back to article Microsoft still longs to be a 'lifestyle' brand, but the cupboard looks bare

Two contradictory ideas run through statements by Microsoft executives this week. One is that if the company focuses on growth areas in enterprise, without expensive distractions, then revenue and profits shoot through the roof. That much is evident in the fiscal '18 earnings. Microsoft made the cloud another platform, and as …

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  1. JohnFen Silver badge

    Know what you are

    "Microsoft risks becoming a Wang or a Computer Associates – a B2B brand miles from the bleeding edge."

    This made me remember what a wise man once told me: "Know what you are, and be that to the best of your ability." Microsoft is, and has been, primarily a B2B brand for a long, long time now. It's what they are. They should just be that and leave the rest of us alone.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Know what you are

      >Microsoft is, and has been, primarily a B2B brand for a long, long time now. It's what they are.

      Not 'just' a B2B brand, a brand for doing business stuff - whatever sized business, from home worker upwards.

      This is how MS got into business (both itself becoming a viable business and the market it addressed) in the first place and effectively partnering with IBM meant they were perceived as being slightly staid...

      The Xbox platform is sufficiently distinct in the market to become their 'leisure' product.

      Perhaps MS needs to stop chasing 'fashion' and 'consumers' and accept it's brand is a little drab/staid, but like IBM's reassuringly professional/business friendly. So this means things like keeping Office on the Mac, but not trying to compete with Apple on fashion and trendy image.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Know what you are

        Perhaps MS needs to stop chasing 'fashion' and 'consumers' and accept it's brand is a little drab/staid, but like IBM's reassuringly professional/business friendly.

        Whilst I follow your logic and agree with it, perhaps a better example might have been chosen than the tawdry dishevelled outsourcer that IBM have morphed into?

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Know what you are

          >perhaps a better example might have been chosen than the tawdry dishevelled outsourcer that IBM have morphed into?

          That is a real problem: what a company morphs into...

          IBMs reputation wasn't exactly stellar in the late 1970s', but it did a lot better at the image management and ingratiating itself into the management psyche; something it was still rather good at in the early 2000's.

    2. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Microsoft risks becoming a Wang

      And as any marketer knows, a name like Microsoft is never going to cut it as an aspirational brand.

    3. deive

      Re: Know what you are

      I kindda think MS do much better hardware than software....

      1. adnim Silver badge

        @ deive Re: Know what you are

        That's because they outsource the manufacturing of their hardware.

        Unfortunately the coding is in house.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: @ deive Know what you are

          "Unfortunately the coding is in house."

          yeah I can imagine what the 'Halls of Redmond' are REALLY like, these days:

          a) many employees in the break room a good part of the day, because game consoles and ping pong and foosball are SO important to a company's work environment these days...

          b) 'sharing in the experience' like a bad 'Marin County' light bulb joke (how many people from Marin County does it take to change a light bulb? 3 - 1 to change the bulb, and 2 to 'share in the experience')

          c) agile/scrum 90% of the time, actual work 10% of the time

          d) bureaucracy the size of MOUNTAINS, dwarfing the ones around Seattle even

          e) junior coders given as much design decisionmaking (or possibly MORE) as senior coders [this is obvious when you look at the diferences between 7, 8, and 10, and how it went DOWN HILL so fast]

          f) senior coders retiring and taking their stock options NOW, while the gettin's still good.

          g) no need to QA your work, there's the first round of 'windows update' for that.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Know what you are

      'Temet Nosce' - yeah I saw 'The Matrix' too

      Micro-shaft has been direction-changing a LOT these days. They anger their customers, anger the "Developers Developers" with moving targets, and FORCE their 'changes for the sake of changes' up our ass down our throats. And they FREQUENTLY make business decisions that have less to do with profit and MORE to do with "market control", to what end we probably don't want to know.

      What has been successful for Micro-shaft in the PAST (with the 'average' customer) is what the article mentions, things like XBox and Office, as well as what made Micro-shaft successful in the FIRST place: Windows.

      Windows 3.0 was successful because it was "pretty". I remember hearing people seeing the Solitaire 'demo game' playing on various monitors around a computer store, and how much they liked it and wanted Windows 3.0 BECAUSE of it. The 3D skeuomorphic appearance was a night/day difference from Windows 2.x's "2D FLATSO" and lousy color combinations, and you could personalize a LOT of things with respect to the appearance.

