18 posts • joined 11 Aug 2011
I don't believe he stands for anything, he's walking past.
Try walking past Ikea instead.
"The reason Ballmer's seat is being occupied by somebody else today is because Redmond's chair-flinging former boss failed to anticipate market-changing shifts that allowed Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon to be mentioned in the same breath as Microsoft."
I completely disagree. Ballmer, or more accurately, the Ballmer organisation are ensconsed in a different space-time continuum. The earth is flat, so don't give it none of that 'curvature' talk. The world IS Windows and apps are things that run ON Windows ON 'devices' Devices are either PCs or things we haven't invented yet.
At least as an ex-staffer, that's how I see it. To say that Ballmer did not 'anticipate' things that had already been happening for some time before 'me-too-ing' them is anathema. And always from the perspective that 'we'll catch up'. Italy do not take the field against the All-Blacks in rugby with this perspective (as Microsoft did with Bing, Zune, Windows Store, etc, etc and oh, etc.). They know the All Blacks are very good at Rugby and will paste them. It's by how much that matters. So they would rather get into a cookery contest with them and probably win convincingly (given the choice).
Choice is the key word here. Napping whilst Google stole a march on search is forgiveable - who would have thought that we needed search in the way we use it today? Inventing something (like the smartphone, for instance) and then letting a company (Apple, who they had flayed in PC) take their idea, not do much with it except make it sexy and win BIG? That is a crime in any stakeholder's book. As is letting Google do it again with Android, Apple again (or was it before?) with the iPod and then again with the iPad.
Bill was crazy about the idea of Tablets and it was Microsoft who brought the first pen'n'bricks to market with those BEndy M400s or whatever they were.
The major feature in all these failures was that if no-one could make these things a success IN THE MICROSOFT ECOSYSTEM, then it wasn't really happening. I got 'bollocked' for buying an iPod over a Zune in Seattle on a company trip despite the fact that the Zune was never released in the UK. Good call for me then.
No, there is the real world where real things really happen, then there is the Microsoft world in a Microsoft Galaxy far, far away. From reality. Stevie Wonder would have greater vision than Stevie Ballmer on things like this. Trouble is, he polluted from above and got polluted from below by a Dalek-mentality. Surely we don't expect anything like this from Nadela....or is that Nutella?
"Of that, Microsoft was the single largest OEM to offer Windows 8 via Surface, with Microsoft accounting for 51 per cent of sales of Windows 8 tabs."
I take it there's just one other fool trying to sell the remaining 49 % ?
That's really not as daft as it sounds. For me, if you're getting bored of Windows as an OS (and the event horizon it seems to be headed towards), then Linux really can be the answer. Whilst I prefer a traditional desktop, I can see the appeal of Ubuntu and Unity for the incumbent 'mobile' interface world. Whether Microsoft like it or not, the iOS and 'droid way of doing things is just the way it is for anyone not using a Windows 'device'.
All this disclosure shows is that Microsoft are finally retro-fitting Windows 8 to the PC desktop where it belongs. The traction in Mobile OS for Microsoft suggests that the whole common UX thing is a loss-leader. My money would be going towards killer apps on droid and iOS - a totally alien business model, but I WOULD use Office, Skype and OWA (or something much better) on a mobile device.
'God help them, if it were raining soup, they'd be out with forks'
This I have to see...
You.... 'write on my iPhone' '...specifications on my iPhone..'
Judging by the length of this article, you must have started tapping it some 2 weeks ago to hit copy date. I don't believe you. I like keyboards.
Agree with you Sandeep. One of the real beauties of VMware is the I/O seperation between host and machine from guests. Anaconda (or whatever the strip is called these days) is fast and highly efficient and does not contend I/O in the way that I have found that Hyper-V does.
Quite aside from that is the suitability of Hyper-V as an enterprise platform. For SMEs who run Windows Server toys only then that's not an issue and they will be more sensitive to price than value. For anything 'long trousers', including high-workloads and Linux, I really wouldn't put my faith in Hyper-V to provide cross-platform guests when VMWare has been doing this reliably for years.
As for the VMDK trick, well, as the article points out - this is yesterday's news for just about every virtualisation platform on the market. I just don't see any innovation here, just another 'ah, we need to chase this market like Don Quioxte at a windmill (again)'.
Microsoft is good for me at 2 things: commodity servers/desktop OS and Exchange Server. Oh and office, too.
