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Google a "Wake-Up Call" For Microsoft 173

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-count-them-out dept.
wooha points out coverage of a talk Microsoft's chief software architect, Ray Ozzie, gave at a Goldman Sachs conference in Las Vegas. Ozzie said that watching Google rake in advertising revenue was a wake-up call within Microsoft. He said Microsoft plans to do more than simply follow Google's lead by creating Web-based versions of desktop programs or duplicating its search and advertising model. (Despite Microsoft's massive investment in promoting and improving Web-based search, the company still has less than 10% of search engine market share, compared to Google's ~50% and growing.) Ozzie, who has only made a few appearances since his promotion last June to replace Bill Gates as CSA, told analysts and investors that he has been laying the groundwork for programmers across the company to build Internet-based software.
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Google a "Wake-Up Call" For Microsoft

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  • Moo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:16AM (#18193526) Journal
    And thus, Microsoft continues its grand tradition of being late to the scene, introducing technologies we've been seeing for years in a new and annoying format, and generally maintaining the status quo in the fashion to which we have become accustomed. Mediocrity, ho!
    • Re:Moo (Score:5, Funny)

      by tha_mink (518151) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:21AM (#18193572)

      And thus, Microsoft continues its grand tradition of being late to the scene, introducing technologies we've been seeing for years in a new and annoying format, and generally maintaining the status quo in the fashion to which we have become accustomed. Mediocrity, ho!
      But what about the "ribbon". Surely you find that a new technology. There's NO WAY anyone could consider THAT an annoying format.
      • Re:Moo (Score:5, Funny)

        by thrillseeker (518224) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:10AM (#18194184)
        But what about the "ribbon". Surely you find that a new technology. There's NO WAY anyone could consider THAT an annoying format.

        Let me see what the Bob thinks ...
        • by ILikeRed (141848)
          Especially with a wide format screen. Leave it to Microsoft to steal an UI element from Adobe (see Illustrator or anything from the CS suite), and then lock it into the most undesirable position possible (Adobe allows the user to position it's ribbons either horizontally or vertically where ever the user wants) just as wide screen monitors are becoming generally popular.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by BrokenHalo (565198)
        Well, as a matter of interest, how about a quickie thumbnail survey?

        (1) How many Slashdotters have used Microsoft's Search more than once?
        (2) How many have ever used it at all?

        FWIW, my answers are "not me" and "yup".
        • >(2) How many have ever used it at all?
          Tried it a couple of times and to be honest quite liked it and it produced good results. However, Google is my home page and well, it's there when I fire up my browser and intertia sort of takes over.
        • Re:Moo (Score:5, Insightful)

          by joshetc (955226) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @12:35PM (#18196142)
          I've used all 3 major engines (Yahoo!, MSN, and Google) several times. Here is what I found:

          Yahoo -> tons of annoying ads
          MSN -> tons of annoying ads
          Google -> a few text based ads

          To me it really doesn't even matter who has the "better" search engine.
        • Yes, I make a point of trying the other search engines occaisionaly. So far:

          1) All three usually produce similar results
          2) When there is a significant difference, Google usually produces the best results
          3) Yahoo sometimes produces the best results
          4) MSN search rarely produces the best results.

          Yahoo did at one time have a beta of a search with a slider that could be used to tilt the search towards e-commerce or information sites. If they had kept that available, I would probably use Yahoo as my primary searc
          • by rtb61 (674572)
            That is absolutely not true. I use the four major search engines all the time, I like to compare results, I can't help it I'm a computer geek.

            Google.

            Yahoo.

            Ask.

            MSN.

            Google is way ahead in cleaning false results, you know, all those crap fake search engines that lead nowhere. You find them infesting results coming out of the last three and fairly rapidly cleaned up out of Google. Now you think the others would wake up, because of course those fake search engines just suck away revenue, but they can be prett

      • But what about the "ribbon". Surely you find that a new technology. There's NO WAY anyone could consider THAT an annoying format.

        Actually as stupid as I think the Ribbon is, I've heard some pretty positive feedback from users actually using it, claiming that it increases their productivity. How I don't know, but still...

        Honestly, I thought the OSX dock was kind of stupid, but lots of users love it.
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:26AM (#18193636)
      Remember, Microsoft still has their desktop monopoly. That gives them the edge is "integrating" new tech.

