Windows

Record profits equal a failing company? Color me confused

If you read some of the recent headlines, you might think Microsoft was on the brink of bankruptcy. In reality, the company posted record-high revenues and profits for the fiscal year that just ended. What's behind the discrepancy?

Last week, Microsoft reported a dramatic increase in net income with record-high revenues of $69.94 billion for last fiscal year (which ended June 30). Fiscal fourth quarter profit was $5.87 billion. Despite the gloom-and-doom reports that the PC is dying and will take Microsoft with it, the company made up for flat Windows sales by leveraging the popularity of Xbox and Kinect, while Office 2010 and server applications showed strong sales in the business division.

When Apple reports good news like this, the media goes wild, investors sing its praises, and its stock value shoots up. How is this Microsoft story being covered?

  • "Microsoft Windows Fizzles Even as Results Top Street" (TodayOnline)
  • "Microsoft's Windows Faces Erosion, Competition" (eWeek)
  • "Microsoft Strong on Revenue, Weaker with Consumers" (KPLU Seattle)

The headline from AppleInsider was (not surprisingly) even more disingenuous: "Microsoft's Windows Revenues Disappoint with 2% Decline in Fiscal 2011," with nary a hint of those record profits.

To be fair, not all the press is negative. There are some reporters out there who still just, well, report. And that's nice to see. Opinion and commentary are appropriate and desirable when they come from commentators and analysts. Heck, opining and commentating are what this column is all about. My beef is with those "news" outlets that blur the line between reporting and analysis, with opinions inserted as if they were fact into front-page stories marked as "news." The anti-Microsoft bias is sometimes subtle and sometimes glaringly obvious.

It's not, after all, as if Windows sales have been dismal. According to reports, Windows 7 has already sold over 400 million licenses after 20 months on the market, whereas it took Windows XP -- often hailed as Microsoft's most successful OS -- about 50 months to reach the same sales figure.

Redefining "failure"

With former Microsoft executives such as Dick Brass proclaiming in public statements that Microsoft is failing, it's no wonder some segments of the media are taking that ball and running with it.

It's just a fact that anything and everything Microsoft does is seen as a failure by some (very vocal) people. When Steve Ballmer acknowledges that Windows Phone 7's market share has remained small, the headlines almost joyously announce that "Ballmer Admits Windows Phone Was a Failure."

Here's another case in point: Following the death of singer Amy Winehouse, a Microsoft Twitter account publicized her last album and Microsoft was immediately pounced upon by critics, who called it "crass" and said Microsoft was "failing at social media." The headlines blared: "Microsoft Forced to Apologise after an Inappropriate Tweet." Meanwhile, Apple iTunes and Amazon both did basically the same thing. This was mentioned in the linked story but left out of the headline. The problem with that is that many people today don't read beyond the headlines.

Putting it into perspective

Let's take a more objective look at this "failing" company. While Windows market share may be dropping (and the press is making a very big deal indeed of this fact), according to NetMarketShare statistics, it's still at over 88 percent -- and that's counting not just personal computer operating systems but those for smart phones and tablets (Symbian, iOS, Android) and even game consoles (PlayStation) as well.

In the tablet space, despite the fact that most folks "in the know" who want to run Windows on a tablet are waiting for Windows 8, which will come in an ARM-based version, Microsoft increased its global market share from 1 percent to 4.6 percent in the last year. That puts it ahead of the Blackberry Playbook, for which many had such high hopes. And before you scoff at that not-quite-five-percent figure, let's remember that, as of the end of June, the OS market share for Mac OS (all versions except iOS) was only 5.37 percent. Linux had less than 1 percent. Yet we keep reading about how adoptions of those operating systems pose a threat to Microsoft.

Bing, which many said could never present a real challenge to Google, has been slowly but steadily gaining market share. In fact, Bing was the only search engine to show increased market share in June and now stands at 14.64 percent, while Google declined slightly (although it still has more than two-thirds of the market). Even better, if you count Yahoo searches, which are powered by Bing, the market share jumps to over 30 percent.

Meanwhile, Xbox is hot, with Microsoft gaining 48 percent of the U.S. market share in June with over half a million sales for the month, which is almost twice as many as second runner-up Nintendo Wii. In fact, Xbox has been the best seller for 12 of the past 13 months. In March, Mashable reported that Microsoft had set a new Guinness World Record for "fastest-selling consumer device" by selling more than 10 million Kinect controller systems during the first three months after launch.

But that doesn't mean Microsoft is turning into a gaming company. They're still going strong in the enterprise market, too, with sales of server applications such as SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, and Dynamics CRM continuing to accelerate.

With cash on hand of $52.77 billion, which ranks it number one of 800 in the technology sector and number 17 of 4,281 companies overall, Microsoft hardly looks like a failing company. For comparison, Apple ranks number five in the technology sector and number 31 overall with $28.39 billion.

