3636 posts • joined 31 May 2010
I'm not an Apple user. I'm a journalist and sysadmin. I use the best suited device for the task. Windows, Apple, Android, Linux, BSD...what-have-you.
I have no corporate loyalty excpt to ninite.com ;) (Those guys save me a lot of work. They get my one bit of fanboy. Everyone gets one exception.)
Re: "I don't have to ... give up my privacy"
"Hard work?" I'll root and unlock any Samsung or HTC Android for you in 10 minutes. I'll load the custom ROM of your choice in 5.
This isn't 2009 anymore.
And yes, all my phones are rooted. No, Google doesn't track me.
Random Samsung. Can't remember tbe model. Fiund instructions to root it online on day, got a terminal, realised is was a Samsung Galaxy S with a television attached. Changed the bootloader and installed cyanogen. :)
I don't preach to my clients. I ask them what they want and I make it happen. When they ask me what they shojld do, I look at thier unique situation - from fnds to existing tech to requirements to the local staffing situation - and tailor a response to their individual needs.
Why? Do you merely preach the last whitepaper you read? Or is it that you only preach the solutions for which you paid an assload for a cert? Or who took you out for dinner?
Re: Few use the "smart" features of smart TVs
I have lots of choise with my TV. Shipped with some backwards-ass Linux derivative. I rooted it and installed Android. How do you not have choice just because the hardware is in a case?
Re: Ms hate
You're probably right. Personally, I think that these people don't need to worry; their skills will port away from MS and to other platforms. Mine did. I guess they just need to have a beer and think about things more calmly.
As to "they can coast on the installed base for another 10 or 20 years," I think that depends entirely on how hard they squeeze the lemon to extract the juice. Oracle started squeezing too hard and there was a mass exodus. Now they have to continually ramp up the prices, turning the lever on a shrinking number of customers to get any traction. Meanwhile, NoSQL and other Big Data technologies are exploding.
As I've said before, Microsoft isn't going to disappear overnight. Novell is still with us, as is RIM…people still buy IBM mainframes, for $deity's sake! The question is simply "how much of the empire do they lose to the Gauls?"
Microsoft is not irretrievably fucked. They have a massive amount of cash, a huge install base, millions of loyal fans and some of the smartest, most capable people on the planet. They have to make a a handful of really hard decisions to be able to adapt to the new world. So far, they don't seem capable of recognising the necessity; they still believe that they can alter the course of the market through the force of their sheer largesse.
I don't believe this is the case. I don't believe that they can simply force "Microsoft on every device" on the world and licence – and CAL – appropriately. I don't think that their obsession with fat clients, with licensing one copy of Office, Windows and everything else for multiple devices is really going to work. I don't think people are going to buy into this subscription thing…at least not at the prices they want.
If I am right, and Microsoft is wrong, then the market will shift under them in a big way, and it will shift fast. Microsoft can prevent this all with a simple licensing tweak; a few changes and they can maintain their dominance. Unfortunately, I don't think they see the necessity, let alone have the corporate will to implement it.
What then? What do they become? How much of the empire do they lose and how fast?
That depends more on their competitors executing properly than it does on Microsoft's failure to read the market. Microsoft's competitors are not standing still, and Microsoft's inability to make the tough calls is giving Apple, Google and others the opportunity to fail their way to success.
The next two years are going to tell the tale.
If the consumer market leaves Microsoft's cloistered little world, then people at large - people who work in companies, people who administer network and even people who own companies - will start to see and understand a world without Microsoft.
They will see that it is possible, even enjoyable to move away from the Beast of Redmond. Microsoft is used everywhere only because Microsoft is used everywhere. IT is not (for most people) because they adore the company or the product.
This is my point. I'm pretty sure it's Goldman Sachs' point as well. The spread of "not Microsoft" in the consumer sphere will eventually erode Microsoft's dominance in the corporate sphere. In fact, I already see it happening, despite the ardent protestations of the fanboys.
Microsoft is losing the SMB market and is beginning to lose the SME market. This will edge up the stack until even the Fortune 500 are starting to operate heterogeneous environments.
Perhaps like the massive uptake of non-Microsoft environments at Intel. Or the 30,000 deployed Macbooks at IBM. Those could be examples. It depends on how strongly you feel the need to believe that Microsoft is eternal. But what do I know, it's not like investigating such things is my job or anything...
As to "sustain Microsoft for some time," youa re 100% correct.
RIM still sells handsets. Novell still authenticates users. IBM still sells mainframes and HP still ships Itanics. Even Sco still licences their variant of Unix. Microsoft will be around for a long time yet.
But that doesn't mean it will be anywhere near as important in 5 years as it is today, or that in 10 years it will be aught but a shadow of it's former glory.
Another item; Microsoft no longer owns all the critical protocols and formats. Ask the man why he bought a Mac instead of a Windows notebook: "I can edit Office documents on my Mac, I can't Facetime with my grandkids on Windows."
