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

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

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Subscription service?

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

    1. dssf

      Re: Subscription service?.. SCARY

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

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

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

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Devil

        Re: Subscription service?.. SCARY

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

        2001 and well before:

        Microsoft's Really Hidden Files

        http://sillydog.org/mshidden.php

        Look up this file:

        Windows 7:

        EntriqMediaTray.exe

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

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

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

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

        Which feeds data off your windows system to here:

        http://irdeto.com/

        And they do this shit:

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

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

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

        Irdeto Intelligence tracking services include:

        P2P chart

        Sample P2P report

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

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

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

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

        Compliant with MPAA file verification standards

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

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

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

        Fuck the Peeping Tom Software Co.

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Linux

      Re: Subscription service?

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Subscription service?

        Hah hah, yeeeaaaahhh Bob.....

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

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

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

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

    3. Wibble
      Windows

      Re: Subscription service?

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

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

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

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Subscription service?

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

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

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

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

      2. Wibble
        Megaphone

        Re: Subscription service?

        @wibble

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

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

    4. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Subscription service?

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

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

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

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    this is not by choice

    I think MS have to do this for good reason:

    1 - iOS upgrades are free*

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

    3 - ChromeOS is free*

    4 - Android is free*

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

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

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

    1. Spearchucker Jones

      Re: this is not by choice

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

      Choice is a good thing.

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        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: this is not by choice

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

          1. Chemist

            Re: this is not by choice

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

            1. Chemist

              Re: this is not by choice

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

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

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: this is not by choice

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

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: this is not by choice

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

                As opposed to the billions forced to use Windows

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: this is not by choice

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

        It doesn't.

    2. SMabille

      Re: this is not by choice

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

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

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      2. eksy

        Re: this is not by choice

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

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

    3. Annihilator

      Re: this is not by choice

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

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. GBL Initialiser

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

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

    2. Spearchucker Jones

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

      @Eadon

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

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

      Microsoft stuff... just works.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

        Microsoft stuff... just works.

        No it doesn't.

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

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

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

        Microsoft stuff ... just costs.

        1. GBL Initialiser

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

          "Microsoft stuff ... just costs."

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

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

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

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

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

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

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

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

        > Turing-complete programming language

        That word again.

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

        > It's syntax

        It's decided.

      3. Mr Anonymous
        Stop

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

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

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

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Pint

            @AC

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

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

        2. Spearchucker Jones

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

          @Mr Anonymous

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

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

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

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

            (LISP MATHEMATICA MATLAB SCILAB)

            *

          2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        3. The Original Steve

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

          Sounds like you need a real Windows Server engineer.

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

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

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

          You're welcome.

      4. hplasm Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Microsoft stuff... just works.

        Only just...

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      5. Daniel B.
        Boffin

        You LIKE Metro?

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

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

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Trollface

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

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

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Jamie Jones

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

        It'll just be something else...

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          @Sorry that handle is already taken....Re: Jamie Jones

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

          >

          > It'll just be something else...

          True, there's still Apple, Unix, *BSD, Area 51, who really shot Kennedy, the moon landings were faked.. etc.etc.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

      Eadon -

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

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        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Eadon

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

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

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

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

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          2. Anonymous Coward
            WTF?

            Re: @Eadon

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

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

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

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

            And so on...

          3. Chemist

            Re: @Eadon

            "This project got in jeopardy around 2003"

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

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

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Eadon

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

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

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

          5. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: @Eadon

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

            True. It's also a ghastly CMS.

    5. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

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

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

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

      "Yup."

      "That would be really cool."

      "I thought so."

      "System Policy says Fuck You."

      "I already saw that."

      "You can always modify the source code."

      "Thanks... Fuck you."

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

      "Fine."

      "Pizzas for us then :-)"

      "Lost carrier.....

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  4. johnB

    Blue ?

    When I hear "blue" in an IT context the association I have is with "Big Blue", i.e. IBM. MS isn't "blue", it's "Azure", surely ?