      Which is also why Microsoft cannot follow Google's lead on this. Microsoft's revenue is based upon the concept of:
      one user
      per physical box
      per licensed OS copy
      per licensed office suit copy.

      Microsoft will not do anything that could harm those revenue streams.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Remember, Microsoft still has their desktop monopoly. That gives them the edge is "integrating" new tech.

        That may be true, but I think that what will play a part is the fact that most people did not consciously choose Microsoft software and most people don't "love" their Windows environment. Windows is just what came with their computers and if the news media told the truth and said, "Folks, we have another Windows virus/trojan/spyware instead of another "computer" virus, etc., then people would hate MS so
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sumdumass (711423)
      It's call inovation! Silly.

      Don't you remeber your brainwashing?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hey! (33014)
      Except for one thing. Google (and Apple) are adept at something Microsoft is terrible at: making products consumers want to use.

      Microsoft's strength has always been sellign to people who buy technology for other people to use. The only success they've had seling to consumers is the XBox. I'm not a gamer, so I wouldn't know why that would be, but I'd guess it has something to do with the importance of developers to game consoles. In a sense, it's just another platform to sell. If that is true, then consu
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by BrokenHalo (565198)
        The only success they've had seling to consumers is the XBox.

        You're forgetting the Zune, of course. The brown one. :-P
    • This is what happens when you're no longer in the business of solving problems.

      They [they being all sorts of people not just msft] often use the term "solution" when they really mean "product." I question what problems they think they're actually SOLVING with their "solutions."

      I think both companies lost a firm grip on reality when they think that a web-based office suite makes more sense than say Office or OpenOffice. Sure there will be a good initial blast of popularity, but unless people like lag and a
      • Re:Moo (Score:5, Informative)

        by mikeisme77 (938209) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:02AM (#18194100) Homepage Journal
        Google has never claimed that Google Docs was an office replacement--they've always said it was meant to supplement traditional productivity suites. The main advantage of Google Docs (if you've ever used it) is the ability to easily collaborate with other writers of a document that are miles away. Yes, you can do the same thing with a wiki; however, many wikis lock users from editing a document if one user is already editing it--Google Docs doesn't (although if two users are editing the same section of a document, it will warn a user that their changes will be discarded and pop up a Window displaying the changes so they can be copied and re-added). Google Docs, unlike a wiki, also allows easier, more intuitive formatting that will stick when you export it to a traditional productivity suite (wikis don't allow you to export--you must copy and paste into the productivity suite). Plus, not all users need a full featured productivity suite and for those who don't, Google Docs serves as a great alternative solution. I also greatly enjoy the ability to have access to my document no matter where I am as long as I have access to the Internet--yes I can do the same thing with a flash drive, but I really do find Google Docs to be the more convenient solution.
        • latex + CVS + input files == multi-user editing of a single document. :-)

          And it will look better to boot.

          FLAME ON!
          • Point well taken, but then you don't have the portability I mentioned (as you have to have CVS and Latex installed on all the computers you want to edit the document on). You also lack the ease of use of Google Docs (although that, admittedly, needs some improvement still--changing the name of the documents is non-intuitive and some people who have never used GMail that I've collaborated on documents with have had problems finding some editing features--such as highlighting text). You're definitely right ab
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Zantetsuken (935350)
            yes but how many average joe's that can barely use Windows are going to know how to use latex, even know what it is, or even know what Linux is?
          • by rubycodez (864176)
            haha, you have to have a good imagination to have any idea what the doc will look like. LaTeX is all about the logic of the document, and most people would rather worry about the appearance. Horrible collaboration toolset there, might look better but be wrong if someone forgets or ignores another's cvs update.
        • Google has never claimed that Google Docs was an office replacement--they've always said it was meant to supplement traditional productivity suites.

          You must've missed the Google manager: Google Apps replaced Microsoft Office at 100,000 businesses [itwire.com.au] article. Yes, the Google rep uses a political "it's a supplement, not a replacement" line, but he also says, "We have hundreds of thousands of small to medium businesses that have already...switched their entire infrastructure over to Google Apps." Whether or no

          • Here is the text of the article you linked to with a couple of the key bits highlighted:

            Google manager: Google Apps replaced Microsoft Office at 100,000 businesses
            By Stan Beer
            Friday, 23 February 2007

            Google's newly released online productivity suite Google Apps has already replaced Microsoft Office at more than 100,000 small to medium enterprises and has been deployed at two of the largest companies in the world, according to the search leader's enterprise product boss.