The world is larger than the inertia of the fortune 500...and those who recognise that will make...a fortune.
Sure, there are plenty of good business reasons to keep using MS excusively. No question. But the analysis in the original article wasn't so limited. It was looking at the use of computers in daily life; including emerging markets like Smart TVs.
That means recognising and accepting that consumer use is part of the discussion...and that computers are no longer merely a business tool. When we look beyond business inertia, we start to see that MS is losing in this wider market. That will affect them in the corporate landscape, just as the "personal computer" evaporated mainframes.
Re: Ms hate
Because they don't listen to customers, attempt to bamboozle us at every turn, have byzantine and purposefully misleading licensing, are insanely expensive and generally treat customers like shit.
The better question is "why do some people feel that pointing out flaws in Microsoft's actions, products or strategies is akin to personally attacking them as individuals?" How and why do people let themselves get so attached to a company that they marry their sense of self worth to it?
You lack imagination and an understanding of how to make technology work for you instead of simply doing whatever the most recent whitepaper you read tells you to do.
I do the majority of my work on Android endpoints. I use an Asus Transformer or a Samsung Galaxy Note II. A huge quantity of that time is spend using them as thin clients to RDP into my Windows XP VM running Office 2003, but this is only because Android lacks a sufficiently good Office package for me to totally jettison that VM.
Browsing, research, even a fair chunk of the server administration I do can be – and is – done directly on my Android devices. I can access Teamviewer, RDP, various terminals, transfer files, compose documents…you name it.
We don't work on TVs you say? Well, my third most frequently used Android device is…my television. I sure do get paid to work on my TV. It's a 47" 1920x1080 screen perfect for doing all sorts of useful work on. In fact, it is generally where I keep browser widows up for research, since the nice large type that appears is easy on the eyes.
Do I have Windows systems? Yes. Do I plan on refreshing them any time in the forseebale future? No. In fact; I am "Libre Office that works with touch, keyboard and mouse on Android" away from being able to walk away from Microsoft for anything except my collection of older Steam games.
For the actual heavy lifting stuff, I find that all the big apps I need have been ported to OSX.
I do "work" on these devices. Systems administration. Writing. Research. Video and image editing. A squillion types of communications. I don't need Microsoft and that – I think – is exactly the point that Goldman Sachs is getting at here. Most of us don't anymore.
Some do. Certainly Autocad isn't going to run on Android anytime soon, and there are a squillion legacy apps still stuck on Win32. Frankly, RDP (especially thanks to things like Nvidia's VGX and Microsoft's RemoteFX) is becoming more than capable of delivering legacy apps to non-Microsoft systems. App-V and ThinApp-style applications exist to also help ease the transition.
For the first time in 30 some odd years Microsoft is actually being forced to compete on merit. They are ill equipped to do so. They have institutionalised mistreatment of their customer base to such an extent that they are corporately incapable of rising to the challenge of getting end users excited about their offerings.
Microsoft – like Oracle, IBM's mainframe geeks, HP's Itanic division and other legacy vendors – doesn't really have very many customers any more. They have hostages. They aren't competing only against their last version anymore, they are competing against "good enough" offerings from others.
Is Libre Office a feature-for-feature replacement for MS Office? No. But for most people, it doesn't have to be. Nor does iWork or anything else trying to play the game.
Browser compatibility is more important than operating system compatibility for the overwhelming majority of users and that given the plethora of options this puts users in a position where they can make choices based on those intangibles like "does the company I'm buying from treat me with respect, listen to my gripes and play ridiculous profit maximisation licensing games that make me feel like I'm dealing with an American cell phone company?"
What nerds and fanboys don't get is that alternatives don't have to exist for every conceivable use case for a migration to begin. Your market share is whittled away every time someone looks at their budget, says "I have $1500 to buy myself some new shiny," and chooses someone who is not you.
A fanboy is bound to pop in and say "Microsoft isn't doomed, it's just that people are updating thier systems on longer cycles than before!" I argue that this means they are, in fact, doomed. People are updating their systems on longer cycles because they don't see a need or reason to update! They do see value in an iPad, a Galaxy Note II or a Kindle.
They are getting something they want – hardware or software that meets their needs – from another vendor. That vendor isn't sitting still, either. Those devices and those vendors are becoming more and more capable every single day.
So what happens when Aunt Tilly's computer finally breaks? When that Windows PC she's been nursing for 3, 6, or 10 years finally gives up the blue smoke or gets that one, final virus? Do you – Microsoft, fanboy, nerd or otherwise – honestly believe that Aunt Tilly is going to rush out the next day to Staples and buy a new Windows PC?
Maybe. Maybe not! Maybe fucking not. Isn't that scary, right there? Aunt Tilly may well look at the broken PC and say "you know what, I never use the damned thing. I don't think I'll replace it."
