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Microsoft Is a Dying Consumer Brand 585

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-don't-want-to-go-in-the-cart dept.
Taxman415a noted a CNN story on the dying Microsoft brand where they talk about "The less than stellar performance of, and problems in, nearly every consumer division. It cites StatCounter's data showing IE's market share falling below 50%, and is even smart enough to note that's just one statistic with various problems, though the trend is clear. It also seems that MS doesn't want to compete with Android, so it plans to charge royalty fees to handset makers to discourage them from using it in their products. The conclusion is that MS will just be a commercial, not consumer company."
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Microsoft Is a Dying Consumer Brand

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  • Really??? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by adeelarshad82 (1482093) * on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:16AM (#34037758) Homepage
    It is? Doesn't Microsoft dominate the OS marketshare, wasn't Windows 7 a huge hit, isn't xbox 360 kicking ass right now, or are we just judging Windows Phone 7? Cause if we are then i gotta say it's a bit early for that. Come on CNN atleast don't make link baiting so obvious and Slashdot stop putting inaccurate shit on the front page.
    • Performance != market share
      • right but it's a stretch to say that it's dying
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MrHanky (141717)

        They perform extraordinarily well, for a failure. Their profits are still twice as big as Apple's, for instance. Perhaps the media and the stock market simply are delusional.

        • Re:Really??? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @01:03PM (#34039346)

          And before digital photography came along, Kodak was insanely profitable. There are disruptive technologies all around Microsoft. At this point, they should be disrupting themselves, but like IBM 30 years ago, they are going to have an awfully difficult time doing so.

        • Re:Really??? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Karlt1 (231423) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @01:22PM (#34039624)

          Their profits are still twice as big as Apple's, for instance.

          Apple's profits last quarter - 4.308 Billion
          MS profits last quarrer - 4.518 Billion

          From finance.google.com

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by znerk (1162519)

          I just blew away a bunch of mod points to say this, so pay attention.

          They perform extraordinarily well, for a failure. Their profits are still twice as big as Apple's, for instance. Perhaps the media and the stock market simply are delusional.

          Microsoft's profits are only twice as large as Apple's? How interesting, since Windows is dominating the desktop market, with eight times Apple's market share. It does, indeed, sound as if they are failing. They have a lot of capital to work with before it really impacts their bottom line, but by the time they start feeling the crunch, it will be too late (See: Overshoot).

          Microsoft is already being downgraded by stock brokers [cnn.com], and downplay

    • Re:Really??? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sunshinerat (1114191) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:24AM (#34037898)

      It is the difference between a company that does nothing but milk its market share versus a company that innovates and moves with the market. Sales numbers can be huge and impressive, it says nothing about the long term potential of the company.

      Ray Ozzies departure addresses this as well.

    • Re:Really??? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by walterbyrd (182728) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:24AM (#34037902)

      Yes, Microsoft dominate the OS marketshare - on laptops and desktops. When it comes to servers, gaming consoles, smart phones, tablets, or any other internet devices: not so much.

      MS is not dead by any stretch, but the market is changing, the paradigms are shifting, and MS is not dominating the new market. If MS were to lose it's strangle-hold on document formats, then MS might become a far less relevant company.

    • Re:Really??? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:28AM (#34037962) Homepage Journal

      Even Ray Ozzie has admitted that a fundamental shift in today's computing environment is underway. Microsoft has traditionally used its Windows operating system as a means of controlling other markets, and he basically admits that this business model is done [ozzie.net]. The future is all about embedded devices and cloud computing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hairyfeet (841228)

        The problem with Ray's theory is this: In order for cloud computing to gain ANY real traction outside of corporations (which MSFT pretty much has a lock on with products like sharepoint and AD) you are gonna need a massive and expensive nationwide broadband rollout which I'm just not seeing in the USA. While it may work in Asia, where they have fat 100Mbps pipes, here in the USA you have the duopolies trying to squeeze lines that are frankly old as the hills rather than spend the money. Just look at the com

    • Re:Really??? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Archangel Michael (180766) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:32AM (#34038024) Journal

      Microsoft dominates DESKTOP OS market share. I doubt if it dominates OS market share, considering Android, Symbian, iOS, OSX, Palm, Linux .....

