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back to article Microsoft needs to keep visible under waves of Blue

Remember Microsoft's Blackcomb? Nor do I: it never happened. For years, Blackcomb was the code name for a “next” version of Windows after Longhorn. Longhorn became Windows Vista and when that lumbered out the working title for Windows 7 became Vienna. Now we have a new codename: Blue. Only Blue isn’t a new version of Windows - …

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Anonymous Coward

Subscription service?

Perhaps Microsoft have decided that there is more money to be made by locking people into a subscription service, and they have finally figured out the best way to coerce people into signing up. It will be interesting to see the carrot/stick mix that they employ to achieve that goal.

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Re: Subscription service?.. SCARY

Scary because if they can pull off SAAS in Windows, then, they can in real time screw around with emulators, especially with those running Win inside of Linux, and can disrupt those who are using short-lived installs of Windows as test beds, where for test beds, nobody in their right mind is going to pay (willingly) for testbed installs that are restored at the push of a button.

Worse than worse, this revives the decade-ago-or-so fear that MS could in almost-real-time snoop on people rather than potentially snoop at random, uncontrolled update times.

OTOH, maybe MS won't bugger up Linux installs running VMWare or VirtualBox -- it would be a HUGE PR disaster if caught masterminding, funding, or facilitating such a thing.

Then, there is the possibility that those who refuse to go SAAS might just get "crippled" versions of Windows, ones that work fine for some software, but mysteriously cranky or cantankerous for other apps, at random times, miraculously solved by "SAAS -- With Live Bug Killing and Slipstreamed Performance Enhancers"...

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Linux

Re: Subscription service?

Microsoft can see their irrelevance coming hard and fast. All their thrashing about with smartphones, tablets, back-firing OS releases etc won't change a thing. And the people doing this to them are the very ones they've shat on for the last 20 years, since every area now either snuffing them out directly, or rendering what they do have left irrelevant, is powered by Linux.

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Windows

Re: Subscription service?

From a business perspective, subscription is the way to go. Any business person knows that little and often is way more profitable than one off.

But... Customers will only subscribe if they perceive a benefit, particularly price. All I can see is Microsoft strong-arming their punters^H^H^H customers into paying for sod all. Let's face it, the so-called improvements to the desktop and Office in the last decade are pretty minimal and mainly aesthetic. Business is quite happily running XP & Office 2003.

The real irony is that IBM used to sell software mainly by subscription and Microsoft showed the world that you could buy and not rent software. It's like Microsoft have regressed to IBM's 1970's play book.

With this much competition, Microsoft's mediocrity is their biggest challenge. And their conceited arrogance to assume people will accept a subscription lock-in.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Subscription service?

good for business? try telling all the customers still on IE6 that having your entire operating system swapped out for a cloud based subscription service is good, and that things can be changed and compatbility broken without you even lifting a finger, where being able to install systems with the same OS you installed last year is impossible because whatever you install will be automatically synced to the latest

they'll laugh at you almost as much as we laugh at them for still using IE6

it stinks of desperation, it stinks of a way of trying to take control away from users, it stinks of a way of trying to squeeze money out of people and businesses without them noticing it by binding them to a service they're just likely to continue to give approval to without examining the details, and knowing if they stop then everything will fall apart completely, it puts WIndows in the 'non optional' section when cost cutting measures are introduced.

it's a worse idea than Metro, even if Metro is the start of this with the store and apps.

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Megaphone

Re: Subscription service?

@wibble

"The real irony is that IBM used to sell software mainly by subscription and Microsoft showed the world that you could buy and not rent software. It's like Microsoft have regressed to IBM's 1970's play book."

Eeek... Microsoft stealing Big Blue's business strategy right down to stealing their name!

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Re: Subscription service?

Woudl this also make it difficult for Microsoft to radically change it OS. New version would remain simply incrementals in order that compatibility was ensured.