That is what analysts who understand people - as opposed to those who have attached their nerdy self worth to a corporation or product's success – understand about this whole smartphone/mobile revolution thing.
It is why Smart TVs will, in fact, be "a thing."
Why? Because when Aunt Tilly's PC dies and she wanders in to Best Buy…if the Apple TV is sitting there she may just buy it. That Apple TV has a nice big screen, can do everything she used to do on her old PC – including type with a keyboard and use a mouse – but doesn't take up the space that PC used to…she'll choose it. It's about the same price as a PC, but it's got a bigger screen. Besides which, she's been happy with her Apple iPhone and her Apple iPad…why not get the Apple TV?
This is not a world Microsoft can live in. Microsoft's corporate culture of treating us like substance-addicted prostitutes won't fly in a commoditised world. PCs aren't dead, but Microsoft's dominance is.
In case you missed it, 2012 was the year of Linux on the endpoint. The endpoint just happened to be in our collective pockets, not on our desk.
Apple, Google, Microsoft? Who cares? I – like so many others, it seems – am going to use the device/software/ecosystem that works best for me. I am going to look for return on my investment, and actually care about the total cost of ownership. I am going to assign some value to how I am treated by a company, and whether or not my needs are being met.
The days where I simply do what I am told, eat what's put in front of me and like it are over. I don't have to learn to use whatever interface Microsoft chooses to foist on me. I don't have to use their codecs or live with their DRM or give up my privacy or use only approved apps from only one walled garden store.
I'm the fucking customer and you will make what I want, or I'll take my custom somewhere else.
We can't all do that, yet. Some of us are locked in to one platform or another. But when you get there, when you finally get there and realise that this is the power you have; the choice that you can actually make…it is intoxicating.
Choice. What a novel concept. About fucking time.
Re: Good for him!
@eadon not at all!
Good for him!
Not all of us are actually capable of learning from out mistakes. It appears that Ballmer can, and good on him for that. Good luck to him next year, and let's hope he rises up the charts a few more points. Better; let's hope he goes up the charts because he's actually gotten better and not because those above suddenly got worse.
Beer, because everyone deserves an attaboy carrot instead of the constant drumbeat of "stick, stick, stick."
I was starting to worry that Juniper lacked anything approaching a decent SDN strategy. I'd hate to see them evaporate during the great commoditisation of networking hardware that is upon us.
We need someone to keep Cisco in check and these upstarts don't quite have the enterprise brand-name chops to do it. Yet. (Arista is close...)
Microsoft has audited a number of SMEs I have as clients, with the only justification being "you have signed up for a Microsoft Open License for this one Microsoft product, that gives us the legal right to audit every piece of Microsoft software on your network."
I was informed in each case – in no uncertain terms – that this was standard practice and that I could expect this every single year until the sum totality of the licensing for these locations was on a volume licensed SA agreement and every single system that might ever potentially have Windows, RDP into Windows, use a file stored on a Windows server or otherwise interact with another PC on the network that has Windows (or SQL, Exchange or any other Microsoft application) had SA licences and CALs.
So don't give me "Microsoft has to have a damned good justification" bullshit. Microsoft's justification is that we are using OEM and/or retail licences on our systems instead of paying a subscription. That's all the justification they require.
It's harassment bordering on extortion. End of.
Re: we were audited this year
Yeah, the bastards scammed me out of about $3500 worth of Microsoft Lync licences and CALs. (We were in fact running Office Communications Server, but that wasn't "okay," it had to be Lync. Long story.) After two months of pissing away days tryign to comply with thier insane requests, I ended up just paying the toll to get them to fsck off.
Then moved to Openspark. Followed shortly thereafter by tearing out bloody everything MS that I can. 2013 will be interesting.
Dear Microsoft Licensing,
2013 is going to be a lovely year of showing people how Samba 4, Openfiler, KVM and more are done. Step by step. With pictures.
Audit Victim [number redacted].
You must be new here. Welcome.
Yes, really, the US and Russia are equivalent. The United States imprisons people for political reasons all the time. They go so far as to fight for extradition of some of them from foreign countries for over a decade. They still kill people as punishment (fucking barbarians), maintain torture camps, detain people indefinitely without charge, spy on their own citizens and yes...they do blackmail and extort journalists.
You only hear the bad about Russia. When most of what you hear is negative, you tend to think the entire nation is corrupt. Let me tell you, sir, that you have to bribe civil servants in the United States just as much as in Russia. You can't even complain about your "freedom of speech" being a thing in the US and not in Russia…because Russia actually allows quite a lot of dissenting speech. About as much as the US.
When that speech becomes really popular or well know, the Russian government reacts. With lawsuits, with quiet visits or with outright intimidation. No different than in America. When Russia wants to keep a secret, they do so. No different than in America. (Or is telling courts "state secret means we don't have to say anything, neener, neener" somehow different?)