      I've said this before, but it fits here. Microsoft is a WINDOWS company (with exceptions), it is NOT a technology company. Almost everything they do is for WINDOWS, and WINDOWS is their primary focus. Apple and Google have let Microsoft have the WINDOWS market. They are after other markets, and why they are killing Microsoft in the process.

      I'm reminded of an old story, from the late 1800s. The story is about a Railroad Magnate who saw his business as being "railroading". That was his focus. The problem was, that view was myopic and very short sighted. IF he had a broader viewpoint, saying instead he was in the "transportation" business, he would have able to incorporate automobiles/trucks and aircraft when those came onto the scene.

      What business is Microsoft in? It is in the WINDOWS business. THAT is their product, that is their service, that is what they do. That is their Achilles Heel, and why they are dying (Netcraft Confirms it)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Device666 (901563)
        Microsoft was a successful fast growing me-too company, especially during the windows 95 and office. But they have became so big, because they were trying to control every software market. Now they're just me-too company with organisation-obesitas, and that doesn't bode well for innovation (which they sure need). Google and Apple are the booming innovative companies of late. Me-too ideas just happen not work so well for them anymore.
      • Re:Really??? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @01:26PM (#34039692)

        MS is a large company that does not react quickly. They have skilled people but are hampered by management. One of the reasons the Kin failed [blogspot.com] was that it was 18 months late. It was decisions by management that caused problems. The original idea was they wanted to quickly release a product. If MS had tried to build one from scratch it would have taken years. Thus MS bought Danger. Danger made the HipTop (commonly known as the SideKick) and the original plan was to release a SideKick successor within 6 months.

        [Now all of the following are rumors as no one in MS has officially confirmed them. You can read about them by googling.]

        But then came the management decisions that would doom it. SideKick applications ran on Java. Being MS, it was decided that Windows CE would be used. That decision alone would push back product launch by many months. There was also rumors of infighting. The head of Windows Mobile didn't want the Kin so he did not allocate any resources to help the Kin team (Project Pink). So the team had to implement an OS with which they were not familiar without the help of those that knew the OS well.

        As the project became hopelessly delayed, features like the App store were cut in order to make some sort of release date. Also since the phone was so delayed, it was going to be obsolete by the time it would have been released as many of the competing products released new features in the meantime and the market place was changing. When the SideKick was popular among teens, texting with some photosharing were the functions that they used most. But by the time the Kin was released, consumer smartphones like iPhone and Android that did more than text were becoming the desired products.

        In the original plan, Verizon wanted to woo these texting teenagers as customers from T-Mobile. So they were willing to offer a cheap data plan. By the time the Kin was launched, the phone itself would consume more data than originally planned (texting phone vs smartphone). Verizon did not feel they needed to honor the original agreement as MS delivered 18 months late. Thus the Kin got the normal smartphone rate. The combination of late, few features, and high data plan would make the Kin not desired by the target market.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          But then came the management decisions that would doom it. SideKick applications ran on Java. Being MS, it was decided that Windows CE would be used.

          See there? THAT is exactly what I was saying. Microsoft is not a tech company, it is a "WINDOWS" company, in this case WINCE.

          Windows Mobile 7 is further evidence it is WINDOWS company.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MightyYar (622222)

      Doesn't Microsoft dominate the OS marketshare, wasn't Windows 7 a huge hit

      Take a poll on people about who is more [insert positive phrase] , Apple, Google, Microsoft and some others and Apple and Google will show up more highly ranked than MS. It is their brand that is tarnished - their desktop OS monopoly is not threatened. Windows version xxx will dominate, no matter how crappy. They got away with XP for 6 years with only fairly minor updates, and it still captured almost all of the market.

      Come on CNN atleast don't make link baiting so obvious

      Hey, they have to eat! :) To be fair to CNN, Wall Street is eating MSFT alive.

    • Re:Really??? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by iMadeGhostzilla (1851560) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:48AM (#34038298)

      I was thinking the same, but look at the video of the interview on the TFA page and look closely at their faces. Balmer seems defeated. His posture is slumped, he mostly says Win Phone is "different," and you can see contempt in the bitchy reporter's face -- when she talks about her experience with Win Phone, when she mentions Bing, when she barks at him telling him "Explain this" and so on. And all the while he only tries to be attentive, smiling, and upbeat. Even the article ridicules him as struggling with the "vision thing."

