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3 Reasons Microsoft Is Losing The Plot [Opinion]

James Bruce 18-05-2012

3 Reasons Microsoft Is Losing The Plot [Opinion] featured microsoft crazyAre we in the midst of the final days of Microsoft as we know it? Feedback from tech professionals about Metro UI has been predominantly negative so far, but that’s the least of our worries if recent trends are any indication of the future. Here, dear readers, are 3 reasons why I think Microsoft is truly losing, if it has not lost already, the proverbial plot.


Taking DVD Playback and Media Center Out of Windows 8

In a bold move to apparently benefit consumers, Microsoft announced that DVD playback would not be a part of Windows 8. This saves a whopping $2 in licensing fees, which would be unfair to consumers purchasing Windows 8 for netbooks and other DVD-less devices.

In order to get DVD playback, and the Media Center add-on, you’ll need to upgrade with the Windows 8 Pro Pack. Unless you already have Windows 8 Pro pre-installed, in which case you’ll still need to buy the Windows 8 Media Center Pack. Wait, what? Yes, regardless of which version you’ll buy, the Media Center and DVD playback upgrade will only be available via a – dare I say itin app upgrade. There is no ‘ultimate’ version which includes everything.

3 Reasons Microsoft Is Losing The Plot [Opinion] upgrade path media center

Now while I accept their claim that Media Center itself – a wonderful PVC solution for your living room that I lauded before The Best PVR: Windows Media Center! Despite the perceived image of Microsoft as a lumbering beast with bloated software that ships full of bugs, they have actually produced some fine software over the years. Today I’d like to highlight Windows Media... Read More – is only used by a very small percentage of users; I believe those users are incredibly loyal, and quite vocal in the community at large – the kind of people you really want on your side, in fact. For them, upgrading from Windows 7 will mean losing that functionality. As one commenter on Microsoft’s blog put it:

This is another extraordinarily bad move with Windows 8. What will happen to people who upgrade from Windows 7? Will [they] lose the ability to playback DVD’s with Windows Media Player? Will they lose Windows Media Centre? What happens to their recorded TV shows? What about their schedules, libraries? Media Centre Extenders?

Futhermore, it’s downright confusing for consumers. If they go and purchase a computer, with a DVD drive, they would reasonably expect it to play DVDs.


For me, they’re going to have to provide an incredibly compelling reason to upgrade and then pay the extra for Media Center. I actually think the new Metro UI is a perfect fit for a media center machine powering a 50″ plasma TV, which is why the decision to not include it by default is even more troubling. Unless there are new features and a beautiful UI, I’m not upgrading. Simple. So far, there’s been absolutely nothing said, or shown, about the new Media Center – if it is indeed new at all.

Ridiculous Branding Strategies

Remember MSN Messenger and Microsoft Hotmail? Then Hotmail become Windows Live Hotmail; not to be confused with Windows Live Mail (easy to mix the two there, isn’t it?), which is in fact the desktop application that superseded Outlook Express. Windows Live Mail can be used to access your Windows Live Hotmail, or regular old Hotmail, or any other email for that matter. MSN Messenger became just Messenger, but part of the Windows Live Essentials package. Add in Xbox LIVE to the mix, just for funsies.

3 Reasons Microsoft Is Losing The Plot [Opinion] ms account

It did finally seem like a consistent branding was emerging though – you use a Windows Live ID to access everything, from Live Hotmail and Xbox Live, to Skydrive. Excellent.


But now Windows Live ID is no more. It’s all going to be rebranded under the new Microsoft Account. Not the catchiest of names, but at least the issues associated with simply tacking on the word Live to every service will be fixed, right?

Err, no. You see, you’ve actually just replaced the rather catchy Live name, with Account. That doesn’t really solve anything, Microsoft. Rather than working to strengthen the Live brand and make everything more consistent, you’ve simply confused consumers. Again. You’re going to have people using Windows Live Mail on their desktop to log in to their MSN Hotmail accounts, using their Microsoft Account ID.