      Now Micro-shaft is back to 2D FLATSO and lousy color combinations, as well as 'data slurp' 'forced updates' and LESS user customization in Win-10-nic, in the name of CONTROLLING AND TRACKING THE CUSTOMER.

      WHAT! MAKES! THEM! *FEEL*! [not think] THAT! GOING! BACK! TO! THE! FAIL! IS! A! GOOD! IDEA???!

      And, it's REALLY too late to re-introduce "Windows Classic" and capitalize on THAT like 'New Coke' and 'Coke Classic' did back in the 80's. If they'd done THAT a year after releasing Win-10-nic, I'd have probably gone with it for my own stuff, assuming 'Windows Classic' would be very much like 7.

      So, in effect, Micro-shaft has blatantly abandoned the 'success' model (giving customers what they want/need) and replaced it with the "take over the world" model.

      Well, maybe THAT is who they REALLY ARE?

    5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Know what you are

      has rewarded companies that engage with tech-savvy professionals who bypass their fading IT departments, and introduce new technology products and services into their organisation

      Say by introducing personal computers onto every desk so you didn't need the mainframe guys to do a spreadsheet ?

      1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

        Re: Know what you are

        Recently had the higher ups decide that we had to use Exchange Cloud (or whatever it's called) rather than our own in-house email servers. And now they can't understand why it takes days to fix things instead of minutes. And why they are missing half the features the old system used to give them. Hey lads, next time, try involving IT in these decisions before unilaterally forcing change on the entire company.

    6. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Know what you are

      I agree. The IBM PC was designed as a business tool. Its success as a "home" device too wasn't in the plans, and happened only because clones brought the prices down, and "copying" software was simple enough - many "home" users wouldn't be able to pay for the pretty expensive software of the time (with a few exceptions, i.e. when Borland could sell Turbo Pascal well below $100).

      MS software, with the exception of "Flight Simulator" (mostly, a whim), was business software aimed at business users - it never really understood it outside that envelope.

      Every time it tried, it showed an appalling contempt for non-business users. Take "Bob". Did they really believe users in 1995 needed a UI designed for four years old? Even "Flight Simulator" was eventually dumbed down ("Flight"), and of course, almost nobody liked it. The "Kin"? Again, thinking "consumers" would have just needed a dumbed down smartphone. Windows 10 Mail? Again, they dumbed down their mail client as much as they could. And let's not forget Skype 8. Do they believe "lifestyle" just need an UI teenagers too would find "too dumb", despite the colours and emojis?

      It never worked that way - Apple understood it very well. "Lifestyle" often implying some "showing off", and people don't like what makes them look "dumber". Maybe some of them will use just a fraction of the power of the software/hardware they buy, but that doesn't matter.

      MS may be scared that better software and devices could impact the sales of more profitable business software or hardware, but again Apple has shown business users like "lifestyle" product as well, when they bring the "status symbol" advantage, up to having to cope with the lack of business features, sometimes.

  2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Huh!

    "Software and subscription access."

    Not for me.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Me neither

      It's my PC. I paid for the hardware.

      If Microsoft wants to control my hardware, then it should give me a PC. If it's their hardware, then I accept their control over it.

      But as long as I'm the one footing the bill, I expect to be able to use it as I intend without anyone or anything watching over my shoulder.

      1. keithpeter
        Coat

        Re: Me neither

        "If Microsoft wants to control my hardware, then it should give me a PC. If it's their hardware, then I accept their control over it."

        @Pascal Monet: don't go giving them ideas. Given the reduction in cost of low end devices, I can imagine a relaunch of the 'free device pay monthly' model for internet/software for laptops/tablets. Works ok for phones after all.

      2. Bavaria Blu

        rules of the road

        That's like saying "it's my car, I paid for it" so I should be able to make the rules of the road. You're using Cloud services and you have to follow the service rules. In turn your can expect the cloud provider to stick to the rules too - keep data secure and always available.

        1. NLCSGRV

          Re: rules of the road

          A fine example of reductio ad absurdum if ever there was one.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Huh!

      >"Software and subscription access."