In other words you would not have to update any more often than every 2 or 3 years...

Unless of course your version "expires" beyong a given date ( now that would be a pain).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Subscription service?

Hah hah, yeeeaaaahhh Bob.....

Last earnings report I got from MS, a couple of weeks ago, was titled 'Microsoft Reports Record Revenue of $21.5 Billion in Second Quarter'

Now, am I right in thinking (from reading other comments) that you work for Sony? A quick search finds the following paragraph talking about the results Sony released last week

"Sony revealed the numbers as part of its earnings announcement for the October-December quarter. The company booked an overall loss for the period of ¥1.1 billion (US$120 million), far better than its massive ¥15.8 billion loss a year ago"

So, that must be the 'power of linux' helping Sony to release such incredible results I guess....?

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Devil

Re: Subscription service?.. SCARY

Your already being monitored in real time, all over the internet, from WITHIN Microsoft Widows.

2001 and well before:

Microsoft's Really Hidden Files

http://sillydog.org/mshidden.php

Look up this file:

Windows 7:

EntriqMediaTray.exe

The process known as Media Server Tray Application belongs to software Entriq MediaSphere or MediaSphere by Entriq (irdeto.com).

Description: The file EntriqMediaTray.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 7/XP are 360,448 bytes (33% of all occurrences), 368,640 bytes or 372,736 bytes. http://www.file.net/process/entriqmediatray.exe.html

The file is not a Windows system file. The program is not visible. The program is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run). EntriqMediaTray.exe is able to monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 35% dangerous.

In case you experience problems using EntriqMediaTray.exe, you can remove the entire program using Windows Control Panel.

Which feeds data off your windows system to here:

http://irdeto.com/

And they do this shit:

http://irdeto.com/anti-piracy-services/tracking-and-enforcement.html

Blah blah blah blah................. sun shines out our arses etc. Blah blah blah blah.................

Irdeto Intelligence is the industry-leading solution to identify and track unauthorized digital content across all major Internet protocols including user-generated content (UGC) hosting sites, cyberlockers, peer to peer networks, IRC, Usenet groups and public FTP sites. On average Irdeto Intelligence processes 950 million detections that create over 35 million actionable events each month for its clients.

Irdeto Intelligence tracking services include:

P2P chart

Sample P2P report

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Monitoring - the industry’s leading P2P platform for monitoring, reporting and enforcing copyright

Scans leading P2P networks, including: Bit Torrent, eDonkey/eMule, Ares and Gnutella to identify individuals who upload client content

Collects identifying information on the first uploaders, tracks propagation and can provide data for evidence packages in the event of possible litigation

Includes tracking by asset, file source, language, user origin and breakouts by unique users and downloads.

Compliant with MPAA file verification standards

Blah blah blah blah.................

Infringement Notices - Irdeto sends more than eight million Takedown Notices monthly on behalf of clients and monitors for compliance, providing reports to copyright holders on who has and who has not complied.

Microsoft's entire history is of spying on all people, through a whole range of methods.

Fuck the Peeping Tom Software Co.

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Anonymous Coward

this is not by choice

I think MS have to do this for good reason:

1 - iOS upgrades are free*

2 - MacOS upgrades are of marginal cost, ~$20

3 - ChromeOS is free*

4 - Android is free*

* you really pay for it by revealing details about yourself to advertisers, buying applications and search revenue

From my position, I am happy to fork out every one to two years on upgrading my OS, but only if that cost is marginal (<$30), if you are asking >$200 forget about it. I suspect that this is a fairly normal expectation. So MS have a choice, provide regular, affordable upgrades that lots of people will buy...or release a new version every 3 - 5 years, charge hundreds of dollars, sell not many copies and have your market share decline in favour of cheaper alternatives.

Microsoft should have been all over tablets like white on rice, the iPad was released in 2010 and could have been easily foreseen. The Chair-thrower in Chief should have been sacked for this stratagic bungle.