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Breaking the habit

Why, then, are so many pundits calling Microsoft a failure? One problem may be that when you're at the top, there's only one direction to move, and that's down. Microsoft was the world's biggest and wealthiest software company for many years, as well as one of the country's largest corporations. Any downward motion is seen as failure.

In May 2010, Apple overtook Microsoft in market capitalization. Microsoft's ranking among Fortune 500 companies dropped from number 36 in 2010 to number 38 in 2011. The company also dropped 4 percentage points this year on CNN Money's list of the 100 best companies to work for.

Another factor working against Microsoft is that when a company (or an individual) achieves great success in business, he/she/it almost inevitably becomes the target of those who hate to see anyone succeed. I have a couple of longtime acquaintances I call my "foul weather friends" because, unlike the folks who flock to your side when you're on top and drop you like a hot potato when your fortunes take a turn for the worse, these people are there for you with all sorts of encouragement during tough times. But if your life improves, if you bounce back from the layoff by getting a great new job, get past the divorce and find a mate who makes you happy, have a smooth surgery and get a clean bill of health, they seem disappointed.

Many of the doomsayers who find a cloud in every silver lining when it comes to Microsoft do have a dog in the hunt, and maybe they're engaging in a little wishful thinking. They want Microsoft to fail, and they think maybe if they say it long enough and loud enough, it will be true. The big fallacy that some don't seem to grasp is that the tech business isn't a zero sum game. One company doesn't have to fail in order for another to succeed. Sure, one may have more cash or a higher market cap than the other, but both can be successful simultaneously. Those people look at it like a horse race, where only one pony can come in first, but they forget that gamblers don't make their big money betting on one horse to win; they do it by hitting the exacta or the trifecta.

Maybe the primary reason for all the anti-Microsoft sentiment is that "we've always done it that way." Old habits are hard to break, and finding fault with Microsoft has become an automatic reaction for many people. That's evident in many of the assumptions I hear people make about Windows -- that it crashes daily, that it's far less secure than any other OS, that it's inevitably slow and clunky -- which might have been true many years ago, but no longer are. Habits can be broken, though, and sometimes all it takes is a confrontation with reality.

A while back, a friend deluged me with his list of complaints about Windows. Turns out he was running Windows XP, a ten-year-old operating system, on a machine that was almost as old. I invited him to try out my Windows 7 computer. He liked the experience so much that he went out and bought a new computer running Windows 7, and a month later he came back to me singing its praises and suddenly very happy with Microsoft.

He's not the only one who has experienced an "attitude adjustment." In an article from the Enterprise CEO Forum, Kevin Tea wrote about how his misconceptions about Microsoft were turned upside down when he had the opportunity to talk with a group of real, live Microsoft employees. Even investment analysts are starting to rethink the popular notion that Microsoft is in an unstoppable downward spiral as some of them have recently begun finding some love for Microsoft.

My take

I don't understand how anyone can look at the numbers and call Microsoft a failure. A bit less fat and sassy than its former self at the peak of world software domination, sure. A very successful company that now has some very successful competition, absolutely. A company that has made some false starts and stumbles? No argument. But I don't see Microsoft as a failure because Windows sales didn't grow by leaps and bounds last quarter, any more than I see Zenyatta as a failure because she came in second in her 20th race after winning the first 19.

I know many readers will disagree. I also know this article will inevitably result in the usual accusations that I'm a Microsoft "fangirl" (and some will probably use far less diplomatic language). That's OK. As I used to say back in my pre-techie days when I was working the streets as a police officer, it's a tough job but somebody has to do it. Am I biased? Sure -- everybody is biased one way or the other. Do I express opinions along with facts? Sure -- that's what commentators do, and that's why commentary is more interesting (and garners far more passionate responses) than straight reporting.

I like Microsoft, because the folks there have done some amazing things over the years. But I also frequently criticize the company when it makes what I see as bad decisions. I get hate mail from both Microsoft lovers and the anti-Microsoft crowd -- sometimes in response to the very same article. It's sort of like how I make both liberals and conservatives mad when I talk about politics. I guess I just have a penchant for being a contrarian.

I believe there's room at the top for Microsoft, Google, Apple, and a few more. I don't believe the success of one depends on the failure of the others. If that's a hopelessly old-fashioned belief, so be it.

Discussion topics parameters

Is Microsoft a failing company, even as it takes in record profits? Does any loss of ground in its flagship area define a company as a failure, even if it gains ground in other areas? If so, does that mean Google is now a failure in the search space, since its market share has declined slightly? Should Microsoft focus on Windows now, or does it make sense for the company to put more efforts into other products such as Xbox and server applications? Would the tech industry be better or worse off if Microsoft failed?