    It'll be interesting to see how MS holds on to it's revenue stream. My view is that they'll hold onto the business customers for Windows / Office in a single word: Excel. Every business outfit I know has lots of stuff on Excel that's been around donkeys. No one really knows how it does what it does & no one in their right mind would risk their job by suggesting an alternative. It's easier, cheaper & less livelihood threatening simply to pay MS's rental fees. The overwhelming majority of users neither know nor care what OS / software they're using, they just want it to work the way it did last week & no changes, thank you very much. That's a heavy inertial load in favour of MS in business for the foreseeable future.

    Outside of business, there doesn't seem to be much reason to pay MS's increasingly hiked-up charges. XP still works just fine, & MS are asking £190 for W8, way more than Apple ask for OSX. Old versions of Office also work just fine & the latest versions (home & student) have had their price hacked up from £80 for 3 licences to £109 for a single licence. Unless you need or are required to use Office then Google's "Drive", at a purchase cost of zero, and a maintenance cost also of zero, seem very attractive. And, being cloud-based, it's got automatic backup built in, which means you don't need to wrestle with Windows Backup. Or as is often suggested Libre / Open Office might be worth looking at (can't say I was too enamoured of it myself when last I tried it, but that was some time ago).

    I reckon that for the first time for years MS have a real fight on their hands. It'll be interesting to see how, or if, they can effectively respond.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Re: Blue ?

      Perhaps "Blue" isn't the full title… but rather "Blue Screen Of Death".

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. The Original Steve

        Re: Blue ?

        "A friend of mine ported Access DB scripts to LibreOffice Base, it wasn't a huge job, but he saved his company a fortune because they don't need to buy Access."

        Um, what? Your friend never heard of the free Access runtime...? Sounds easier and much less time consuming, as well as less risky compared to rewritting to another dev platform. I would suggest cheaper (one copy of Access Vs. Man hours, training and possible bugs being introduced) Very odd choice.

        I assume he is as knowledgeable as yourself on Microsoft software Eadon.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. The Original Steve

            Re: Blue ?

            If the goal is to remove all MS software due to some vendetta then fine.

            Your point was cost of using Access. My point was that you're talking bullshit as there is a free runtime.

            If you hate MS so much (as you clearly do) then no amount of cost or risk analysis is going to satisfy you - as the objective is to change vendor.

            But FFS, please stop spreading the FUD and BS around. My thumbs will thank you when having to scroll past your constantly, repetitive, ill-informed, anti-MS bashing on my mobile.

            Thanks.

            1. Daniel B.
              Boffin

              Re: Blue ? @TOS

              Anyone using Access for "database" stuff who has even entry-level CompSci skills is doing something very wrong. Unless the "database" is actually linking to a real RDBMS like PostgreSQL, Oracle, Sybase, DB2 or yes, even SQL Server.

              The one person I can forgive for using Access would be an accountant who doesn't have programming skills, yet she was savvy enough to realize that Excel ain't a DB tool and thus built accounting stuff using Access.

    3. Peter Murphy
      Coat

      Re: Blue ?

      I'm actually thinking of Miles Davis. Why am I doing that?

      Miles recorded a very famous album called Kind of Blue. The name of the first track is how I react to most Microsoft press releases. It's called "So What".

  5. Paul Shirley

    now I'm really worried

    Why do I feel like the big squeeze is just starting. On the old model each service pack was little more than a bunch of bug fixes and under the hood performance improvements, it rarely took away any features or broke the UI (though removing >4Gb RAM support from XP was evil).

    The PR push is building this to be a 'new Windows' every year and I can't help feeling MS intend to carry on vandalising desktop mode and mutating the beast into a Metro future with vestigial classic support. With new features confined to Metro it will become increasingly hard to avoid updating and the Windows Store could easily be used to punish holdouts.

    From my 'desktop power user' POV this is threatening to have the shortest ever support window of any Windows release.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Steven Roper
      Thumb Up

      Re: now I'm really worried

      Like you, I'm also a desktop power user; as a programmer, graphic designer and 3D modeller it's not unusual for me to have Cinema4D, Photoshop, DAZ Studio, Notepad++ and a browser all open on my 4 monitors all at the same time. With the Windows 8 regression to the "one fullscreeen app at a time" interfaces replacing the windowed interface, it looks like I'd lose that capability. And as you can imagine, I also have terabytes of images, 3D models and source files on my hard drives.

