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back to article Microsoft guns down 13 unlucky products

Microsoft shuttered, put a hold on and let go of 13 products in the past eight months to help it cut costs, following a profits dive at the company that led to job cuts. According to a report published yesterday by analyst outfit Directions on Microsoft, Redmond is expected to cull more of its software and web-based products …

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Job cuts..

.. the first sign of incompertant manegment. The second sign is blameing everyone else!

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Coat

Who are you and what have you done with the real El Reg?

What happened? How did El Reg manage to publish an article which mentioned Wikipedia without going off on a rant against it? I suggest you fix that - how about this replacement:

"MS confirmed in March that it was pulling the plug on the product following Wikipedia's obliteration of the online reference market despite an often questionable veracity and widely criticized editorial policies."

That'll do.

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Anonymous Coward

Sadly

Songsmite and Outrage^H^H^H^Hlook aren't on the list. Unsurprisingly, it's mostly things the average user wasn't stuck with. Must have been too hard to achieve vendor lock in and control of a proprietary format.

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Ed
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Autoroute

They basically haven't updated Autoroute for years - I tried a recent version a year or so ago, hoping they'd fixed some of it's rubbishness since I last tried it back on Windows 98 and it was identical as far as I could remember - terrible maps, annoying UI, not enough features.

Good riddance.

I grew up playing my way through the maze mini-game in encarta (windows 3.1?) so it's sad that it's going...

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Ironic Really

Autoroute was one of the few MS products that was actually any good.

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Paris Hilton

Office subscriptions going

Hmmm. Pay for an office suite until the end of time or download a free one from OpenOffice. Is it any wonder MS had to kill it? Only an idiot would want to RENT software.

Paris, 'cause she charges by the hour.

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Anonymous Coward

@ P Saunders

"Pay for an office suite until the end of time or download a free one from OpenOffice"

But you mention office subscriptions in your title, what product are you actually on about in your anti ms rant?

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Gates Halo

I still miss Cinemania

Basically it was like a mini-IMDB on CD, with much more professional reviews and a pretty swish interface. I miss it. If they released a modern version on DVD/online/mixed, I'd buy it.

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And they could add :-

Windows Me

Windows Vista

i could say most verions of windows are shoddy BUT thoese 2 are teh worst out the bunch

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Job Cuts

Yep -- Management always does great in an expanding market.

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Hmmm

So business is bad enough to ditch these products, yet they can still waste millions on re-branding Live search into Bing Decides (or whatever it is). Maybe it would be a good idea for them to forget online (they haven't been good at any of it - IE, HoTMaiL, Live, etc. is all crap), and work on getting Windows good. But I get the feeling egos are involved...

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Joke

They haven't culled ..

.. Windows then. Shame ;-)

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W

Talking shi^H^H^H faeces.

>"“Nonetheless, as Microsoft continues to reduce costs, product development will be impacted,” he said."

Affected. Not impacted.

im·pact·ed (m-pktd)

adj.

1. Wedged together at the broken ends. Used of a fractured bone.

2. (of a tooth) unable to grow out because of being wedged against another tooth below the gum.

3. Wedged or packed in, so as to fill or block an organ or a passage: impacted faeces.

-> source: [http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dict.asp?Word=impacted]

My poor Guinea Pig was impacted at the weekend (definition # 3). But with a little TLC he pulled through OK. Which is more than can be said for these MS projects.

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@W

Simply excellent! Wordsmythe!

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N

13 unlucky products?

Hopefully, thats every version of Vista

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Happy

@Steve - And they could add :-

You probably meant to say:

Windows ME

Windows ME2

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Cinemania

many moons ago I was hired as a demonstrator for Cinemania (also for a similar music based CDrom. I really liked it. It was well made, very well presented and as Matt Holdsworth says, had excellent critical reviews of the thousands of filums and actors included.

The version I demoed (V2 I think) was the last physical version as part of my spiel was to punt the subscription based update service. This was the same for the music CDrom too.

I would imagine that the take up of that subscription service was close to nil. (Why do companies think that punters want subscription services when us punters really want physical things we can cherish (and then stick in the back of a drawer)?)

With regard to Encarta, I'll be miffed if that goes as it's got some of my photos in it and it's one of the few links I get if I google my other name.

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Forgot One...

MS Money is on the end of life track, having been withdrawn from the retail market with limited online support.

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Anonymous Coward

@W

I don't know where you get your definition from but I can assure that impacted can also mean to have had a direct effect on something.

What a moron, if you're going to criticise language use, at least make sure you're right.

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Bah!

Yeah, right! I heard that one of the things they were cancelling was the whole interne

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@Anon Coward

"Impacted" intended to mean to have an effect is a example of an attempt to turn a noun into a verb (can't remember the name for it - something greek?) and is generally thought to mark you down as a bit of an illiterate moron. Think along the same lines as "on-going"...

"there was an impact", means much the same as "there was an effect"

You can't hope to add "ed" to a word that isn't a verb and get away with it everytime.

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@graeme leggett

> "...example of an attempt to turn a noun into a verb..."

