreen was not remotely heard of outside of the specialty devices like point of sale. hm.. if only I could afford one of the touchscreen monitor covers to add on to my LCD. heck, if only I could afford the current price of a Panasonic CF-30 too finally upgrade from the 27.

Slayer_
Slayer_

If I remember my history correctly, some of the first PC's, there was a race to find a visual way of interacting with the system. One came up with a touch screen, and the other came up with the mouse. The mouse won as it was far easier to use and didn't smudge up the screen. I don't believe we will regress that far into computing, no matter how hard Apple tries to regress computing!

mailboweb
mailboweb

..is an tricky one. Did you try "Opus 9" yet. Its not perfect but comes close to being useful. But explorer still is faster in some arias and more stable. Luckily, I would have been disappointed if it weren't. I really don't think it is easy to add some more useful interface "themes" What ever it would be , it will still has to have the Windows look and feel. There has been extensive resurge in that. For the moment people still want the taskbar and start menu. To change the interface under XP you don't really need to buy 3dr party software. You can do this for free. Just an little knowledge most pro's and hobbyist have. Its still very interesting to see the many approaches that are available to control the Windows OS, problem is, most are developed by independent developers, and hobbyist not Microsoft( they do reserge in this aria). And to change it may loose the look and feel of Windows as we know it today. It must remain the windows experience. People know this one. But what does it matter anyway. if you look at the future, touch screen will be the next big thing. That will need an other interface anyway, and an other way of working and thinking. Most younger people will have no problem with this, there used to a lot of new stuff. It's where they start like most of use did years back. I am still motivated enouf to make this adjustment, and can't wait to use them, sometime the interface bores me and slows me down. Doing 10 things at a time is no big problem today, but it could be more and/or faster with the right interface and software. @ernest. Who cares what come with the installation disk. Most of use are pro's anyway, and know that you don't use Outlook express for business, use Firefox for most browsing if not for all, keep the system secure. Windows is an platform where a lot of company's thrive upon. IE not good enouf, but you will not allow it being build in, Media player not good enouf, but when they do its bye bye the rest and so forth.. Windows is an community, a large one people enjoy. Maybe we should cut away all these third party company's and leave it all to MS then. Make up your mind. And no, Linux is not a viable option, yet! What Linux anyways.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If the forums where simply about defeating each other it wouldn't be very interesting or productive. I'd say "shared new information" versus "defeated" through some epic battle. There are absolutely shell replacements for Windows. My disapointment has simply been that they don't full replace the system default shell or function as advertised. Sinister, you mentioned Compiz in another post. When I get a few minutes, I'll see if I can track down some links to consider. There are some distributions purposefully pretty like ELive so it's just a matter of finding one that focuses on Compiz effects. If it's just to see how Compiz looks, there are screenshot videos worth looking at. I'll try to remember to message or post over some links. Personally, Compiz does nothing for me that makes it a critical need. The last time I mucked with it was around Mandriva 2007.1 or 2008.0 with an ATI video card. It was a novelty for a week but that was about it. Mind you, had Compiz been around when I was switching from Afterstep to Enlightenment due to graphics effects, I'd probably been all over the 3D bling.

Slayer_
Slayer_

But is there any rule saying they can't just provide explorer1 and explorer2? Still once again avoiding third party producers. I suspect in the MS world, this is more likely to happen. Also FYI, I don't like OO or Thunderbird, I have been using Outlook (w/e came installed with Windows, not the MS office version) since 1997 and have never had any security issues with it. i have been using MS Office since 1997 and have never had a security issue with it. I have been using IE since 1997 and it is a piece of shit (lol). but i have never liked the interface of Firefox, Opera was closer to my liking. Then IE7 came along and I started using Avant and now Orca.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

We were discussing what came as part of the basic set up disk and how adjustable they were by the average end user. You switched to third party additions. That loses on both fronts, but mainly because the average end user wouldn't know to go looking for third party software to do things like that, and would be lost adding them on anyway. Once you take into account the available third party software, you can actually fix or negate the majority of the faults within MS Windows itself and other MS software, which is a hell of an indictment of Windows and MS software. Security faults with MSIE, most can be fixed with third party overlays live Avantbrowser. Security issues with Outlook express allowing emails to jump across and take over the kernel. Switch to using Thunderbird. Security issues with MS Word and Excel allowing code embedded in documents jumping across to hijack the system, and issues with them not opening older MS Word or Excel documents. Switch to using Open Office and both problems fixed. If you use third party to replace as much of the MS applications and Windows functions as possible you greatly improve performance and security. But by then you may as well replace MS Windows altogether.