I am just as afraid of my ability to speak freely without fear of retribution were I to travel to America as to Russia. I am afraid to identify myself as a journalist in America for fear of civil servants utilising ever means at their disposal to make my life hell, or demand bribes. (Both of which have happened.) I am afraid of being blackmailed simply trying to get out of the country and back home.
I do not see a moral or practical difference between the two nations. Russians have a different set of values than Americans, but are fairly consistent within that range. Americans have a completely different set of values than Canadians, and I find the practical morality of both Russia and the United States to be abhorrent.
So no, I don't see a moral or ethical difference between the two nations. I certainly don't see a practical difference, with one exception: the United States has the largest per capital prison population in the entire world.
America is no better than Russia, and being asked to choose between them is like being asked to choose between being waterboarded to death in some humid tropical hellhole or being left to die without adequate provisions in a Siberian gulag instead of just walking away and choosing neither.
Face it; to the rest of the world, America isn't the moral champion of justice and righteousness. They are the bully kid who got held back several grades and is addicted to every substance known to man (and quite possibly a few that aren’t.) Violent, dangerous, uncontrollable and firm in the belief that they are in fact the victim, not the poor whelp they are currently hammering into a mewling pulp on the pavement.
Call me crazy, but I don't believe that extortion, blackmail, murder or torture are acceptable. Considering that at least three of those four are institutionalised within the United States as well as Russia, you'll pardon me if I view both of those countries as terrifying stains on humanity's conscience that we would collectively be far better off without. Only American exceptionalism would make a person believe there is anything better about having them in charge than the Russians.
You say "pick my country, we're better." I say "pick neither, you're both shit."
Broke is better than lying-in-a-pool-of-blood-with-17-bullets-in-your-back
Disagree. The bullets are cleaner and more honest. The broke is just a (slightly) longer, more lingering, painful and humiliating way to die. I've worked with people who are homeless because of crushing debt, despite making a middle-class wage. It's soul-wrenching to see what their lives are like for the brief time they last in that situation.
I expect the highest standards of knowledge, not behaviour. If I want people who generally adhere to formal rules of debate, treat people with decency, respect and so forth...I'll go to Ars Technica. They have a totally different culture amongst their commenters than here. Ars Technica is widely populated by academics and they participate in discussion mostly as academics.
The Register is populated largely by festering pustules of seething nerd rage, and they behave accordingly. I called him a twunt for bringing up Billy G as someone to be discussed as "running Microsoft, Apple, Google et al." In the context of modern Big Tech, Mr. Gates is completely irrelevant.
I could have called him an idiot, a moron, a retard, a know-nothing or other such things. I could have specifically chosen an epithet that had a meaning related to his lack of knowledge. I didn't. I chose "twunt." Why? Because for all intents and purposes it has no meaning. It is an invective generally directed at people perceived as smug, but without having a directly assignable social stigma or any implied societal underpinnings.
"Twunt" adequately conveys irritation with the subject without actually insulting them in any way. It's easy to get your hackles all up in a twist because someone called someone else a name…except the name doesn't mean anything.
If the other party is raring to go, then calling them anything will provoke them, get them worked up into a lather and cause them to spew bilge. Calling someone a twunt is like saying you there, mhoneywell, you absolute carpet; you know not of what you speak!
Best of all: it worked. The name-without-a-definition calling got our dear friend Mike Hock all gnarled up in the cranial subprocessor, and he went charging off against the textual windmill to prove his point. I got to find out just exactly what the heck he was talking about with some finer detail – the point of the exercise, mind you – and achieved amusement all at the same time.
To put things more bluntly: I am a troll. I troll people. Trolly trolly troll troll. If you look at my Twitter description, it tells you that shock, horror, I'm a troll. Just like the rest of the community around here.
El Reg's commenttard community can be best described as a cyclone of shrieking trolls. I accept that; I will even play the part when I spend time mucking about here. But I do fully expect that you are all intelligent and plugged-in trolls. Otherwise, we might as well close El Reg's forums and all go hang out on YouTube.
You bunch of carpets.
Re: @Mike Hock
Who ran Microsoft in the past has virtually no bearing on who runs it today. The company today is a starkly different one from even three years ago, let alone what it was back in Bill Gates' day. So yes, to have a discussion about "who runs Google/Apple/Microsoft" and including Bill Gates is utterly farcical. You might was well bring Jobs into the picture.
Gates' involvement with Microsoft today has little-to-no bearing on how it treats its customers or staff. Thus it has little-to-no bearing on how much I would hate - or not - those companies. (Or feel they were good/bad/etc.)
The fact that some dude who used to run the place is doing some things that are sort of nice now that he is no longer involved with Microsoft does have - and should have - zero influence on how I perceive Microsoft. Bill Gates' actions today aren't relevant to Microsoft's behaviour when he ran the place, and they aren't relevant to Microsoft's behaviour now that he doesn't.
