back to article Ballmer's lightened pay packet is the least of his problems

Citing "slower than planned progress" at Microsoft's online services division and a 3 per cent decline in Windows revenue, Microsoft's board cut chief executive Steve Ballmer's pay to 91 per cent of his plan, or $1.3m. But that's the least of his concerns. Microsoft is about to embark on the biggest shift in its Windows …

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Anonymous Coward

meanwhile in the uk

the number of jobs on www.cwjobs.co.uk mentioning winrt is zero.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't see windows tables shifting in large numbers, when they're planning to charge 700+ for the privilege. Plus 150 quid on top for a dockable keyboard. And I can't believe millions of people just can't wait to start working on this new, revolutionary (blah, blah, blah) office applications - on this 10 inch tablet screen either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re-evaluate what you're saying in a years time.

How many big corporations have evaluated iPads only for them to realise they don't do some of core tasks they need? quite a few I would imagine.

Windows 8 tablets have all the native office and outlook integration that business likes.

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Headmaster

You are probably quite correct

Unless Microsoft has moved into the furniture removal business I do not see them moving many tables either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You are probably quite correct

How many businesses evaluated iPads, found them not hitting their core needs but got them anyway because management wanted them?

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Anonymous Coward

yesssss.....

Except Outlook isn't part of the Surface environment, and it can't be managed with group policies or added to a domain, so that pretty much rules it our for enterprises.

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Developer's perspective

The interest is definitely there. The problem is one of timing.

Nobody, myself included*, is interested in outing for Windows RT for two reasons -

1. The SDK doesn't include native database support. The Win Dev blog has an impossible-to-understand post on recompiling and using SqLite. Database support, even if it's through another layer of indirection (Linq) is fundamental.

2. The Windows Phone 8 SDK has yet to make it's appearance. Microsoft claim re-use across tablet and phone, but until such "re-use" can be quantified there's little incentive to scratch-code for, or even port to an unproven platform.

Rather the devil you know than the one you don't.

* I've given the W8 SDK a solid go, but the lack of DB and dubious support for SqLite had me can my efforts. I'm hoping this hanged soon, but right now, as an unadulterated W8 fanboi, my stamp is "it's just not ready yet".

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Re: Developer's perspective

Crazy typos. Auto correct is more eviller than Skeletor.

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Thumb Down

Re: Developer's perspective

Nothing surpasses Skeletor!

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Re: Developer's perspective

I also find lack of database support a killer, unless you're dealing with an online data source and your application is suitable for push.

Whether MS have done this by design or not is anyone's guess.

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Linux

"Microsoft has an uphill battle, one that consumers are unlikely to win for it."

And the rest of the tech world gets their revenge for being dumped on by Microsoft for decades by doing the same back to them when it matters most.

Karma karma karma karma Chameleon - they come and goooo, they come and goooooo.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Microsoft has an uphill battle, one that consumers are unlikely to win for it."

Huh - LOL - As a virtually full time LINUX user - I actually DREAD having to use anything Microsoft.

I think if the USA has 5% of the worlds population, but consumes 2/3rds of the worlds prescribed anti-psychotic drugs - then this company, it's ethics and it's software fits that agenda quite nicely.

Back to Linux.

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I will wait ...

... until Windows 9, or perhaps longer. Not because I dislike Windows 8, I just don't see the point of upgrading from my nice and new Windows 7. Each upgrade is not just software expense, but also effort of installing all the software I use again, making sure it's compatible, finding compatible drivers etc.

The costs are thousandfold for organizations. I would be surprised if Windows 8 adoption rate in organizations was anywhere above that of Windows Vista. Again not because I think it's a bad OS - it just that tight upgrade cycle does not pay off. And many organizations are just switching from XP to 7.

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Re: I will wait ...

I won't.