Yeah, well you can add "leveraging" to that list - one of the most inanely retarded and over-engineered words ever to come from the Merkins where they inexplicably turn a verb (to lever) into a noun (leverage) and then back into a verb again.

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Coat

13 ... lucky number

Vista Primate is the only remaining version I presume, well that is what you get merging Premium & Ultimate. How unfortunate but true.

The 7 versions of Windows 7 have also been dropped, no more Doc Grumpy Sleepy Happy Bashful Sneezy ... only the Dopey version sorry again.

/the Snow White Leopard pelt für me please.

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@ AC (Tuesday 2nd June 2009 15:33 GMT)

>"I don't know where you get your definition from but I can assure that impacted can also mean to have had a direct effect on something."

The source was clearly identified as TheFreeDictionary (and therefore, more specifically, The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition & Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition 2006).

Please go back and read my post... You back now? OK, Apology accepted.

Furthermore, Google's Define function and Merriam Webster both give prominence to the 'clogged' definition over the 'effects' meaning.

I'm well aware that impacted is the past participle of impact, and that some dictionaries will provide alternative definitions.

>"What a moron, if you're going to criticise language use, at least make sure you're right."

Easy, tiger. No need any personal insults. I think perhaps you're taking this a little too seriously.

I think we all know what the guy meant. But I stand by my suggestion that 'affected' would be a more appropriate choice of word than 'impacted'.

He was using awkward business-speak that had unfortunate connotations. Connotations that resonated with the plight of my Guinea Pig last weekend. ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Tombo

Use your scrollbar next time: Dictionary.com

v. (ĭm-pākt') im·pact·ed, im·pact·ing, im·pacts

v. tr.

To pack firmly together.

To strike forcefully: meteorites impacting the lunar surface.

Usage Problem To have an effect or impact on: "No region ... has been more impacted by emerging demographic and economic trends" (Joel Kotkin).

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@ Andrew Culpeck

My God man! Could the spelling of your off the cuff, totally unfunny and equally inaccurate comment have been any worse? Turn your spellchecker on for the sake of all of us.

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@Ken Jongsma

Definitely appears to be culled in the UK, although still in-life and supported in the US

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Paris Hilton

@Steve

I used Windows ME for years and had no idea what a terrible OS it was. Well, never too late to learn.... (still on XP though).

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Boffin

Wonder if any of these could be turned loose

Back onto the market.

I doubt it. Steven is a Jealous God. If Redmond cannot make money flogging it. Kill it. Burn it. Bury the remains. Pours salt over the ground they are buried in.

Just a thought. Would there be a market for some of them if they weren't being crushed by the Redmond overhead?

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Gates Halo

@ Ashe

"Autoroute was one of the few MS products that was actually any good."

What utter tosh, Autoroute was the _only_ MS product that was any good.

Mostly because it was good, nay excellent, _before_ Microsoft bought the company (NextBase) that developed it.

Autoroute was absolutely fantastic in the late 80's (think of the hardware it ran on) & if it had not been bought by Microsoft (and just NOT developed) think what it could have been today.

Bah.

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Paris Hilton

Factual error

"following a profits dive at the company that led to job cuts."

Companies cut jobs whenever they can, regardless of profits going up or down.

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VISTA?

I love never ending posts about MS VISTA by users who never bought it and yet complain about it. MS VISTA is great product if you have very good hardware, it's pretty bad on old hardware. Try to put Snow Leopard on 6 years old MAC ...

I'm sad that Flight Simulator is gone (it was discontinued few months ago), the rest... eh who cares.

I hope they won't let go too many developers. Seattle has pretty high unemployment already.

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Joke

@graeme leggett

Verbing weirds language...

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@W and @Anon

"No region ... has been more impacted by emerging demographic and economic trends" (Joel Kotkin)."

I have to side with W on this.

The original use of the word "impacted" as a way of describing an effect would almost certainly have involved some violence, such as in a war situation or perhaps the effect of a dashboard on a crash test dummy's head; NOT the effect of, say, butterfly feeding habits on a local ecology.

It's like people using fantastic, sensational, brilliant, wonderful to mean "very good" (which respectively mean approximately "unreal", "of popular interest", "bright, as in light" and "inspiring awe").

It's a dilution of the language that we could well do without.

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NextBase

I used to play pool with one of the original NextBase Autoroute programmers. They used to write it out of a small prefab warehousey type place in Ashford (that's Middx).

Microsoft missed the GPS gravy-train with that product.

Hope they do the decent thing with FS though.

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Bah

@graeme leggett: "'there was an impact', means much the same as 'there was an effect'"

Don't forget, most people no longer know the difference between "effect" and "affect". Creating new words seems to be an activity many people enjoy (blog, [twitter] tweet, "meh", etc). Similarly, many people see no problem with appending "est" to various adjectives despite the result being grammatically incorrect. Let's not get started on "to" vs "too" or "no" vs "know".

@Jimbo: "I love never ending posts about MS VISTA by users who never bought it and yet complain about it. MS VISTA is great product if you have very good hardware, it's pretty bad on old hardware."