I will judge Microsoft – and the people who run it – based on their actions today. I will not attribute any "halo effect" from Gates to Microsoft or others who work there.
As to how the EU's failure modes are less awful than others: the EU has the chance to pull out of this if they work together. They appear to be doing just that, the end result is still a "wait and see." This is totally different than the US where instead of mere governmental tailwaving, there is riot-in-the-streets anger over an out-of-control wealth gap.
Put simply: the EU's downwards spiral is less terrible because the relevant governments have been able to keep the discontent of the hoi polloi to a dull roar. In the US, the peasants are revolting; seemingly on the verge of real world violent civil war in many cases.
Slowly the EU nations are turning to a form of petty nationalism, but it does not seem to be coupled with anywhere near the kind of tribalistic hatred and bigotry that the US is devolving into. The EU may be one step forward, two steps back. The US is "shoot for the moon, burn up in an uncontrolled reentry to Earth."
Re: @Mike Hock
Damned right, name calling. You're a commenter on El Reg; I expect the highest standards of you. Responding to a discussion about "people who run Google, Apple, Microsoft et al" by talking about what Bill Gates is doing today is utterly farcical. He doesn't run that company, and hasn't for a decade.
After he left he ship in another captain's hands, we then went about disbursing his personal wealth to the fuzzy wuzzies. Yay him. Ish. There's a whole other discussion to be had about the strings attached to that money; namely that a lot of it seems to be doled out in the manner of a pimp giving a new mark the first hit for free, with the attempt to tie them into the ecosystems of various companies he holds a stake in for the long run. Which significantly diminished the fuzzy wuzzy part…
But yes, name calling. You are expected to know better. If you're going to be posting around here there are some basic things you should know. Like fundamental POSIX commands, who runs which of the major tech companies and how the right click on a mouse works in various popular GUIs. This isn't EnTechVerge. It's The Register. If you don't know who run's Microsoft GTFO.
Regarding captialism: capitalism is a failure. Just as much as pure communism was. Bureaucratic socialism has been a mess, but the failure modes seem less awful than others, so far. Note that Greece got itself into trouble not because it was attempting to be a social democracy, but because it was attempting to out-capitalist America.
They were hell-bent on running up massive amounts of debt and shopping, shopping shopping. Live beyond their means personally and governmentally. Greece was a shining example of caring only about the next quarter's numbers and dammed be the first that cried "deficit!"
Capitalism failed for the exact same reasons as communism: the weakness and greed of the individual overwhelms the ability to work together towards a common good. Communism vilified personal greed while capitalism deified it. In both cases this religious dedication to rampant individualism resulted in the failure of both systems.
Social democracy – specifically the heavily regulated but not heavily bureaucratised versions practiced by Norway and Sweden – are the best we've got so far. Individuals are free to pursue their goals…to a point. Corporations are not considered "people" in the "citizens united" sense, and they are shackled with social – and legal – responsibilities. I like it.
In essence, the problem is allowing a corporation to shield individuals from responsibility for their actions. There is an argument to be made for this at a financial level, but taken to extremes it causes massive problems. Make the people who run – and who own all or part of a company - responsible for the social, ethical, legal and even environmental fallout incurred by corporations and society will start to look a lot different.
Will we lose some investment as some people refuse to take a risk if their own necks are on the line? Yes. Will such an economy "grow" slower than a more rigidly capitalist one? Yes. It will also be less susceptible to boom-and-bust economics and far less likely to get itself into the kinds of trouble that cause busts in the first place. It will also be better engineered at the societal level to handle busts because social responsibility to the unlucky will be ingrained into the fabric of the culture.
I don't care that capitalism will take some time to die. The wound is fatal, and it can lie there twitching for the next century if it so wished. I will do my damndest not to support the worst of that system's excesses. I will operate my company in such a manner as to respect my staff and my customers both.
Maybe I will be out competed by someone else. Maybe I won't reach the dizzying heights of wealth and power that my competitors do. I am okay with that. Doing right by my staff and my customers is more important to me than keeping up with the jonses. If I fail, I fail. I'll dust myself off and try again.
But I'll be able to sleep at night. It would be easier to accept capitalism and all of its brutal excesses if I were a sociopath, but I'm not. I'm a living, breathing, feeling, empathising human being. I am not the guy you want to run your cut-throat fortune 500 company in today's world.
But I am the guy that a reasonable percentage of folks will want to work with; as a colleague and as a supplier. It won't buy me a superyacht or a space station or a volcanic island. With luck, it'll pay the mortgage, keep my wife in shoes and let me die in a heated room instead of a frozen gutter.
In the end, that's all I really want.
Bill Gates doesn't run Microsoft, you twunt. Ballmer does. Bill barely even pays attention long enough to periodically vote on the board.