Chris Jones, group VP for the Windows Live team writes:

“Windows 8 provides us with an opportunity to re-imagine our approach to services and software and to design them to be a seamless part of the Windows experience, accessible in Windows desktop apps, Windows Metro style apps, standard web browsers, and on mobile devices,”

It might all be a seamless experience for users running Windows 8, but if initial impressions are anything to go by, very few people are going to buy into your brightly colored tiles for their home PC; you’ll be left with an even more fragmented and confused user base. Not a problem for you of course – but it is for those of us who deal in any kind of tech support; so thanks for that.


Full of Innovation, and Very Little Else

Over the years, we’ve seen so much unbelievable cool stuff come out of Microsoft Research. The Photosynth tool for making pseudo 3D tours from thousands of static images; that was immensely cool. It was also built using Silverlight, which is now dead.  Apologies to all those developers who spent years learning the amazing new rich media platform; that’s what you get for backing Microsoft. Are you going to risk developing for Windows 8?

How about Microsoft Surface,  the incredible interactive table that first “surfaced” to light (sorry) in mid-2007; one would have thought it would have been commercialized to the point of being in every home right now. Instead, it retains the old $9000 price tag – as an obscure and niche product, and I can’t honestly say I’ve ever seen one in the wild. Imagine all the developers who might have jumped on board with that. Luckily the NUI community is always on hand to help with DIY Surface-clones; and the iPad is doing a pretty good job of satisfying everyone’s touchable computing desires. Here’s hoping the Google Glass project Actually, Google's Project Glass Concept Video Is Possible [Opinion] Google recently released a concept video for their Project Glass. Today I'd like to take a closer look at the technical feasibility of these real-life Google Goggles; what we know; and why this concept video... Read More won’t go the same route.

Should we dare to mention the Courier? It was an amazing prototype device that would have rivaled the iPad had it have been released within a few months; sadly it was killed mid 2010, for reasons that it didn’t “align with the Windows and Office franchises” (it was running a customized version of Windows). Never fear though, at least a Courier-like app arrived on the iPad.

In fairness to Microsoft, Apple has also made some pretty dramatic decisions that seemed insane at the time, and later turned out to be spot on. Users lamented the lack of Flash on the iPad, but Adobe themselves ceased development of Flash on mobile; everyone is moving to the HTML5 media standards. No physical keyboard on the iPhone? Apparently that wasn’t such a big deal after all.


So I say good for you Microsoft, for finally plucking up enough courage to make these bold, and seemingly insane decisions. I commend your efforts; I just happen to think you’ve made all the wrong bold decisions – and it’s going to cost you dearly.

What do you think dear reader? Let me know in the comments about how little I actually know about the tech industry; then feel free to steer the discussion to how Apple is an evil corporation that hires child labor and churns out locked consumer devices that are ruining the open-technology foundations upon which all of modern computing was built – at least Microsoft isn’t Apple, eh?!

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  1. Glenn Oneill
    November 13, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I think that Micro$oft removing a feature like media center that i in my opinion i already paid for when i bought windows 7
    then offering to sell it back is driven by $$$$ nothing more & nothing less
    lucky i have a spare windows 7 pro key in case i want to build a htpc

    many of those "very small percentage of users" have multiple PC's but the htpc in a loungeroom

    having to use a start button program to add old functions back & avoid the horrid metro garbage (shiny things for stupid people interface)
    is one thing but this is a deal breaker for me

  2. Shmuel Mendelsohn
    August 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    It reminds me of the old joke which I'm sure you all have heard - If Microsoft made cars. If you want a steering wheel you need to buy an upgrade. Every now and then it would stop for no visible reason, and you'd have to reboot it, etc.

  3. Ruben Fitch
    August 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    What ever happened to Games for Windows?

  4. Cliff Mccullar
    July 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    As a guy that grew up with DOS and windows ive been around the block in the windows world. that being said their idea of how to brand is confusing even to me, and i have to explain the differences to end users when half the time i dont know! to start with look at XP. you have home, and you have pro. ok cool. few differences, easy to remember and even your basic user gets what functionality they are gaining/loosing between the 2. Then we get Vista. 6 different versions? hell i couldnt tell you all the features of each different version or even all their names off the top of my head. how the hell is the end user going to know the difference? Thing is they seem to be doing this more and more, removing features that are programmed in and deactivated so they can make an extra buck. (re dvd removal) While no i dont use windows media player for movies(larger footprint than VLC, more of a pain to play wide range of formats etc) i still get that a number of people have/do use it and like it, and will now be in search of an alternative, all so they can make an extra dollar or two on a OS that is already the most expensive on the market.