Slayer_
Slayer_

However I still claim victory on the first front, where it was implied there was no replacement GUI's for Windows, when infact there is... They don't provide as much of a fundemental change was Nix GUi's do, but I think anyways, that its enough change for your average end user. And yeah i tried litestep and i didn't like it. Too much like gnome and KDE, I dislike purely menu driven controls. It also had lots of anouying glitches. Such as not being able to select an icon on my desktop, it wouldn't highlight :(.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

" And as for the shell thing. You can of course argue that Linux provides all sorts of GUI's that Windows does not. But can you honestly blame them. MS gets anti competitive lawsuits constantly for providing even something as rudimentary as a web browser and media player." No, a single bundled media player (remember they where also moving into online music stores at the time) and a single bundled web browser so tightly integrated that it can't actually be uninstalled. If Microsoft included competitive media players and browsers then three would be no anti-competitive issue. They could easily include Safari, Firefox and Opera on the install disk. One of the best things they could do for the end user would be to open up Windows Update like a Windows software repository. Of course, this can't happen because the shareholders would scream over Microsoft doing anything but strongarming competitive software. " Can you imagine if they provided alternate GUI's? People would have a **** fit, how dare MS support Litestep and not anyone else? " "people" wouldn't have a fit; the board of directors would. The end users would probably throw a civic holiday. Can you imagine the tuners and gamers suddenly having window managers available off the install disk or from Windows Update? Businesses can suddenly select a minimal window manager that provides only the functions needed by the job description? As for the third party window managers that are available now, LiteStep must have matured since I last tried it against WinXP being that it was years ago. BB I keep on my flashdrive but it's really just a layer over not a replacement for the IE window manager. I've also never found a window manager that can deal with multiple desktops and IE without breaking. I'm open to the possibility that one I haven't tried does replace IE window management cleanly though. I'd like to tell you it's simply Windows hate bias but Win7 has been interesting so far; the jury is still out on that one.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

MS didn't get into trouble for providing a browser or a media player, they got into trouble for the way they did it and the reason they did it. When MSIE first came out you had to buy it and then load it as a separate application - Heck, I've still got the disk from when I first bought MSIE 4. It wasn't as good as Netscape Navigator and Navigator had most of the market. The fact they weren't number One pissed off Gates, so they started giving MSIE away, didn't go up much. So they built it in to Windows in Win 95, the fact it was already there meant a lot of average people just used what was there. The reason they built it in was to push Navigator off the market. That's what they got in to trouble for. They always could have included it as a free disk and let people decide if they want it on. The fact MSIE opens a lot of security holes and allows people to access your system from the Internet only made things worse too. They also did the same with media player. With Linux I can choose a base style of Gnome or KDE, within those I can choose dozens of styles within the basic install, each is different to the other, I can then go about changing how the icons look, their size, the colours, and all aspects of the interface. In Windows I can change the colours of the various parts and that's about it, oh, I can also change the font size, wow. By the time you go to third party additions you have a much wider range in both.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I wonder why that never happened to me??? it flagged my as pirated and everything. But I just uninstalled the stupid thing and was fine, even still got updates, just couldn't use windows update site manually. And as for the shell thing. You can of course argue that Linux provides all sorts of GUI's that Windows does not. But can you honestly blame them. MS gets anti competitive lawsuits constantly for providing even something as rudimentary as a web browser and media player. Can you imagine if they provided alternate GUI's? People would have a shit fit, how dare MS support Litestep and not anyone else? The comparison just doesn't work, your trying to compare an OS designed to be modified to suit people specific needs, to an OS designed to suit everyone's needs. If your best argument is "Because it doesn't come with it" I think you need to think it through a bit further and through some other view points. Also, Gnome, KDE, all those, are all third party software. And Linux can run just fine without them. Oh wait, your argument just got owned. Windows has a 1st party GUI, while all Nix distros use a 3rd party GUI. Care to elaborate on your POV?

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Last first, which of those long list of shells come as part of Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Vista to allow you to customise the appearance? Oh, none, they're all third party extras, did you say? Whereas the versions of Linux I've used allowed me to make significant changes of the appearance within the base install. And it was the OSs we were comparing, not third party software for them. First item last. I had a legal copy of Win XP Pro purchased direct from MS Australia as an Academic version - fully operational but a greatly reduced priced while doing a course at CIT (a tech college down here). At the time I did a lot of chopping and changing of hardware between three boxes I had, each time I change the second hard drive, or the video card, the system asked to be reactivated. After about the fifteenth time I had a set up I stayed with. All went well for a long time, then MS introduced WGA and you had to have it or you couldn't get the security updates. By then I'd moved from being in the city to living on a farm and gone from broadband to slow dial up 28.8 kbps on a good day. The account was unlimited hours and unlimited download but a reset of the connection every four hours. I soon learned to only request the essential updates as the connection was never live long enough to get them all. Sometimes I'd go four or five weeks between checking the updates. About four months after WGA was introduced I ran the updates and had my system lock up because the MS server declared my system to be a pirate copy. I rang MS and they talked me through a few things, not go. Only answer was to clean out the whole Windows installation and reload it. Which I did. I didn't mind doing a format C: as the data was all on the D: drive, the second hard drive which had originally been formatted FAT32. After I got the system rebuilt with a new activation code from MS, I found the D drive data was all scrambled and unrecoverable. I rang MS and they had no answer. Some weeks later I got an unofficial response that the program WGA loaded on to lock up pirate systems sometimes scrambled any extra drives. Thank you MS. Six weeks later I had the same problem with WGA declaring my system a pirate and locking it down. Data lost again. After this rebuild I got an external hard drive and copied all data to it just before doing any MS updates. I'd just been able to afford to buy one by then. The third time WGA locked up the system the D: was OK, but scrambled the fourth time. After the fifth lock up I started loading versions of Linux to try instead of Windows, I was well and truly fed up with rebuilding the system due to poor coding in the WGA. I have heard since then the coding re the activation sensitivity and WGA have been improved to be not so troublesome, but they should have been properly coded and tested before being released into the wild. MS uses the retail clients as test beds and regularly screw the clients over like this, and they couldn't give a damn about it.