As to "how would I have it work?" I wouldn't use capitalism as the basis of society. Certainly not in it's modern form. I believe in social democracy, not capitalism. Capitalism leads to the United States, Greece or Somalia. I prefer Social Democracy like Sweden, Norway or - at a stretch - Canada.
Publicly traded corporations must act like complete sociopaths in a capitalist society or they face shareholder lawsuits for not doing everything possible to maximise revenues. Ethics are functionally illegal.
With a privately held firm - or tightly regulated public held industries - ethics are possible. The owners and/or operators can choose to employ people at living wages. They can choose licenceing strategies that are fair and equitable, building long term trust and realising gains over years or decades...not single digit quarters.
Firms where ethical human beings can and do own and operate the business don't try to screw a man's family out of the money required to pay for the support he'll need for the rest of his life due to workplace injury. Especially when it would be a rounding error to the bottom line.
I would replace rampant personal greed with personal responsibility. The CEO works as hard as any one else, makes more than others - due to rarity of required skillset - but not 250x times more. The CEO would accept responsibility for shit hitting the fan, and ask nothing of others he isn't prepared to do himself. Wages would be as high as is reasonably sustainable, with the understanding that the company does need to save for a rainy day.
People with medical issues would be helped by the company, not fired. People would not be fired for being pregnant, the wrong weight, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or so forth. People would be rewarded according to skillset, contribution and time put in. Not according to ability to blackmail and backroom politic.
I keep a shrink on retainer, to make sure my staff don't burn out, and that they are dealing well with issues at home. I make sure they are achieving their career goals by helping with training or even job placement with organisations that can offer more remuneration than my outfit can. My tiny startup can; squillion-dollar companies should be able to as well.
In short, I believe that companies shouldn't forget about the people in the quest for the almighty dollar. I believe that accepting lower margins and even lower total revenue is an acceptable tradeoff for treating staff and end users with both compassion and respect.
That isn't to say don't make a profit. It means that profit isn't all. It means that one quarter a long enough time horizon to plan for your company, and that a rising tide should lift all boats.
If corporations are to have intrinsic rights, I believe they must have intrinsic responsibilities. The pursuit of profit, responsibly.
I am not proposing the extremist elimination of the wealth gap. I propose the reintroduction of corporate ethics, the minimisation of shareholder loans as a bludgeon, and the use of corporate planning that works on the scale of decades.
Treat your staff and your clientele with respect and earn their trust and custom for life. Oh, and assuming you aren't a complete sociopath, sleep better at night.
Hate is probably the wrong word. "Distrust immensely," perhaps. "Am exceptionally sceptical of" is closer to. "Refuse to give them the benefit of the doubt" is the net result. These companies must prove themselves to me each and every time. Each product I use must have its value and ROI proven, the TCO over a 6 year investment period shown to be better than that of alternatives.
Unlike my fanboy brethren, I don't simply accept whatever bilge spews forth from the marketing departments of these companies. I don't pick one or more and devote my sense of self worth to how the companies are doing. I treat them like what they are: legally protected, powerful sociopaths who will ruin me without hesitation if there is the possibility that doing so will increase shareholder value.
These are not nice companies. They are not run by nice people. They are engines for taking your money – and min, and his and hers – and giving it to those who already have more than enough. I use their products as little as possible. I ensure that if I do use their products I have a way out; a means to port my data and my workflow elsewhere at a moment's notice. I actively put my own time, effort and research – and invest corporate funds – into ensuring that I can live without them, if need be.
When and where they offer the best available solution, I will use them. The very narrow offering that I deem to be the best of what's available. I do however assign value to "not being locked in," as well as to "not investing in a product likely to be fractured along feature lines into multiple products." So it's a balancing act; finding what's best not because a corporate whitepaper tells me that "best practices" are to invest my heart, soul and company into a stack of products from a single vendor…but doing what's actually best for me and my clients.
So yes, I hate these companies equally. I don't trust them. I may be "forced" into using them in certain circumstances, but everything they say is taken with great big heaping dump trucks full of NaCl.
"articles and authors are fairly evenly split between liking MS, Apple and Google and NOT liking them."
I am seriously offended, sir. I hate all those companies equally.
You're goddamned right.
Don't run any legacy software that doesn't conform to the latest security specs. 64-bit software only that uses the latest ASLR and so forth. That includes 64-bit Internet Explorer.
In those circumstances, using only what ships with the OS - and Windows 8 certified 64-bit applications - not running as administrator and with UAC turned on...you're goddamend right I'd click around the internet with imputiny. I'd cheerily run with all sheilds down, and wouldn't run into a problem.
Just in case however, Windows 8 comes with anti-malware baked into the OS.
As well, back to prying this mind-wrecking virus out of this RHEL system. I fucking hate people who don't update their CMSes...or Apache...or run with SELinux off....or...wait, which OS am I talking about?
Aw, fuck it.
Re: Genius Advertising...