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

121 comments
rayyi
rayyi

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JabobD
JabobD

I am not a big fan of Microsoft, though I have been using for many years. I don???t want to see it fail just because it does not introduce anything Initiative into the market. Hopefully it will come up with something different in the near future.

Anthony T
Anthony T

How can Microsoft be a failing company? In my opinion it depends on which aspects you consider. If you look at Profit, the answer is YES. How about the other things? Can Microsoft beat other competitor in the similar business?

Will Youngs
Will Youngs

The record-high revenues & profits proved that MS did a good job!!! However, this will not guarantee that MS will be the same if it doesn???t have the innovation compared to other.!!!

insuranceman1
insuranceman1

Thanks for this well-researched and well-written defense of Microsoft. I would absolutely trust MS more than Google, who has made a widely-known business model out of collecting information about our lives. Sure, personalization makes the search process more efficient, but it also leaves an icky feeling when YouTube recommends videos for me that were attached in an email from a friend from 7 years ago. I think Microsoft is brilliantly leveraging their portfolio of products and services to always be on top of the finances in the computer industry and, although I've never seen the proof, your representation of the Winehouse twitter issue clearly emphasizes that media can target the giant becaues the public is too distracted in the first place to even read the full article. Excellent, excellent piece.

aureolin
aureolin

::My beef is with those ???news??? outlets that blur the line between reporting and analysis, with opinions inserted as if they were fact into front-page stories marked as ???news.???:: Welcome to modern journalism. I have a close friend who's just about to graduate from a major university with a degree in journalism. He's seen that the 'opinion as fact' attitude is so prevalent that he's already jaded. Sad point is, the university wouldn't be graduating him if he hadn't "converted" from middle-conservative to liberal. At least half his grades were based on espousing the correct opinions as well as "reporting" on the facts. And, the news industry wonders why Americans don't watch any more.

kavenyi
kavenyi

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bezerkus
bezerkus

Microsoft has been defined by the OS for a long time and that is having a major shift that they are already prepared for. The marrying of social media, search, and business collaberation and advertising. With their close relationship with Facebook together with the business arena in 365. Now that Bing is on it's way, the last piece of their puzzle is Windows 8 which be the gateway along with the Xbox platform for the younger gen. I'd invest in Microsoft again right now as they already have the major pieces in place to take a big chunk of Google's market away. Google vs. Microsoft will be the on-going fight of the future as the company behind the company. Apple will be relegated to pretty end user devices that hook up to these giants as they don't control the business end of the channel. Wish it wasn't so...I will return to my time travel machine from the future.

milos.puchta
milos.puchta

Debra, thanks for the balanced view of MS position, namely the perception of success. The output from MS may change during this turbulent time, but those who implement and work with this technology know the quality. Any decline from the top position is invited by some newspapers that could hardly analyze the situation properly. They are feeding their readers without going deeper. One day they point at MS, another day at Apple, etc. Despite its errors and failures, Microsoft is one of the top IT company and worldwide employer (directly and indirectly) and will be longterm player in the IT industry.

jonrosen
jonrosen

Examples like Deb gave are why I find most news more and more useless to pay attention to. The facts, if they're given at this point, are either turned into small asides, or completely glossed over. News is far more about ratings than information. I currently work in a situation where we have 3-4 primary news channels (bloomberg, cnbc, cnn, weather(forgot the 5th that swaps out for weather chan)) on all the time, and I can honestly count the number of times ANY given story pops up on any of them that catches my interest, on one hand, on any given day. The commercials are usually more interesting. An actor twitters.. So what? A politician lied about something... Tell me something I don't know. There's a new i-something coming out. Tell me why I care. I could easily go on. Just like politicians, the main thing coming out of these 'reporters' mouths is wasted hot air that could be put to better use heating homes in the winter.

jazzy5
jazzy5

Debra, this was a excellent article on Microsoft market share and profit. As you know, this is more a number game than reality. Lets look at some of those numbers. If you sold 1 million of your product one year and next year you sold 1.1 million you only gain 10%. On the other hand if you sold 1,000 one year and sold 1,500 next year, you gain a 50%. Now which percentage looks bigger? A 10% or 50%? People look at the 50% but forget to get into account that one company not only sold again 1 million units but it increase the amount by 100,000 more units. While the second company only gain 500 units. The units sold tell a differnt story from the % story. So, if Microsoft sold 200 million in one year and it's selling another 200 million the second year, this looks like a flat year. But keep in mind it sold 200 million on the second year and it will continue to do so for the next few years. Soon many of the companies that are still using XP or Vista will transit to Window 7 or even 8 and as your report points out, Microsoft sold 400 million in only 20 months not 24 months. The two year mark has not ended yet. Back to school is just around the corner. I do will like to know the exact number for Linux. Many people are claiming that Linux have more than 1%. Can we look into this and find out including the servers? Which bring the question, if Microsoft have 88% of all software market (combining PC, Servers, phone, tablets, etc) and Apple have 5.37% and Linux have 1% this equal to 94.37%, who has the 5.63%? Symbian, iOS, Android, Blackberry? If Windows tablet gain over a 4% last year passing Blackberry, what will happen when Windows 8 comes out next year? It will work seamless between PC, Tablet and phone and will be a race between or participants. It would not be and IPhone killer or IPad killer (only Apple can kill then) but will make the competition very interesting.