            Kevin Gough, product manager,

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rubycodez (864176)
        whether there's privacy or not depends on ethics and security of service provider. there's also the possibility of google web service software running on a private server (maybe they even open source the stuff someday). Some web based services have taken off hugely, like email and http servers. The delay and lag depend on the network infrastructure, been getting better over the last 20 years. The real barrier to office-type software being web based I think is mostly getting people to use what is neces
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by snottgoblin (957976)
        "Sure there will be a good initial blast of popularity, but unless people like lag and absolutely no privacy, I can't see web-based "solutions" taking off."

        There are more and more people who value availability and accessibility than those who even think about privacy. Just look at the widespread adoption of email, with people putting out their entire personal lives in the hands of the email providers.

        If there is enough exposure to such web-based office suites and folks start considering the fact that
    • The last stage of your apt introduction is the bit where Microsoft appropiate the technology as their own having removed the original innovator.

      They remove the original innovator by a number of means: outright purchase and asset strip (stacker?), use their monopoly (netscape, firewalls, antivirus), FuD (linux - thats not working so well for them)... Have I missed any?

      But once the original innovator is gone they can claim it as their own. And force us to use their cack-handed implementation in (to para
      • by init100 (915886)

        They remove the original innovator by a number of means: outright purchase and asset strip (stacker?), use their monopoly (netscape, firewalls, antivirus), FuD (linux - thats not working so well for them)... Have I missed any?

        Maybe Spyglass/IE. Microsoft acquired the rights to distribute, provided Spyglass got a percentage of the profits from IE. Microsoft then set the price to zero, so they didn't have to send any money to Spyglass.

        Part of the blame would be on Spyglass, since they didn't require a minimum amount of money per copy, just a percentage (any percentage of zero is zero).

    • Re:Moo (Score:4, Insightful)

      by RyoShin (610051) <tukaro@gPLANCKmail.com minus physicist> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:47AM (#18194644) Homepage Journal
      That's what I thought when I read the synopsis. Microsoft isn't waking up, it's just working harder to play catch up.

      On another forum I go to, someone has as their signature (roughly) "IE7- a 7th generation browser in a world of 8th gen browsers", and it's true. Microsoft didn't include tabs in their browser until FireFox and Opera had already been doing it for a while.

      As Linux becomes a more viable OS, especially if Google's new apps take off, Microsoft is going to find itself more and more strained as it offers less and less innovation and improvements- the leap from Win98 to Win2K was quite a large one, the leap from 2K to XP less, and XP to Vista even less than that.
  • This is news? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DelawareBoy (757170) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:17AM (#18193532)
    Come on.. This really isn't news. Does anyone not believe Google is a wakeup call to Microsoft? And if Steve Balmer's Chair throwing is any indication, they were aware of it long before Ray Ozzie was promoted to CSA.
    • by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:22AM (#18193596) Journal
      Cry Havoc, and let slip the chairs of war!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zappepcs (820751)
        Yes, this time it might be news, if you consider this: Mr Ozzie might be recognizing something, that brand recognition and locking consumers and PC manufacturers into your product is not enough. You *ALSO* have to be a company that people *LIKE*. (note the Mac and PC ad campaign among other things)

        No matter how much you make or how much market share you have, you will eventually lose it if consumers don't like you or your new products. There will always be a "new kid in town" that will take center stage.

        If
        • by dch24 (904899)
          Interesting that you should single out the Mac. That would seem to be the "reading between the lines" that Ozzie is not saying, and for a reason!

          You *ALSO* have to be a company that people *LIKE*. (note the Mac and PC ad campaign among other things)

          The problem with what you're saying is that Microsoft has tried (see: XBox, Zune) to get people to like their product. And the first thing they learned was drop the Microsoft brand from the product. (Especially obvious with the Zune.)

          As inevitable as the "New

        • by apt142 (574425)
          Definitely agreed.

          I would also add that Microsoft has sort of painted themselves in a corner with their current business model. Microsoft wants it's user to get stuff done the Microsoft way. Google and Mac both seem to be approaching the consumer/user with the idea the consumer just wants to get something done. To hell with who's method. Microsoft can't compete with that. They also can't change their tactics without taking back on God-knows-how-many-years of business strategy. And that's highly un
    • Re:This is news? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by skoaldipper (752281) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .8rtslaoks.> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:41AM (#18193818)
      > Does anyone not believe Google is a wakeup call to Microsoft?