In fact I've been running it since the first preview was released. This guys explains why better than I can -

http://microsoft-news.com/cio-on-w8-i-wouldnt-want-the-start-menu-back-even-if-i-could-have-it/

The link is to the Microsoft News version because the original on http://www.cio.co.uk/ does crazy advertising stuff and takes ages to load.

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Re: I will wait ...

Loaded quickly on my Firefox with Adblocker. The MS version is just extracts, this is the original:

http://www.cio.co.uk/opinion/dynamics/2012/10/11/windows-8-perspectives---the-power-user-and-the-teenager/

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Reasoning from bogus principles

"Windows 8" isn't a something that I would ever ask for on a job spec if I was looking to hire a Windows programmer: it's far too vague. I'd say "Windows", and then the technology-specific keywords such as "Visual C/C++", 'C#", ".NET", "IIS", "Sharepoint", "SQL Server", "Windows Phone", "XNA", "Silverlight" etc.. Similarly, asking for a "Java" developer without qualifying it is setting yourself up for receiving a mountain of completely irrelevant applications (hence the popularity of "JBoss" as a term).

All of the other "brandname" terms are the names of clearly defined development frameworks (yes, even "Android")... But look at what's on top of the list: "Software Developer".. now, how many of *those* vacancies are for Windows? My own experience of the job market would suggest that it'll be about a third (mostly C#), with Java and all its nefarious spawn making up another third.

Actually, Java should be a lesson here: a large number of job openings for a specialisation can also indicate a poor supply, not a high demand. And that's poor in quality as well as quantity. It's one thing to find a developer for a post, it can be a completely different scale of work to get a *competent* developer. The high ranking of "Python" would suggest this. Now, before all the Pythonistas go wild - this isn't a jab at your favouritest-ever language (and one that I develop in daily, if it matters to you). It's just that because Python is The New Hotness and superficially easy to learn, there are a lot of useless programmers who are jumping on the bandwagon, having been rumbled in every previous "new" language.

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The only reason I tend to think articles like this are incredibly overblown is the fact that my company is still running XP, and is just now starting to look into Windows 7. It's possible they'll just skip 7 and go to 8, depending on what the next year brings. Or maybe they'll keep XP for a few more years, just to keep costs low and save some executives bonus.

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JDX
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I wonder how many businesses are finally being driven to upgrade to W7 by wanting to avoid W8? If that's the case, W8 is making MS money by driving up W7 sales which isn't exactly a bad thing for MS.

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Most of them

Windows 8 doesn't look like a business desktop. Everyone knows the XP desktop and would not find Windows 7 a massive leap forward. Most of our users have just been 'upgraded' to Office 2010 form 2003 and you should hear the trouble that has caused - mostly 'Where the fuck have all the buttons gone?'

Eventually, after a few years of people using iPads, tablets, iphones and smartphones, I'm sure businesses will be ready for the Metro interface. Just not yet.

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Windows

People simply don't often put Windows on a dev job spec. It's just a given - the default.

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Re: Windows

Except its pretty clear that 'Windows 7' is on the dev job spec in order for it to be a top 10 requirements.

I suspect it has more with Windows 8 being too new to be a requirement (often they want people with X years experience in Y) but still, if I was looking at Devs to port apps to WinRT etc, I would certainly be wanting programmers who are the sort of people to be running W8 beta's/previews

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Microsoft doesn't care, what are people going to do, use Linux? Too many people tied themselves to windows so they'll use either win 7 or win8 which is a win for MS either way.

I haven't used windows at home for ages and only use it in my new job when I have to. I think I'm better off for it and I think most others would be too but I can't see it happening. I think microsoft knows this so they don't mind having growing pains and fucking up a few times to reach a goal.

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Anonymous Coward

Translation from micro soft speak

"Slower than planned progress at online services division"

can be translated into :

All our lawsuits and intense lobbying against Google still couldn't hold them back.

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Mushroom

Re: Open source is what is killing MS.

Not true. MS SQL and Server are both still growing market share massively at the expense of enterprise UNIX based systems.

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Re: Open source is what is killing MS.