      No way am I trusting all that work - my life's work - to the cloud, or to a SaaS setup, to start with. But that's where the modern mentality seems to be going: no more once-off payments for your software, and no more bought-and-paid for storage either. In the future, everything is to be stored in the cloud, under the control of others, where you will be forced to pay and pay and pay or lose everything. Your computer is to be remotely controlled and subject to the whims of whichever company runs the OS for it - MS, Google, Apple, whoever. The only software you will be allowed to install is what 's permitted in their walled gardens. It's all abut taking control of your computer, your work, and ultimately your life.

      Then there's my music and movie collection, which I've painstakingly built over the years. All this is now to be set up in the cloud and streamed to your system on demand - a set up which makes it really easy to rewrite history, restrict access by country, profile your entertainment tastes, delete an old favourite forever, and enables a pay-per-view/pay-per-listen model, in which nothing is ever really under your own control anymore.

      So the way I look at it is this: I've become an upgrade refusenik from here on out. My heels are dug in, and the line has been drawn - THIS far, NO further. The version of Cinema4D I have (R12) is easily capable of photorealistic renders, it can do cloth simulation, hair, grass, trees, character modelling, the works - and it can render a scene so realistically it's indistinguishable from a photograph. The version of Photoshop I have also has more features than I'll ever need. The software I have now is more than capable of anything I'll want to be able to do in future. Consider - if my raytracing software can render to photorealism, why will I ever need anything more? In the past, it always fell short of photorealism, which was the Holy Grail of 3D modelling, but now that's been achieved. And with it's multicore support, this software is now set up handle however many cores I can throw at it in future: 4, 8, 32, whatever becomes available.

      Likewise, processor speeds, memory capacities, hard drive sizes, and monitor resolutions have all plateaued. I've been running 3.2 GHz cores for 8 years now, although in that time I've gone from single-core to dual-core to 4-core machines. Drive sizes have stalled in the low TB range for about the same time, and monitors have been running at 1920 x 1200 / 1080 for the same time as well. So it looks to me like the technology has finally matured and stabilised, and improvements are now incremental rather than revolutionary.

      Windows 7 x64, which I now have, can handle more than enough hard drive space, processor cores, and RAM to satisfy my requirements for years to come. I can upgrade my hardware, and continue running the same software because the software is now geared to handle the upgrades, and it does all I want.

      So I can see myself still using this same software in 10, 20, even 30 years' time. Because I've reached my ideal goals. Because the technology curve has flattened out. Because I WILL NOT hand over control of my life's work to power-crazed corporations hell-bent on raping my wallet with rentism and taking control of every aspect of my data and computing devices.

  6. tempemeaty

    Must be a blue blood blue fondling thing...

    Big Blue (IBM), supercomputer Blue Gene/Q Sequoia (IBM), The Blue Card (American Express), Blue Ray (Sony) and now Microsofts' "Blue". I seem to notice a lot of blue fondling by big wigs here. Are they trying to tell us something?

    btw if this MS "Blue" is also going to spit out the solution to Windows 8 as being an OS as a subscription service, to that I think the chaos that is Windows 8 might well have been planned in order to crowbar us all into accepting a more orderly subscription OS. (Order Out Of Chaos or From Chaos Order, "Ordo Ab Chao")

    1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Re: Must be a blue blood blue fondling thing...

      @tempemeaty

      "Big Blue (IBM), supercomputer Blue Gene/Q Sequoia (IBM), The Blue Card (American Express), Blue Ray (Sony) and now Microsofts' "Blue". I seem to notice a lot of blue fondling by big wigs here. Are they trying to tell us something?"

      I have also noticed that a lot of new bits of kit have blue lights.

      Is blue the "new green"?

  7. Beau
    Holmes

    This is a brilliant idea!

    All M$ have to do is write into the OS. "This OS will stop working on (Insert Date) unless you contact our store and pay for the new update"

    No more new releases needed, just SPs, Then they can milk the cow for ever more, for as much as they like.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Linux

      Re: This is a brilliant idea!

      They can - for sure.

      Until they come across more and more and more people like me, who go dual boot (initially) and then get the Linux system up and running with all the gear in it, and when the MS stuff fizzes out, "Well - ain't that just tooo fucking bad - for Microsoft."