      Yahoo is the only search engine that appears to be holding Google off.
      Does anyone not believe Yahoo is a wakeup call to Google? Why have all others declined while yahoo's cleats are so firmly entrenched at the 3 yard line? That should at least give google inc some pause for concern. I say the reason is in small part because yahoo mail is so popular [hitwise.com] - driving so many users to their other services in part from clickity click convenience alone. Personally, I still find myself using yahoo mail exclusively over gmail. That thing ever gonna move from beta?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by truthsearch (249536)
        That thing ever gonna move from beta?

        What's going to change when it "moves" from beta? At this point isn't it merely semantics? It's just a way for Google to say it's not officially supported (and maybe save a little money).
      • I still find myself using yahoo mail exclusively over gmail. That thing ever gonna move from beta?

        I do believe that's what happened [blogspot.com] last month.
      • by blamanj (253811)
        As someone already pointed out, Gmail just recently did move from beta into a fully open service.

        Now, if you think about it, that might also be a reason why Yahoo mail has more users. Gmail was open only by invitation until last month, whereas there were no bars to entry at Yahoo. I'll lay odds that a year from now, Google will have advanced on Yahoo's share noticeably.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by peragrin (659227)
      Google is a wake up to MSFT. Just like the Internet was a Wake up call to Win95. Just Like Netscape was a Wake up call to IE. Firefox starts taking marketshare, MSFT releases IE 7 which was supposed to be for Vista only for XP too.

      MSFT is a medicore following company. They will always get a wake up call after a new industry has been established. MSFT then moves in using their money to buy out or kill the competition, bleed the market dry and say the idea was a bad one to begin with as it is lying around
    • by dc29A (636871)
      Come on.. This really isn't news. Does anyone not believe Google is a wakeup call to Microsoft? And if Steve Balmer's Chair throwing is any indication, they were aware of it long before Ray Ozzie was promoted to CSA.

      This is news because some highly placed honcho at MS is finally recognizing that their monopoly might be slowly eroding. Not saying MS is dead next year, but IMO MS will slowly die over the next 10 or so years, unless of course major changes occur within MS.

      - Their competitors have brand names t
  • To go and develop a truly underappreciated application such as Lotus Notes, I have to wonder what on earth qualifies him to make pan-Industry statements like this? I honestly don't believe that Ray Ozzies understands anything more of this apart from what his bosses at Redmond tell him, than I do. Ok so Google is 'significant'! They pay you to think that up? Because any idiot would draw the same conclusion. Maybe it's more indicative of Microsoft that it TAKES, a senior uber Executive vice president to know
  • Ah yes, the infamous MS "innovation" of follow the leader (badly).
  • Waking Dream? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by griffjon (14945) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <noJffirG>> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:21AM (#18193576) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft didn't "wake up" to the right set of ideas - it's not google's services that are beating Microsoft into the ground, it's their general openness and interoperability. Microsoft can put Office online and create a search technology that can find a needle in a haystack not even linked by RFID tags to the tubes, but if they continue to play their embrace/extend/extinguish games instead of opening up, as an internal cultural change, what they produce will continue to be hindered by this proprietary mindset.

    (It's not even like they have to jump ship into OSS - Google's technology by and large is closed source, they just play ball better)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by canuck57 (662392)

      (It's not even like they have to jump ship into OSS - Google's technology by and large is closed source, they just play ball better)

      But built on open source Linux is it not? Google proves Linux can and does scale well.

      • Google proves Linux can and does scale well.

        It's not only a "scaling story", but a stability story too ...

        Yesterday I visited a small charter school I helped get started when they had no money. It's been six years. I setup an email system for them using various Linux software. I showed their full time IT guy how it all worked, but he came from a Microsoft world, such that his knowledge was. I left the area for awhile and didn't check back with them. Six years later, I'm back and check to see how
      • by init100 (915886)

        But built on open source Linux is it not?

        Just because you build your business on Linux, your products does not magically become open source. What he probably meant is that most of Google's products, such as their search engine, Gmail, Google Earth, their in-house extensions to Linux, are not open source.

        • by griffjon (14945)
          Exactly. Sure, Google is the poster child for Linux stability, raw power, and flexibility, but Google Earth (admittedly, bought with Keystone) ain't exactly open source, nor are they opening up their actual code for their web services.