Meanwhile Apple are growing their desktop/laptop market share quite well and are every bit as closed as MS.

Most companies who use open-source software never modify the source, it might as well be closed if it was still free. I mean in practical terms, not ideological terms, since that's the basis on which businesses make decisions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Open source is what is killing MS.

"and now are moving .NET to legacy"

As they always were going to. Ted! Ted! Where are you Ted The Roadie, with your religious belief that .NET was going to change the world, bringing an era of global peace and object orientated prosperity? How many other schmucks went on .NET training at their own expense, believing this was a game changing technology, only to be left behind when the world moved on.

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Pint

Agreed - people avoid Microsoft when they have a choice

However, Blamer can take solace from this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2Wx230gYJw

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Windows

Take an aspirin tablet before sleep

According to the german c't magazin, Windows 8 tablets are the hottest thing at the moment and they should hit shelves in your region before Christmas. The effect on the jobs market should be visible within a year or so.

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Windows Meh-ight

I work with small businesses, and the upgrade to Win7 is just under way with 64bit snags. A lot of small shops run their business on some little db app.

If it's QuickBooks, the pain is reduced as Inuit wants you to buy a new version each year anyway.

But if it is a application targeted toward managing something like a law office, veterinary practice, etc. I can tell you it's very common for the application hasn't been ported to 64-bit yet or the owner hasn't ponied up for the new major point upgrade. With the economy in neutral, expenditures are conservative in small businesses.

Beyond that, the end users really, really dislike change. Even the minor changes to Office '7-10 or Win7 get push back. Mostly these people don't want to screw something up because they're unsure of proper new way to do an old task. Some of it is also frustration at just wanting to get their work done. Once they get it sorted, it's OK - but, when picking the replacement I am usually told to get the old familiar not the new hotness.

I don't have strong opinions on Win8. However, I am paid to make people productive. Neither me nor my bosses get paid to push new because it's new. If there isn't major advantage to the new version is will ramp up slowly. cf. WinXP. The consumer market may go crazy, but if I had to guess most of those people just want a tablet that's priced entry ipad or less right now.

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft's fortune

I think that Microsoft can come out of this Windows 8 problem smelling like a rose. Include a certificate that allows the owner of a windows 8 computer to upgrade to windows 7 for only $50. It would be a win-win for Microsoft and computer users.

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not getting the barrage of negativity on this

I really don't think most managers and IT people believe that the "business desktop" must remain forever frozen in the 20th century, or vast "re-training" costs will be incurred. Were the office workers of the 80s the last generation capable of learning the rudiments of a user interface? Funny because they didn't grow up using computers - whereas so many of the people in today's business world did.

Most people will figure out WIndows 8 in a lot less time than some IT people are spending composing memos about how no one will be able to understand it without hours of hand-holding.

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Anonymous Coward

I work in IT at a 25,000+ person company. We still order our laptops and desktops with Windows XP and Office 2003.

Sad? Yes, but as an example of the corporate world this does not bode well for Windows 8.

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Anonymous Coward

Still ordering XP?

Your company will be fucked in two years time when MS stop supplying critical updates for XP.

HTH.

Someone not allowing XP orders on any hardware any more for the last year, full stop. Because most of my clients are on a five year refresh cycle due to funding issues (Sole traders --> SMBs) and won't have an intertim option for protecting - albeit slowly - against OS level zero day exploits....

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No surprises, except if you're Microsoft

The slow adoption of users and in particular businesses to Windows 8 should be no surprise to anyone. I find it strange that Microsoft continue to be (at least in public) flummoxed by the obvious.

To be fair Microsoft are caught in somewhat of a trap. They need to keep updating thier products & maintain revenue, but there are few new real ideas out there which really add to business productivity and there havn't been since WinXP.

Large businesses depend on thier workstations being reliable and thier staff using them effectively. Whenever Microsoft decide to piss about significantly with the interface, they create massive training impacts for large companies. That's why so many people reacted badly to the Ribbon.

