Steve Ballmer has delivered a mea culpa to Microsoft's partners for its slip-ups against Apple and Google on tablets and smart phones. Ballmer told Microsoft's annual Worldwide Partner Conference that Windows Mobile missed a "whole generation of users" and promised Windows Phone 7 will set things right. On tablets, Ballmer said …
Abort / Retry / Fail
Ballmer stressed the new responsibilities incumbent on partners getting into cloud - reliably, security, privacy and operational excellence.......
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[My ribs, my ribs].
..once again I'm proved right.
I say this cloud thing is all bollocks.
Now that Ball has said it's the future, I'm proven right!
it's not the "partners" he needs
... as they've been shafted a couple of times already.
It looked funny, but he had it right a few years ago ...
Developers, developers, developers
What about the end user? Ignore them at your own peril (again), Microsoft!
I wasn't slighting the need for users - after all, they're the ones who have to stump up coin.
But they will only do it if there are apps, and there will only be apps if there are developers. Building a good app for a tablet or phone is not the same as for a desktop. The developer mindshare does not belong to Redmond. MS has not only lost a whole generation of users, it has lost the generation of developers. And those are the ones needed to build the apps for the *next* generation of users.
So MS has to first build its developer base, refine WinPhone 7 and only then should it expect to sell in serious numbers. Meanwhile Apple and Android will build on their current strength.
Sorry, Steve B - things do not look pretty now. Nor do I see them improving soon. In several years - maybe. In the near future - no way.
who?, er, no, never heard of them!
They've lost the desktop ones as well...
Let's face it - most new database type apps are browser based. And ZEND/PHP5/MVC/LAMP is miles better than .NET. If you're on a slow website look at the URL and you'll usually see .aspx at the end. Not to mention that for real power we know we have Amazon's cloud stuff or memcached or MySQL clustering etc.
And if you're going to write an app for a Windows PC can you be *absolutely* sure that it will run under Win8. When MS stopped doing backwards compatibility properly they effectively lost the desktop.
RE: End users?
"What about the end user? Ignore them at your own peril (again), Microsoft!"
Well, Official Microsoft Strategy on end users is that end users are MostPeople™.
Official Microsof Strategy on MostPeople™ is that they are Sheeple.
Official Microsoft Strategy on Sheeple is that they do what they should do what most people do.
Most people do what TV says.
TV is playing Microsoft commercials.
That's their advertising strategy and their business model: Dumbing down the masses.
If you are none of the above, then you are either forcibly locked into Microsoft crap, or you should flee from Microsoft while you still can.
tl;dr Microsoft never cared about end users and never will. They threat those as mindless cash cows, any they threat other even worse that that if they can.
"We are going to reach out to work vigorously..." Doesn't he mean "We are going to reach around vigorously..."
No, he had it right...
...the wallet is usually kept in the back pocket, after all.
The recent clamour for tablet PCs due to the iPad is great news for anyone that's ever owned a HP TC1100 (a tablet PC with detachable keyboard so you can use it screen only like the iPad), since we'd all love the same form factor as the TC1100 but with a hardware upgrade. It seems crazy that it takes the launch of an Apple product in 2010 for the likes of HP to consider re-launching a product form factor that they discontinued in 2005.
@AC re: TC1100
I'm not convinced a Windows based tablet will be able to compete against the iPad and (many)Android tablets about to release. What would a Windows 7 tablet provide the others don't? And how will it compete? I sense another failure in the winds.
Couldn't agree more. In fact, I have a tc1100 sitting on the desk next to me - I still use it pretty much every day. Even though the hardware is now positively dated, it is still the best form-factor for a computer to use on-the-go of any device I've ever seen (I exclude the iPad because it can't run Photoshop/Dreamweaver, so it doesn't meet my needs, but I can see why others like it...).
Still, it is amazing that HP haven't got their act together and made an updated version of the tc1100 in the last 5 years... Heck, I'd buy 3 just to show my appreciation.
You mean apart from...
1) The ability to run real software rather than the crippled widgets and web-front ends that Apple allows. Compared to the range of software available to Windows the app store selection is tiny and clustered around the gimmick and lightweight end.
2) The ability to connect to external devices like printers, usb storage, tv tuners.
3) VPN access.
4) Escape from the Apple straight jacket.
Don't get me wrong - the Apple hardware is lovely but it runs a phone os with a meglomaniac holding all the access tokens.
You are aware that...
...Windows 7 on a 'Pad' is tremendously big and may take forever to start-up and load programs like MS Office, AutoCAD, Photoshop, Unreal. You might get 3 hours battery... if you're lucky.
Welcome to 1999.