realvarezm
realvarezm

I have some respect for M$ because of the contribution to the IT ecology, but it is becoming more obvious that they are getting lethargic in given response to the market changes. Instead they sit back and check how key companies are doing and once the hard work is done they just buy it. But is like buying a second hand car. You don???t entirely know the abuse the previous owner did. On the long run corporations like PanAm did the same and we all know how it ends. Just my feeling!

SHCA
SHCA

Great, balanced piece! You're exactly right, it's not a zero-sum game; The MS steamroller has continued to roll, while others have found ways to prosper in a MS-dominated world. Good for all of them! MS has in fact gotten better at exploiting the great opportunities and leaving the field in areas where they can't be the best. MS is smart enough to know that consumers will always vote with their emotions. They will never love the Enterprise giants. Just look at how they feel/felt about IBM, Cisco, Simply Accounting. It just doesn't matter. MS owns the corporate space, and keeps getting better at it. Outside of that, they make money where they can, and don't waste cycles if they can't. We should all be so smart. Prediction: the Nokia/MS phone is going to consume Blackberry's corporate share as well as the corp customers Blackberry has lost to iPhone, and steadily edge out the the consumer i-things as time goes on and i-things are no longer new. Shed no tears for Microsoft!

sboverie
sboverie

You forgot to mention that most of Microsoft's faults and current failings are blamed on Bill Gates, who retired 10 years ago. Then there are those who use out of date information to smear MS current products.

blarman
blarman

Failure is defined as performance falling below a given threshold. But in order for it to be a failure, the threshold has to be defined ahead of time. And I think that many people's expectations of Microsoft are changing and they expect that the past performance should measure up to the current expectations. That's not really realistic. Here are some ways I think Microsoft has succeeded: 1) Windows 7. While there will always be some features of any program or OS I don't like (the Burn pops in all the time when I'm trying to create a New Folder), I've been pretty happy with it so far. Consumers don't consider Windows 7 a failure. 2) Acquisitions. Microsoft has used these to bolster their market position and bring software to market quickly when they didn't have a product for a particular segment. Microsoft doesn't consider their acquisition strategy to be a failure. I really wish they hadn't destroyed so many good products (FoxPro, Visio) by buying them though. 3) Managing a monopoly. For nearly 20 years, Microsoft has enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the desktop despite government anti-trust lawsuits and a changing environment. Many will argue (and rightly so) that they didn't do it strictly legally, but they did it nonetheless. 4) Xbox. While the initial versions were a disaster (all the overheating problems), Xbox is the champion of gaming platforms, mostly due to Microsoft's lock-in with EA. Gamers don't consider the Xbox to be a failure. And with Kinect, Microsoft stands to gain even more ground. Failures. 1) Lawsuits. This one is epic fail material. Microsoft has done more damage to its name with bad lawsuits than anything else short of Internet Explorer. Microsoft needs to stop going after everyone and their dogs for patent infringement and focus on creating products the market wants. Businesses and public image consider Microsoft a failure here. 2) Vista. This was a disastrous product all around. The driver architecture was incomplete on release, the interface was a resource hog, and it had so many incompatibilities that most people junked it. Vista was a failure. 3) Standards. Microsoft has continually refused to get on board with standards in their products. They keep continually changing the file system to make it more difficult for other vendors to share files. They thwart or manipulate the IEEE processes to try and pull the plug on open standards wherever possible like the Open Document format, and just don't support them if that doesn't work. Microsoft gets a failing grade from business and software developers here. 4) Ballmer as CEO. Ballmer has the charm of a piece of dung. You didn't have to like Bill Gates, but he could at least avoid sticking his foot in his mouth and didn't intentionally pick fights to the degree Ballmer does. Ballmer is a failure as the head of Microsoft for that, as well as for... 5) Stock value. This one is probably most damning. Investors buy shares in Microsoft with the belief that the company will do well, issue dividends (oh, wait - Microsoft doesn't pay dividends), or increase in value so investors can sell their stock for a profit. Microsoft's stock has fallen or been flat for how many years now? For investors, Microsoft has clearly pulled an epic fail here. To recap - it all depends on where you lump yourself as to how you quantify Microsoft's success.