Microsoft fail to comprehend that software is so central to a business operation that a company is taking a significant risk by updating it. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!". Upgrading to Windows introduces incompatability, both with other software and with peripherals. In house applications which integrate with Windows may suddenly stop working. We should also not ignore the impact of a OS change on a company's IT pros to fully support it.

I work for an international bank and we're not even on Windows 7 yet. The list of incompatible software which requires re-write was in the hundreds and is still a significant issue. Many of our internal browser delivered apps are on IE8 and yet Windows 8 foists a new and potentially incompatible browser without the option to retain the old one. Fucking great that is.

The business community don't want an OS that looks like a big keyless iPad. The business community don't want to have to shell out for an entire generation of new PCs, or the costs of training, or the costs of redeveloping thier software landscape and testing it, they are nowhere as interested in public clouds or publishing stuff on the web from a toolbar (Sharepoint is fucking bad enough!), and they certainly aren't enticed by Microsoft's veiled threats to remove support from Windows XP or thier unrealistic volume licence pricing schedules.

The only thing that keeps Microsoft in business is that Apple and the other open source alternatives are even worse in many of these regards.

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Linux

Re: No surprises, except if you're Microsoft

I agree with this sentiment totally:

"Large businesses depend on thier workstations being reliable and thier staff using them effectively. Whenever Microsoft decide to piss about significantly with the interface, they create massive training impacts for large companies. That's why so many people reacted badly to the Ribbon.

Microsoft fail to comprehend that software is so central to a business operation that a company is taking a significant risk by updating it. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!". Upgrading to Windows introduces incompatability, both with other software and with peripherals. In house applications which integrate with Windows may suddenly stop working. We should also not ignore the impact of a OS change on a company's IT pros to fully support it."

Upgrading (?????) from XP to Windoze 7 - Yeah fuck yeah - I have weeks of my time to go spend on sorting all the bullshit out - I spend a bit on the OS, and then lose thousands and thousands as I respend, rebuy and resinstall, and get all the systems and the other bits sorted out.

In a simplistic sense:

I am starting to think in terms of computers are used to do functional work - like a light bulb and a batttery. So how come I actually NEED to get a new version of the same things to do the same function, and lose out big time in the process.

Fuck - without the internet, the OS as supplied my MS, would not function - because I need to go chase drivers and bugs and work arounds and I really resent that.

And - it's BAD ENOUGH just for me, and I am tech savvy enough - but I would REALLY hate to have to upgrade and redeploy ANYTHING at all, to an organisation with heaps of people in it.

The people in Microsoft and their idiot ideas like "Tha Ribbon" (that cannot be REMOVED) or "Doxs" - the never ending psycho bullshit trip - of the RIGGED ISO standards, by Ballmer and his buddies.

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it'll grow on people

I don't think using the job market is quite valid as pointed out by the poster above. To add to that windows7 has been out for a year or two. Check the win8 stats in a year or two.

As for companies upgrading to win8. I guess as people are forced to use win8 at home (due to it being shipped on newly built PCs) they'll become more familiar with it. That would make it less of a shock at work. All you have then is the cost of the upgrade.

All in all I don't think you can expect win8 to just take off overnight but around 6-12 months down the line would be the best time to gauge it's success/failure.

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Anonymous Coward

Its 100% windows8 in Ballmer's office

What's the problem? As far as Ballmer can see, people are using windows8 already.

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Meh

Comparisons?

Why would you do job number comparisons between OS job and Programming/developer jobs? Did you also compare how many job just listed "Windows" without being specific on version?

I'm sure Microsoft won't complain if businesses decide to upgrade from XP to Win7 instead of Win8. It's still a license sale, and hopefully another job for me helping that company upgrade.

So let Win8 take the consumer space. Business can have Win7, and then in another 10 years they can upgrade at the last minute again like they are with XP.