They all make money. Games for MSFT and XBox in particular have always struggled (in much the same way as Sony is now finding out) and have been loss led by other revenue lines (see above).
Microsoft is a PC company. That's it. They ported (one way) at powerful cross-platform mid-range system to become a closed and intel-fat server and desktop OS (NT), bought Exchange and SQL server (what I call the princess products) and the rest, with the exception of Office are 'also-rans'.
In a mobile device market that is already years in front of them, Microsoft again think that re-inventing another round thing will make a huge difference to that market's inertia and momentum. It won't. Games have become cross platform, with Steam being clear evidence of having no respect for heritage in the face of ready money and market share.
Only Microsoft believes that tilting at another windmill will change this. Like Zune. And Windows Mobile. And Media Centre. And Internet Explorer. Etc...All priced to compete but with no interest.
When you're good at stacking bricks, build houses.
Re: Warning Unix fanboys ahead
I used to work extensively with <Microsoft.Products.thecompany.ps> - hey! Looks Linux-y, yes?
Linux is built and administered entirely openly from well-developed and rehearsed UNIX scripts and shell stuff. As usual, Microsoft threw out 'effort' with me-too scripting. And yes, as someone pointed out - it's poorly documented, adopted and loved.
Exchange is a monster of APIs, old code, new code, extensions and plug-ins all in one. Sendmail and postfix really is Fisher-Price by comparison, however learning to type commands (command line /file config) keeps the lay-off at bay I agree.
Microsoft is just too late to the 'appliance' concept since it doesn't up-sell their licensing model - even in the cloud with Office365, it's all about product, not service as per Google Apps.
Nice article though1
(not?) the beginning of the end...
What a confusing post. Not the end of Windows 8 before it gets going? Or not the beginning of the ending?
You can make that choice and tell me about it, but I for one see a final schism appearing in MSFT's desktop strategy. Desktop, of course is such an old-fashioned word these days, but according to Statcounter, it accounts for some 90% of internet usage today. The remaining 10% is growing for mobile devices (and growing fast!) but the heady mix of touch and mobility does not seem to have displaced the importance of the desktop/laptop OS.
I'm talking about the 'forced' Metro interface for all installations, yet this seems lost on Microsoft, a company that virtually owns the business and home user PC operating system markets. To give you an idea of how important these form factors are, Windows is estimated to run on well over 90% of end-user machines worldwide (Statcounter, again). Enter left Windows 8.
Microsoft's total dominance of the home and business desktop has not been eroded in a great way by Apple OSX or Linux, however the biggest threat would now seem to be itself. Windows 8 is a fork in the road - produced by the company not because of what they don't do well, but rather to attempt to exploit a space where they don't have a serious presence - mobile.
It seems Windows 8 is a straight-faced attempt at splitting the user experience into 2 camps:
1) It works on tablets
2) What's a desktop?
No amount of cool mobile interface changes the fact that a design for mobile devices is a move for 'cool'. Add to that the statistics outlined above, then add to that again Microsoft's inability to penetrate the mobile space (iPxx, Android, etc) and we are left with the key question - What about the established user base?
If the Stats are anything to go by, the day of the desktop and laptop may be in decline, but not in a way that would fundamentally shift the production line to Canute-esque standards. The market for mobile devices is volatile and immature with Apple as the innovator that is already past the line. Again, though, Microsoft is in 'me-too' marketing gear and since Windows is the only answer, the question of beating a path into Pads and Slabs with Windows 8 seems a little pointless (at least from a revenue and ROI perspective).
Personally, I like the idea of the Metro interface, even if it does shout MICROSOFT! at you. The devices I've looked at so far show a bit of promise and I'm sure that mobile is an important driver for its development. What is entirely unclear to me is why the company is seeking to alienate potential upgraders with a fundamentally different interface experience.
Overall, I don't think it's the beginning of the end but it is the end of the Windows 8 beginning for Microsoft - Business at the very least will be expecting a 'switched' desktop interface that shows a familiar Win7 experience - Metro simply doesn't work in these environments. If Microsoft is waiting on its established Windows users to upgrade to the existing Metro arrangement, then I think that wait will be a long one. If I were them? I'd be remembering those 'home' and 'business' brands editions that split the windows experience into 'Flashy new Vista' and 'No thanks, for now'. In other words, get business users ready for the guts of Windows 8, but not the imposed Metro interface.
It's a growth thing...
