Re: I see the Xmas spirit has run dry...
Has it turned around, though?
Investors aren't always very bright. In the 1990s, anyone with some silly idea could hang out a shingle and have investors lining up to throw money at people that have never run a business, and who don't have a product or a business plan. If they got out at the right time, they got rich instantly, even though their business, per se, never existed. That's how we got the dot-com bubble.
A similar thing happened with real estate prices in the US in the years leading up to 2008. Investors thought the only way to go was up; real estate prices were skyrocketing, but they still thought it was a good investment to buy a property for $300k now that used to cost $150k a few years ago, because it was just gonna keep going up and up and up...
Irrational exuberance and excitement on the part of foolish investors can drive stock prices up, but it's only temporary unless there is something of value backing up all the hype. What does Microsoft have? They've managed to squander all of the trust they'd gained since they supposedly became the new, nicer, non-predatory Microsoft. They've made themselves the most hated company in the world to their own users! It's the people from outside looking in that think they see innovation; from the inside, it looks like being thrown under the bus.
How much can you abuse your customers before it causes harm to the company? Surely, whatever the answer, it would be something less than what MS has already done to its customers. That, I will admit, MS has turned around; I would say more of Microsoft's long-time users than ever before now hate and distrust MS.
It's true that MS has spared its valuable enterprise customers from the abuse... but I would have to imagine there would be some bleedover effect. Surely many PHBs somewhere have heard all of the negativity about Windows 10 and decided not to upgrade at this time because of it, instead waiting to see if Windows 7 gets an extension on updates like XP did. Maybe all of the aggression MS has shown its home customers has given some PHBs pause about trusting such a company for their cloud services; there's always Amazon, Google, and others.
It seems to me that abusing their home and SOHO users is bound to harm Microsoft's relationship with the customers that actually still matter to them (the corporate ones). It hasn't shown yet; we're still in the irrational exuberance phase now. For all this talk of innovation, I just don't see it... the cloud is nothing new. It's just a new name for something we've had for decades! Windows 10 isn't innovative... it's crap. As I just posted in another thread (in a triumph of sarcasm and snark), at the rate of growth Windows 10 has shown since the end of the free upgrade, it will take it 36 years to reach parity with Windows 7.
If 10 was any good, MS would not have had to force home users to take it for FREE. Now that there's no more upgrade push, any increase in Win 10 market share will be nearly entirely the result of sales of new PCs with Win 10 preinstalled, and Windows 10 will continue to be a drag on those sales.
I am beginning to think MS may be backed into a corner again regarding security updates, as they were with XP. For all of the talk of MS not wanting 7 to be the next XP, it's shaping up to be a lot worse... when XP support was set to end, there was still another "good" version of Windows out there for people to migrate to (and a lot did). There's no such good version waiting for people upgrading FROM 7, though, and that means a lot of the people who (sometimes reluctantly) moved on from XP will not be moving on from 7. I know I won't, if 10 doesn't make a big U-turn before it's time to give up 7!