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Is this the beginning of the end for MS?

By TimMitchell ·
I can't help but think that Windows XP will be the catalyst that topples Microsoft from its industry-leading throne. After all, people are fed up with Microsoft! The Justice Dept. is all over them (and rightly so), and the battle has just begun inthe courts. And in the fat middle of that mess, Microsoft concocts a Communist-like product activation scheme which assumes guilt and makes each and every end user prove that he/she may legally be using the software that has already been bought andpaid for ($$$$).

Their last OS was released only 14 months ago, and office suites are appearing just as fast. Public opinion of Microsoft is at an all-time low. Even with their Product Activation scam, their products keep rising in price (Mr.Gates, are you doing that to keep prices down or to satisfy Wall Street?). They continue to promise that the NBT will be much better than the last, with more user-friendly features and workgroup collaberation (whatever that means); all of which is meaningless to me, considering that most of my end users can't send an email attachment without supervision.

Contrary to what many people think, there are alternatives out there. Although its hardware is proprietary, Macintosh makes a very stable, user-friendly product. Linux will run on almost any PC, and it's free. Sun has a free office suite that is well worth what you pay for it.... and Corel has an Office 2000-compatible suite that is as good or better than its Microsoft counterpart (at half the price, product activation not required).

I really think Microsoft has screwed up. Bill won't admit it; he has never backed down on a product release before and will bet the farm on this one, too. I just hope that those thousands ofprogrammers will find new jobs.....

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Bloatware vs Componentware

by GuruOfDos In reply to Is this the beginning of ...

I still have and run Word for Windows 1.1 and Excel for Windows V3.0. They still have all the functionality I require from a word processor and a spreadsheet. If I need additional functionality, I can write scripts,macros and VB code. When I upgraded to Windows 95 from WFWG3.11, I tried to run Word and got a message saying 'This software is too old. Contact Microsoft for an upgrade!' and the damn thing wouldn't run anymore. Easy solution:- Install Lotus Ami-Pro V3.0!!! Well, eventually I 'acquired' a full version of Office 95 (I purchased a desk from an office auction and the CD, EULA and Licence was stuck behind a drawer!) Disregarding the fact that MSO95 had hundreds of features I'll never need, it took nearly 120Mb of hard disk to install it as opposed to the 11Mb required for W1.1 and E3.0. It also ran a lot slower.

Microsoft keep exhorting us to upgrade on the grounds that each OS or version of the Office Suite is 'easier to use and more productive than before'. Where do theyget this notion from?

If all I want to do is type, edit and print then file a letter, my 486 DX2-66 running WFWG3.11 in 8Mb Ram using Word1.1 was so much more productive than anything else I have ever used.

If a computer is going to die, it will do so from infant mortality within the first few months, or from failure after time because of some component like the hard disk or PSU 'letting go'. Typically, most electronic devices will run for years and years with no problems. So why can this not be the same with our software?

Uncle Bill....I don't need all the bloat that comes with your new suites. I don't need the Web enhancements. Workgroup functionality? I just want to type and file a letter!!!! Why can't I use software that 'does the job' and no more? Wake up to the idea of 'component-ware' and Microsoft MAY just have a future.

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What's the Computer for?

by cshull In reply to Bloatware vs Componentwar ...

I remember reading an anti Win/Office argument (rant, actually) a few years back from a crusty MIT prof who couldn't understand why anybody had any use for anything beside EMACS. I don't think he got out much. Anyway, if all one needs is to type aletter, the quaint, but not unreasonable, notion starts to seep in -- What's the point of using a computer and a printer? Why not just write a letter? With a pen and paper.

disclaimer: The above in no way indicates approval by the author of MS's predatory business practices.

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What's it for?

by GuruOfDos In reply to What's the Computer for?

Computing, obviously! Mathematical calculations, CAD, PCB design, electronic simulation, programming, web browsing, email....etc. etc. ad infinitum. If all our other apps were as top-heavy as MS Office, we'd need several hundred gigs of disk space. Sometimes we need to write a letter or a manual, paste in some pictures, edit chunks from one doc and insert them into another. Word 1.1 does it adequately...in 7Mb of hard disk space!

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I have to agree - it could be

by JimHM In reply to Is this the beginning of ...