    • AnthonyG
      July 31, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      What's the point of having several verions to start with?

      I think there are several things Microsoft (and other it-companies) should reconsider.

      1.Just as in your car the steering wheel is used to turn and the pedals to control speed in their arangement. There simply are things you shouldn't be changing, things you can't improve on.

      2.Several versions of your OS is actually just market segregation. It's a fancy way of taking consumer value. I think it's a mather of time before people start noticing that and will reject it.
      Microsoft should make just one OS and give(sell) it to everyone, wheter you're a pro or just an amateur home user, the product you use is good and the only one, you have no wories you'll run into the limits of it and you've payed for a high quality item, not a tuned down version.

      3.reinsert the START-button, you want to do something with your computer? Where do you start?... aha!

      4.Microsoft has always been my starting point whenever I did something with my pc, when going on the internet, a "distant" (not blend into) basis from where I could "operate" on the internet. When they start to blend in fb for example, I know my own "basis" has betrayed me and is making a coalition with another company.
      It should feel like they make a coalition with me against that other company.(ex facebook)

      The problem with current OS's is that I never feel at home in them, they might feel good or are easy to use (to some extent), but they feel like a public park, not my own garden. Rationaly it's the same, but the garden is mine and the park never will be.

  5. Peter Ridgway-Davies
    July 26, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Microsoft is dead... but they don't know it yet.

    First loss in their history. Pandering to consumer fads. Ignoring their corporate customers.

    Sounds like suicide to me.

  6. Fred Alves
    July 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    They need to find their Steve Jobs like person..

  7. Frank Plaatjies
    June 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I tried the developer and the beta out for 15min and had enough of it, rather loose the tiles/start menu than run with it in the business world.

    I can't be bothered with their phone systems, just their pc side.
    I hope my work place skips this ridiculous update, like we did with vista.

    Trying to give user support for 8 will be horrid! I hope MS call-centres can handle it.

  8. Ender
    May 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Ok no.1 your not a gamer if u play ipad board games. second, it does not matter if metro ui sucks and so does windows 8(which i agree until now seems likely) windows 7 will still be there to clean up. I'd choose windows 7 over any version of ios possibly for another 2 versions more. hell i'd choose win xp over it.

    but put simply i do agree win 8 does not seem worth it, but dont agree that is gonna be the end for MS.

    And who uses windows media centre??

    • :)
      July 17, 2012 at 10:13 am

      I dont think many people do tbh :/ apart from the highly tech savy people here. I asked around about this and very few of the people I know even know it exists. (mainly MS users aswell)

  9. Smith
    May 24, 2012 at 2:50 am

    My opinion is that MS has been complicating their sw for years. To the point that supporting it has become a nightmare. Ever tried to admin Hyper-V or a cluster of Hyper-V? Oh to create a clustered vm you have to use this tool, you want to create a disk? Well let me make that a small file that'll grow by default, but wait you want a flat file, oh create your vm without then I'll give you a choice when you add it. Move your VHD (VMDK) files around? Sure you have to export then import, but you can only do it once, unless you back end it. There isn't much creativity and thought about how complex an operation is. Play with a default profile? Yeah, that's a mess and a ton of work, JUST TO COPY WHAT YOU WANT. Uh about 8 hours of jacking with it when a simple copy was how it was done prior. You need to redesign your OS from the ground up again and actually listen to your customer base. Oh wait, their new revenue steam is patent trolling so that they can spend untold millions to go after someone. So let me see, your product base is on a downtrend and you want to spend lots. Makes sense. They'll drive the bulk of their user base to Linux. It's more budget friendly and becoming better over time. It's stable, only kernel patches require a reboot. If vendors were smart they'd start looking at alternatives. Nothing like letting someone else determine if you lose money.

  10. maxamillion
    May 24, 2012 at 1:45 am




    • muotechguy
      May 24, 2012 at 7:51 am

      Tablet users don't use keyboards; so we're making keyboard drivers an optional upgrade. It's not right that everyone should subsidise this feature that only a small percentage of users enjoy.