          Remember, Hotmail ran on FreeBSD for years even under Microsoft's ownership.
  • by Andy_R (114137) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:24AM (#18193606) Homepage Journal
    Google: Simple compatible web pages that do what customers want, not evil, everything is beta.

    MS: Messy incompatible monolithic apps, scofflaws, ship the alpha version if the deadline arrives.

    Yes, it's a wake up call, but I can't see any signs of MS actually waking up and learning anything from Google's succeess.
    • by sumdumass (711423) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:40AM (#18193808) Journal
      Don't fall alseep just yet. Remeber that skit back in the 80's were microsoft was touting the web browers as a programs front end or GUI?

      I think they called them web apps back then too but the idea was you could use a web browser instead of all the other fascinating things microsoft had their hands on at the time. I think this lead into some of the IE security problems too. It is likley, This was a ploy to just lock in IE and create a need in 98 past what critics were aying. But they do have experience in this area in more then one way. (MSN games and such)

      So, to discount microsoft for being asleep at the switch when they did alot of this stuff in the late 80's could be disasterous. Outside the being on another computer part, Some might says they were farther along then Google and whoever else are right now.
      • I'm curious as to which "web apps" you think Microsoft was developing in the 1980's?
        • by sumdumass (711423)
          They were calling them web apps but it was basicly a buzzword associated with using IE as the front end to some program. IT definatly isn't the same web app as we are seeing today. But this doesn't mean they are irelevent.

          How this is relevent, They have experience in getting programs to display properly in web browsers and retaining the full functionality as if the programs were regularly designed as we see them today. Office 98 relied a lot of this in their installer and stuff. MS has somewhat of a leg up
          • I think you missed the point. The query was regarding the 80's, you know, long before the web...
            • by sumdumass (711423)
              ahh.. well the 8 and 9 are so close on the keyboard. It is strange though, Many other people knew what was trying to be said.
          • 80's. You know, DOS, 128k-512k RAM, CGA or maybe Hercules? Not web apps.
          • In related news, I heard that Motorola was relying heavily on their development of the cell phone in the 1820's.
  • Internet-based? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWX (665546) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:25AM (#18193618)

    Ozzie, who has only made a few appearances since his promotion last June to replace Bill Gates as CSA, told analysts and investors that he has been laying the groundwork for programmers across the company to build Internet-based software.
    You mean, ActiveX-based software, right? It's not like these applications are going to really function on any platform other than Internet Explorer (and even then, probably 6.0 MINIMALLY) and Windows XP, and there will be no support for Linux, UNIX, OSX, Windows 2000, etc...

    Google offers a great opportunity for those who want to break themselves of the Microsoft habit. Cross-platform, functional on multiple OSes, web browsers, and with minimal requirements.
    • You mean, ActiveX-based software, right? It's not like these applications are going to really function on any platform other than Internet Explorer

      1996 called, and they want their view of Microsoft back. Things have changed rapidly, better get used to it.

      I haven't seen anything new promoted by Microsoft lately that used ActiveX. ASP.net 2 generates xhtml and targets 4 browsers [microsoft.com] (IE6+ Firefox, Opera, Safari) and WPF/E [microsoft.com] is explicitly cross-platform.
    • You mean, ActiveX-based software, right?

      They might be able to do something with that shiny new AJAX framework of theirs, ATLAS [asp.net] instead of using ActiveX.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:29AM (#18193686) Journal
    The most difficult market to take out of MSFT's grasp is the Office software, with legacy files, macros, APIs, integration with workflow etc. And since Office is tied to Windows OS, it allows MSFT to continually tweak the OS, foist upgrades in a never ending cycle. But another big cake in MSFT's plate is the license revenue from the Microsoft Exchange Server. It is not bulk priced, every email id created by the its corporate clients not MSFT, creates license revenue for MSFT. This is the market most easily wrenched from MSFT's grasp.