1) The ability to run 'real' software.
Given that there are over 100,000 apps availiable for iOS4, probably next to zero WinMo7 apps, and very few Win7 apps designed for tablet/touch use, then I would say having a huge number of 'real' desktop Windows apps is maybe not so much use as Balmer expects. I have used a Windows tablet and other than OneNote, found most Windows apps (not suprisingly) worked better with Keyboard and Mouse. Every iPad apps is designed for touch in comparsion. Yes you can have keyboard and mouse, but then .. why use a tablet at all?
"Compared to the range of software available to Windows the app store selection is tiny and clustered around the gimmick and lightweight end"
Which totally misses the point that there is an App Store that works very well; it takes seconds to find, buy and download & install any app on iOS4.. Windows just doesn't have any functional App store that I am aware of in comparsion.
2) The ability to connect to external devices like printers, usb storage, tv tuners.
Riggghttt.. Nice smooth tablet and you want to hook it up to a printer or a TV tuner? Just can't imagine that, but then I have never physically hooked my laptop up to a printer or TV tuneer either (always Wifi to the network printers, even at home).
For TV Tuners, iTunes provides integration for media & streaming anyway, Admittedly, it would be nice to be able to slot in an SD card into a iPad, but I have 32GB on my iPod Touch & its not fill yet.
Again though, if MS are designing tablets like a desktop machine hooked up to a bunch of peripherals & adding storage then they will fail again.
3) VPN access. Er, iOS 4 has SSL + VPN built in. I'm sure its a big selling point for MS tablets
4) Escape from the Apple straight jacket.
Riggght.. and into the arms of MS.. who (as KIn buyers have just found) will always look after you. If you don't like Apple restrictions, there is also Android of course.
"Don't get me wrong - the Apple hardware is lovely but it runs a phone os with a meglomaniac holding all the access tokens".
Actually I think you miss the point.. the iPad hardware is nice enough, but its the well designed integration of hardware, software and iTunes (the app & store) that all works. MS are caught between open (Android) and closed (Apple) with something that is probably not going to be either. Even calling it a 'slate'.. already, iAd has such a mind-share that people will refer to it as an 'iPad style' device or (fatally) an iPad competitor.
Might be better for MS to just encourage notebooks, netbooks etc to have touch components which are of additional use, until they can get enough apps together to go sans keyboard.
@ Richard Read
Incorrect => 3) VPN Access
VPN access on my iPad is smooth and easy. No complaints - and I use it a lot!
Correct => 2) The ability to connect to external devices like printers, usb storage, tv
No native printing? - I have no idea what they were thinking. File transfer is a PITA.
The iPad supports VPNs - IPsec, SecurID etc.
RE: You mean apart from...
"1) The ability to run real software rather than the crippled widgets and web-front ends that Apple allows."
Where do I start. "Crippled widgets" and"web-front ends"? WTF? All the widgets I've seen work just fine (and there are many, many kinds!)
"Compared to the range of software available to Windows the app store selection is tiny"
Windows is an operating system for home computers. The iPhone/iPad OS is not...
I've got an iPhone and I haven't yet found a gap that a free application from the Apple store hasn't fixed... So you're comparing apples and oranges and as an added bonus, you haven't even seen the apples! Way to fail!
"2) The ability to connect to external devices like printers, usb storage, tv tuners."
Where were you when they described what the iPad is for? It's not a PC as you know it, it's a portable gadget. Not very portable if you've got a USB hard drive and a printer hanging out of it now is it? So another fail there. That's 3/2 so far - more than 100%!
"3) VPN access."
To what? You're not going to be downloading any warez for the iPad now are you? Or were you just thinking about illegal pornography?
"4) Escape from the Apple straight jacket."
I for one would rather have the rather comfortable jacket (sleeves not necessarily tied behind the back) than the shitty, shitty experience of Windows (and I'm not even thinking about their even shittier mobile edition!)
So every one of your points shows either inanity, failure to understand the purpose of the device or a lack of any practical experience and a willingness to shout "wolf" because everyone else is, not because you've seen one.
I hope that you sir, think long and hard before allowing yourself any future access to a keyboard.
Windows 7 tablets
What they can offer is consistency of UI across platforms, for the hundreds of millions of Windows users out there. This, of course, assumes that they can get Windows 7 lean and fast enough for tablet use - initial indications are hopeful, I think, it seems to run quite nicely on Netbooks.
HP showed and then terminated a Windows 7 tablet this year
HP was going to launch a Windows 7 tablet and showed it off at CES IIRC. The problem seemed to be a Windows 7 problem and HP canned the project only to bring about other tablets based on Android and now we hear WebOS. The fact that Windows 7 only runs on x86 and that bit about it being a resource hog are the two fails which kill the project. Ballmer can not continue to pay off vendors to ship only Microsoft based tablets and expect people to purchase the products when the iPad is on the market.