Amit _Kaushik
Amit _Kaushik

While media has habit of making headlines and may have a negative bias I see no reason that you should have same specially if your blog is against it. While you club Phones, Game consoles , desktops ,servers you obviously don't do the same for Linux while declaring it 1%. Linux OS is found in Servers , Cloud hosted OSes , TVs ( smart and dumb both) , media players , network storage drives , routers , mobile phones etc and certainly it's percentage should be higher , Even if it is 1% the number should have sanctity to it by accompanying explanation on what you consider as Linux and how you arrived at this number.

lnelson5
lnelson5

Such arraogant comments by news agencies "sicken" me. As you said, they try to imply that "they" are the ONLY absolute knowledgable ones with all the answers, when in fact most of the time they are outwardly "lying". They are doing the same with the governments too. Their reasoning is beyond "ludicrace" and shows NO sense at all. It should be "just news reporting" without personal opinions added. Then too, we should all remember that Microsoft, although you may hate it, is actually the company who managed to get MOST of the world united through the use of their OS and it still is the most used OS anywhere. I really do not enjoy hearing people "speaking ill" about anyone or anything, that too "sickens me".

parnote
parnote

It must be easy to rake in record profits when: 1) You're essentially allowed a monopoly in the market. 2) You use bullying, fear, intimidation, threats and software patents to protect that monopoly. 3) You use bullying, fear, intimidation, threats and software patents to "shake down" others (e.g., Android) for a share of something you had absolutely NOTHING to do with. I can't wait to see Microsoft go away, so that real competition and innovation can occur in the marketplace again. Go away Microsoft! You've done what you've done, we thank you and forgive you (all in the same breath). Now let the market and innovation ride a crest of a new technological wave, for which you are not prepared for, and one in which you simply don't have the resources to compete yourselves.

sejewek
sejewek

Honestly, i thought i was the only one reading techrepublic blogs and newsletters who was becoming disillusioned with the whole Microsoft hate thing. The whole thing has become childish. There are times when i get a sense that its as if Apple and Google give the media something so they can bash Microsoft. If there are no kickbacks in the picture, then the media including CNET, techrepublic etc shouldnt really be suprised at run away products etc because THEY represent a very powerful lobby that keeps telling everybody that Apple products are the coolest thing since sliced bread. There is hardly a trace of balanced reporting here.

afrancis99
afrancis99

My one comment is that we need a lot more critical thinking like this. Good, valid points about how selectively the media treat companies. There are media darlings and media demons - and sadly, the public tends to regurgitate what the media writes which is why we get terms like windoze proliferated throughout the world. Don't forget though, Bing grows partly because it is the default installed search engine with any windows OS - it comes on all of those 88% of windows intalled os's, and so I don't see how it can't be growing by sheer force and near monopoly! We know that very few people remove it, even if they add and default to another engine. I add Google search to IE during an install and remove all other search engines.

tonybynoe
tonybynoe

When you attend any major tech event, you'll see most if not all of the journalists with Macbooks. I often wondered how many of them are actual Mac fanboys/girls and how many are only posing and left their HPs and Dells at home so as to just fit in and not feel odd.

pschulz
pschulz

News and media do not report facts - that includes the authors and editors at Tech Republic as well. They "report" what they are meant to write, what they are supposed to write. THAT is how to get all the Ahh and Ohh articles about any slight move of Apple and all the boooh on Microsoft. Little to do with facts. As usual - media is not about reporting. It is about manipulating the masses. And Tech Republic is no exception, in fact it is, in the tech arena, one of the main perpetrators of this type of propaganda.

adornoe
adornoe

Is that what you meant by "other things"???

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The Author is saying that M$ is a failing company because they have stopped innovating. Not that they are not profitable or that Market Inertia is making them a lot of money but they they have not produced anything really Initiative for a very long time. Under those conditions and if it doesn't change then the Premise is correct M$ is a failing company and will be replaced by an Initiative Company. ;) Col

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

...exactly your agument in the 2nd paragraph. The market is seen as some sort of all powerful numbers game but it has become the day-traders' domain - listen to business reports any evening and if "the market" has slipped 0.5% it's all doom and gloom and any number of "analysts" are called upon to explain what went "wrong" and why - it seems s-o-o-o-o important to understand what's wrong with the economy in light of minor daily movements of the market. They constantly forget - if they ever "get" - that [b]the market[/b] is not [b]the economy[/b] and similarly, wrt the current topic, a company's [b]share price[/b] is not the same as its [b]balance sheet[/b]. In both cases the market values are purely a measure of [b]sentiment[/b] - an emotion based largely on day traders' ability to make a quick buck. If you are a stockbroker and a company does not contribute to your gold Rolex, Porsche, coke and pseudo California Mission villa lifestyle, then rubbish it in the media and look for one that does.

spdragoo
spdragoo

Microsoft has paid dividends since 2003 (initially annual, now quarterly since 2005). Apple, in contrast, hasn't paid any dividends in years, possibly since back in *1995*. That's apparently a decision by Steve Jobs, he didn't like the practice. Which is also how Apple managed to accumulate so much cash -- he wanted it for the company, not its investors.