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Re: this is not by choice

You make a good point. And yet I happily pay >$200 for an OS and office suite if it means my documents and mail aren't indexed by the NSA, I mean Google, and if it keeps advertising off my desktop.

Choice is a good thing.

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Re: this is not by choice

iOS upgrades are not free they are a marketing tool to promote/force you to upgrade to newer device.

You remember when Siri rolled out it was only supported by iPhone 4S and iPad3, the older platform allegedly not being powerful enough. In reality they were as the iPad mini is an iPad 2 in a smaller form factor and yet suddenly powerful enough to run Siri (which is mainly datacenter based anyway).

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Re: this is not by choice

iOS upgrades aren't "free", certainly not forever. There is a limited number you get included with any device, about 3.5 by my reckoning (3 full ones, then a "limited" version that doesn't have all features, like multi-tasking, or Siri as two prime examples).

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Re: this is not by choice

As true as that may be, it is hardly unique to any one vendor.

It is not a holy war, it is a computer; once you you get to consumer-space, you buys the best you can gets.

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Windows

Re: this is not by choice

"...if it means my documents and mail aren't indexed by the NSA..."

It doesn't.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: this is not by choice

Yeah, I think Spearchucker Jones meant that you can get an excellent Office suite that actually works for $200. We all know you can download tat from the internet for nothing. However, most people prefer to pay a bit of money to get their hands on software that is stable, easy to use, productive and not riddled with bugs. This is why MS make billions off their Office franchise and the FOSS Office packages are used by about 6 people globally.....

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Re: this is not by choice

"used by about 6 people globally..." plus 13000 in Munich.

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Re: this is not by choice

Searching on-line for usage figures for LO & OO gives widely varying and likely highly inaccurate figures. This to be expected of course. However the more telling statistics are how many articles try to downplay the usage.

One can ask to what purpose. If the usage is minimal it scarcely warrants mention surely. Have all these people nothing better to do than be critical of something they seem to think has very limited distribution ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: this is not by choice

......used by 13000 people in Munich. Under duress. To satisfy the ego of a megalomaniac bureaucrat......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: this is not by choice

"To satisfy the ego of a megalomaniac bureaucrat......"

As opposed to the billions forced to use Windows

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

You make it sound like a single company offering all the services is a good thing.

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Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

@Eadon

Leaving the fact that I actually *like* Metro, AD, Outlook and Exchange, and Excel aside for a minute, and that I won't go near a ChromeOS laptop -- Libre Office? Version 4? Seriously? It's getting better, for sure. But still not usable. If you don't need the power of MS Word, then Writer or Wordpad are better choices than the poorly-implemeted Libre UI (yes, I know the inconsistencies are a result of a cross-platform product).

Excel beats the crap out of Calc or any other spreadsheet. Data manipulation is a domain in which lean never works and Excel is the opposite of lean. Trimming math functions doesn't make sense because 10,000 more functions never clutter up the user experience. Excel is really an extremely user-friendly IDE for a Turing-complete programming language which includes drag and drop, a REPL, and macros (with respect to the data layer). It's syntax is simple (yes, I know it wasn't invented by Microsoft).

Microsoft stuff... just works.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

Microsoft stuff... just works.

No it doesn't.

I recently left a situation where the Dept. had an > $50,000,000.00 annual IT budget. Of course it was a Govt M$ full on Kool-Aid shop. That situation there was just horribly dredfully broken. Costs were completely out of control and attempts to upgrade would just make things worse. Virtualization was slow and ineffiecent on monster good hardware. Nobody could fix anything themselves as there were too many side-effects and M$ (ca-ching) specialists involved.

No clear plan for the future was possible. Management was looking to marketing for guidence. The only hope for most drones is to somehow hang on for retirement before redundancy. And with that in mind managers were bloating up their projects so that they'd have fat to cut in lean times in their own personal defence.