Slayer_
Slayer_

One: How the hell can windows genuine advantage make you lose data? They F**ked me over too with that but all i had to do was delete the active X control and it shut up about it and let me carry on. What did you do to lose data? Second, what do you mean you cannot change the GUI in windows, have you done any research in this at all? It may not be as "free" as Linux, but you most certainly can change the GUI. And the GUI change doesn't come at the price of having to have every application maker make a different version for every possible GUI. Here is a list of shells you can get for Windows, this is provided by Wikipedia. * Aston * BB4Win * bbLean * CairoShell * Calmira * Chroma * Emerge Desktop * Flyakite * GeoShell * HoverDesk * LDE(X) * LiteStep * Microsoft Bob * Norton Desktop * Packard Bell Navigator * Program Manager * Secure Desktop * SharpE (now SharpEnviro) * Talisman Desktop * triShell * Windows Shell * WinStep

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

faulty code in an unneeded change by the OS maker. The broke what wasn't faulty. As to the interface, I spend so little time looking at the interface itself when at the computer as I always have one of more applications open that I'm working in. having a GUI that has everything where I readily know where it's at is a great advantage in performance as I just go and open what I need. having it change dramatically just because someone at MS decided it would look better, in their view, is another matter as I lose time in having to find where they've moved things to. Most people when they make a change to software it's an incremental change or they leave you the option to have the old one. MS did do that with XP but failed to tell anyone how to find it. The word is Classic won't be an option in the final Win 7. Doesn't really matter. The advantage of Linux is you can change the GUI to suit you, unlike Windows where you get only one or a choice of two but no variation within them. But all about the GUI is a matter or personal preference. To the average user the GUI is the whole computer, many older users are not able to learn where everything is in the new layouts, and that's something MS is ignoring. Many people who used Win 95 at work are now retired and don't want to have to learn it all again because MS changed their minds. heck, I've had people switch to Mepis Linux instead of XP as it's easier for them to learn than the new XP. that was years ago and they saw the next MS offering would be different again, so they went to something that allowed them to make it how they wanted.

mailboweb
mailboweb

.. bummer losing a lot of information in this kind of situation. It is indeed an effect of such a large market, where piracy is abundant. Not much yo can do then backup and partitioning. About the interface, I always found these discussion kind of stupid, sorry for the word. using the classic interface, what is that all about. I have been there trough its presentation of Windows 95 and winnt. To be honest I like the change, if you work a lot on PC system you get kind of bored of the look. It just an illusion thinking you can halt progress by this, it hasn't happened. Windows 2000 was for most an problem, XP, oelala, and Vista was the drop. I have to say that the Aero interface is less confining then the classic interface. Some forget that this "classic" interface use to be modern too, just like Vista is now. The interface doesn't change, it just keeps renewing, and as an IT employee that's part of my job. It reminds us to keep on top of it. IT is progress. Windows 7 interface so far is fresh and clear. I used the same thing on my Vista box. I don't want be be reminded of old school. Not in my OS. Don't get me wrong, we have a lot of old systems here, and there just fine, but they use the be top nutch to, ones. And it is inspiring... Its interesting to see that IBM has started an Mac project in there departments, for one it say's there employees want the nice stuff, and you can not blame them I suppose. For most tasks it will be overkill, but that is not all that matters here. The psychological aspect is important to.

mailboweb
mailboweb

.. "You've all out called others liars for having a difference of opinion and experience." >> Bla bla..nothing of the sort. Ridicules. "You've consistently stated that Microsoft has some right to dictate how the computer market works." >> Bla bla..nothing of the sort. Absurd. "You've gone out of your way to avoid seeing the topic from any other point of view." >> Bla bla.. What other point of view. I am an IT professional. You shouldn't walk in the puddle, but swim. The only ones that don't want to see an other point of view, are the you's. "Nah.. your not interested in actually discussing the topic though so offering further information is of no use." >> Bla bla.. What information did you give then? The only thing .. did is bash an different view. I am not the enemy here you know. Don't mean any offend, just trying to get trough the pipe dreams. Sorry, if you didn't figure out my intend.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Your title is "why don't you just shut up" but let's leave that for the moment. This is the first you've claimed to be playing the devils advocate. If you'd given any indication earlier this could have been a very interesting conversation. As in; "let me play devils advocate on this one.. what if..." You've all out called others liars for having a difference of opinion and experience. You've consistently stated that Microsoft has some right to dictate how the computer market works. You've gone out of your way to avoid seeing the topic from any other point of view. Sorry, that's not "playing devil's avocate". Normally, one would mention that this was an intended strategy. The phrase "I see your point but..." would be used at least once rather than simply stating "your wrong, it's economics, it's the market, it's...." I should find out what happened to Unix? Still stuck on statistics as some kind of measure beyond retail business success? Nah.. your not interested in actually discussing the topic though so offering further information is of no use.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