BlueCollarCritic
BlueCollarCritic

Just to add to what was said here, lets all not forget that it wasn't to many years back that the Supreme COurt ruled that the news media did NOT have to tell the truth. That does not mean that can;t be suded for slanderous comments but an untruthful artcle is not necesairly slabderous so in essence the News Outelets, be they TV or Radio or even websites have been told by the US Supreme Court they can lie; they just can't be sladerous when they lie.

spdragoo
spdragoo

not Apple? All 3 points sounds like Apple's iPhone...

spdragoo
spdragoo

And despite it being the default for IE, Microsoft has that nice feature now (ever since v8 came out) where it asks "Do you want to keep the default settings now, or do you want to change them?" when it first runs... including the nice page that lets you set other search engines (including Yahoo or Ask.com) as your search provider. *rrgh* Ask.com... #1 provider in freeware installers... makes me twinge & have to remind myself to make sure it's not checked...

afrancis99
afrancis99

Media is about manipulating the masses? Sounds like you believe everything you read ;-) I'll point out though, that you 'perpetrated' the same way they do by lumping all media together. Don't forget there are the likes of Pacifica News and NPR has a good record of accuracy in their reporting - they often report on a perception, rather than regurgitating other reports.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Record Profits (fact) = failing,or not failing (opinion). Can you have an unbiased opinion, well no, I mean it's an opinion isn't it? If you have a different opinion based on the same facts, why. What in your opinion has you interpret them dfferently? Are you getting the the theme yet. Of course the media is used to manipulate us, that's it's purpose, they donlt spend all that money on it, so we can make informed decisions do they? I'd have more respect for your point if it wasn't appallinly obvious that your problem is with the purpose of the manipulation, as opposed to the fact it's going on...

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Given that TR has been primarily an opinion site since day one (and has made no claims otherwise, which is more than can be said for certain major media outlets), what's your point?

adornoe
adornoe

the article. The author is asking the question, about, why there are so many people believing or stating that MS is failing, when, the profits would indicate the complete opposite. Perhaps you need to revisit the meaning of "failing" and "record profits" and "initiative". Also, perhaps you need to swap the word "initiative" with "innovative".

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

the free market economy sounds pretty silly when you put it like that ;)

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

One man's truth can be another's lie.... Perhapsthey should have ruled on whether they had to be honest....

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

If you have a different perception, how accurate is the one reported on... The real problem isn't perception/opinion versus accurate reporting of facts, it's confusing the two. Course that's just an opinion, you don't have to take it as fact if you don't want to...

blarman
blarman

"Don't forget there are the likes of Pacifica News and NPR has a good record of accuracy in their reporting - they often report on a perception, rather than regurgitating other reports. " I seriously hope you're being sarcastic. NPR is the definition of government-run media - it's even less objective than the major networks, and that's saying something.

Nick.S
Nick.S

I agree that Profit is the fact & Failure or not is just an opinion as everyone has their own biases. At the end, time will tell us.

adornoe
adornoe

and I don't care if that media source is left-wing or right-wing. I prefer to hear the facts and the full story, and when opinion is necessary, then it must be branded as opinion and not left in the middle of reporting as if it were part of the facts. In that case decrying them to be wrong because you feel they are lefties, is exactly the wrong approach. You are playing their game. There are lefties and there are righties, and oftentimes, they allow or intentionally insert opinion within "news" stories. I know about the approach, and I don't want to see it from any side. I've been on all sides of the political spectrum, and even when I was a liberal democrat, I despised what I saw from the liberal media, and I still do today. I also despise the reporting that I see from some sources on the right which don't even attempt to balance their reporting or opinion pieces. What I want is fairness from all sides, and even if I disagree with a particular column or report, I respect the need to allow the different opinions to be heard. In fact, I've been trying to design a system which would allow for all sides of the issues to heard, even if I myself would not care about certain views. I believe that the truth eventually wins in the end, even if it takes time for people to recognize it. Just factor in the bias, it's your only option, because an unbiased media is a figment of your imagination. You're not even paying attention to what I'm saying. I'm not looking for unbiased media. I do, however, want fair media. Fair media is where all the facts are heard and where all the sides of the arguments are heard. If NBC wants to put out their biased reporting and opinions, fine, but I also want the opposition to be heard, even if the opposition is as biased in the other direction. Otherwise, the people won't be hearing all the different sides of the issues. It's not about performing a public service. To me, when it comes to news and information and opinion, the public would be best served by hearing all of the facts and all of the different sides of the issues. It's about telling people what they want to hear with some adverts wrapped round it. Telling people what they want to hear is not serving them correctly. Telling them the truth serves them better, and that can only help them in making better informed decisions. Any big media type who tells you different is a lying b'stard. I believe most people can determine when someone is lying to them. It's just a matter of time before they settle on a media source that serves them the best. And, of course, some people will settle on a source that tells them what they want to hear, but, they would be lying to themselves by doing that. The reason I'm struggling with your disagreement is because despite being a socialist, I'd execute 99.99% of the current orgainised media without a moments thought, they have the ethical outlook of a starving rat. I wouldn't go as far as you, but, I'd go a step further and remove the bias. If most of the media were to be eliminated, chances are that the leftover would be mostly biased in one direction, like you have in a despotic state, like in Beijing or Russia or Cuba or Venezuela or Iran. My preference would be to disband "organized" media, like the NY Times and Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Group thinking and group control tend to make a media giant lean in an organized direction, or an organized control of the message. My thoughts are to create an independent reporting service, where the reporters and columnists and commentators are not "owned" by a media source. I think I have a way to do that. They are all pricks, no matter which way they dress to. If reporters and commentators were to be "independent" or divorced from an organized media giant, then they would have to survive on their own merits and reporting. When a reporter is hired, he/she is often hired by an editor or publisher that has a predetermined preference for what kind of reporting is going to be done. That is something that needs to disappear from media, and reporters and opinion writers should be subjected to what the people prefer. Let the people decide who survives and who needs to find a different profession.