      >Not for me.

      Indeed. A Netflix sub might have something new in the future that I want. I have no interest in a new version of MSOffice. If Netflix just keeps churning out Oceans remakes, no-one will keep paying. And quite right too.

      The whole reason for these subs is that people saw no value in upgrades - at least, not enough value to spend the cash.

      New stuff used to be better stuff for the user. Not anymore. Now its just, "keep ms in business" stuff.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Huh!

        So paying for 1TB of OneDrive, improved features every year in Office and Office Online, the addition of Teams, Planner, and 25GB of email storage are not worth the cost of a Burger and Beer every month?

        Being stuck with one copy of Office for $250 for a version that won’t be updated for 5 years is not exactly a winning situation.

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: Huh!

          The pricing has to be right, which it is for Office, and isn't for Adobe Creative Suite (for example). I looked at the price to rent Adobe Illustrator, and decided to replace it with a €70 copy of Affinity Designer instead. (Seriously - you owe it to yourself to check this out).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft can never be an 'aspirational' brand

    as long as there are people out side of MS who have been burned by their half hearted attempts at so many consumer things. Zune, Kin and what the did to Nokia still wrankles with a lot of us IT Types.

    While what they did might have been ok, they never went all in on the commitment to making them a success.

    SatNad and his BOD must look at Apple and heave a big sigh and wonder why it isn't MS leading the way as the most valuable company on the planet (until Amazon takes over that it). What did they do wrong? (don't answer that...)

    Yes, I know it is not cool to say positive things about Apple here but they do do a lot of things right from a consumer POV. You buy an iPhone and it isn't obsolete the day after you start using it as what happens with some Android devices. The average consumer appreciates that but we, the IT Literate know that for us, there are better alternatives and actually enjoy poking fun at Apple.

    MS has an awful lot of bridges to build before they can even start to become an aspirational or lifestyle brand.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. James Anderson

      Re: Microsoft can never be an 'aspirational' brand

      They have dropped or abandoned so may "consumer" products over the years you would be foolish to pay good money for the latest ( latest as in last to market) attempt to jump on the consumer band wagon.

      Bizarrely the current Windows 10 release bundles the Groove music front end even though the service was dumped six moths ago. Does anyone at Redmond actually know what is going on?

  4. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Upgrade your Lifestyle with Microsoft!

    However, there will be no warning before your lifestyle spontaneously reboots; you will not be able to change aspects of your lifestyle that SatNad thinks you must have; and every minute detail of your life(style) will be surveilled and data-mined in order to better understand how you use it (and to show you more relevant ads).

    So, win-win -- at least, from the point of view of Miscrosoft-Microsoft.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: Upgrade your Lifestyle with Microsoft!

      Have an upvote sir!

    2. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: Upgrade your Lifestyle with Microsoft!

      Hardware fails and becomes obsolete far quicker than software. I have a 1999 CD containing the Lotus suite of software, spreadsheet, wordprocessor, presentation manager, etc for windows 98. All of those apps still work today on a win10 machine. I used the presentation (freelance graphics) just the other day. I have an install of Windows Live Essentials 2011 because I still prefer the photo gallery thing that came with it.

      From a home user's perspective one rarely needs the latest update of anything. It is why we all dread it when some software we use on a regular basis gets updated/upgrade as we never know how much of our existing workflow will be broken as a result.

      I suspect that it the main driver to subscription based models for software companies. They need to get you locked in to forking out regular payments.

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Upgrade your Lifestyle with Microsoft!

        I beg to differ - as a general, non-Microsoft-specific issue I find software far, far, _far_ more perishable than hardware. Excepting specific examples that might have a limited life as a given thing after which they wear out (such as how many times one can recharge a battery), my experience with hardware in general is that most of it is quite willing to outlive me and just keep trucking. I can't remember when was the last time I had a piece of consumer tech break.

        Software on the other hand is gone in only a few years, guaranteed. Not in the sense of suddenly stopping to work just as it did before - clearly, given the appropriate hardware, a DOS 6.22 install will work no differently today than on day one - but in the sense of it becoming utterly unusable in the context of the rest of the world. Security updates are merely the trivial example - software that was "fine" yesterday will paint a ludicrously large target on your back tomorrow unless you move on the new version - but one needs not use that specific issue to illustrate the point.