mode when you can easily turn off anything you don't want. Try to completely turn off MSIE or Outlook Express in any of the current retails versions of Windows since Win 95 - you can't. try turning off WGA or auto updates, it gives you trouble. Hell, in the early days of XP I crashed XP boxes simply by turning off the Remote Access by MS Tech capability. The look and feel of a XP using the XP style is a lot different to the Classic, that's why a lot of people want to keep the classic look. The difference is big, but not quite as much as going from a command prompt to a GUI. The problem for a lot of Linux versions from the user point of view has been the way the Gnome GUI worked. But the GUI for Vista is more like the Gnome GUI than it is the Classic Windows. However, there are Linux versions that have a look a lot like the Classic Windows, is that way - look at Linspire, PCLinux, Kubuntu 8.04 and many others. In Linux it's easy to amend the GUI, but not so in Windows. I've been using Linux for over five years now and I use the command prompt in Linux about once every six months to do some bulk resetting of permissions using CHMOD - every time I have to fix someone's Windows box I have to use the command prompt to find or fix the problem. I've used the command prompt in Windows ten or twenty times more than in Linux. I used to use Windows all the time, but I gave up on them when they shoved WGA down my throat and lost me many gigabytes of data by declaring my legal copy of XP as a pirate because of the faulty code in WGA mishandling the request to load security updates. After having to rebuild the system every two to three months for nearly a year I stopped using XP. This trouble was all due to faulty MS code, when I spoke to them about it their answer was, effectively, 'Stiff, you'll take what we give you.'

mailboweb
mailboweb

The interface did not change the look an feel of Windows., nor did Vista or W7 for that matter. It still a Windows product. There not that different, some stuff is in an other place but that really is not an problem. You want old school, then the option is there for you. If you want something different, well Windows is completely customizable to your needs. Even complete shells are available. Linux is doing the same thing. Mac not. All the interface applications are available on Windows for more then 10 years. Windows has had an large development community that uses this platform to test en introduce a lot of new stuff. As an IT consultant you should know this because most kiosk applications use this to. And most People don't like the Linux community, the applications and look and feel, not to say the use of the command prompt. Not trying to be harsh but those are facts to. For most people that is old school and unnecessary. I know some Unix its very strait for worth, but I am grow up with it. And yes, I like Windows and Mac and Linux. That doesn't change the facts.

mailboweb
mailboweb

..and stop making a fool of your self. Why do you fee you need to bash me? I am merely playing the devils advocate here, but clearly you two are not on that level. That's ok, I'll be here when you do get there. All that wining over Linux is very territorial. I never stated not liking Linux, I did say the facts. But again read the top part of this text. And maybe you should try and find out what happent to UNIX. And using free Linux to do rudimentary applications isn't that great you know. But keep dreaming because this way its free.. for the manufacturers. Linux on a chip, I love it to. Again read the above prt of this text. And about statistics, well MS is still still most popular. Off cource Mac "could" grow, and Linux could too. Then you could look at all the out come and say look Mac did so much better this year, and Linux growth was 200%. We all know what that is about. No secrets have been presented here "gentlemen" "I would be interested to see more information on how Windows is based on Posix standards compliance (eg. Unix, BSD, Linux). I know Microsoft borrowed BSD code for things like the tcp/ip stack wich they massaged a little so it's just different enough. That's using and modifying source code though. How is Windows based on Unix?" >>As i stated before, you are missing the big picture here. You should be glad of MS "defects" they give you extra work ;)