      That's not a sign of a company doing well. But I think it's just a phase, and that they will eventually reposition themselves not as a consumer brand, but as a company that enables you to get things done.

    • Re:Really??? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by guruevi (827432) <evi.smokingcube@be> on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @12:25PM (#34038808) Homepage

      Windows 7 is seen as an expensive Windows Vista Service Pack. It doesn't run well on older machines, it requires a lot of change in how people work and it still isn't intuitive to use. I would even dare say it's downright clunky compared to the age-old Windows way. People stay with Windows XP because it works well or they go to Mac or even Linux if they need to change anyway.

      Windows 7 is only a hit because it's better than Vista and all computers in the last 4 years have come either with Vista or 7. But even so, most corporate users as well as a lot of home users still decide to downgrade to XP which most 7 licenses except for retail allows you to do. So actually the count for sold licenses is high but a bunch of them have downgraded again.

      XBox 360 is old and everybody has been waiting for the new one for at least 2 years now. Sure it sold a lot of consoles only because Sony was priced too high and Wii seemed downright juvenile. XBox 360 is cheap enough for most gamers older than 12 to get one but afaik the division has been making a loss ever since the inception. However the RROD, the issues with EA stopping to host older games and a bunch of other issues have given a lot of gamers no incentive to buy any further into the XBox (Kinect has flopped) and instead wait on the next generation. The only thing that keeps XBox sales up imho is Rock Band.

      Windows 7 Phone - at this point I think you're being sarcastic. Nobody has a Windows 7 phone, nobody wants a Windows phone. The 5 and 6 versions have forever poisoned the user base (and you thought Mac fans were frothing at the mouths, you should've seen Windows smartphone fans 5 years ago). Most people here where I work (where Windows phone was kinda the only choice 2-3 years ago) are heavily lobbying to get permission and some infrastructure for the iPhone with some already getting through. It is plain out buggy, crashes and is very very complicated (Who has place and the precision to use a start menu drop down & multi-paged, multi-tabbed configuration menu on a 3" screen). To enable Bluetooth on one of these phones you literally have to tap through 3 levels of crap you don't need and about 9 clicks + the menu's are super redundant in naming. Is Bluetooth in connectivity, networking or wireless

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gbjbaanb (229885)

      its not a totaly bad summary though. The problem is twofold:

      firstly, we have a stock market that (for all its ills) does collect the predictions of a great many people together and effectively calculates the true worth of a company. All those analysts who are paid to determine who's going to be a winner or a loser in the future really do their best, as they get paid a lot if they get it right. These guys all think Microsoft is going nowhere. I mean, their PE ratio is 12 (ie the share price compared to sales

    • The CNN piece asks whether Microsoft is a dying consumer brand , which they clearly are, not a dying company , which they clearly are not, and it's important to note the distinction. Their brand is their corporate identity, how they are perceived by the public, and I happen to agree that consumers are thinking less and less of Microsoft. The simple fact that half of Macs purchased in Apple Stores are bought by users new to OS X speaks to this. All those new Mac owners damn sure aren't migrating from Linux
    • No (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @12:52PM (#34039210) Journal

      Windows 7 wasn't a huge hit. It just wasn't the steaming pile of crap the Vista was. Water tastes as nectar to a thirsty man, but it remains plain water. Windows 7 sells, as part of new PC's. But many a company and consumer is still on XP. For MS, this is lethal. It NEEDS the continues upgrade revenue to fund its many programs. And those who are still on Windows XP also didn't upgrade their office. A double blow.

      The original xbox was a disaster, the 360 slightly less so but remember that MS counts replacements as sales. So how many 360 sales are really replacement units for the countless ring of death failures? Count these out and suddenly the figures look very different AND no matter how you count the Wii outsold it by far. The 360 is a decent performer, but that was NOT MS ambition. Sony and Nintendo are still ticking over for the next round meaning MS has yet another round to fund with its diminishing Office and Windows income.

