back to article Microsoft's year in review: Hits, misses, and maybes

This year saw Microsoft return to mobile with Windows Phone 7, deliver its answer to Google Apps, and silence web skeptics with an HTML5-compliant IE9 beta. Yet Microsoft failed to answer Apple on tablets and lost the presidents of its Office and entertainment and devices divisions along with Ray Ozzie, the man handpicked by …

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Interesting points about the Office webapps

Your main issues with MSs Office Webapps seem to be that they don't interoperate very well and that the licensing issues cause much confusion.

For the first point, surely sharing and interoperability is something that Microsoft have done very badly in the past (cue howling from MSofties about how all their products integrate really well.) I agree that they have, in the past, managed to integrate their own products pretty well with each other, but external integration by the conformance with standards has been pretty awful to say the least. How many filesystem types can Windows recognise other than FAT and NTFS? How well does Visual Studion integrate with GNU C++? Now we have the situation where MS are trying to put their products into a Web context while still trying to maintain their walled garden ethos and finding it is like trying to wrestle an octopus.

Second, the licensing issue. True, FOSS solutions do not have these problems and Microsoft seem to be having a hard time working out how to get their pound of flesh and move their software to a more cloud-centric ethos. Someone there really needs to sit down and have a big think on these issues and I don't see them doing that soon. They are just too large and set in their ways.

Good broadcast, thanks.

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silence web skeptics?

hardly. Read any comment section on El Reg following any news whatsoever about IE9. The hate flows like a river.

Except that there's usually a reason for rivers.

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yep brilliant architecture

Every server out there needs a buggy 0 day bonanza web browser buried deep in its innards. It makes me feel good to know the guts of my OS get exposed to strangers and even better I so need the excellent ActiveX support in my browser. I will admit IE 9 is far far better than prior IEs but its still turd polishing.

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Microsoft and the Cloud

In my opinion, MS are making a huge mistake hitching their cart to the cloud.

MS has three things keeping it on top in corporate IT shops.

1) Inertia induced by IT workers whose primary concern is protecting the (perceived) value of their MS certificates. Move everything into the cloud and a large proportion of those in house IT workers disappear and the inertia is gone.

2) Reseller "Partners" who are willing to sell the souls of their own grandmothers in order to get a ride on the Microsoft Gravy Train. If everyone is on the cloud then who needs resellers?

3) Proprietary Tech Lockin. Try as they might, they will find it increasingly difficult to maintain a compelling business case for using the MS cloud if it doesn't conform to any form of standards. The lockin they enjoy today is a remnant of their dominance through the '90's but I believe that today IT shops will be less willing to lock themselves in to brand new technologies than they were in the somewhat naive nineties, when MS was seen as the great saviour delivering us all from the evil that was IBM.

So, given the above, and the fact that there is considerable doubt as to whether the "cloud" will ever live up to the hype it has received thus far, I think MS may have been better served by highlighting themselves as being better than the cloud and trying to ensure that it never takes off. It's not like there aren't a lot of serious disadvantages to running all your servers on other peoples networks after all. MS shoud be pointing this out instead of trying to jump on the bandwagon.

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IE9

I tried IE9 beta on an eight core AlienWare system-DISASTER!It felt like installing win95a on a 16bit system.It just bombed to desktop and NEVER opened the first page,not even Google.Not once,guess i have to wait.Win7x64 and IE8 was just fine.

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