      I will wait it out - even another decade or two, and then hold a "Crash and Burn Party" when MS goes bankrupt.

      Or when the competition does back to them, what they did to the competition - along with ALL of the EX customers.

  8. 404 Silver badge

    Lies...

    "One thing we were hit over the head with by Microsoft in the last few years is that the hard work on Windows 7 was done in Windows Vista while Windows 8 owed a lot to Windows 7. It’s been clear for years there are no real big features left to add to Windows: the touch-based UI was the biggest thing in Windows 8."

    Microsoft stripped out some useful bits out of Windows 7 to make Win8 easier to FB/twitter/midgetporn..... oh some things like A WIFI PROFILE MANAGER! Sorry... still twitching over that unpleasant fact.

    Trying to place things in perspective here: Windows and MacOS always tried to be an all-in-one OS model (Office and Photoshop aside), including all the little tools for doing things, trying to exclude outside vendors (Netscape, Novell, etc). Unix and Linux were basic kernel OS framework with roll your own addon software, just install what you need right now, not guessing what you might need in the future or as an oversight.

    This seems to have changed with the introduction of iOS and Android - bare OS's with just enough to get by, with monetized 'app stores' to provide software to individually customize the OS for the consumer. Pretty good model, Apple proves this everyday.

    However, I think Microsoft is trying to duplicate this success but with tweaks of their own that they believe will maximize the profit potential. Like marketing/accounting have taken over the world with the consumer as the, well, neverending consumer.

    IDK, pondering my navel this morning, it's been a long week.

    ;)

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Spearchucker Jones

        Re: Lies...

        @Eadon

        "... it also comes loaded with crapware - virus scanners, trialware, adware, nagware and god knows what else. You start out with a bloated system with all this crap taking up your RAM as in-memory "services"..."

        Sounds just like Android.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lies...

          Sounds just like Android.

          Not the Android I know: http://source.android.com/

      2. The Original Steve

        Re: Lies...

        For those unaware, MS are not ALLOWED to bundle hence the big monopoly / browser thing a while back, and the N and K editions.

        Windows does ship with a text editor, mp3 player / library, zip tool, movie player and terminal emulator.

        Win8 RT also has Office.

        No where near as comprehensive, powerful or feature rich as Linux apps that are shipped in the box, but then again - where do you get these boxes? Because the end user sure as hell isn't installing an OS themselves are they?

        MS can't bundle without being accused of abusing their market position.

        So if they do then competitors complain to the regulators, if they don't people like you moan there's little shipped with Windows....

        Can't really win this one can they? Unless you have a suggestion to keep both sides happy?

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. Spearchucker Jones
            FAIL

            Re: Lies...

            @Eadon

            I think everyone here knows you're BarryShitpeas' identical twin and that you have an intense dislike for anything from Microsoft. However you didn't answer @The Original Steve's question. Try again?

  9. Ian Easson

    It's tick-tock all over again

    I suspect the best analogy for what Microsoft is doing is Intel's "Tick-Tock" approach.

    They release a new version of Windows (and all other software, like Office) in the Fall. Then, a year later, they significantly update it. It's a free "Feature Pack" (as opposed to a "Service Pack" that just fixes bugs).

    Then. the next year, two years after the release, they come out with a new release (which, of course, you have to pay to upgrade to).

    Simple, and far more oriented to the consumer market than the enterprise market.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad marketing name

    Blue wave could = Blue Wave Of Death if they get it wrong.

  11. jason 7
    Meh

    " hyping new versions for more money or ensuring old versions of Windows quickly run out of support"

    But it you look more closely MS doesn't really do that. When does official full support for XP finish? Thats 12 years old already. Not exactly putting a gun to users heads is it?

    Every version of Windows I've bought since XP has cost me less.

    1. Jason Hindle

      Re: Shhhhhhh.......

      There are those here who like to bash MSFT like it's 1999.

      1. jason 7
        Facepalm

        Re: Shhhhhhh.......

        Yeah its odd. A version of Ubuntu I installed in 2010 was screaming at me that it was no longer supported just a few months ago. Had to install a new version which surprise surprise had a new UI to it!