I have to agree this could be the death **** to MS. The company I work for is not moving to XP, is droping support, and not going with the SA, EA or other licensing. (Saves us about 1.2 million)

I am sure that many corporations are doing the same- so look for MS revenue to start to drop in the 2nd quarter of 2002.

SELL you MS Stock now ... Don't waite ... SELL - Look at CISCO - Price - Don't Lose your money...

Yes the 4th quarter will look good when a number of companys change to a SA or EA license agreement... but what happens in the next quarter - or the one after that.

Where is MS's incoming coming from - licensing or new porduct? - Support or Services?? - If you notice - its not from Sales - most of the income is from yearly licensing and support... which are soft dollars...

If MS doesn't change directions - they may be building a wooden box - for Gates and Company... (Of course Billion dollar Gates - shouldn't be hurt that much. Oh yet - check out how many shares Gates still ownes - interesting)..

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It is TBOTE; here's why...

by dcavanaugh In reply to Is this the beginning of ...

Like so many other now-defunct businesses, M$ has lost sight of the customers. The customers wanted simplified administration and a reduced "total cost of ownership". The M$ response is mandatory product registration and a whopper price increase that includes rentware licensing. As an M$ customer, I am not pleased.

Either M$ is truly clueless or this is some kind of "load shedding" activity designed to calm down the monopoly complaints by helping competitors establish market share. My guess is option #1.

The XP situation is 90% a business practices problem, only 10% technology. They could fix much of this by making XP the same price and procedure as 2000. I suspect we will see a highly modified approach to XP when it bombs miserably in Q1 2002. Like any other product that sits in the warehouse as "shelfware", it will be blown out at a discount to raise cash and make room for new things.

With the XP initiative, M$ has awakened the sleeping giants of the software world (both customers and suppliers) in a Pearl Harbor sort of way. The XP release is October 25, 2001 -- A date which will live in infamy!

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sheep mentality

by becki In reply to Is this the beginning of ...

I completely agree with you, but do you really think the public is smart enough to go through that entire thought process? What about the 30 million people that STILL use AOL, even though it still sucks, and yet is more expensive than its competitors?

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No Tech Savy

by cjburkha In reply to sheep mentality

Becki hit the nail on the head. I think most of you over estimate the average users tech savy, it really is very very low. People talk about installing Red Hat, I know of people who retuned new Dell computers because they could not figure out how put them together! I realize moste people here probalby build their own computers, but a new dell has 5 wires, the keyboard and mouse and printer are color coded. Put the green cord into the green slot, and turn on. Thats it! And many many people are completetly confused about this. Many tech people forget that technology is supposed to be as seemless as possible. I just got done working on the American Express Finacial Advisors account, we serviced 10,000+ Financial Advisors, most of whome know nothing about technology, nor should they, they should manage my money, I'll fix the computer. Try to tell these people to export their mail file from Outlook '98 to Outlook 2000, and it will literally take them 4 hours, which is why MS does it automatically. What we in the tech industry consider to be overloaded, unneeded features in MS products, most end users need desperatly.

CJB

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No Tech Savvy

by rawright In reply to No Tech Savy

You must know my users - you certainly are describing them accurately. Although I am encouraging them to avoid the XP line and look into other products, I doubt that many will. I am, however, strongly supporting a change for our company's systems. Enough of Microsoft's defective, overpriced products and their refusal to provide support. The new licensing scam is the final straw.

I'm looking forward to learning and using Linux.

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Little help from Jolly Roger

by dkurdin In reply to No Tech Savvy

No product will be popular if its not pushed hard enough. I think someone must be in charge and this is not the case with open source software. Yes I think Bill charges a little too much and some people, especially in some not so well-off countries,can not afford it. Thank God there are Robins in software forest. Who take from the rich and give to the poor. I can buy the latest and greatest from Bill for as much as 2$ per CD. Isn't great?
P.S. English is my second language don't flame me, you, american boys.

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Little help from Jolly Roger

by dkurdin In reply to No Tech Savvy

No product will be popular if its not pushed hard enough. I think someone must be in charge and this is not the case with open source software. Yes I think Bill charges a little too much and some people, especially in some not so well-off countries,can not afford it. Thank God there are Robins in software forest. Who take from the rich and give to the poor. I can buy the latest and greatest from Bill for as much as 2$ per CD. Isn't great?
P.S. English is my second language don't flame me, you, american boys.

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