Having personally met some of Microsoft's marketing people, I can confirm for you that the wiggly blue worms I feed my bearded dragon every Wednesday are more capable of performing the duties of marking Microsoft's goods to a marketplace that - quite clearly - these marketing bodies don't have a fucking clue about.
Re: Just a sign of (sales) sucess....
@Fred Flintstone some days I dont' give a rat's ass who is reading what I write. Then I roll my face around on the keyboard and what I really think pops out. It's been a tough week, so my personal (rather than my objectively researched, carefully unbiased) views are showing through the cracks...
@RyokuMas a momentary lapse, I assure you. I'll try not to make a habit out of it.
@Fred Flintstone: aye; and Google's hubris has caused it trouble in the US, Mexico, and Brazil as well. If rumours are true, Canada may join the party soon, too.
Microsoft is not alone in making bad choices.
@El Andy: You are correct. They had a mea cupla moment, followed by strong commitments to open source, fixing Vista with Windows 7 and other such things. They were starting to look like "the good guy" there for a while; I was one of their loudest champions.
Then they pissed it all away.
It isn't mine to give; I cannot claim credit for a clever turn of phrase which isn't mine. It's an oft used phrase traditionally directed at Oracle. I've adopted it to refer to any vendor that remains relevant only due to lock-in, not customer demand for the quality of the product or its accompanying levels of service.
Re: Just a sign of (sales) sucess....
Wheaton's law, even. Apparently I am immune to Reddit's Law: Herp, don't Derp.
Re: Just a sign of (sales) sucess....
Actually, Google made some shitty decisions that made malware for Android far easier. It's not remotely so easy on Jelly Bean, but Gingerbread still has half the active market. The lack of vendor commitment to upgrades, Google's complete inability to force long-term support and their unwillingness to police the market have all conspired to make Gingerbread Android devices the pre-SP2 Windows XP of the smartphone market.
I love Android and all (HTC Desire, Samsung Galaxy Tab, SII and Note II, ASUS Transformer) but you know what, Google Done Fucked Up.
Like Microsoft, they learned from this, and made changes. Windows 8 is a very secure operating system whose vulnerabilities are largely tied to backwards compatibility. Android is no different. Microsoft had the excuse of "the internet not being a thing" when they designed their OS.
Google had Microsoft's failure as a shining example of what not to do. Google really didn't have any excuse, but they took the easy route out anyways. Shame on them.
That said, Google fixed the flaws and got the security thing underway in a serious way in two years. It took Microsoft the same number of decades.
Corporations are kind of universally crap. The question is: which company is least likely to screw you now and in the medium term. More importantly, is there a clear exit plan in case they screw you in the long term?
Customer loyalty is customer idiocy. Every company – Microsoft, Google, or even Apple – should have to earn our purchase. Each and every time.
That means more than technology. It means a culture of listening to customers. It means not locking customers in. It means that you have to embed the idea of succeeding on your own merits into your corporate culture. "Being the best" is no longer adequate. The bleeding edge just isn't relevant when the middle of the curve is "good enough."
You need to obey Whaton's law if you want to succeed: don't be a dick.
Re: Microsoft make insecure systems by design
Actually, Windows 8 is not all that insecure. Even Internet Explorer 10 is pretty damned secure. Applications coded to take advantage of the newest security features are pretty damned hard to exploit; the issue remains support for legacy applications. By allowing those applications to remain a part of the ecosystem, they remain a vector for infection.
The operating system itself however? Pretty damned secure. Secure enough to go toe to toe with Linux or OSX. The browser has so far fared well against Chrome and Firefox.
You can bitch about a lot of things regarding Microsoft and Windows, but they've cleaned up their act with regards to security. Credit where it's due.
"Handful of sad Twitter followers, hardly the other side of a conversation."
Yeah, "consumers," those sad fucks. Like "the people who buy things" should have a voice.
Android isn't perfect. Neither is iOS, Symbian, Tizen or Windows Phone. BBX might be, given that QNX is amazing, but we'll have to wait and see on that. (Even with a "perfect" OS, if there are no apps and the vendor's name is mud, what hope is there?)
The difference is: Android is open source, and Apple has a strong core of people who trust it. With Android, you aren't reliant on Google; if they Oracle us, we'll fork them.
Microsoft's strong core of people who trust them is [insert phone sales here]. Non-zero, but not what it used to be, either. In fact, they've been so busy aiming for the middle of the bell curve with such laser precision, they haven't' realised that at some point, everyone belongs to the edges. By pissing off nearly every niche over the past few years, they've alienated entire generations of people.
Microsoft doesn't have trust. It doesn't have apps. It doesn't have wow, it doesn't have buy-in.
So it doesn't matter if Android is flawed. It doesn't matter if Windows Phone is superior, equal or worse. What matters is that at least three generations of individuals in today's markets are looking at the Microsoft brand name associated with Windows Phone and saying "no. Not again."