        But that's all okay I guess as it's linux.

        One rule for one........

  12. Captain TickTock
    Coat

    Blackcomb?

    With a silent 'l'?

    As cool as ;-)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Why "Windows" 8

    With the future UI, Metro, you can't have proper "windows". Back to MS-DOS, one program at a time.

    All the joys of M.B.A. I assume.

    Go Steve, go ! You are close to achieving the ultimate goal !

  14. John LS
    Coat

    lawsuit

    from IBM as they have trademarked Blue on anything computerish

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Too vague

      Thrifty Rent A Car tried that already for a service mark. Application was rejected as too vague AND upheld on appeal. Doubt IBM could do much better.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Too vague

        Cadbury claims to own "the colour purple" in the legalese on all its wrappers.

  15. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Features....

    So previous Windows version have been reactions to evolving security concerns, or to support or take advantage of newer and more powerful hardware. So far, the main argument for getting Win 8 over 7 seems to be: "Ignore Metro, and you have native USB 3 support and a Storage Spaces LVM that might be handy". Hmm useful maybe, but not exciting... if I had the hardware I might pay £10 for it, maybe.

    -Multiple Desktops would be nice.

    -A Taskbar that doesn't pop up just because some updater wants attention (obscuring the notification panel of whatever application I am using)

    - An LVM that does what OSX's Fusion or ZFS does (use a combination of HDD and SSD intelligently for system and regularly used files, invisibly to the user). MS's Storage Spaces can't be used on boot drives.

    - A re-design of the built-in back up utility. At the moment, it isn't made clear whether subsequent disk images overwrite older ones, or add to them. Running it without performing a virus check first can cause it fail part way through. OSX's Time Machine does it well.

    -MS have had an alternative hardware-specific GUI in Windows for years- called Media Centre. It knew its place. The best place for Metro would be on a second screen. Maybe things like the LeapMotion controller will become popular enough down the line to merit native OS support.

    -Computer to use phone or tablet as second display/HID

    -A system-wide 'current project' selector, that changes default application's default open/save locations, and their 'recent documents lists. This could be achieved through the use of multiple desktops - so one desktop could be designated "Client: Mr Blog's Bakery" and another "My accounts". A spreadsheet would change its behaviour depending on which desktop it was opened in. There could also be a 'Play' desktop, with short-cuts for games and videos, and which has its own screen brightness setting and audio settings. "We are all several users"

  16. Mage Silver badge
    Flame

    Since 2001 or 2003

    Approximately

    MS releases have been Bloatware, tinkering and using the major changes in the wrong direction. I doubt I will be buying any more MS. I used to even pay for MSDN / Technet and the entire space under the bed is MS CDs going back to 1994. Every major application, IDE and OS till 2003. Then we cancelled.

    They are spending a vast amount and achieving little. No vision either. Trying to ape Amazon Cloud, iOS walled gardens and Touchy Feely Tablets (which are really only useful for Personal Video, Web & email) won't work.

  17. Petrossa
    Flame

    Future Computer User

    I want to install program VeryNice

    Windows Store: VeryNice? Sorry we don't sell that. Try our special offer off Windows ExtraNice at $$ extra.

    But i want VeryNice.

    Windows Store: Tough excrement bud. You can only use Store to install programs.

  18. Jason Hindle

    The subscription model could be made to work

    The pricing would need to be attractive and Microsoft could make money from one off charges for none core features of the OS. Such a model might also avoid the peaks and troughs in income associated with Microsoft's traditional business model. Investors are often a bit too thick to understand that. A model with a nice, steady (but growing) income stream is, OTOH, easy to understand.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    agile

    Isn't this just agile rather than waterfall dev?

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: agile

      It's related to the "every iteration ends with a working product" tenet of agile development, yes. Whether it owes anything to agile-development philosophy, or was inspired by other influences, is a question only Microsoft could answer.

      I suspect a significant majority of agile practitioners, even those who adopt the "every iteration a working product" goal, don't commit to shipping the result of every iteration (or committing it to the release channel, or whatever they do to announce it as the official latest-and-greatest release for general consumption). The idea is to avoid the sort of project that flounders for months or years and never produces working code, to be flexible enough to put something in place if deadlines change, and to be able to demonstrate at least some functionality to product owners and other stakeholders.