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

only a few items in this list. You say: "You know, quality is a point of view. This view is something Microsoft has investigated quit well. Yes, they can make whatever interface they want, but stick with the current one, because it is known and loved. That goes for add feathers too." yeah right, if this is true, why did MS change the appearance and feel of Windows for XP, and the another big change for Vista, and the talk is another for Windows 7. The classic appearance of Win NT, Win 9x, and Win 2000 is not the basic you get now. So this statement doesn't hold true. Along with this and your next sentence. there are a wide range of Linux systems as they vary in appearance as the Linux developers KNOW not everyone wants the exact same looking system, some have different needs, so they meet those consumer needs. MS refuses to recognise that people want more than one appearance. They have accepted that some want it to look different to what it did, so they came up with a new layout and give that to everyone. they got a hell of a surprise when a large portion of the people said they didn't like the new look. The only reason Windows has the sales share it does is due to the predatory practices, that is, the way they abuse other companies. When Dell first announced they were going to offer Ubuntu as an option instead of MS Windows, MS threatened to remove the discount Dell get from MS for Windows and other apps. the result is when you buy a Ubuntu Linux system from Dell, it comes with Ubuntu on it, but you still pay for an MS licence as all Dell systems have to be sold with an MS licence due to the contract with MS. Thus all those Ubuntu sales are falsely reported as Windows sales. The best industry expert estimates are about twenty plus percent of reported Windows sales do NOT equate to a new Windows desktop. the Dell Ubuntu deal is one reason, another is the need to buy new licences to rebuild some Dell or HP systems because they haven't been provided with proper copies of the OS when purchased, just a copy installed on the hard drive. MS push you have to wipe the OS off when you sell the system second hand as you can sell the software on. This results in people who do NOT know the laws buying extra copies to reinstall on machines that originally came with Windows on them. It is lawful in most countries and US states to sell software second hand and the laws over ride the MS EULA. If Linux haven't got things right, why have the majority of the changes to Windows in the last four years all come from Linux? Glass 3D, called Aero in Windows; the Linux / Unix security features, MS are about fifteen years behind the times with that. Enjoy MS and don't complain when they start killing your system for you because their servers are stuffed, like they did for tens of thousands of clients when they started with WGA. I still wonder why anyone should pay thousands of dollars for software when a viable free alternative is there.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The question was simple; Do you believe it is a good thing that Microsoft has such a hold on the market and such inflated pricing that small businesses go bankrupt over maintaining there information systems? It's great for that one business of course but is this also great for the evolution of computer technology and the end user? Are you able to set aside your view of the market only through the business position and consider it from the overall technology and consumer point of view? I would be interested to see more information on how Windows is based on Posix standards compliance (eg. Unix, BSD, Linux). I know Microsoft borrowed BSD code for things like the tcp/ip stack wich they massaged a little so it's just different enough. That's using and modifying source code though. How is Windows based on Unix? As for quality being subjective. They have the winNT kernel which I'm is really a very nice OS kernel. It supports true seporation of privaledge and other things critical to networked computers. The user space around the winNT kernel does not take advantage of this. True seporation of privaledge is possible at the kernel level but was not implemented in user space. Pass-the-Hash and other utilitie and methods easily break out of an account escalating privaledge. Some others: - what encryption does the MS admin console use when connecting to remote machine? - why can I pull password hashes off the network between client and network share? - why is there a Telnet service still available for Windows rather than SSH which could be included into Windows freely? - I already mentioned the ability to borrow security tokens from higher privileged accounts. Sorry, a system intentionally developed to a low security standard is not of the same quality as a system which provides security by design. That's not a subjective opinion but a fact. If it connects to a network, strong security by default and design is required, not optional. Consumers may accept lower quality for perceived ease of use or simply lack of understanding but that difference in quality is there. "some thing Linux hasn't found it self in yet" Which "Linux".. or do you actually mean the OS kernel seporate from the userland which makes up a usable distribution? Phone; how's the look and feel of your based mobile phone? If it's not Windows Mobile, iPhone or Blackbarry; it's probably a Linux based embedded OS. Turns out some "Linux" are doing just fine I guess huh. "There is no need for statistics because it is clear, that Windows is still the most popular OS today, second comes Mac then Linux and the rest." OK, I think we're done here. My point was that market share measures financial/marketing success not product quality or even true usage. I explained why the figures market share are based do not account for true usage (usage share vs market share perhaps?). That is why I brought up statistics version opinion polls. You'll have to forgive me for wanting a computer industry which evolves technology faster and benefits the end users more. I won't hold your wanting a technology dictatorship against you.

mailboweb
mailboweb

..that is till "The two tides that are turning against Microsoft" So is it or is it an illusion. You know this, but UNIX isn't some organic mater, it's an lot of great ideas and solutions translated into code. All these idea's can be translated into other languages. there is where I say that Windows is based on UNIX, because it is. You know, quality is a point of view. This view is something Microsoft has investigated quit well. Yes, they can make whatever interface they want, but stick with the current one, because it is known and loved. That goes for add feathers too. All that look and feel stuff works, some thing Linux hasn't found it self in yet. I am talking about the mainstream here, because that is where the biggest profit lies. There is no need for statistics because it is clear, that Windows is still the most popular OS today, second comes Mac then Linux and the rest. You know this. Looking for way's to not have to recognize this is futile. They look at the market and tune there releases so they will have some extension in there existence. That's considered good business. You know this too. If it aint Microsoft then it will be someone else, that's history too. Look at Linux , they do not want to be an big player..( they are not really an combined unit anyway..), and Mac doesn't want to sell cheap devices and can not be an bigger player then the are now and there OS is fare less perfect to be an bigger player then XP/Vista, and there is this intervention in the past, that still bothers me today. For Microsoft they must be in the keep and regulated by law.. We must take all this into consideration to have an more clear view over the subject. This will help us find the right questions an answers we need to get thing to change the way we need them to. I would like to see more competition, but there aint any. Please tell, if there is. Mac isn't an option, and Linux still hasn't got it right, what Linux anyway..