Microsoft's existence revolves around the desktop Windows OS so all Ballmer and the other Microserfs see is the need to put Windows on everything. There's only one problem, Windows just isn't that good.
What I see is are lots of exclusive Windows-only OEM deals and that till end the onslaught of ARM based and Linux or Android based tablets from these major OEMs. It'll cost Microsoft a couple of billion over 3 or so years and it will fail. Apple will all but own the tablet market. The only dark horse in this play is how much Google gets behind Android or ChromeOS on tablets and how much advertising money they'll send back to the OEMs who get onboard. Either way, Microsoft fails because they are a software company with only one product, Windows and the whole business revolves around that one product.
grenade, because this too will blowup in their faces like so many other projects in the past 10+ years.
"What they can offer is consistency of UI across platforms, for the hundreds of millions of Windows users out there. "
What consistency? MS does major UI changes on every version and you can bet your ass that windows 7 doesn't have "hundreds of millions of users". Millions is possible, though.
All windows-versions put together may have that but they don't have any consistency between them, like 98-xp-vista-7, all totally different on the UI level.
Don't forget the marriage with Intel
"Microsoft's existence revolves around the desktop Windows OS so all Ballmer and the other Microserfs see is the need to put Windows on everything. There's only one problem, Windows just isn't that good."
Also Windows is _huge_ OS for anything lightweight. And of course, marriage with Intel is very serious bussiness, prohibiting porting to other hardware (ie. ARM).
Of course the code is so x86-spesific you can't port it anywhere else, but that's a technical problem, while Intel is political problem and those must be solved first.
Windows 7 too power hungry
Trying to do a slate with windows 7 is the path to disaster. Windows 7 requires to many resources, will only run on relatively power hungry intel processors and was primarily designed for keyboard and mouse input.
Compare that with the iPad, which was evolved from a mobile platform. Therefore it is relatively resource usage light, has a reasonable time between recharges and designed with touch input from the ground up.
Lets face it, windows 7 tablet like devices have been available for as long as windows 7 has been released in the form of tablet PC's and haven't really set the world alight.
We really do need a Balmer icon here....
We really do need a Balmer icon here....
..dancing, he MUST be dancing
RE: Ballmer Icon
Here's 2 nominations:
truly disturbing. I cannot unsee that which has been seen.
They simply go to all the US makers of cell phones and tablets and force them to put Windows mobile on all of them otherwise they will cut-off their OEM deals.
It worked in the PC and server market - why wouldn't it work with cellphones ?
That'll be a good show.
What could possibly go wrong?
"all the US makers of cell phones"
So that's Motorola and, er Apple?
I can't think of any others.
Fortunately it's not the done thing
To push out crappy buggy alpha^H^H^H^H^H beta shit & hope to fix it later, in the mobile telecomms field..
For the last 30 years I've seen Microsoft do this. Repeatedly.
err.. HP. lol
RE: Fortunately it's not the done thing
"To push out crappy buggy alpha^H^H^H^H^H beta shit & hope to fix it later, in the mobile telecomms field.."
They don't limit it to the telecomms field. Every part of Microsoft has been pretty good at it! I think they're having a secret competition "Who can release the buggiest software". There's probably bonus points for security a bit like a wet paper bag.
Which person with sweaty armpits waved a slate round at people before the launch of the iPad and said things about how this slate was real and not vapourware? Where is that slate now? Its sitting in a cupboard somewhere with a large pile of Kins I suspect
No, I think they're reformatting it to run WebOS.
HP bought Palm
The slate is running WebOS now haha.
"push forward with Windows 7 based slates"
Didn't MS "push" the tablet form factor about 10 years ago? Don't I remember Bill Gates saying that was the form factor of the future? And I seem to remember MS pushing the hardware folks to develop and market tablets. But then it turned out that nobody much wanted a tablet and the hardware guys had poured money down a drain. And I wonder if that's really changed. Are users/consumers really after a tablet PC, or do they just want the iPad? They're worlds apart, IMHO.
the problem with Microsoft (as well as Sun, IBM, Dell and HP) is that they always look for things that please the enterprise folks. And the enterprise folks were not interested, then they will drop the product. Home users were never in the picture. This is their mistake, and mistake that Apple and Google have decided to take advantage of.
This is at least their 4th push
The first was around 1995 or so and there have been various others between then and now - all of which have failed.
Tablets were always BillG's pet form factor and he'd show off some new tablety feature at every consumer electronics show.