adornoe
adornoe

because, polls and surveys can be skewed. However, when those surveys are consistent, then there must be something to it. Now, the best survey of all, and the one that has been the most consistent for the last 11 years, is viewership. FOX's viewership has been consistently much larger than the competition, oftentimes more than doubling the viewership of all of the competition combined (competition being the other cable news networks). Like in regular elections, the people have elected those they believe to be more balanced and fair and trustworthy and credible. Credibility is something that the liberal media consistently fails at, and that includes NPR. Someone does a poll (see below, I can't reply to the post directly), finds "...FOX actually ended on top as far as fair and balanced reporting is concerned, and they also won in the category of 'trustworthiness'", and you think this means Fox *is* balanced and trustworthy. Now, while I don't believe all polls or surveys, there must be something to them when they consistently come up with a certain result. You sound like you are willingly blind to that fact. No surprise there. There's a difference between fact and the result of an opinion poll, Polls and surveys are a sense of how people feel at a given point in time, and when they are consistent in results, time and again, then they must be taken seriously. Polls and surveys can be "factual" as far as how the people feel about an issue at any particular time. Polls cannot be taken about facts or about whether facts are indeed facts or lies. Polls are a sense of the people. Polls cannot be confused with facts, but polls can be the factual sensing of how people feel. Polls that are conducted by political operatives tend to not have too much credibility because they are done to sway opinion. TV ratings are a true poll, and they don't lie, especially when those ratings have been consistent for more than 10 years. you clot. Again, somebody that thinks that he can win the argument by insulting or yelling or calling people names. That is a sure sign of somebody that has already lost the argument.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Which of our personal values would be prepared to compromise in order to get something we wanted from each other. For us, that's a moral and or ethical dilemma, for a politician it's which of my values is least popular...

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

jack-booted thugs! You know who pays them, and to do what, it's never been a secret. I feel the likes of Rupert Murderch are the worst enemies of straight-thinking conservatives. Just look what happens when a conservative party allies with a neo-liberal party in order to "govern" and make conservative politics. It always ends in ugliness. And certainly not in conservative politics. No honest party can bunk with populists and stay uncorrupted.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

[i]Or intentional idiocy, I don't know which.[/i] I know what it is, but my lawyer demands I refrain from divulging ;)

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

you are worried by their particular bias. In that case decrying them to be wrong because you feel they are lefties, is exactly the wrong approach. You are playing their game. Just factor in the bias, it's your only option, because an unbiased media is a figment of your imagination. It's not about performing a public service. It's about telling people what they want to hear with some adverts wrapped round it. Any big media type who tells you different is a lying b'stard. The reason I'm struggling with your disagreement is because despite being a socialist, I'd execute 99.99% of the current orgainised media without a moments thought, they have the ethical outlook of a starving rat. They are all pricks, no matter which way they dress to.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Now that is scary, set homeland security on him now...

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

The comparison was implied in the title of the post. "NPR is far-left reporting and opinion" pretty much tells you where the poster is coming from... In a post below, he states that he finds Fox 'centrist'. Time to listen for reports of [i]sus domestica alarus[/i].

