Microsoft stranded

  • Posted: 20 January 2011 03:17 PM #16

    What’s fascinating to me is thinking about the future of all the Windows programs that have been developed for enterprise applications throughout nearly every business.  Check out what’s on the computer at a restaurant, a laundry, a doctor’s office, etc.  All very good, stable business for Microsoft, beyond the Office suite, as it would be extremely difficult for each of these operations to switch to another platform, right?  My guess is to the contrary, with IOS and the mobile devices that Apple has provided.  Developers now are creating new applications that will eventually begin to cover virtually any business need, beyond the most customized, allowing the smart phone and tablet to replace or supplant the desktop in the hands of employees.  Microsoft hasn’t grasped this most obvious development, but rests on the cash flow from a largely outdated paradigm.  It won’t happen overnight, but we have watched the gradual decline for some time, and see no indication that the corporation has grasped a clue.  Every time I turn on my PC at work, I am able to actually accomplish a few tasks on my iPad before the desktop even boots Windows.

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  • Posted: 20 January 2011 03:33 PM #17

    geoduck - 20 January 2011 03:59 PM
    Mercel - 20 January 2011 05:24 AM

    You could create your own Excel and Word-like products and make them free and people would rightly reject them both if it required them to learn a new interface.

    I don’t know if I agree with that. What you’ve described is OpenOffice. My company has almost completely moved to OO. I’ve written my last couple of books on OO. For most people OO does everything they need. It now has as much as 20% penetration in some countries, 9% in the US (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenOffice.org#Market_share) MS is losing their grip on Office and once that goes I see Windows crumbling as well.

    WinPhone7 is DOA IMO. It just cannot compete with Android. Free with more features beats expensive with fewer features every time.
    Win7 has only done well only because Vista was so terrible. I know a lot of people still using XP (my company laptop is still XP).
    Win Server is good but in my company we’re deploying more Linux Servers.
    Office is expensive so it’s biggest competitor is old versions of Office.

    Ballmer has screwed up everything he’s touched. I hope he stays where he is for a very long time.

    The MS era is fading. They’ll exist for a long time but they will never have the stranglehold on the industry they had in the late ‘90s.

    Maybe that’s what Apple’s cash hoard is for. They are waiting and in another 5 years they will buy MS. Then they can liquidate it and give the money back to the shareholders. :eg:

    Perfect take!

         
  • Posted: 20 January 2011 03:40 PM #18

    Using MS Office because it works with MS Office is kind of like the people who used to be on Hollywood Squares.  Most of them were famous for being famous.  It’s like a perpetual motion machine.  It just keeps imperceptibly winding down.  The “stars” on Hollywood Squares are now long gone and so it will go with Office.  It will only take a 10% to 20% penetration by some other office suite that is compatible with something other than itself to start the ball rolling.  Unless Microsoft reinvents itself it is doomed.

         
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    Posted: 20 January 2011 03:42 PM #19

    MS has been in a free fall in terms of new ideas and maintaining their market share as of lately. I would dare say since Gates left.

    I think Apple is wise in taking precautionary measures to prevent something similar since observing stock movement related to the health issues of Jobs in the last few years.

    Although, I have am starting to wonder when the news is official of Jobs retirement, will Google start eating away at Apple or will the current staff transition well and be able to maintain or grow the momentum they have built up till now.

         
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    Posted: 20 January 2011 03:52 PM #20

    richardlo - 20 January 2011 07:42 PM

    MS has been in a free fall in terms of new ideas and maintaining their market share as of lately. I would dare say since Gates left

    I’ve had a suspicion for a few years now that Gates left because he could see the future (if so it might be the first time though.)

    I’ve wondered if he understood that MS had peaked and he wanted to get out and go onto something else before it happened. That way Gates has billions and he can run around being the philanthropist and ‘great man’ while Balmer gets the blame. If he’d stayed Gates would no longer be the industry darling and ‘genius’.

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  • Posted: 20 January 2011 04:01 PM #21

    Zeke - 19 January 2011 08:55 PM

    People will put up with dysfunctional software and hardware for a while, mainly because it’s painful to change.  But sooner or later they move on.  This is now “later”.

    It started slow and it has snowballed.  Now it’s an avalanche.

    You should read “Inside the Tornado: Marketing in the Silicon Valley”.  It describes the process of a paradigm shift from early adopter through mass adoption by the “herd”.  They call that final stage a “Tornado”.

    I think that screeching, howling sound we hear is the tornado fast approaching.  It should be upon us in full strength in 2012.  I hope Steve is still here, that he can see it happen.

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  • Posted: 20 January 2011 04:23 PM #22

    xmattingly - 20 January 2011 07:12 PM

    Microsoft’s problem is actually fairly similar to Sony’s.

    I think Microsoft’s next logical step is to circle the wagons… and Ballmer still just doesn’t get it.

    Steve said it a long time ago.  In the evolution of leadership at companies across the board, its the sales guy that successfully opened Latin American markets, that gets promoted to CEO.  When that happens all innovation stops and the strategy becomes ‘milking’ the product lines for all they’re worth.