Personally, I don't care if businesses upgrade to 7 or to 8. It's pretty much exactly the same effort to design/develop and implement. Personally, I'm a Win8 convert.

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Re: Comparisons?

Exactly. Couldn't have said it better myself. Businesses always adopt slower, and so what? That's pretty much the norm everywhere I've worked as a sysadmin. I don't put anything in production until it's had a service pack. I like to stay one step behind the bleeding edge. Besides, it gives me plenty of time to familiarise myself with a new product, and when the business is ready, I'm already well and truly skilled up so I can perform well in my job. I've been using Win8 on my new ultrabook since the RTM. 90% of my Win7 drivers work. Everything else was out of the box anyway. Do I like Windows 8.... Hell no.... I LOVE IT. I too, am a convert. You know why? Because I love IT, and I love change. I'm quite enjoying this more agile and modern Microsoft. Sue me!

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Looks familiar

Desktop users don't want an interface which has been dumbed down for touchscreen use. It's that simple. Reminds me of Unity all over again.

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Mushroom

Re: Looks familiar

Given the stellar growth of the iPad I would say you might be a developer or something. If anything, people want an interface that is easier, more informative, and foolproof.

Making it so that most people will feel comfortable operating a computer might be the best thing MS will ever do. I remember the lashback Apple got when they introduced the iPad; everybody was saying how it wasn't innovative, didn't do anything new. Nobody got it, and apparantly the majority of Reg readers still doesn't.

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Seriously? This is news?

I highly doubt that Microsoft are expecting many companies at all to migrate to Windows 8. Migration cycles in business are generally 5-7 years for an OS, so if you've just migrated to Windows 7 (even in the last 2 years) there would be no reason whatsoever to move to 8.

Pointless article written simply so the opposition fanbois can get on their high horse. I'm about ready to give up on The Reg as they seem to post stories just to fill the page. Reminds me of those 24 hour news channels. All filler and no killer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously? This is news?

"I'm about ready to give up on The Reg as they seem to post stories just to fill the page".

Ask for your money back.

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Mushroom

Some companies will go to Windows 8, but either way they are going to Windows 7 or Windows 8, Microsoft doesnt really care. There is no other realistic option for enterprises unless you want a whole world of pain.

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Seriously!!!

"Is this another Windows Vista debacle in the making?

Probably not, but the signs aren't comforting."

Get it through your thick skull!!!

EVERYBODY in the industry has known for over a year now... catch the fsck up!

NOBODY

WANTS

METRO!

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Utter non-story

For a large portion of companies to widely adopt Windows 8 any time soon would be a radical change from past behavior. Many huge companies only got rid of the last of their Windows 2000 machines a few months before support ended at long last. Right now, Wells Fargo is rolling out Windows 7 to all its bank branches after over a year of testing their entire app suite. They'll likely be looking at Windows 10 before considering another big deployment and only then if an end date on Win7 support is looming.

Business isn't what drives the OS market. Business is what drives the business software market. Shock. Surprise. They're far more concerned about what the next generation of SQL offers. Shifting to a newer OS is only a consideration if the must-have software requires it or support ends or some other reason forces the issue.

This also avoids the training issue. Windows 8 will have thoroughly penetrated the consumer sector, for better or worse, long before many businesses are concerned with it. A major portion of the workers will already be familiar with how Win8 works at home well before they're likely to see it at the office. The transition to the Ribbon versions of Office didn't have this advantage as Office is less likely to be bought for a home PC by someone who works with it in their job and might get it for free on a company laptop or heavily discounted through the company. So what ever version the company is using is what they'll have at home. But far more people buy their own computers for home separate from their job.

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Unhappy

"Android tablets catching up"?

I don't think so.

2 reasons:

1) The desktop integration is pants. Apple - iTunes, Microsoft - ActiveSync/son-of-ActiveSync. Android?

2) Price. As the current crop of patent cases come to fruition, the cost of buying off the trolls to make an Android tablet will exceed the cost of a Win8RT licence.

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