    A good browser is all the interface needed to deliver email. And not being tied to a machine but being available over the net is a useful thing. So the Google Calender and email can compete with MSFT. That is where is Google is making a move. The corporate email market is so big and is such a huge revenue generator, there is place for both Google and Exchange and Lotus Notes and may be yet another player. If Google corners anywhere between 20% to 33% of the corporate email market, it can outfox MSFT. If the next upgrade of Vista is not compatible with Gmail's corporate clients, they would even consider not upgrading. Already there is some reluctance in the marketplace to upgrade and people are getting upgrade-weary. If the OS upgrade forcing Office grade cycle gets broken, and if some corporations demand true interoperability instead of settling for MSFT compatibility, cracks will develop in MSFT's dominance. But it is all well into the future. Might take 5 years for this to happen.

  • My suggestion to Google is to take multimedia its next "home work." Why not find a way to popularize open video and audio formats like ogg? As an example, the popular Google summer of code would have a project specifically geared to creating plug-ins that enable windows based multimedia players play ogg based formats.

    Next, it then becomes our burden to make sure we wean ourselves off Microsoft's formats an to popularize this move.

  • by moxsam (917470) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:37AM (#18193768)
    What's next is advertisements in Vista.
  • by JoeCommodore (567479) <larry@portcommodore.com> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:38AM (#18193784) Homepage
    As the story states Microsoft is after the advertising revenue, not really actually interested in providing the rich content that google strives for.

    There is where the difference lies, Microsoft does not see this or many of the other markets it shoves it's foot into as a "we can do this better because we care", it's more like "hey, there's someone making money on this, lets do it too!" and that's how they approach it. They make a shortlist of competitive features and try to cover those.. and little else. Then talk the talk of what people are saying about thier competition ("we're secure, you can share, we're open, we got what you are looking for. etc.")

    Microsoft hasn't been innovating for years, it's more like they play a continual game of catch-up.
    • by nuzak (959558) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:02AM (#18194106) Journal
      > Microsoft hasn't been innovating for years

      Microsoft Research innovates like crazy. It's just rare that anything ever escapes alive and in recognizable form from MSR.

      Hell, what has Linux innovated lately? Desktops on spinning cubes?
      • by lubricated (49106)
        >> Hell, what has Linux innovated lately? Desktops on spinning cubes?

        Linux is an operating system kernel, not a person or a company, it's not sentient, and it's not going to innovate anything. I'm glad you were able to turn a microsoft bash into some kind of anti linux comment. You also forgot to bash apple and bsd.
      • A fully open development model for an OS is the #1 innovation of Linux. It proved that not only could it work, it produces a better operating system than the proprietary model. #2 is probably the pluggable filesystems, which is related to #1.

        With the cube joke, maybe you were looking for user-end innovations? Those tend to come more from apps than OS though.
      • by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <(sherwin) (at) (amiran.us)> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @01:35PM (#18196950) Homepage Journal
        Well, as other posters have said, Linux is just an OS kernel, not a distribution; having said that, there is a great deal of innovation going on in the open source world.

        Linux:
        1. User-space file systems. FUSE. This stuff is neat. Linux supports a panoply of filesystems that Windows users can only dream of, and a lot of these are worlds and worlds ahead of Windows stuff. Take a look at FunionFS, and Wayback FS.
        2. Abstract, granular CPU and I/O prioritization and scheduling. Linux can be realtime in ways that NT can only dream of; which is impressive considering the scale of Linux.
        3. LinuxBIOS. Anyone stuck an NT kernel into Motherboard firmware? No? Why not?
        4. KVM. Linux kernel virtualization. Microsoft is talking about duplicating this for the NEXT version of NT.
        5. A fully relocatable kernel. New in 2.6.20
        6. How about a native IPv6 stack? Linux did it first.
        7. How about boot time switching between 64-bit and 32-bit, or ACPI and noACPI? How about probing/autoloading of modules on boot? How about all possible drivers being installed, all the time, even ATI and NVIDIA's closed-source drivers now, using the Novell KMP system?
        8. POSIX compliance (uncertified), AND Win32 compliance (uncertified). First OS to do this.
        9. Support/scaling for an unlimited number of processors?
        10. How about a flat memory model (4GB/4GB split), even on 32-bit?
        11. Don't forget about ALSA. Wanna change how your sound is mixed, in userspace? No problem. Wanna reroute your mid-rear-left speaker to your record slot? No problem. Want 3D sound in older applications? OpenAL is there for you (unlike DirectSound in Vista). Here's a list of ALSA plugins, all of which are utilized in userspace: http://alsa.opensrc.org/ALSA_plugins [opensrc.org] .
        12. Vast improvements in Kernel security all the time. Things like selinux, and AppArmor (AppArmor is really cool stuff) are worlds beyond UAC and group policy.