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Your post itself epitomizes "blind by choice." Rather than sort the facts from the opinion, you dismiss the source completely, then call those who do the same for the source you like "blind by choice". I could have (and probably should have) responded to your post as follows: [i][b]Fox is far-right reporting and opinion...[/b] and so, it can't even be considered fair or balanced or the purveyor of truth. Why are so many people so blind? Because, they aren't equipped to recognize fact from fiction. Others are blind by choice, and the choices they make are based on their ideological preferences. Fox caters to those that prefer to remain blind by choice. [/i]

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

Someone does a poll (see below, I can't reply to the post directly), finds "...FOX actually ended on top as far as fair and balanced reporting is concerned, and they also won in the category of 'trustworthiness'", and you think this means Fox *is* balanced and trustworthy. There's a difference between fact and the result of an opinion poll, you clot.

adornoe
adornoe

My biggest beef with the media is the biased reporting. Oftentimes, the biggest failure of certain media is a failure to report, or the omission of certain reports which are detrimental to their biases. Biased reporting is reporting with a clear bias or a subtle bias or with outright lies, or with omissions of all the facts. Opinions should be clearly labeled as such, and with the untrained masses, they sometimes confuse opinions as fact. When Obama, as an example, says that, 80% of the people are with him on the debt crisis, that's an outright lie, and the press reports his statement without challenging at all on the veracity of the statement. Without the challenge, too many people will walk away believing the lie. Far too many media sources and reporters are not doing reporting; they've become advocates for one side or another. NPR is an advocate for the left wing, as is the NY Times and Washington Post and ABC/CBS/NBC/MSNBC/CNN. FOX, with their more balanced approach is seen by the left as right-wing, but, to me, FOX is more centrist, and perhaps being centrist is something that liberals can't tolerate. The way I see it, FOX is not republican or conservative; they've actually moved too far left for us conservatives (Shepard Smith, for example, is far too liberal for us), and we're looking for some other source that can best represent what we stand for. Right now, the majority of the media leans left, with 85-90% of the media being controlled by those with liberal leanings. There is no balance, and the people are not being served correctly or truthfully.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

as fact simply because they like it, or discount a fact because someone who's opinions they don't like stated it. Orgainisations like these exist not for the wilfully blind, but to create, maintain and use them. Choice of bias is personal taste and or fiscal impertive. Look at Rupert Murdich ffs, guy owns right and left papers, does that mean he's centrist, schizophrenic or likes fleecing muppets...

adornoe
adornoe

because, they tend to believe that, because the station is funded by contributions, that it's going to present fair coverage of the news and opinion. When research and polls have been done, FOX actually ended on top as far as fair and balanced reporting is concerned, and they also won in the category of "trustworthiness". And, hey, I used to be a liberal, perhaps to the point of being a socialist, but, once I realized that I was being lied to, by most ot the media, I decided to go and investigate for myself how that was possible and why the media was doing it. I realized that, most of the media is not fair nor balanced, and that reporters and commentators were not just doing reporting or analyzing. They were being ideologues, and were trying to advance their ideologies through control of the message, that message coming via control of the news and information sources. When it comes to being blind, why not look into your own prejudices and biases. Then, look to see what percentage of the reporters and commentators of NPR are liberal versus those they have that are conservative or republican. NPR is one of the most rabid liberal "news" sources on the planet. They are not much better than the official news source of Beijing or of Ahmadinejad's Iran. It's no wonder people are so misinformed and ignorant. Wake up people!

adornoe
adornoe

but, when your argument doesn't hold water, I guess your only recourse is to use insults to try to win the argument. Sorry, but, you're being left behind, because the truth is finally overtaking the lies of the far-left media.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I listen to NPR sometimes when I am in Montreal, because there aren't many english language talk channels on the radio. When I compare them to our own CBC (which is left leaning) or BBC (which is kinda centerist), NPR does seem a little left of both of them. But I wouldn't charecterize them as loonie left, but definately left of the mainstream. Fox on the other hand, I don't really consider them a newsgathering organization per se. They are more opinion columnists and entertainers than journalists. I do think its rich that adornoe thinks NPR viewers are blind by choice. I guess in his opinion those whose ideologies he agrees with have a monopoly on truth. I seem to recall a biblical quote about the mote in one's own eye.....

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Or intentional idiocy, I don't know which.

adornoe
adornoe

and so, it can't even be considered fair or balanced or the purveyor of truth. Why are so many people so blind? Because, they aren't equipped to recognize fact from fiction. Others are blind by choice, and the choices they make are based on their ideological preferences. NPR caters to those that prefer to remain blind by choice.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I'd choose NPR for objectivity over any of the cable news crowd. But I have a choice, so I get my news from about 15 different on-line sources including both Fox and Al Jazeera. NPR is at least fair and balanced enough that they don't have to keep saying they're "fair and balanced" to convince us they are.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

If you like the opinion, it isn't manipulation Say, wait a minute.... Adds apparently to statement...

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