  11. Trevor
    May 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Wow! This is complete propaganda from an obvious Apple fanboy. These articles really dissapoint me. You only need to take a quick read of the comments to see how misleading this article is.

    First of all DVD playback and Media Center will be available as standard in Windows 8 Pro. The only other versions are Windows RT (ARM-based for tablet and mobile devices) and the bog standard Windows 8. It's not a 5-version operating system like before, so the interest will be pushed towards everyone having Windows 8 Pro and thrifty people making a sacrifice to have a basic version of Windows 8.

    Even if you have the standard Windows 8, it does not mean you can't ever play DVDs. The driver will still be available in the operating system to make your DVD drive work (you can still burn DVDs etc.). You'll just need software other than Windows Media Player that can play movies. This is a move they made to lower costs by preventing to pay licensing and codec fees on the 'cheap' version.

    Essentially, Microsoft could have come out with a single, unified version. The goal here, however, is to have the majority of people using the fully-featured platform of Windows 8 Pro but at the same time allow for those with not as much money to experience Windows 8, albeit at the expense of losing some functionality. I guarantee new computers will be sold with Windows 8 Pro unless they are built as bargain PCs.

    Moving on, I don't understand your confusion with the word "Live". Live implies an online-related service. It makes complete sense to me. Now either you're dumb and couldn't work that out (which I don't believe), or you were just grabbing at straws for a weak complaint to fill out your article...which is disappointing to say the least. Oh and Silverlight is not dead. Again more propaganda. If you read that article rather than just taking a headline, you'd see it's just a former employee venting his frustration. Saying "that’s what you get for backing Microsoft" is a completely uneducated statement to make. If Silverlight does ever die, it won't be because Microsoft doesn't care; it will be because Silverlight no longer generates demand.

    I also don't understand your complaint about Microsoft not following through with prototypes. By that logic all car manufacturers have lost the plot and are in "their final days". If you'd stop being ignorant for just a second and do some research on prototyping, you'd find out the reason companies spend vast amounts of money on protoypes is to get feedback from the public on technologies and design. The Courier is a device I would have loved 10 times more than my iPad. Unfortunately, the Courier's functionality seemed to appeal mostly to college students and artists...who generally can't afford expensive items. Not producing the Courier was actually a smart decision by Microsoft.

    And why, may I ask, did you have to resort to saying how much better than Microsoft you think Apple is? The report was on Microsoft, not Apple. Not everything needs to be a comparison, and doing so just shows your true colours. Aaaaargh! I actually own an iMac but there is something that aggravates me to the core about Apple fanboys. The way these people express their love for Apple to each other, in self-gratifying ass-sniffing, conjures up images of a never-ending chain of 'Human Centipede'. They dismiss all of Apple's faults and then preach the word of Apple to everyone who doesn't want to hear it; matched only in ignorance to religious fundamentalists who preach the sections of the Bible which apply to their cause, while omitting 'the other bits' that contradict their opinions.

    I am incredibly annoyed by this article. Most of your content has been derived by 'tabloid methods' of twisting words to create stories. It is pretty clear from this article that you have no understanding of how businesses run and make decisions. Leaving only the question of why anyone on here should value your opinion? You also don't possess the ability to write unbiasedly. Instead, choosing for words of favouritism for Apple and slander against Microsoft. This is poor journalism, and you and the company that hires you should be stricter on producing articles like this if you ever want to receive the recognition of your main competitors. Otherwise people will learn not to take your opinions seriously.

    • James Bruce
      May 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      You're wrong Trevor, Windows 8 Pro does not come with the media pack - Microsoft has explicitly stated this. Refer to the diagram, made by Microsoft themselves - you need to purchase the "Windows 8 Media Center Pack" if you have Pro; or the "Pro Pack" if you only have regular Windows 8. The result is the same; in both cases, you end up with "Windows 8 Pro with Media Center". Here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/05/03/making-windows-media-center-available-in-windows-8.aspx

      As for the "Live" branding; I already stated it was good. It was a unified, catchy name. Now it's being replaced by a "Microsoft Account". My issue is with that, not "Live". I like the "Live" branding, and I am sad to see it go.