    You can see this at MSFT.  Ballmer took over 11 years ago, and anything that may have been innovative stopped dead in its tracks.

    What Ballmer should have embarked on (without fanfare) was the development of a new, scaleable OS that could be leveraged across multiple platforms.  Instead, he tried to further ‘milk’ Windows with Vista.

    The difference in strategy between Apple and MSFT is stark.  In 2000 Apple introduced such an OS in the form of UNIX based MacOSX.  That OS is the heart of everything that Apple has done since then.

    MSFT’s efforts are horribly fragmented, while Apple’s is fully integrated.

    The ultimate solution for MSFT is to get rid of Ballmer and recognize that they are going to lose massive market share while they retrench.  If they’re lucky, they will salvage 50% market share, but Ballmer has got to go (hope he sticks around for at least another year).

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  • Posted: 20 January 2011 04:30 PM #23

    geoduck - 20 January 2011 07:52 PM

    I’ve had a suspicion for a few years now that Gates left because he could see the future (if so it might be the first time though.)

    I’ve wondered if he understood that MS had peaked and he wanted to get out and go onto something else before it happened. That way Gates has billions and he can run around being the philanthropist and ‘great man’ while Balmer gets the blame. If he’d stayed Gates would no longer be the industry darling and ‘genius’.

    I agree wholeheartedly.  Look at the timing of Gates departure.  Wasn’t shortly after the last anti-trust trial?  Gates knew that he could no longer force the market to buy his crap.  Without that power he left for greener pastures, and screwed his ‘friend’ in the process.

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  • Posted: 20 January 2011 05:03 PM #24

    Gregg Thurman - 20 January 2011 08:23 PM

    Steve said it a long time ago.  In the evolution of leadership at companies across the board, its the sales guy that successfully opened Latin American markets, that gets promoted to CEO.  When that happens all innovation stops and the strategy becomes ‘milking’ the product lines for all they’re worth.

    You can see this at MSFT.  Ballmer took over 11 years ago, and anything that may have been innovative stopped dead in its tracks.

    What Ballmer should have embarked on (without fanfare) was the development of a new, scaleable OS that could be leveraged across multiple platforms.  Instead, he tried to further ‘milk’ Windows with Vista.

    My understanding was that Cairo and Longhorn were both failed attempts at exactly that.  When it became obvious that Longhorn would never realize it’s goals they defaulted to Win Server 2003.  I’ve told friends that they would only have to start paying attention to what Microsoft was doing when they read that a new effort had been launched to extend Windows from a Unix kernal.  I think it’s too late even for that.

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    Posted: 20 January 2011 06:18 PM #25

    For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives

    (!?!), read on….


    At a recent computer expo (COMDEX),Bill Gates reportedly compared
    the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, 


    ‘If FORD had kept up with technology like the computer industry has,
    we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.’

    In response to Bill’s comments, FORD issued a press release

    stating:


    If FORD had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be
    driving cars with the following characteristics

     

    1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash…
    Twice a day.


    2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.


    3.  Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason.
    You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of
    the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the
    windows before you could continue. For some reason you would
    simply accept this.


    4. Occasionally, executing a manoeuvre such as a left turn would
    cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you
    would have to reinstall the engine.


    5.  Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was
    reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but
    would run on only five percent of the roads.


    6 The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would
    all be replaced by a single ‘This Car Has Performed An Illegal
    Operation’ warning light. 


    7.  The airbag system would ask ‘Are you sure?’ before deploying.


    8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you
    out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door
    handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna. 

     

    9.  Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how
    to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner
    as the old car.

     

    10.  You’d have to press the ‘Start’ button to turn the engine off

         
  • Posted: 21 January 2011 12:47 AM #26

    Microsoft?s two biggest money makers are, by far, Windows and Office. I would arge that both Windows and Office are stranded on mouse driven devices. I think Windows Phone 7 is going to be Microsoft?s Zune. It?s a very nice device that will never get much market share. And Microsoft could surprise me any day now, but so far they appear to be clueless when it comes to tablets. And it doesn?t much matter anyway. Neither their phone nor their tablet will ever successfully run anything resembling the Windows operating system or Microsofts? office suite. Microsoft will have to start from scratch without their two monoplies. And they?re simply not capable of doing that.

    Now many would arge that being stranded in on a mouse driven operating systems is like being stranded in North America. It?s not really all that bad. I disagree. All of the action these days is in mobile. Phones and tablets are taking off and pretty soon the polarity is going to reversed and instead of IT departments asking if a software package is compatible with their desktop PCs, they?re going to be asking if their software packages are compatible with their phones and tablets. And when that day happens, the answer for both Windows and Offices is going to be a resounding ?no?.

    And I think this changover is going to be much faster than most people think. The iPhone is only three and a half years old and it has devastated Nokia. The parellels are far from identical, but I believe that the iPad is going to do to Microsoft what the iPhone did to Nokia.