        Let's forget about security - you try surfing websites with a browser a few years old then come back to tell how well it went. In my experience, the current ESR Firefox fails to understand at least half of what the internet throws at it right now - some of it goes unnoticed except for error consoles, some of it flat out breaks everything on a website to the point of uselessness. Or how about watching a nice movie? I hope your vintage software is fine with HEVC / x.265 encoding, seeing as how my not-quite-up-to-date Mythbuntu definitely isn't. And surely your OS/2 CD can edit docx files, right? And view webp pictures...? And let's not mention how my slightly older grub swears an ext4 filesystem is a horrifying alien from outer space merely because it was created with current tools that casually added the "metadata_csum" and "64bit" features to it, because if I think too much about it I might start spontaneously dual-wielding chainsaws.

        TL;DR: BULLSHIT, Sir. Software is the absolute most perishable tech humanity has invented yet, rotting away within the year. Hardware typically outlives it by multiple orders of magnitude.

        1. John Lilburne Silver badge

          Re: Upgrade your Lifestyle with Microsoft!

          I have a NERO backit up version circa 2008 that is more useful than the current version of the software. Indeed I could install the entire 2008 suite of software and wouldn't really miss anything from the latest offering.

          I know of a major aerospace company that uses manufacturing software from about 2010 because it works and the cost of re-certifying the latest release is prohibitively expensive.

          I have a version of PhotoImpact (c2006) which was replaced by PaintShop Pro it has functionality that is not available in the PaintShop version.

          As I said originally a wordpressor. spreadsheet, database, and powerpoint app from the 1990s contains all the functionality you really need.

          I doubt that if were to install a 1980s version of emacs on any of my machines that I would notice any real functionality changes.

          File formats are irrelevant. I can work with lotus lpw files all day without encountering any issues. I don't generally need to read docx files and if I do I can always use a docx viewer. It is the idiots that are buying into new file format versions that are the cause of trouble.

          HEVC / x.265 encoding why would I need that I'm not that stupid to pay for some bullshit 4K screen. Jeez just how dumb are people. Remind me what the figures are, something like needing to be within 5 feet of an 80 inch screen to resolve the difference between a 4K screen and a 1080p one. Most people using 4K screens have the display set to 150-200% just to see the text.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Upgrade your Lifestyle with Microsoft!

            John Lilburn

            Agreed. Constantly updating software doesn't seem much like a great deal, unless and until some new feature gets added that you really need (and more often it's the reverse). I'm happy with Office 2010 and frankly, 2003 would have been better ( no ribbons and properly customisable menus) except that I use Onenote. Which makes 2010 more useful to me.

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Upgrade your Lifestyle with Microsoft!

        John Liliburne

        Yes. cash flow. Or revenue to be specific. Sell Office 2016 get a few quid, shared through the chain. Sell a subscription and the money keeps rolling in. Directly. It's the same reason people buy property then rent it out. And why ,in the medium to long term it's usually better to buy freehold property than to rent it. If you can. But a small rental on a software package, year on year can seem more comfortable to the punter while end up costing many times more than buying outright.

  5. John Styles

    B2B means....

    "Bollocks to Bozos"

  6. IGnatius T Foobar ✅

    Microsoft = IBM

    Microsoft has been following in IBM's footsteps for decades. There's no reason to think that they won't stop now. Remember the TV commercials with those hip nuns talking about OS/2 Warp? Mighty enterprise brands go into that weird afterworld as the consumer space loses interest in them. The only reason this new Microsoft is interesting at all is because someone's got to keep Amazon from becoming the new monopoly.

  7. JLV Silver badge

    isn’t there a risk?

    As author said, pure B2B seems risky. If MS surrenders desk/laptop OSs to Apple, that leaves it open to corporate users not caring much for Windows on their desktops.

    That gone, Linux servers on the backend seems less of a stretch.

    This could really snowball over time, esp with new companies.

    They’ve already fecklessly dropped mobile, which is a kinda natural counterpart to fatter clouds.

    But, hey, hadda scrape up the 26B$ for LinkedIn. Not to mention the 7.5 for Github. Which, even if you tend to be cautiously charitable about them rescuing a money-losing biz, is still a lot, for a money-losing biz.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: isn’t there a risk?