Canonical / Ubuntu are the stalking horse of the appliance world. I use the word 'appliance' since for me, at least, the term 'server' seems largely irrelevant. This is basically Microsoft hosting Linux appliances from providers who have simple, stable platforms that are controllable in minute detail. Azure will become a brand - hopefully in the enterprise space - as one of the few clouds to support a broad range of server-OS.
That said, I can't help thinking that Microsoft's move points to the general demise of the licensing model and the rise of the pay-to-compute model they so thrive for. Dark clouds on the horizon for me are that Microsoft's core business of selling licenses over tin will have to change in the 'server/appliance' space to support this (not a position that constrains Amazon or many of the other major enterprise cloud business).
Dop the 'Windows' Azure tag? Absolutely - if it's to make any sense!
Excellent - in-fighting ahead!
If the MSFT sales and services organisations are not nihilistic enough across country boundaries already, then this for me seals it.
If European MSFT subs are not going to opt for more devious tactics against each other in meeting Ballmer's quarterly 'round table', then I'd be amazed.
If this is not a cheap trick to raise shadow margin on key (big value) deals for the company in government accounts, I'd be amazed.
The lowest-performing subs will suffer since their alignment issues to the Euro are already clear and I see blood, sorry, change ahead for the EMEA subs structure.
The biggest loser
I'm not in the least surprised about HP's demise to the rages of the world economy and it's rabid desire to become commoditised in its workforce. Every other major player is doing the very same. But to move it's most valuable (latent) brand, COMPAQ, to the desert of SME is a wrong move for me.
For years HP has tried to stand on the shoulders of the Compaq brand and organisation and still found it unable to homogenise the quality of the manufacturer into its offerings. A rare opportunity has been missed here since HP's share in enterprise computing is on the slide and the domestic market is shot too.
As for the redundancies? Well, it's a modern day ante-revolution where instead of cheaper workers coming from the countryside, they just work from a cheaper base. Simples.
Execs? Well, when I was in the HP club, Carly Fiorina (then head of the company) arrived in 3 Chrysler voyagers with 2 or 3 bodyguards to match....so allof and disconnected? They all are.
Re: I think they're onto something here.
Completely disagree with you, I'm sorry.
MSFT are now a true non-innovator and inherent of all that is 'shared' cool and 'open' in its branding. The fact that the terms 'Windows....' or 'MS...' does not precede the re-branding points sharply to how Redmond's right-on techs are trying to ape the open community monikers.
T'was a time when the company aggressively defined a product as 'MS'-somethingorother, then a year to go with it. MSFT SQL server is a fine product (one of the few they have) and it's brand in the cloud WILL be lost - but the company has to live with that and get out of the 'box-marketing' mind-set.
The cloud is about services, not products and then about services that folks want to use - Azure as a SQL-aaS never really took off because of complexity and restrictive platforming - what will change this time around?
Relative carbon footprints never get smaller, only larger with the cloud. Measures as a percentage of operations are meaningless unless divulged as true tons of carbon disclosed.
Cloud computing by it's definition is focussed on centralised, high intensity (power) plant that requires even more network carbon to shove the data around. And given the growth stats, Microsoft, like other cloud players, should not be crowing over non-achievements or goals that simply mean nothing.
Benevolence fell out of bed with IT many years ago. Intel are fighting for survival these days - shame.
@Kaye Burley....you are hoping in vain, I'm afraid, MSFT *is* full of clueless half wit 'read-and repeat' types because it's a marketing organisation only. The code is shocking, support pretty rubbish and even when you have a cloud from MSFT in Europe at least, you don't havethepromised availability - basic stuff.
It's like Currys getting into bespoke high-end business services - does not compute. The 'consumerisation' this guy talks about is confusing the need for 'simple and EFFECTIVE'. Consumerisation means 'whatever quality' at the lowest cost. Not what a growing business needs.
@Anonymous Coward - proper data center. MSFT claim in press and promotion material that the Dublin Data Center is a N+1 redundant *facility*, meaning an act of god is not a plausible explanation. In those terms, service should continue without the need for that data-center through co-lo or other redundant means.
Your comments on 'short trousers' data denter management are right on - I worked for the company for a few years and I can confirm to you that they have no concept of enterprise-grade computing and facilities management. When you think that major banks fail data centers over to each other as BAU, Microsoft are a country mile from providing even basic availability in DR situations.
My opinion? If you want high street service ~no thanks~ then use a high street mentality provider. If you want bespoke, reliable service, hire someone who knows what they are talking about.
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