    You say that the world is too dependent on Microsoft technology? Really? People who rely upon archiac Microsoft computers to run their businesses today will jump over to iPads in a heatbeat. And when the time comes to shed their Windows and Office chains, people will do it with a song in their hearts. Microsoft products are not loved, they are tolerated.

    Without the promise universal software compatibility, Windows has nothing to offer. And without the ability to translate to mobile devices, Office is going to become a dinosaur - pecked to death by a thousand mobile Apps. The Mac has less than 10% market share at this time. Once the Mac breaks 10% and starts to rapidly rise toward 20% people will realize that Microsoft’s days are numbered. But we don’t have to wait. We can start counting the days right now.

         
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    Posted: 21 January 2011 03:58 AM #27

    It?s late and this ain?t elegant; threw this together during commercial breaks whilst watching Carrie and Shawn of the Dead, but here goes:

    Microsoft is the horse and buggy; Apple the horseless carriage
    Microsoft is leaches and sulphur purges; Apple, hand washing and penicillin
    Microsoft is vaudeville; Apple, moving pictures
    Microsoft is whale oil lamps; Apple is kerosene, coal gas and electricity
    Microsoft is dinosaurs; Apple is mammals

    This is fun. I could go on forever, but you get the point.
    Oh, alright. Since you insist. One more.

    Microsoft is XBox, Zune, Windows OS, Office, business as usual;  Apple is iMac Air, iPod touch, IPhone, iPad, ATV, iTunes & App Store, Apple Store, OSX, IOS, Apps, and the two biggest eyes of all, seamless Integration and Imagination.
    That was fun, too.

    Microsoft will continue to make reams of money off its 2 main money making software products but at struggling levels and maybe, if we?re lucky, its wannabe Google killing search engine, Bing; Apple will continue its exponential growth through out the Americas, Europe the Middle & Far East and it?s trump card, China. Not sure of India; but India can?t be forgotten and may parallel or even surpass China around 2020. And who knows, all this earthly ruckus might be the trick card that persuades extraterrestrials to finally give up their game and show themselves to normal people with credit cards in hand or what ever they use to hold their credit cards.

    Has everyone observed, but been politer than I to note that Bosco has been surprisingly quiet as of late.

    All in all, it?s been a very good week.

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    Posted: 21 January 2011 04:03 AM #28

    Gregg Thurman - 20 January 2011 08:23 PM

    MSFT’s efforts are horribly fragmented, while Apple’s is fully integrated.

    The ultimate solution for MSFT is to get rid of Ballmer and recognize that they are going to lose massive market share while they retrench.  If they’re lucky, they will salvage 50% market share, but Ballmer has got to go (hope he sticks around for at least another year).

    The fragmented/integrated comment is well said, but you can’t blame all of Microsoft’s failures solely on Ballmer. There are a lot of incompetent managers there, with a lot of different projects going on, that are helping the company to continue spinning its wheels.

    By way of comparison, should Steve Jobs be blamed for the failure of MobileMe? He didn’t oversee it. He didn’t manage it. And he didn’t beta test it. But when it went to market and wasn’t working right, he publicly apologized and got one of his reliable guns, Eddie Cue on the project. While that’s a difference between him and Ballmer, neither can be omnisciently aware of everything that’s going on in the company or should be directly blamed for all of its shortcomings. Anyway, how could you possibly know how much market share either by keeping him around or canning him?

    geoduck - 20 January 2011 08:23 PM

    I?ve wondered if he understood that MS had peaked and he wanted to get out and go onto something else before it happened. That way Gates has billions and he can run around being the philanthropist and ?great man? while Balmer gets the blame.

    I’m of the belief that Gates and his wife both realized that having more money than god means that a) it’s meaningless to die in a golden tomb, and that b) they can do a lot of good in the world through philanthropy. Maybe Bill Gates burned out, maybe not, but I certainly do not believe he left with the sense of leaving the company in decline.

         
  • Posted: 21 January 2011 06:59 AM #29

    Without paying much attention to it, I now realize I’ve nearly stopped using Office.

    The iPad is now my primary computing device, and it forced me to learn Pages and Keynote. Maybe these are even better products than Word and PPT, but I don’t care.  The important thing is, they are good enough.

    So, bye bye Office.

    And without Office, MS is toast.

    We are early adopters, and we need to recognize that this is going to take YEARS to play out, but as Apple sells hundreds of millions of iOS devices, the pungent stench of burning toast is going to get hard to ignore.

    [ Edited: 21 January 2011 07:02 AM by macorange ]      
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    Posted: 21 January 2011 12:43 PM #30

    macorange - 21 January 2011 10:59 AM

    Without paying much attention to it, I now realize I’ve nearly stopped using Office.

    The iPad is now my primary computing device, and it forced me to learn Pages and Keynote. Maybe these are even better products than Word and PPT, but I don’t care.  The important thing is, they are good enough.

    So, bye bye Office.

    And without Office, MS is toast.

    We are early adopters, and we need to recognize that this is going to take YEARS to play out, but as Apple sells hundreds of millions of iOS devices, the pungent stench of burning toast is going to get hard to ignore.

    Is Excel that most folks couldn’t leave.

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