      Windows Phone 7 SEVEN, SEVEN and it is still crap. So much for the third release being the charm. While Rim, Android, Nokia and Apple are biggering about who is biggest MS is lingering at the bottom. Yet again.

      A bit to early for judging Windows Mobile 7? Hardly, it is after all not the first time we handled this beast. We can judge it very easily, has MS learned from mistakes in the past? No? Then it will fail for the same reasons as before.

      As for dominate the OS marketshare? Oh boy, you are a fanboy aren't you. OS market share on what? Tablets? No, that is Apple. Mainframes? No IBM. Servers? No that is Linux. Smart Phones? No that is... Apple again (at least not MS) Handheld gaming consoles? MP3 players? Media players? Oh, the desktop... yeah and Apple who does NOT sell Windows is the biggest PC seller right now. Doesn't that give you a bit of a clue?

      I know it must hurt for a MS fanboy but their performance of late isn't up to form. MS has a VERY large warchest and can keep the fight going for a long time but they would be smarter to re-examine who and what they are. Their constant shifting position on Windows gaming is just a very obvious clue. Then it is "Everything must be on the console" then combined, then windows gaming alone, then windows live then back to gaming on the PC again. MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MIND. IE9 shows just how little the company understands about its own products. It claims IE9 can be Windows 7 only because it needs some special shit to run... there are FOUR browser makers who have FASTER browsers AND have it running on XP. But MS itself can't fix the crap IE6. That shows how little MS cares about its customers who might be running OLD software but BUGGY software that MS sold them. And don't come with IE is free because then you are to stupid to talk to.

      Recent events like the London stock exchange going to linux after MS putting major money into it AND using it in ads, that shows an MS that is no longer the power it once was. IE has dropped to 50%. This is the browser installed by default as you claim by the company that controls the OS marketshare. Doesn't that TELL you something? Browsing is what most consumers use their computer for and they replaced the default browser with their own choice. It doesn't matter how you measure it, this is LOW.

      And how do you measure MY pc in your OS dominance? My work PC? My servers? Running linux all, but either barebones or replaced Windows installs. In my department, the windows guys are in the minority. Granted the Apple guys help with that but still. The days when you would find only Windows machines in a company are gone. This means the days of forced use of the latest office products is gone. The boss with his apple book is a powerfull driver to use an exchange EVERYONE can use.

      Bye bye lockin, the prime mover and shaker behind Microsofts success.

      No, MS is far from gone, but it can't afford to many more mistakes. In many ways I think MS has become its ancient enemy, IBM. IBM could have owned the PC, it didn't because it made all the wrong choices. IBM is still there, but it no longer controls the industry as it used to. MS might end up the same if it hasn't already.

  • good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SoupGuru (723634) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:17AM (#34037780)
    That's what you get for resting on your laurels.

    When I think hip, happening, cutting edge, pushing the envelope, fun.... I don't think Microsoft.
  • Royalty fee (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mark72005 (1233572) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:18AM (#34037790)
    It's not a royalty fee in the traditional sense. They are essentially patent trolling.

    AND, the summary leaves out that Microsoft is trying to leverage this to prevent companies like Acer from choosing Android for their netbooks or tablet PCs, not phones.
  • Think about it. Microsoft has no tablet because they don't make the hardware. They make the software which allows other smaller companies like Asus, HP, Acer etc to use in their hardware. IE never made them any money instead it brought on tons of headaches and a bad reputation, we should be happy that it is dying.. not sad. Their money makers are windows, xbox, office etc.. none of which are mentioned in the article.

    It's like saying Intel is dying.. oh wait I saw that the other day too!

    • by samkass (174571) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:34AM (#34038062) Homepage Journal

      Their money makers are windows, xbox, office etc.

      Not xbox-- that division has lost billions since inception. And not "etc.", either. Just Window and Office [osnews.com]. Really, Microsoft never WAS a consumer company; it's always been a business company. So saying it's "no longer" a consumer brand is like saying that Apple no longer dominates the enterprise market.

    • by natehoy (1608657) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:41AM (#34038192) Journal

      Their money makers are windows, xbox, office etc.. none of which are mentioned in the article.

      Microsoft has an incredibly great balance sheet and is making shitloads of money, and that's good news.