      And, of course, there are nearly as many interpretations of "agile development" as there are self-styled agile developers.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "Only Blue isn’t a new version of Windows. Instead it is the name given to a raft "

    They are going to need a raft. All their main ships have already sunk. It has better be a big raft, so that big sweaty balmer has enough room to runaround on it..

  21. Hal Berenson

    From a business perspective upgrades of operating systems on existing non-enterprise PCs is non-material to Microsoft. Nearly all Windows revenue comes from sales to OEMs and from Enterprise Agreements/Software Assurance. This frees them to play around quite a bit with the pricing model for retail upgrades. The actual difficulty on the upgrade front is that if all upgrades are free, or super low cost, how do you get Enterprises to purchase Software Assurance? I think we saw one approach with the Windows 8 launch, you make cheap upgrades available for a limited time window (thus capturing the bulk of people who really care) and then return to more traditional pricing. But there could be other ways.

    Imagine that 3 years of a variant of Software Assurance are included with every OEM and retail copy of WIndows. So any updates, including new versions, of WIndows that ship within 3 years of your device purchase are free. After three years you must pay for new versions. This very much would approximate Microsoft's current revenue cycles while adapting them to the demands of the consumer market. Alternating "Updates" and "New Releases", as Ian Easson also mentioned, is another option though I don't think I'd do it quite as mechanically as that. I'd base declaring something a New Release rather than an Update depending on some key new capabilities.

    But this article wasn't about the revenue situation, it was about how Microsoft has a marketing rythm that is driven by infrequent big honking releases. After decades of operating this way will they be able to generate excitement with an annual release cycle that by definition offers a more gradual evolution of the product?

    A likely consequence of the new release strategy is that each release will actually contain a larger number of user-visible improvements, and particularly small "delighters", than its traditional big releases. The big releases often get focused on major infrastructure upgrades with the user-visible improvements lost both in the planning process and then those that make it into WIndows get lost in the messaging. On the former, imagine a planning session where the networking team decides it can't do customer request #7 because it has to rewrite the entire network stack to support IPv666. And even if it does both then which is going to get all the attention? It's hard for anyone to notice feature #7 when the entire networking world is going to hell.

    Microsoft's ability to make noise every year rather than every three years is, in my mind, much more positive of an opportunity than the risk exposed by the author. There are probably 10 rather small but significant changes to WIndows 8 that would significantly move the experience forward, generate positive buzz from pundits, and feed user lust IF they are available within a year of the original release. If you take those same items and leave them for three years then the typical case is that no one cares. In the worst case they become negatives ("It's about time Microsoft, you should have done this three years ago") as reminders that Microsoft wasn't reacting quickly enough to its users' needs.

    So there is great opportunity for Microsoft to actually generate bigger and better buzz around annual release cycles than the three year monsters. The real question is, can their marketing organizations adapt to this and take full advantage of it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the revenue situation

      From a business perspective upgrades ...

      TL;DR.

      To summarize, M$FT's monopoly dependant bussiness model is fatally hemorrhaging, but with a little PR turd polish they hope to stem the decline of their share price. Maybe.

  22. Tyrion
    Mushroom

    Bye Bye Microsoft

    Its desktop monopoly is crumbling, every attempt to get a foothold in the mobile market has failed spectacularly, and the enterprise's stuck on decade old software and refuses to downgrade to Microsoft's latest tragedy. All in all, things are looking bright in the computer industry for the first time in years. We have the Pi, GNU/Linux's meteoric rise, Chrome OS, Android, and slew of other FOSS initiatives progressing nicely.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FUD, right?

    Something might be about to happen. Several things, even --- and they might be on the same day. It'll be big, maybe it'll be blue, but not Big Blue of course.

    FUD.

  24. W. Anderson

    waves of Blue to Red

    The planned move by Microsoft - called Blue - to subscription base model for it's Operating System (OS) software and applications income, similar in concept (I guess) to Office 365 offering has the potential of also producing much more Red (from $losses) since the whole concept of Software-as-a-Service or Cloud Computing also puts Microsoft at a disadvantage of "reduced reliance and dependence" on the Microsoft brands and products by all computer users, particularly thousands of enterprises .