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

1. Microsoft have never done anything innovative in the way of software, they claim they have but it's all a lie. Everything they've put out has been stolen copies of others or they bought the others out. hell, the most innovative area they use is marketing, and they copied those off people like Edison and Ford. 2. The perfect OS has been around for decades - UNIX, but it wasn't marketed as well as or as virulently as Microsoft products. UNIX was initially owned by a group of academics and it took them time to decide on changes etc, so MS was able to outrun them in the field of marketing. Linux and the other UNIX offshoots are much better products than any MS OS, but they also lack the marketing support MS puts out. 3. Name the companies you think owe their existence to Microsoft - they owe their existence to IBM for making the Personal Computer financial viable. After that a number of software companies and support companies came into existence. On the other side is the long list of companies who owe their demise to the predatory practices of Microsoft as they worked at creating a monopoly. 4. An OS will always work on the hardware so the quality of the OS won't affect the need for hardware at all. ....... I don't know what it's like in the US, but down here the cost of a new Mac or a new Windows system of the same standard are within a few percent of each other. Sure I can buy a DELL with an MS OS cheaper than a Mac, but it isn't the same standard of system or the same performance. Hell, most of the DELL stuff can't be upgraded to the same standard as the Macs available down here. When you do set out to buy a Intel based PC set up to the same quality as a Mac and load it with the same suite of software, using MS software where possible, it will cost you more than a Mac, but if you load it with the basic Office software it will cost you a bit less. Go the other way and buy as system then load it with Open Source software and it costs you about half the price of an MS loaded system. Things are probably different in the USA, but MS Windows Can cost from $200 to $600 and MS Office costs from $300 to $1,100 depending upon the version and if you can justify an OEM or academic package. Standard retail packages of the most common basic versions will cost you $300 and $500, respectively; that's $800 for the OS and a basic office package. Then you get to add the stuff for media etc. on top of that. A typical system can cost you more for Windows and compatible software than the hardware does. A desktop system can cost from $600 to $2,000 for a very top end system - most typical ones are around the $1,000 to $1,200 range. My local Mac store sells the most common Macs for around $2,000 with OS, Office package, Media package, web cam, web mic, a top end graphics package and a lot more. Several times I've costed the full package and found it cheaper to buy a Mac than the equivalent as a Windows system. However I don't have a Mac as I don't use all that software and when I cost the minimum I do want, it's cheaper to go Plain Jane as I also save by using Open Source software and get a system cheaper than I can from DELL with Windows.

DNSB
DNSB

Actually, the Xerox GUI didn't run on mini and mainframes. It ran on the Xerox Star workstations (based on the earlier Alto workstations). Oddly familiar feature list for those beasties -- GUI, mouse, Ethernet networking, file/print sharing & servers, etc. All this in 1981 -- might be a reason as to why Xerox has the 00:00:00 MAC address identifier. Xerox PARC was definitely far ahead of the rest of the computer world. If only Xerox had been able to find the question to go with their answer, we might be referring to Xerox instead of IBM when discussing who made the personal computer what it is today.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Considering they don't use PCI, but rather AGP and PCIe, Windows inventing their own command set, and possibly VC's having their own command sets, makes sense. If every month they add a new feature, the existing command sets probably don't support it, so they need to add them via drivers.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Windows systems. I started switching to Linux about four five years ago because the great MS WGA kept screwing over my system because I'd revalidated it too many times due to hardware changes. At one time I had two system running, mine and my son's - both had the same nVidia 128 MB card in them as we did a lot of gaming on them. I ran Mepis Linux and he ran Win XP Pro. In one five month period his video card ceased working properly three times, always just after a MS Windows set of updates being processed. In a week's time he was back in business after nVidia released a set of updated Windows drivers for the card. In that same period they did NOT release any new Linux drivers for the same card. This clearly implies those updates were to deal with changes in the Windows OS made by MS for reasons of their own. About twelve months after that my son had to download a new nVidia driver for Windows XP for that card because he'd upgraded to the latest version of DirectX and it used a bunch of different commands to the previous version, so the card didn't talk to it well. I still have that Linux box I had then and it still runs with the very same nVidia Linux driver that was first installed on it. Apart from that, I do know many of the fancy new chips they put on some of the graphics cards are put in place before they fully understand what they can do with them. I can easily see them issuing new drivers to make better use of those fancy chips as they learn more - here I'm talking about the special effects chips. On a side note, in the Debian based Linux systems there are only three sets of nVidia drivers for use - Old cards, New Cards, Cards with GLX. Between them they do all the nVidia cards. I don't know about the ATI cards, but I expect it's a similar situation.