When this happens – when your brand name is so strongly associated with things like malware, enthusiast antagonism, anti-competitive practices, lock-in, hostile licensing, anti-consumer scandals (plays for sure, does it?) and so forth – you've got bigger problems than the launch of one phone operating system.
Microsoft is facing the reality that habitually screwing over their customers has created such broad animosity that they are now a legacy vendor. You heard me: Microsoft are a legacy vendor. They are going to have a miserable time entering new markets. Not because they aren't technically competent, but because of how they have treated customers. They need an image reformation, and they need that soon.
No new interface – Ribbon, Metrololo or otherwise – can cover up the urgent need for a massive change in corporate culture.
Microsoft may have the world by the balls, but then, so did mainframe vendors not so long ago. So did Novell. So did RIM. IBM still sells mainframes. HP still sells Itanics. Novell still authenticates users and RIM still pushes email. Yet to call any of these vendors anything but legacy in these markets is insane; they don't have customers, they have hostages. Microsoft is no different today.
Windows RT, Server 2012 (hyper-V + storage) and Windows Phone are all excellent products. Windows RT is a top notch tablet platform that deserves serious consideration. Server 2012 can go to toe to toe with VMware. Windows Phone has consistently proven to be capable, fast and have great battery life.
So what is holding back explosive adoption? Nobody wants to play with Microsoft any more. They are just tired of getting treated like a prostitute whose loyalty is assured by their substance dependence. Microsoft expects that they can slap us around and we'll crawl back up the steps the next morning, looking for a hit.
They have treated us like this for so long that you would have to be out of your right mind to want to marry yourself to them in a new market.
Microsoft is a fantastic organisation populated by some of the smartest people on the planet. They are capable of amazing innovation and technology leadership, not simply following others. They have demonstrated this over and over again, even in their newest line of products.
That isn't enough any more; there are others that can do this too.
If Microsoft wants to succeed, they need a "mea culpa" moment. Where they admit the sins of the past, make the changes required to win back consumer, small business and enterprise loyalty; they need to undertake some dramatic steps to polish their tarnished corporate image.
They can be replaced. They are being replaced. One Android phone, iPad, VMware licence, and Google Apps subscription at a time.
Because Dell are actually a top notch server provider. Never - ever - underestimate Dell's datacenter division. The shit consumer and low-end office systems they bung have nothing at all to do with the kind of very real, very excellent gear that they can and do field to top-tier clients. Even Dell's servers start increasing dramatically in quality once you start moving away from the bottom-of-the-barrel stuff.
Dell do themselves no favours by offering absolute shit support at the lower tiers, tarnishing their name and generally earning the enmity of those whose loyalty they need instead. That said, once past the wailing masses of the hoi polloi, the service near the top is as rarefied as the atmosphere.
We need a new profession: professional naysayer.
Feck off, that's my job. I don't need the competition, mate.
Re: "...and the rest. Asus Transformer Pad Infinity. Reg Rating 80%"
Okay, let me put on my Big Old Register hat here for a second and state without hesitation:
The Asus Transformer is fucking awesome. One of the best devices I have ever used. I don't have a Prime, or an Infinity or any of the new ones. I have the original. TF101.
And it rocks.
I give it 90%. Why 10% off? Because there is a bloody settings key were the delete key should be. In fact, there *is* no delete key at all and that drives me mad. Polaris Office is also a steaming heap of goat feces if you are trying to use a mouse + keyboard to get work done...which, you know, is the sort of thing you do with a hybrid device like the Transformer.
It is so close to perfect. So close. It is a nice Android-powered tablet. It is a 12-hour netbook. It has MicroSD, SD and 2x USB ports. It's fast, responsive and capable. You can access your legacy Windows applications by using the RemoteRDP app in keyboard+mouse mode, or the Wyse Pocketcloud app in touch mode. There are a plethora of available browsers, apps for nearly everything.
Except an office package that wasn't chiselled out of a fucking stone tablet by a collection of lobotomised guinea pigs on crystal meth.
And that keyboard. Fuck the keyboard.
So in all, I give the Asus Transformer (Android) line 90%. The devices are so amazing they almost offset the two hideous flaws that devastate Android devices for real use.
Can I has one?
Correct Horse Battery Staple
So little imagination amongst the commenttards today
Tried both; chose Google Apps. Haven't been disappointed.
Re: Kindles already widely available in Canada
You couldn't (and still can't, but apparently will be able to soon) buy a Kindle from Amazon.ca. You could indeed buy one in store.
With luck, having a third item available through Amazon.ca will mean a shift towards an increasing number of items available to us Canucks online. That way we don't have to worry about shipping nightmares, or stupid vendors who use UPS and their theiving brokerage.
"The para-virtualized drivers for RHEL for running atop VMware's ESXi hypervisor have also been added to the Anaconda installer so you don't go nuts looking for them if you happen to choose ESXi over KVM for your server virtualization layer."
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