      "If MS surrenders desk/laptop OSs to Apple"

      Or Google with Chromebooks.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: isn’t there a risk?

        All the line of business office apps will go to the cloud.

        All the collaboration stuff is going to be mobile

        That leaves the desktop for content creation, video, photoshop, cad. People who don't care how much the HW costs as long as it is powerful and works. It's Apple's to lose

      2. Jedipadawan

        Re: isn’t there a risk?

        I stated on a Linux forum that the year of the Linux Desktop was upon us!

        TOTAL flaming!!! I vowed never, ever to mention the year of the Linux desktop. I also learned that a huge number of Linux users like being in a niche market and don't want to be mainstream.

        However... the joke of the Year of the Linux Desktop is not so funny any more. See, with the release of the ARM based Pinebook I made the argument that ARM and Linux were the way to go with the consumer less tied to Microsoft and office than once they were. I said there would be a "Pinebook MKII" That would compete with Chromebooks, operate like a Chromebook but would allow for the installation of standard Linux apps.

        I was nearly correct. Instead of the ARM Linux Chromebook competitor arising Google themselves saw the light and are in the process of developing/opening up ChromeOS so as to allow for the installation of standard Linux apps.

        Given just how popular Chromebooks are - outstripping sales of full laptops by a steep margin and generally replacing the laptop at home - the public are already choosing their "laptop as appliance" ARM/Linux based cheapo device. Given Joe Public only really wants a content consumption device with very little creation... the Chromebook (and I am NOT a fan of either Chromebooks or Google) is not the future, it is the NOW!

        Microsoft can't get into the ARM market because, worthy though Windows 10S might be, the ARM apps are not there while something like 60% of Linux apps are already ported over. That's rather game over for the home laptop - sans, of course, the power user who needs Photoshop ... it always reduces to Photoshop for Apple and Windows!!

        Everything I said in my hated post turned out to be correct except... I had not factored on Google working it out for themselves! [It was bizarre, it was almost as if hey read my post and went; "Hang on! He's right! We gotta move. The timing was bizarre! I'm sure they didn't.. there was no way, it was just wild how Google did what I expected someone else to do... exactly when I thought they would do it.]

        Yeah, I feel vindicated. Not 'arf!

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: isn’t there a risk?

      "They’ve already fecklessly dropped mobile, which is a kinda natural counterpart to fatter clouds."

      Which is pretty well what SatNad said when he got the job.

      I think there seems to be a sense of entitlement there now. They seem to have assumed that all they had to do was buy into the phone business and expect everyone to come running because of who they were. It doesn't work like that. They needed to put a good few years hard work into it to slowly build market share against a couple of incumbents. It didn't happen immediately so they dropped it.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    It's a sad story actually...

    "It's not surprising that Microsoft wants to have its cake and eat – it always has."

    In my opinion Microsoft is capable of doing some great things. I know there's sometimes also a bit of controversy involved but even so, some of their work was pretty slick. For example I still enjoy the new ribbon interface, and not just that: it has also been adapted by some of my other favorite software products (Visual Paradigm in particular; this is an UML modeling / IT design tool) and I honestly prefer the ribbon over the classic icon toolbars.

    Then I also think that Microsoft can also sell this product decently well. I still remember that classic OneNote commercial which I think was pretty funny (guy does shopping while using OneNote to maintain his grocery list and all sorts of stuff gets added (candy canes!!), then it finally hit him: his kids are messing around ;)).

    The main problem though is that Microsoft somehow can't make a decently appealing starting consumer product and / or environment. There's always something wrong. Take the very first Windows Phone: it didn't have a todo and you couldn't even sync anything with your desktop. To add insult to injury geeks such as myself couldn't even mess with their own phones, only after paying Microsoft $100 for that privilege. It's really strange how that never really took off....

    Now, they also know how to turn it around eventually. Many of their products started out in a horrendous way but ended up as small pearls (in my opinion anyway). Expression Web for example (web editor tool) was pretty much a disaster at first: not very stable, quirky interface, etc. But in the end it was really quite good. I even bought a license a few months before it was discontinued and made available free of charge, and I never regretted that because I honestly believed it was well worth the money.