And all this to be on the trailing edge of I.T.

Microsoft stuff ... just costs.

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Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

"Microsoft stuff ... just costs."

The job of Microsoft is to make as much cash as possible, job of customers is to spend as little as possible. Microsoft was doing its job properly, your department wasn't.

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Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

> Turing-complete programming language

That word again.

I'm gonna finance a fund to set east-european cleaners on people soon. I am undecided...

> It's syntax

It's decided.

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Stop

Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

Give over with the "power" of your choice of application Spearchucker Jones, the _vast majority_ of users create simple documents, the same way they use other applications to simply browse facebook or view youtube.

In fact they probably don't need an office suite at all most of the time, 95% of my files are in text via gedit, the ones that need to leave my office are in w97-2003 doc format via Libre as everyone can read them. 30 years of documents in a few megabytes.

Microsoft stuff... just works... most of the time except: sometimes when your adding a new IP and you have to disable and re-enable the nic or when a server take 4HOURS to shut down and reboot or no apparent (or logged) reason, or when you have to apply another slew of fixes for a web server and the IIS fixes are installed first stopping the web service while the rest slowly install, reboot and continue to install or when a new server is brought up and needs ten reboots as each fix is applied in turn rather than the delta between the new install and latest update set. Sounds great doesn't it, where do I buy such powerful software?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

"I recently left a situation where the Dept. had an > $50,000,000.00 annual IT budget. Of course it was a Govt M$ full on Kool-Aid shop. That situation there was just horribly dredfully broken. Costs were completely out of control and attempts to upgrade would just make things worse. "

I think you'll find that most likely had nothing to do with Microsoft's software.

I too have been into many companies and you find that the common denominator in dreadfully broken IT with spiraling costs isn't the software but instead, poor management, bad (or disengaged) IT staff, lack of company IT strategy, nepotism, collapse of Client/Vendor relationships, poor fiscal controls, "tactical" decision making. Etc. Costs spiral and service is shit at companies that use all kinds of technologies be they open or not, free, subscription, upfront bills, or other, I recon a large number of other companies (car companies for instance) have similar issues due to a slightly modified list.

Now it's true you can buy the wrong software for the job but then that's normally down to one of the issues in the list.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

I think you'll find that most likely had nothing to do with Microsoft's software.

My observation, apart from the poor management, bad (or disengaged) IT staff, lack of company IT strategy, nepotism, &c which I wholly agree with, was that the overall poor quality of M$ offerings led the poor sods to believe thats just how I.T. works.

M$ has effectively so massivly lowered the bar on software expectations that it has truely played a role in retarding the worldwide economy. When those externalized costs are recognized and recovered there will be a sea change.

I.T. as an industry is hugely overstaffed and underqualified. That is not sustainable, especially on declining margins.

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Trollface

Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

At least if MS goes bust we will no longer have to put up with Eadons ramblings....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

"Sounds great doesn't it, where do I buy such powerful software?"

You don't have to buy it. It is available freely and called Linux where reboots are rarely required.

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Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

@Mr Anonymous

"...they probably don't need an office suite at all most of the time..."

No argument. You're absolutely right. That however doesn't reflect the real world, in which a smart phone user who hasn't managed to mangle a photo with Instagram, loads that photo into Photoshop and mangles it there. When something a lot simpler would mangle said photo just as well. And yet said user wants a copy of software that has managed to make the entire lithography industry redundant because of it awesome power, I mean, it's digital retouching and DTP capabilities.

A counter-example of the luddite using rocket-surgeon scalpels is my girlfriend. She's an economist at a rather large central bank and loads the most insane financial models into Excel that run overnight. She gets home and one guess what she uses for anything that even vaguely resembles a list?

There's always a reason for your server taking 4 hours to shut down. I'm happy to come and take a look.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

guess what she uses for anything that even vaguely resembles a list?