Vista came pre-installed on my HP Pavilion dv9260nr (top of the line notebook when I bought it). HP doesn't carry drivers for anything other than Vista; I had to download drivers for other notebook models to get XP drivers. My point is that this notebook was created explicitly for Vista, and only for Vista. I tried to use Vista, but it was just too slow and buggy. Even the Automatic Updates' "time remaining" calculation didn't work correctly. Needless to say, I shrunk that partition and installed XP after a short time, and XP works quite well. Just because a product works well for you doesn't mean it works the same for other people.

The last time I checked, all versions of Windows based on NT were operating systems -- the piece of software sitting between the applications and the hardware. The OS's job it to run apps, not to consume all of your resources. You have a serious problem if you need a 2GHz processor with 2GB of memory and 40GB drive space to execute a single application.

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Pirate

@WinHatter

Primates wouldn't use windo$e if they had a choice !

But I do like the naming convention. If I could add a minor refinement : windo$e primitive. To cover *ALL* versions of windo$e, and clearly demonstrate $tone age (TM) technology.

Whilst there is lots of development effort expended on eye-candy in windo$e, I see no new useful features such as multiple desktops with CTRL-[?] easy targetted navigation. ALT-TAB is frustratingly shite by comparison.

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to @chris

"Vista came pre-installed on my HP Pavilion dv9260nr (top of the line notebook when I bought it)."

Doesn't HP have a stake in your issue? As I said before, MS Vista works great of fast laptops. It was MS big miscalculation to hope that everybody would buy 3GB+ ram super fast PCs, people didn't. Instead of saying how Vista sucks, people should say that it's much slower than XP

"The last time I checked, all versions of Windows based on NT were operating systems -- the piece of software sitting between the applications and the hardware"

assuming you talking about KERNEL. Vista has significantly enhanced kernel than old NT and Windows 7 is like different universe. XP is much closer to NT4 and yes that's why has so much more viruses than vista

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc162494.aspx

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Anonymous Coward

Great.

As if the standards for admission to the comments pages aren't low enough (that's right - Linux use is neither a cause nor consequence of superiority,) now we've got English students.If people aren't influenced by the ant-MS ranting, they aren't going to be impressed by pedantry, are they? It's probably too low brow for you geniuses, but you should watch 'Cheers'. Look at Cliff. Look at yourselves. Understand why nobody listens to you now?

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Anonymous Coward

Aw.

And here I was hoping that Windwoes and Orifice would be on the list. Oh well, next time.

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Unhappy

Sad about

. . . Digital Image Suite.

I got it years ago, and still use it. Fast. Easy to use. Cheap. Great results.

It still has the best 'smart erase' i've used.

I think they just ran out of new stuff to add to it, and it became something of a forgotten product.

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Paris Hilton

IE?

So they are killing products that they sell, for money, and yet still spend money developing useless crap like IE?

Ballmer is going to run MS into the ground.

/Paris, because she is a lot savvier than Stevie.

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Stop

Re: 1

>... the first sign of incompertant manegment. The second sign is blameing everyone else!

Really?! And declining sales/revenue in a tough global market are entirely their fault?!

At least "they" can spell.

And i'm not even a Microsoft fan...

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Jobs Halo

@Jimbo *sigh*

No. No no no no no. The reason that you won't get Snow leopard to run on a 6 year old Mac is because the CPU architecture will not be supported. Apple told us that when they announced Snow Leopard last year. Infact Apple announced that this iteration of OSX wouldn't be supported went they announce the first batch of Intel Mac's (see what I did there? MAC means "Media Access Control" or you are referring to a high street cosmetics brand. Mac is a contraction of 'Macintosh', you know, like the *apple*. Clever, isn't it) What HAS this tot to do with the topic anyway? I thought that the topic of discussion was how Microsoft were dropping products because of financial problems. So what the fuck have Apple got to do with it? The only major Apple lay-off's were the (miss-reported by the reg "journalists") obviously planned retail stores ones.

Vista, by the way, is based on the Windows NT code base (as were Win 2000 and Win XP, with a bit of Win 95 for good measure. Win 7 is based on those too) NOT JUST THE KERNEL. Man, Microsoft really are scraping the barrel for it's FUD spreaders and shills...

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MS Encarta

The last time I used Encarta was way back on Windows 95 and I remember it being great. For many subjects there were video or sound clips, something you don't get with Wikipedia. I know you can get all sorts of videos on YouTube etc now, but it was still cool.

Also as far as I am aware all of the information provided could be considered "fact" (without getting into the debate about it being the winners and not the losers that write the history). With Wikipedia people can reference where they got the information but this doesn't always happen.

Shame they are getting rid of it...but I didn't even know it was still around, so no big loss really.

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Encarta

You know, I think it was almost accurate once, but then it was mistaken.

Encarta, if the subject is NOT American, it's generally inaccurate.

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I won't miss any of them

Microsoft should work on writing one decent operating system.

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Happy

Good old Autoroute

I got a free copy of MS Autoroute with a Dell PC years ago. I lived in a small town in Cheshire called Holmes Chapel, it had a population of 5000+ and it's very own sign on the M6. I was somewhat galled to find it didn't exist on Autoroute, there was also a larger town which was on the wrong side of the M6. What a class product, adieu.

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