      The bad news is that Redmond has developed a nasty habit of releasing incremental improvements and lackluster copies of what the competition is doing.

      It's not that what they sell is bad, Windows Seven is actually a very good operating system (and this is said by someone who switched to Ubuntu, but I still see enough Windows Seven to like what I see). The xbox obviously gets great reviews (I'm not a game machine owner, so I can't judge for myself). Windows phones have always had a good reputation as decent phones. Hell, you can have my Microsoft Natural Keyboard when you pry it from my cold, dead, grateful-not-to-have-needed-carpal-tunnel-surgery hands. Microsoft makes some really good stuff.

      The problem with Microsoft is that they aren't trying to make brand new stuff any more, and their copies of others' work has become really lackluster. Windows Seven is great, but set Windows 2000 next to Windows Seven and tell me there's 10 years of significant innovation there. Tell me how many revolutions that product has gone through since they dumped the 95/98/ME kernel. No, I'll tell you. Zero. Nada. Zip. It doesn't make Seven BAD, it just makes it BORING.

      Where are they in social networking? Where are they on mobile stuff? Search? Bing? Really? Where's my Microsoft Flying Car? Why am I carrying a cell phone at all? Where's my glasses with a heads-up display, eye tracking, and an earpiece built into the wing? What is Microsoft Labs working on? Oh, right, a ribbon interface for Office, a poor clone of Google, and an update to Windows CE. Yawn. Snore.

      That's how the market works, if you don't come out with something that makes people go "WOW!" every now and then, you're dying. That doesn't mean bankruptcy is imminent or your shareholders should be concerned about not making a dividend 3 years from now. It just means that you aren't a leader any more, and you need to get off those laurels before they leave a permanent mark on your ass. Because once people start looking to others for new stuff, they'll start drifting away from you on your cash cow products.

      • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @12:11PM (#34038610)

        if you don't come out with something that makes people go "WOW!" every now and then, you're dying

        The problem is, if you're largely a software-only company like Microsoft it's very hard to come out with something that makes people go "wow." What are the things that have made people go 'wow' over the past 30 years? iPhones, TiVos, Digital Cameras, Plasma TVs, Priuses, Netbooks, CD Players, webcams... They've all been hardware.

        Of course there have been some Googley exceptions like Facebook and YouTube but they're the exception.

        ...and sure MS sells xboxes, mice and the odd webcam and zune, but for real hardware they depend on the hardware manufacturers, and it's very very hard to get the likes of HP or Dell to innovate on Microsoft's behalf. Things are further complicated by the fact that Microsoft, as a software vendor, has to be reasonably hardware-supplier-neutral. They last thing they want to do is get in bed with Sony and then piss off Toshiba.

        When you own the hardware and the software, you can truly innovate when it comes to gadgets - When you only own the software, you can't.

      • by stewbacca (1033764) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @12:15PM (#34038668)

        I could have a cutesy "FTFY" moment, but this is far too serious of a problem:

        Microsoft has ALWAYS "released incremental improvements and lackluster copies of what the competition is doing." This is their business model, and it has worked for two and a half decades. They won't change until they HAVE to change (which might be what this story is insinuating).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jimicus (737525)

        Microsoft has an incredibly great balance sheet and is making shitloads of money, and that's good news.

        The bad news is that Redmond has developed a nasty habit of releasing incremental improvements and lackluster copies of what the competition is doing.

        Microsoft have been doing that for the better part of thirty years. It's just that it's become much easier to spot these things since the web became mainstream.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Dotren (1449427)

        Where are they in social networking? Where are they on mobile stuff? Search? Bing? Really? Where's my Microsoft Flying Car? Why am I carrying a cell phone at all? Where's my glasses with a heads-up display, eye tracking, and an earpiece built into the wing? What is Microsoft Labs working on? Oh, right, a ribbon interface for Office, a poor clone of Google, and an update to Windows CE. Yawn. Snore.

        The interesting thing, to me at least is that they actually do seem to be researching things like this but it never makes it to market. I've heard different reasons, including infighting between departments, but the end result almost always seems to be that they had something really need going and then it disappears with an accompanying statement of "oh that was just for internal research".