    Already this is happening where many entities - corporations, governments and academia can be just as or more productive with no or much reduced Microsoft Windows and Office purchases and maintenance fees. That also means much less revenue to tune of hundreds of millions or billions of $dollars.

    Just today, I learned that Microsoft Bing has fallen behind the Russian Yandex Search services to fourth place, that further exacerbates their online ad revenue stream. How sad is that. Redmond's dominance and automatic cash cows of yore are disappearing quickly, and except for the $multi-billions invested in the company by large pension funds and "paid for" politicians in Washington (via 90+ lobbyists), they may have gone south before now.

  25. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Oh, so like .NET?

    Oh, so like .NET? Not the present-day .NET (Common Language Runtime and C#). Like .NET years ago, when they were going to have Server .NET, .NET web services, .NET programming language, .NET desktop, .NET ID stuff, Vistual Studio .NET (this one actually shipped..), Office .NET, and on and on.

    I have nothing else to say really. Just, I've seen it before -- I guess they can go ahead and call everything "blue" if they want. It'll just make it all that much more confusing for people relying on Microsoft products and services.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Oh, so like .NET?

      Yes, this could just be a branding exercise, like the flurry of "Everything .NET" back in the day. (I still have my collection of MSDN CD-ROMs with Windows.NET, Visual Studio .NET, etc.) That would be largely uninteresting and likely quickly discarded and forgotten by most customers.

      Or it could be a branding exercise and a move to a more rapid release schedule, with automatic rolling updates rather than monolithic upgrades, like we have with, say, Firefox these days. That has advantages and disadvantages, and it's too early to say whether it'd be better overall for most customers.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Air Gaps

    One thing that always seems to be missing on these comments is the fact that some businesses run with an air gap. With my previous employer we ran multiple networks, of differing security levels (guess what industry). It was a pain in the ar$s manually registering Windows and Office via telephone then, as we have no Internet connection. With these refreshes and new subscription models, how does that work 'offline'?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: Air Gaps

      I think Microsoft forgets there are sometimes very good reasons some networks do not connect to the Internet.

      Unfortunately the major OS vendors forget this.

  27. Tony Paulazzo
    Devil

    Fud!

    Fud fud fud fnord fud.

    FACTS:

    MS has lost its way.

    Linux is a viable OS.

    MS Office 2013 is a UI abortion approaching Win8s colossal failure as a desktop UI (and what other improvements has it actually undergone?).

    MS Office 2003 / 2007 / 2010 were fine (the non collapsible ribbon in 2k7 was 'fixed' in 2010).

    I've personally never had a Google doc formatted incorrectly in MS Word of Excel (or vice versa).

    Photoshop is more popular than Gimp because it's what you learned to use as a kid - same could be said for Microsoft, especially now that MS have killed Windows (replaced them with Flat Boxes - tm).

    What would I have done as a monolithic software company? do what Google did, get my hardware partners to build the Surface Pro to my specifications and not released the RT, ensure each machine came with a years subscription to the new Office subscription model (lock in), and the basic keyboard (extra for the better version) and still kept the price down to $1000 (oh yea, and the Win8 Flat Boxes tm would have an optional start menu built in - just like XP and Vista gave the user the option of emulating their old version... and I wouldn't have just sacked the UI designers of Office 2013, I'd have dropped 'em into a piranha filled tank in my office).

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft are doomed. I agree with the comments about Google and the rest decreasing MS power in the marketplace. In addition, they will push Hyper-v to decrease VMware markets share to the point that they will shoot themselves in the foot as Google will simply buy VMware and give vSphere away for free and strenghten the rest of the VMware ecosystem.

    MS are too late, too little. Look at the recent paradigm shift Blackberry has done with Blackberry 10. This software is so good it has killed Windows phone overnight and shaken the likes of Apple and Samsung and Android. It shows shows how fast the software development is moving into a very rapid sophisticated and very thin OS driven ecosystem.

    MS and windows is fat code!, Google, VMware, Red Hat, Openstack, Evernote will finally put the sword into Microsoft. Game over.

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