Remember that Apple makes money from consumer space while MS has only ever made money from Big Corporates. MS tried to push tablets into utility field worker and hospital roles but these all require a long battery life. That's just something x86 is not designed to deliver.
Taking you back
Heh, Microsoft, I remember them, happy days, Windows 95 and all that.
What are those guys up to these days? Are they still about?
The next big thing from Microsoft?
Clown Computing. As usual.
Microsoft's target market these days?
He's probably grinning at you from the top of this page... Or maybe over to the right, a bit...
Yes, that's right! "Badly-Drawn-Man"... The Creepy guy from the Sharepoint Advert (he wants to sell you a glorified Wiki, and he's chuckling at the prospect, even now).
With his crumply blue suit, Skeletor face, and his two weird pinhole eyes (as black as midnight on a moonless night) it is difficult to tell whether Badly-Drawn-Man is actually alive, or whether the marketing department have simply propped him up, after he died, while gripped in a bout of Tetanus. As such, you could say he represented a lot of Microsoft's core market, and Microsoft marketing can see nothing wrong, about any of that.
some companies have grown so big...
... that they have forgotten that they still *need* people to *support* their products.
developers have been forgotten already, and the end consumer is *not* even in the picture anymore. Microsoft have spent some much time and effort pleasing their "partners" (from HW guys to movie studios) that they forgot who *PAY* them money for their products.
result? for many home users (me included) Windows is no longer the *ONLY* gaming platform, many have moved to PS3 and Xbox360 for their gaming. As a result, Windows became *optional* to them (for that matter, the PC itself have become optional, I can actually go for days without even turning ON my home PC).
the enterprise market is HUGE, I'll give them that. But the home consumer market is large as well. Microsoft have turned a blind eye to the home users because of their belief that the home user "will get whatever with through at them." And this is the very market that Apple and Google have targeted.
Ballmer, you missed a full generation? You never saw them as customers in the first place, the home users were just an extra in your books, they never mattered, they were an after thought once you got the enterprise customers happy. You didn't miss *A* generation, you missed *all* of them.
do you remember what we got the last time Microsoft focused heavily on the "consumer" market? I think it was called Windows ME. And it was super lame-o.
Microsoft has never really understood the consumer market. In the pre-Win2k days (before Enterprise IT became so big), it was the "computer"market - MS put out the software and we ran it on our 486's or we stuck to DOS, Xenix, BeOS, whatever, and nobody was bothered. Win9x upped that a notch, but it was still barely more than a "hobbyist" market at that point, not quite yet a "consumer" market. It was when MS tried to throw in the kitchen sink that we got ME and a "consumer" product where the supplier obviously had no clue what a "consumer" was. or wanted. Luckily the enterprise NT line saved us from some of that, at least until Vista came out and crashed the NT line as well. Now the "consumer" market is leaning heavily towards Apple and MS seems to have lost any idea whatsoever in how to target that market. They are out of ideas now and only know how to add layer upon layer of eye-candy to things.
Thing is, maybe their OS has fully matured and there's not really a lot of NEW stuff they can do with it other than eye-candy and moving buttons around. How the hell many different ways ARE there to allocate memory, handle I/O, and draw pretty pictures on the screen? I mean, they've had 7 (or more) major iterations of their "operating system" to test on, certainly they should have found the optimal way of doing pretty much everything by this point and should be focused on cleaning up the toxic-waste-dump code bases that they've been dragging along since the late 80's. But then, those code bases aren't targeted at the consumer, really. They are still targeted at the hobbyist. Otherwise things would "just work" and none of us would know what regedit does.
RE: some companies have grown so big...
"Windows is no longer the *ONLY* gaming platform"
Except most games are allowed to shut most of Windows down while they run.
This can only be a good thing as every version of Windows that I've been forced to use has been a pile of steaming horse-manure.
a very good synopsis of Microsoft's current problems.
Especially on the difference between the "hobbyist" and "consumer" markets which so many on here fail to grasp, particularly when the name Apple is mentioned.
WINDOWS MOBILE LOST A 'WHOLE GENERATION'
And they've lost a whole other generation chasing iPhone users - having been very happy with winwo 6.5 (and no, i'm not a masochist) and looking at winpho 7 details I'm happily going Android with my next handset.
Same here... seems to me they are going backwards with winmo7
With WinMo 6/5? The buggiest, most unreliable, most counterintuitive piece of crap ever made by the company that brought you Fista? You've GOT be joking.
I say this as a victim of WinMo 6.5 (provided by work - I'd never touch it if I had any choice). The best thin about it is that it makes Fista look good.
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