    The problem: a bad start gains you bad publicity and bad experiences. And once people jump off your bandwagon then good luck trying to win them back again. That is in my opinion Microsoft's biggest undoing.

    If you want to gather a serious fanbase you should work *with* your customers, not make it seem as if you're working actively against them (anyone remember Visual Studio? "Now, without ANY distracting colors", it was a plain out disaster). I've chatted with many veteran Visual Studio users who even went further than my dislike (I eventually enjoyed VS 2012, I still use it today) and didn't even bother with that: they stuck on 2010 because that did what they wanted, and even had a good color scheme.

    As said: I honestly believe that Microsoft has the potential it needs to make this work. But they seem so caught up in their own twisted ideas of "change is good, change sells, we need change" and without ever bothering to think about what the consumer might think.... That is just a recipe for disaster.

    And I think it's a sad story because Microsoft could be a lot better and more respected than they are now.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: It's a sad story actually...

      "In my opinion Microsoft is capable of doing some great things"

      They are capable of it, which makes it all that more tragic that they so rarely actually do anything great.

      1. GBE

        Re: It's a sad story actually...

        They are capable of it, which makes it all that more tragic that they so rarely actually do anything great.

        The last couple versions of the Microsoft C compiler for DOS were great products. And some of the wired, optical mice were top notch. That's about it.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: It's a sad story actually...

          "The last couple versions of the Microsoft C compiler for DOS were great products."

          I quite liked FORTRAN for CP/M

    2. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: It's a sad story actually...

      they stuck on 2010 because that did what they wanted, and even had a good color scheme.

      I have to agree here. Visual Studio 2010 was ~2 GB, and ~ 600 MB for the Express Edition's ISO (across four language editions, making VB Express as light as 200 MB!)

      Visual Basic 2017 is 6 GB as downloaded from Microsoft Imagine.

      And they've fucked up the installer hard. Instead of a single ISO, they've gone all Visual-Studio-as-a-Service and chopped it up like a fruit in Fruit Ninja.

      Today's excuse? To keep every single component up to date.

  9. jnemesh

    if you don't succeed...try, try, try, try, try, try try try again!

    WebTV, UltimateTV, Zune, Kin, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone...just about every single consumer hardware product they have released has been an unmitigated failure. Even Xbox is struggling to remain relevant with NO exclusive titles being released from here on out (all will be available for PC as well), and even though MS is hiding sales figures and losses by lumping it in with other products, it's a failure as well. They aren't doing well with Surface either, although better than most of their other efforts. We will see where this goes, but shareholders aren't going to tolerate too much more of this.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: if you don't succeed...try, try, try, try, try, try try try again!

      just a *slight* modification to your point: If at first you don't succeed try SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

      Unfortunately, Micro-shaft has been re-trying the same FAIL thing over and over, expecting it to work "this time, for sure!"

      1. Waseem Alkurdi

        Re: if you don't succeed...try, try, try, try, try, try try try again!

        Albert Einstein's reportedly defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result".

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: if you don't succeed...try, try, try, try, try, try try try again!

          "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result"

          I don't know the context of the original quote but I expect it was aimed at the uncertainty principle in particular and quantum mechanics in general which rather takes the shine off it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: if you don't succeed...try, try, try, try, try, try try try again!

            Due to my lack of understanding of all things to do with quantum mechanics I'll suggests that in that context you could do the same thing over again and expect a different result, perhaps unknown...parallel universes and realities and all that, or am I mixing theories(?)...now I'll wander off baffled with my little brain quite sore at the prospect.

            1. Jedipadawan

              Re: if you don't succeed...try, try, try, try, try, try try try again!

              I'll simplify it for you...

              "If at first you don't succeed.. Try another distro."

              :-)

        2. DropBear Silver badge

          Definition of insanity

          ...so you're suggesting everyone doing the exact same dice throw is hallucinating getting different results each time...? Much of the world is chaotic, and getting different results by doing the same thing - to the best of your necessarily limited ability - is the very definition of a chaotic process. That quote is meaningless anywhere outside a science lab, and often even inside it.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Definition of insanity

            Also, it's nothing remotely close to the definition of insanity. If Einstein actually said it as a blanket statement, Einstein was laughably incorrect.

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