      Also: kindly don't call me a fanboy. You degenerate any discussion when you start trying to personally insult people like that. I never said Apple was better; I made a comparison stating that they too had made some crazy moves at the time which ended up paying off in the long term; and this might also be Microsoft's tactic. I don't think it will work out for them; I am a freethinker, and am allowed to hold that particular view.

      As for writing unbiassedly - this is an *opinion* column - it quite clearly says that in the title.

      • Trevor
        May 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm

        Very well, it looks like I was wrong about the Media Center. Last I had heard from TechRadar was, this was coming as standard in Pro.

        As for the "Live" branding...in all fairness the preceeding title was "Ridiculous Branding Strategies" so forgive me for assuming you were dismissing the usage of the word "Live". It also looks like I wasn't the only person who assumed this.

        With regards to the "fanboy" thing. I really don't see fanboy as that much of an insult. The reason for my comment? Allow me to quote...

        "feel free to steer the discussion to how Apple is an evil corporation that hires child labor and churns out locked consumer devices that are ruining the open-technology foundations upon which all of modern computing was built – at least Microsoft isn’t Apple, eh?!"

        ...sorry but unecessarily defending Apple's reputation in advance is completely the type of thing Apple fanboys do (or any fanboy does for something they love). This was a discussion of Microsoft and their product so there was no need to go on the defensive for Apple. Doing so only implied you didn't want anyone to 'make fun of your precious Apple'. I'm not saying you thought that, but it at least gives that impression.

        I'm just wondering if you could provide links to these tech professionals that gave a negative review of Metro? Preferably from respected sources. I'm not being bitchy here in case it reads that way, it's just, last I had read, the Metro reviews had been quite positive but just needed some tweaks.

  12. Vipul Jain
    May 22, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Today itself tried out Microsoft's own social network SO.CL
    And to my amazement instead of gathering as much follow ship they can, after registering there you are put in a waiting list..
    i mean R U KIDDING ME?? O_o

  13. Lillie
    May 22, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    The way you used that meme is hurting my eyes, dude.

    • muotechguy
      May 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Yeh, I suck with memes.

  14. zeeshan khan
    May 22, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Its alright, I guess. I don't think its a big deal.

  15. Chris Hoffman
    May 22, 2012 at 6:51 am

    I'm no Microsoft/Windows 8 fan, but I don't think the criticism about removing DVD playback is fair. Lots of people will be buying Windows on a tablet or an ultrabook without a DVD drive. If Microsoft bundled DVD playback in Windows, all those people would be paying a free to pay for the patents. It's not right that people who would never play a DVD on their system would be paying for that.

    If you do buy a Windows 8 PC with a DVD drive, it will likely come with a licensed DVD playback app, anyway. Many PCs already do. Plus, there's always VLC...

    • muotechguy
      May 22, 2012 at 9:30 am

      Media Center too not just DVD, and that has a very loyal following. Would Apple remove DVD playback because they sell a Macbook Air which doesn't have a DVD playback? No, dumb argument. Consumers shouldn't be concerned with licensing fees; an OS has basic capabilities you expect if your computer supports it. How about removing sound from Windows 95 because not all PCs had sound cards? This is exactly why Ubuntu sucks ass - you shouldnt need to install extra driver packs just to do basic crap like playing a dvd or mp3 file. It's a stupid move, and the excuse of it being not fair was added as a poor justification after the fact.

      Regardless; if I upgrade, I will lose functionality. That's stupid no matter how you look at it. And given how close it is to release now, you'd really expect them to hyping the Media Center stuff a little ; I've seen nothing of it. Impress me, and I'll be convinced. Sell me the same shit again, and I'll know you've lost the battle.

      • Chris Hoffman
        May 24, 2012 at 5:03 am

        If Microsoft was paying a fee to a patent cartel for sound card support, then it would be a good idea. Depriving those rent-seeking companies of money is a good thing.

        It is stupid that you have to pay extra money or add extra driver packs to do basic things. But that's not Microsoft's, Ubuntu's, or Firefox's (html5 video with h264) fault. That's the patent system's fault. The rage should be directed at the patent system.