        And that's just the OSS Linux kernel. Wanna talk about other subsystems?
        CUPS versus Windows printing?
        1. Autodiscovery of local subnet printers? Not possible in Windows, even Vista.
        2. End to end Postscript printing, even on $15 crapprinters?
        3. Out of box support for IPP, CUPS, LPR, SMB, and other kind of printing system you can dream of.
        No matter how you slice, CUPS is worlds away from Windows printing. Never, ever have to deal with printer drivers as you move from network to network; this is a dream avaliable for years in the CUPS world.

        X? Xorg is a thing of beauty.
        1. Full network transparency (2D/3D). Not avaliable in Windows. Best of breed network performance using NX.
        2. A fully modular windowing system. Remove or add components at will. No Internet Explorer required.
        3. Extremely high performance, with decades of support for both 2D and 3D operations.
        4. The sky's the limit in terms of scalability. 1 monitor? 4 monitors? 64 monitors spread across 12 systems? No problemo.
        5. Xgl is the beginnings of a pure 3D windowing system with legacy support. Xegl is the future of this pure 3D windowing system, at performance levels that put Aero's hybrid 2D/3D setup to shame.
        6. Yes, spinning cubes. And a whole lot more eye candy. On a whole lot less hardware than Aero requires. Geforce 5200 mobile with 32 MB of RAM? No problem.

        GUIs?
        I don't know much about Gnome, as I'm a KDE guy, but:
        1. KIO-slaves. ftp:// [ftp] ? of course. bzip2:// ? torrent:// ? fish:// (this one is amazing, directory browsing over plain SSH). beagled:// ? how about man:// or programs:// ? how about klik:// ? KIO-slaves are one of the coolest features in GUIs out there, hands down.
        2. Kparts. Click on a PDF url, and you get KPDF in your Konqueror window. Click on a DOC url, and you get Kword in your Window. Click on an RPM, and you get either YaST2 (for SuSE), or KPackage. And all of these are user configurable, of course, on a user-by-user basis. This is something that neither OS X or Windows have worked out correctly.
        • by nuzak (959558)
          That's an excellent response. I don't agree with everything in the list (some items I outright contest), but at least you took more time to respond than my off the cuff post even really deserved.

          WinFS will never see daylight, but as for Monad, it's out, it's called Powershell, and Exchange 2007's backend is basically scripted entirely in it. It's still a little klunky to use until there's a good set of short command aliases built up into a standard library though. Powershell Analyzer (a third party thing
      • Hell, what has Linux innovated lately? Desktops on spinning cubes?

        Presumably you mean Linux-based distributions rather than Linux the Kernel.

        There are a lots of opinions about this and different distros have their own innovations here and there, but personally I don't think Linux distro's need to innovate much at all. Open Source represents the commodity base of what's available for free and without restriction, unless you want to redistribute it in which case there's still less restriction than most so

    • by notaprguy (906128) * on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:20AM (#18194324) Journal
      I'm sorry but what "rich content" does Google provide? Google is the yellow pages so I guess if you consider advertising "rich content" then your statement is accuraet. If you think that Google isn't motivated by financial interests then you're a very scary type of pollyanna. Also, if I were the paranoid type (which I'm not) I'd be way more scared of Google than I am of Microsoft. Google knows who you are, what you do on the Internet, who you conduct transactions with, who you send email to (if you use Gmail) etc etc.
      • From my persepective I see Google doing a lot of investing in information technology and data (google groups being very significant data aquisition) in which leads to a lot of people finding information which leads them to be tops in advertising revenue. Microsoft on the other hand seems more sligned with the "We have the destination for advertising to users" instead of "we are the destination for users who want to find lots of information (and will see adverting)"

        Look MS is a company that makes an OS (and
  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:11AM (#18194202) Homepage Journal

    He said Microsoft plans to do more than simply follow Google's lead
    ...they plan to also leverage their monopoly.
  • No it's not (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WingedEarth (958581)
    Microsoft doesn't appear to be anywhere close to woken up. When was the last time Microsoft actually offered something new, rather than copying other people?
    • by Serapth (643581)
      Sharepoint 2007
      Office 2007
      Sql 2K5 w/ CLR .NET 3.0
      XNA
      Tablet PCs

      Need I keep going, or do you not want your happy anti-Microsoft fantasy shattered? MS has tons of "new", ironically, all of it will be copied by the open source world in the next few years, but hey... whats a few double standards between zealots, eh?
  • Evidently no one at the top at Microsoft has a clue about brand names and company image. By Microsoft trying to be a one size fits all we do everything company, it's losing it's identity. People just don't trust the name Microsoft or that one company can be good at many things. The brand Microsoft isn't even recognized as making good software, just as being dominant in the industry and cut throat.