Slayer_
Slayer_

If it is just an instruction to switches as described, then why is it not. A=b C=D E=F G=A+C And so on, how can this get so buggered up that they need to release that many drivers. Even better how can a driver improve performance. They had a core on the GPU they forgot to code for? And they keep finding new cores on the same GPU every month? It just doesn't make sense. I don't see updates for Mouse and Keyboard drivers, why should there ever be updates for drivers. It sounds like they should either work or they don't.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

would release changes to drivers. 1. They found a better way of interacting with the OS and release and updated version. 2. They found a way to improve some feature and it only requires a software change. 3. They found a fault in the code or a security issue and correct it. Heck, you may as well ask why MS run Update Tuesday. Why do they have a constant stream of updates and patches coming out for a product they've told us a dozen times is already perfect. BTW I spent twenty years fixing MS systems, I still do. I just don't agree with their predatory behaviour. Basically, I hate bullying bastards.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Your so Anti MS that it makes it hard to listen to or believe anything you say. I believe you but there is so many conflicting arguments... Such as why do drivers constantly need to be updated even though the OS hasn't changed. Example: Why does ATI and nVidia release a new video driver every month for the same video cards on the same systems even if there is no new products. And how are they adding features to your system with these drivers, such as nVidias new lighting enhancement system. This one single fact sinks all your current arguments for standard command sets. Why would the driver that just interprets command sets need to be changed and somehow add new features?

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

all in my previous post is factual, your constant denial and support of MS predatory tactics makes me wonder if you have a lot of MS shares and are just pushing the MS line to get more dividends.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I was answering the question of "isn't Windows based on Unix?" which is "No, it is not". The reason for providing a very small history of the various major platforms was: A. to confirm through peer review that I am remembering correctly. So far, I must else someone would have corrected me regarding the history. B. to support the answer of "no, it is not based on Unix" which, again, peer review so far seems to agree with. "Microsoft has the biggest market, and say what you want its more popular then Linux and Mac or Sun combined." Yes, and no, and other. Other: the topic was not "does Microsoft have the biggest market share", it was "isn't Windows based on Unix". Yes: Microsoft does hold the largest retail mesurable desktop OS market segment. This is a measure of business financial success not a measure of popularity or quality. It includes the licenses MS has sold but consumers have not yet baught or never used after being forced to buy through hardware bundling. It also ignores the rest of computerdom like Servers (MS is not the majority) and the multitudes of embedded devices most consumers don't realize Linux runs at the core of. No: "more popular than linux" can't really be measured without accurate usage statistics from the various distributions; something that is not currently possible. Along the same lines, only Microsoft's Windows Update analysts know the true ongoing usage of Windows. No one knows the true usage statistics of Linux based OS or Windows; only the marketing pitches. Even if we limit this statement to "as a desktop platform", I've yet to find trust worthy information. Maybe it's the X Business Analyst in me but bunk data returns bunk information if that past life is any indication. Life would be much easier if market share was a true indication of product quality. In some markets it's a better indicator the the software market is a mess plain and simple. But again, the question was about the heritage of the software platform. Is there somewhere I am incorrect about my memory of the history or is the problem just that I don't get a stiffy over Microsoft's economic success?

mailboweb
mailboweb

There all copies of copies, they all stool an soled idea to and fro one and other. There is an constant sellout of people in these companies. Its like the Japanese, see something and make it better, or should we say more profitable. Who made what isn't relevant to this topic. Microsoft has the biggest market, and say what you want its more popular then Linux and Mac or Sun combined. Those are just facts to, not my sentiment.

mailboweb
mailboweb

I am not going to dignify that with more then this. Now really..!

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The Win95/98 liniage was evolved out of Dos. The WinNT liniage was evolved out of OS/2. It all evolved from stand alone computers leading to networking and security as a bolted on after though. Unix based on the Posix standard and it's liniage where always meant to be network systems with security and stability by design. The GNU platform except for an OS kernel was a response to Unix high cost and closed source. This was a project lead by Richard Stallman. They build the platform and userspace first working there way down to the kernel level. Linux was a kernel started as a project to understand how hardware and software interacts. This was begun by Linus Torvalds while he was still in University and has continued to evolve. GNU needed a kernel and Linux needed a userspace. Hurd, the intended kernel for GNU was not remotely read so Linux was used as a drop-in until Hurd could mature. GNU/Linux was a resonce too Unix and came into existance while Microsoft was still in the Dos/Win3.11. Linux/GNU is 1994. Win95 is, well, 1995. Too cover the major brand names; Apple's OS was based on a truly GUI OS developed by Xerox. Apple was able to rewrite and squeeze an OS meant for mini and mainframes (Xerox graphic OS) into the limited hardware of personal computers (Lisa). Microsoft got Apple's graphic OS under the pretense of needing a "sample unit" to develop software for. The result was Windows (Win through Win3.11) which was a blatant copy of Apple's platform; Control Panel is one of the obvious examples taken directly from Apple. The Dos base was a standalone OS with no considerations of security beyond the physical safety of the machine it was on. The GUI layer was infringed from Apple. As mentioned, the later developed NT line was Microsoft's copy of the OS/2 source code when the IBM/Microsoft project fell apart. If Windows had originally been based on the Posix standard (as Unix and similar are), it would have become a far better platform; secure by design, network enabled by design, mutli-user by design, standards compliant and interoperable with other OS on the network.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