        A good example would be the Courier [wikipedia.org].. the first concept designs I saw online for that thing were just awesome in what

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:19AM (#34037820) Homepage

    Windows is dying!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:20AM (#34037828)

    The company I work for is currently positioning itself for the post-PC era, when mobile devices take over the jobs that used to require a big-box PC, or at least a laptop. Very soon these devices will wirelessly talk to keyboard, monitors, each other, the public internet... but they'll fit in your shirt pocket. And they *won't* be running Windows. That's what scares the shit out of Microsoft. The world is changing out from under them, and they are not positioned to be a player in the upcoming mobile and cloud computing world.

    Remember the past. This isn't the first time such market forces have killed dominant players in the industry. Remember minicomputer, back in the 60's and 70's? Gone. Remember technical workstations? Killed by the PC. Well, mobile computing is about to do this to the PC, and by extension, to Microsoft.

  • Lenovo's technology director recently told PC Mag that his company won't be building around the platform: "The challenge with Windows 7 is that it's based on the same paradigm as 1985 -- it's really an interface that's optimized for a mouse and keyboard."

    MS wants to build everything off of Windows. That's where Apple was smart, they created different OS for the hand held devices.

    • by wjsteele (255130) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:26AM (#34037936)
      Really? I thought that iOS was based on OS X!!! Hmmm... checking my facts... IT IS!

      Bill
    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:52AM (#34038356) Journal

      MS wants to build everything off of Windows. That's where Apple was smart, they created different OS for the hand held devices.

      You realize that Windows 7 and Windows Phone have absolutely nothing in common, right? Not even the kernel, much less UI. In fact, OS X and iOS share significantly more components.

      The branding is confusing, though. Maybe the phone version should've been called "Tiles" instead. ~

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      > That's where Apple was smart, they created different OS for the hand held devices.

      No. They just changed the desktop shell and the application API.

      Underneath it's still Darwin and looks very much MacOS or Unix like if you bother to peek under the covers.

      It's interesting how much this "myth of PhoneOS uniqueness" gets repeated despite how bogus it really is.

      No. This is all down to branding and adversing and propaganda. In truth, Microsoft's phone tech probably shares less with it'd Desktop cousin than Ap

  • by wjsteele (255130) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:24AM (#34037900)
    The article clearly has errors in it. First of all, it makes it seem that the $10-15 royalty fee goes all to Microsoft. That is simply not the case... Google charges the largest Royalty Fee for their applications. Microsoft also charges for their stuff, but it's not the entire $10-15... it's more like $1.

    Also, it states that Microsoft wants the vendors to use Windows Mobile on their Netbooks and Tablets, which is also not true. Currently, Microsoft is using Windows 7 for those devices, not Windows Mobile, which is for their older handsets. There is no Windows Phone OS 7 based software for Tablets or Netbooks either.

    Bill
  • Late to the game? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by norminator (784674) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:24AM (#34037904)

    Microsoft has been late to the game in crucial modern technologies like mobile, search, media, gaming and tablets.

    Microsoft was doing tablets (since 2002!) and mobile long before Apple kicked out the iPhone and the iPad (yes, I'm aware of the Newton, but it wasn't directly involved in the successes of the recent mobile efforts).

    Just because they haven't been doing it right doesn't mean they haven't been doing it.

    • Also, they explain Windows Media Center as being "Content in the cloud"... I realize WMC does NetFlix, and a few other internet-based sources, but my understanding is that it has always been primarily focused on local media, particularly DVR-ing TV.
      Does the writer know anything about Microsoft?
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:27AM (#34037948)

    I wonder whether the author of this piece knows what he's talking about. I will agree with such a statement if I see just 10% of alternative desktops on my University Campus.

    Over here, Microsoft and its products represent almost 100% of IT desktop infrastructure. It would not be far fetched to say "Microsoft all the way." This is despite the fact that general student computers we use take at least 8 minutes to boot! This is a major pain every morning. Ee just have MS Office on them and they still run Windows XP.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That doesn't say something of the BRAND Microsoft. People are using Microsoft because the market dictates the use of Microsoft products, not because they have warm fuzzy feelings about Microsoft. As a brand Microsoft has a piss poor image by a lot of consumers imho.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by stewbacca (1033764)

        No, there are people who's PERCEPTION is that the market dictates it. I made lots of money for 1995-2005 using zero Microsoft products in the tech industry (Macs and Macromedia + Adobe).