* (list 'lisp 'mathematica 'matlab 'scilab)

(LISP MATHEMATICA MATLAB SCILAB)

*

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

Eadon -

MS is on DEATH ROW - Do you even know how many products MS delivers? Although Windows and Office may have been its must have offerings, it also produces MS Project Server, Commerce Server, XBox, Sharepoint, Exchange Server. These products have a decent share in the market which they compete and aren’t just poor me too products.

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Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

Sounds like you need a real Windows Server engineer.

In 14 years of designing, building and supporting enterprise solutions built on WinTel using NT from 3.51 upwards I've never seen or even heard of those issues.

Need someone to build you a reliable benchmark tenplate of 2008 R2 or 2012 let me know. I'll even show you how to patch things properly and put HA in place for your web servers too. (What sort of shop complains about updates not doing IIS and starting it up again immediately, but you can afford the downtime of patching a server? Champagne taste but lemonade money?)

As a fellow Vulture reader I'll throw in a 10% discount on my day rate.

You're welcome.

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Re: MS is feeling BLUE. MS is on DEATH ROW.

Linux is For Shit as well... along with the rest...

"Oooh. You want to try and do this?"

"Yup."

"That would be really cool."

"I thought so."

"System Policy says Fuck You."

"I already saw that."

"You can always modify the source code."

"Thanks... Fuck you."

"Don't forget. We fucked you First."

"Fine."

"Pizzas for us then :-)"

"Lost carrier.....

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Windows

Re: Microsoft stuff... just works.

Only just...

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Pint

@AC

"You don't have to buy it. It is available freely and called Linux where reboots are rarely required."

Unless of course a new kernel update is being installed. Which seems to happen more and more often as of late on my CentOS 5 & 6 servers.

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@Eadon

"Let's take MS Office. An enterprise switches to LibreOffice. Then it doesn't need outlook anymore. So it ditches Office. Then Sharepoint doesn't make sense anymore. So it ditches sharepoint (hell there are far better alternatives that DON'T SUCK DONKEYS BALLS."

Well, in Munich they actually tried this. And although the mayor claimed to have saved E 4 million the project was eventually deemed unsuccessful since the costs turned out to be a whole lot more than planned.

This project got in jeopardy around 2003 and only last year did the mayor proclaim his success. But that still means it has been an ongoing effort for over 9 years already. And in contrast to popular belief this project basically involved a switch to Open Source software on the Office front.

And speaking of which... your ignorance is showing once again; SharePoint does a whole lot more than merely serving Office based solutions.

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WTF?

Re: @Eadon

Well, in Munich they actually tried this. And although the mayor claimed to have saved E 4 million the project was eventually deemed unsuccessful since the costs turned out to be a whole lot more than planned.

ShelLuser, care to source your reference? Here's mine: http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/City-of-Munich-disagrees-with-HP-s-Linux-migration-study-1797232.html

To wit: City of Munich disagrees with HP's Linux migration study

Munich's City Council has objected to HP's study in which the company analysed Munich's Linux migration on behalf of Microsoft.

And so on...

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Re: @Eadon

"This project got in jeopardy around 2003"

AFAIK the project only started in 2003 and it wasn't until 2006 that implementation started. By 2013 there were ~13000 workstations running a specific Linux variant based on Ubuntu but with a KDE desktop.

I also find it rather telling that MS claims that the move to Linux cost more than staying with MS but has declined to publish the study they did on this.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Eadon

SharePoint does a whole lot more than merely serving Office based solutions.

For example its serves as a wonderful Active Directory Federated Services trojan. Sugar on a sour pill.

What, cure not working, take two more vendor lock-ins and call us in the morning.

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Boffin

You LIKE Metro?

Dude, you're getting a downvote just for that man!

On other news: my coworker who went down the brave path of using Win8 got fed up and is wiping that POS out, replacing it with Fedora 17. TIFKA Metro is a huge part of that decision.

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