    What people instinctively know is that for every product and business you need a leader and a vision. It wou
  • Every site I look after typically has 90-95% of incoming search engine hits coming from Google. People I talk to report the same. I'm surprised Google's share is said to be as low as 50%.
  • I don't mean to point out the obvious but MS is not an Internet company (even with OZ's help). They are OS and standalone application developers...who are able to use TCP and UDP in their products but certainly do not have the corp. balls to do something really innovative to get them noticed on the net.

    The reason they are getting their @ss handed to them this time around (in search, social networking etc), is they can't bend the will of users to use their sub par products like in days gone by. No more pro
  • What the hell? (Score:5, Informative)

    by kimvette (919543) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @11:57AM (#18195596) Homepage Journal
    Why is it that when Microsoft, dominating an entire industry, sees another company doing well in a quasi-related niche, feel compelled to enter and dominate that industry as well?

    I'm a capitalist through and through but I'm so fucking sick of Microsoft.

    I'm sick of hearing how secure Vista is, when their Vista security features are so annoying 99% of users will probably disable them.
    I'm sick of hearing how much of a vast improvement Vista is over XP, when OS X and KDE on x.org have been there/done that for ages now -- ESPECIALLY when the truly major "improvements" in Vista restricts' customers' Fair Use and Right of First Sale activities.

    Oh, and what about MSIE 7.0? Where are the improvements? It does not pass the acid test (even though every other browser on the planet worth mentioning passes now), designers still have to bend over backwards for modern techniques to render correctly in MSIE, and it breaks differently than MSIE6, so things are more interesting. On the plus side, at least they DID fix .png rendering, so I have to give them some credit there.

    I used to be a Microsoft fan, and I've hated practically everything they've done after Windows 2000, because I see it as predatory, self-serving, and providing FAR less value to the customer, all while prices are tripling and quadrupling for Windows. For what? restricted activities on the computer? Revocation of First Sale rights? Restriction of Fair Use?

    Sorry, I had to vent. This is not intended to be insightful, informative, or even interesting; it's merely a good opportunity to vent in a place where hopefully some Microsoft drone will read this and say "Hey, are we REALLY that bad? I guess we are alienating our customer base." In summary: Fuck Microsoft. There is no need for them to dominate advertising, and quite honestly, I rather they didn't even try, because if there is one thing Microsoft truly excels at, it's annoying and alienating customers.

    Posted using Firefox 2.0 on Linux.
    • Fuck Microsoft.

      You've got a long ways to go before you are a true Microsoft fan boy. There are reeducation camps in remote areas of Washington state for that.
  • They have the technology. All they have to do is redirect domain name mispellings to their ad-laden page of crap. They already do THAT. The next component of the technology is one that randomly introduces errors into the URL when type it in. Most users don't do that often though, so they'd also have to figure out how to get you to that page some percentage of the time when you use bookmarks. Lets see... They could also show ads while a web page is loading, put ads in various currently unused space on the de
  • Microsoft is a VERY competant company.

    My corp had to deal with the DST issue.

    Java: hard to manage. "Not sure we can update this without breaking the application" "no idea how many we have" there were no reps. (Really a corporate problem of not putting resources into managing Java sinces its "free").
    IBM: decent but a bit messy and no centralized reporting. (but they are very reliable for production work). Reps felt a bit surly.
    M$: easily updated tens of thousands of machines and were able to report on t
  • "Ozzie, who has only made a few appearances since his promotion last June to replace Bill Gates as CSA, told analysts and investors that he has been laying the groundwork for programmers across the company to build Internet-based software."

    But what I want to know is if Microsoft plans to leverage its monopoly muscle in the OS and browser marketsto brute force its way into an unrelated market.... yet again...
  • ...but they overslept anyway, in their bed built of cash, FUD and chairs.
  • Five pages of posts and nobody's even bothered to Google a "wake-up call" for Microsoft [google.com].

    Was that so hard?

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