        The market dictates you need a tool to access email, write a document, or produce a spreadsheet. Consumers dictate which product they THINK they have to have.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FranTaylor (164577)

      Do you understand the argument? Did you purchase those copies of Windows or did they come with the computers?

      You are still running Windows XP so clearly you are just running the OEM bundled software that came with the computers. This is the point being made, that people like you are NOT going out and buying Microsoft, you are using Windows because it was bundled with the computer.

  • Poor Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RaymondKurzweil (1506023) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:33AM (#34038046) Journal

    If their consumer brand continues to erode like this, they might end up with the likes of IBM, which as we all know is not a very successful company.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wjsteele (255130)
      Man, I wish I could mod you up!

      I agree... if I was only half as unsuccessful as Microsoft has been... I'm pretty sure I'd still be happy about it.

      Bill
    • Re:Poor Microsoft (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Taxman415a (863020) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @12:30PM (#34038876) Homepage Journal
      That's exactly the point the article makes. The part of my submission that Taco trimmed out for space was that I don't really mind if MS mints money in selling to commercial markets, because what this article is evidence of is that for MS to continue making money they are going to have to compete on quality. That's been my only major beef with MS products over the years: you were almost forced to use their products even though they were terrible in most cases. Now that there are significant competitors in the mobile space and that market is growing, and Apple, and to some extent open source and even perhaps eventually Google Chrome are providing competition on the desktop or making it irrelevant, I don't really care if MS grabs say 30% of the mobile market. Because to do so, they'll have to put out a really good product. Same goes for commercial applications and servers. There's fierce competition there and Linux is doing well. If they make a lot of money still, then great, they just won't be able to subvert markets and consumers and businesses will be better off for it.
    • Re:Poor Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FranTaylor (164577) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @12:42PM (#34039064)

      IBM was NEVER much of a consumer brand so they never "ended up" that way.

      Microsoft doesn't have the breadth and depth of product that IBM does, not by a long shot.

  • Royalties (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LBArrettAnderson (655246) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:38AM (#34038140)

    I'm sure many phone makers are very happy with the fact that MS charges royalties for Windows Phone 7. This is because MS will be the one defending any IP/patent lawsuits, etc. Why do you think people are suing HTC and other Android phone makers instead of Google? Google probably isn't legally responsible. MS will be, so they are charging a small amount for it.

  • by dmomo (256005) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:45AM (#34038260) Homepage

    Get off my la.. bah. Nap time.

    Microsoft just doesn't make my blood boil the way they used to. Sure, I still hate them out of habit, but I'm old and tired now. I feel like a bed-ridden, old and gray, Elmer Fudd who still mumbles that he "could have had that wascilly wabbit', but in reality doesn't really care and just wants you to leave him alone so he can watch Diagnosis Murder.

    That fact alone is a bad sign for Microsoft. They just don't matter in the same way they used to and they certainly don't drive Technology the way they did in the past few decades. Their tactics are less of a threat than they used to be. Sure, they'd do evil if they could, but they are just fruit flies at my picnic, and I've got my eyes peeled for bears.

    No no no. I plan on stepping aside and enjoying my Golden Years while the next generation shakes their fists at their Apples and Googles and Facebooks.

  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:58AM (#34038442)

    Microsoft has always been a commercial brand and not a consumer one. I've never purchased (or used freely) a Microsoft product because I wanted to. (Xbox being an outlier, even though I have a PS3 now).

    I think most people feel this way. It's weird to find somebody who actually chooses an MS product willingly.

    With that, Windows 7 is really nice. Too bad it's about 15 years too late.

  • by ameline (771895) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (enilema.nai)> on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @01:06PM (#34039410) Homepage Journal

    The fundamental difference between Microsoft and Apple (or other consumer product companies) is that people like you or I are not MS customers.

    Microsoft's customers are Dell, HP and Acer, and large corporate IT departments. That's where most of their money comes from, and they know it. MS cares about their needs and not ours.

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