1. MS Windows is NOT based on Unix, although they did steal some Unix code to make Windows work better on the Internet as Unix handled TCP/IP better. 2. Macs are not just a fashion statement and are price comparable with the equivalent quality of MS system. yes you can buy cheaper MS Intel boxes, but that's kind of like you saying well, don't buy the big six cylinder family car that sits six adults in comfort when we can sell you a compact sedan that squashes four in for half the price. When you raise the cheap MS Intels to the same standard and quality of equipment the Macs sell, the prices are so close it's not funny. 3. I like the comment about developers don't develop for Unix or Linux, in the last few years MS has paid offered money to hire top developers away from the teams working on Unix and Linux, not all have responded to the money call and some get just as good money away from MS. I have noticed a lot of unprofessional developers also develop for the money, and most of them concentrate on working with MS products, hmm. 4. the comments about IBM are historical fact, not silly. The modern personal computer grew directly out of the IBM micro computer they called The Personal System, the early ones were referred to as an IBM XT (8 bit system) and an IBM AT (16 bit system). At that time there were several micro computers available on the market, all were very high priced and the hardware and software was different from manufacturer to manufacturer, just like the mainframe industry was. many experts thought the market for the micro computers was small and would be limited to research organisations and big business and big government departments. the reason for the high costs was the high cost of the research involved in developing the designs to make the computers work - many millions of dollars of research. The actual figure were never officially released, but the best estimates at the time were that IBM had spent between twelve to twenty-five million dollars on developing the ISA technology and designs (that's in early 1980s dollars, about ten to fifteen times that in modern purchasing power). Unlike the other companies, IBM put all that research and design information out where others could see it and use it. the result was companies around the world were suddenly making IBM type computers and these were known as IBM Clones. In the mid 1980s here in Australia a genuine IBM At cost about $12,000 while a Clone cost about $4,000. This was a price that medium to small business could afford. Within a few years IBM clones were selling for about $3,000 something average people could afford. IBM created the personal computer industry as a general purpose market by releasing the millions of dollars of research to general use. At the time IBM wanted an OS to put on their new micro computer, they approach a few companies and got told 'not interested.' They rang Gates, he didn't have a product but knew where he could get one. So he said 'Yes, I'll do it.' He then went and paid a pittance for the product from some others, changed the name and licensed it to IBM. Because the IBM clones became so common so quickly, he also sold the same software as MS-DOS. Without IBM MS-DOS would not have existed, nor would MS in its current format.

mailboweb
mailboweb

Well you definitely put that right then.. My god man, Microsoft is the big seller here. VHS was in, Beta was out.. Anyways isn't windows based on UNIX( and I do not mean the actual code) The perfect OS, now really.. And its all about organization and money. professional developers develop for the money not for UNIX or Mac or Linux. Microsoft has a lot of money too the pay there employees.. And "No" you can not buy an cheap Mac, you "can" buy an cheap MS, linux system. Thus these system are available to the masses, who are people to, and have no need for an supercomputer power fashion tool. The IBM comment is kind of silly, no?

TheDr
TheDr

First you start off stating that your article will not be a "Microsoft bashapalooza". Then you proceed to conduct a "Microsoft bashapalooza". The only paragraph with any real facts in it is the second paragraph which states that Microsoft isn't going anywhere. The Xbox is the #1 game box found in just about all young adults game rooms with the Wii just recently picking up market strength. Microsoft's Mobile OS will be the primary OS used with the Verizon service smartphone when Microsoft and Verizon complete their aggreement to team up on the smart phone. Microsoft practically owns the OS market on Netbooks which I expect to explode in the next 12 months. How do you spell "To Big To Fail?"..Microsoft!

jkameleon
jkameleon

1) Gaming 2) Visual Studio 2005 & later versions

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Otherwise we would be seeing The New Toshiba OS and so on.

chaapala
chaapala

Does anybody else think the early name of the mobile Windows was just a practical joke, like, say, the body styling of the Aztec automobile, gone horribly awry? I mean, it was actually the verb, "WinCE".

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

a play on having to look (read wince) at such a small screen. Next....

Slvrknght
Slvrknght

Ok, so I have to get a personal hobby in here somewhere. I'm a gamer, and an Xbox and Xbox Live fan for years now. There's a lot of money in that arena and M$ keeps making money off of it. That, I think, will be the ultimate factor in what Microsoft will keep or drop, which parts of their company continue to make money. It won't stop them from trying, but I highly doubt they will just drop parts of the company that have shown to be rather lucrative. Particularly when the video game industry surpassed the movie industry in gross sales in 2008. That's not really a market that one could say money has been "wasted on." Now, I am not denying the fact that if Microsoft wants to stay in the business of providing enterprise-class software and services, then yes, it has to rethink its entire strategy. But, as far as money is concerned, Microsoft isn't really going to let go of a cash cow in the Xbox. That, and it will be a long, dark, cold day in hell before I pick up another Playstation.

Slayer_
Slayer_

"That, and it will be a long, dark, cold day in hell before I pick up another Playstation. " Do you hate the playstation for something in particular?

Slvrknght
Slvrknght

After dealing with Sony's tech support for not just one PS2, but 3, I decided that enough was enough. That and I played Knights of the Old Republic on Xbox when it came out and I was hooked completely.

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

Web applications are the first step to subscriptions and most people know that and won't go there.

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