        I believe there are other codecs as part of media center that also cost money. If 1% of Windows users used them, it really isn't right that every Windows user should pay a fee for them.

        (For the record, I'm pretty sure that iPads don't ship with DVD support. Why should Windows 8 tablets? It makes sense if you realize that Microsoft thinks of Windows 8 as a tablet OS.)

        • muotechguy
          May 24, 2012 at 7:50 am

          ARM tablets have their own version of Windows (RT); for x86 devices, you're using a unified OS as an excuse to cut features. That's not a good argument. Thats like saying Apple makes one new iOSX for both iPad and desktops; removes DVD playing because iPads can't do it. It's a stupid move to begin with, and it cannot become a justification for removing features in and of itself. Here's a better answer: why the hell is there the same version for tablets as there is for desktops?

          More to the point; this is not *saving* consumers money. It's not like removing DVD playback and MC codecs knocks $100 of the price. That would be understandable - make the codecs an optional upgrade for only those that need them; the rest can pay less than they had to before. But MS has said the price of upgrades will remain the same; so who is saving money here?

        • Chris Hoffman
          May 25, 2012 at 4:35 am

          "Here’s a better answer: why the hell is there the same version for tablets as there is for desktops?"

          I think that's stupid too, but Windows 8 seems tablet-first. A lot of the tablets will be x86 tablets, even.

          I suppose that the price staying the same is essentially a price decrease, given inflation.

          Agree to disagree, I suppose. Microsoft's a bit ahead of things here -- give it a few years and people won't care about DVDs and physical media as much.

  16. Carlos Botero
    May 22, 2012 at 5:32 am

    I think that the threat to Microsoft is increasingly bigger. Linus Thorvalds said that Android will eventually get unified with Linux (no matter if it will be a merge or a takeover). Android already dominates the mobile world and we could see Android applications running two versions: one for the phone itself and another for a big screen (originated from the phone); for virtually all the applications with massive use, the cellphones and tablets are powerful enough. And Microsoft, by its own very nature cannot match the fixing cycles that open source software can offer, and cannot match the sheer volume of developers that the rest of the world can focus on a group of critical applications. For example, I've been working with OpenOffice for a while, and now it has been virtually flawless; meanwhile Microsoft's Office still have annoying bugs that drive my brothers crazy from time to time, and has been "normal" that Microsoft never corrects some bugs. If the life of Microsoft is the profile of a mountain, they are now in the downhill sector.

  17. wx
    May 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Using the same os for everything is a genius move and i was expecting a company to do that for quite some time because i reckoned it would benefit the user, a lot and so it would benefit the company as well.

    Over that i only say, it seems like they made some wrong calls here, but i really don't care about that dvd crap and pretty much all the other crap that is being discussed here, thousands of programs exist that will make the same stuff all windows components do, but better, and for free, and this is the true advantage of windows.

    As for the branding confusion, i had none, they always changed the names of the emails and programs but it's all the same crap, i always had microsoft emails and i know my emails and passwords and i know o can access them all on the hotmail.com and to instant message i know i have live messenger which i can download the latest versions for free whenever i want, that's all i need to know about that, they can have a million brands but why should i bother to know everything about each one?

  18. Ashwin Rao
    May 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Apple will gain from MicroSoft's loss. One thing is sure! Windows8 will be another Vista in market. But, we can't afford Apple. So, I already switched mmy machines to Ubuntu. I didn't loss anything since I'm not a hardcore gamer. I'm pretty much satisfied with Ubuntu and will continue with it as now I own my computer rather than those illegal MicroSoft copies bundled in India by the local vendors. I almost forgotten there is a Operating System called Windows. I completely agree with the author's first line "Are we in the midst of the final days of Microsoft as we know it? " However, MicroSoft given much things to todays computing, it is hard to forget them soon.

  19. R.T
    May 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    This is just another reason I am happy with my switch to Linux.

    My laptop is my main media center, and I am guessing it is for a lot other computer users as well.

    Bad move for Microsoft...

  20. Muntoo Meddler
    May 20, 2012 at 5:07 am

    Minor points which won't have much major influence. Microsoft has always made good and bad decisions, but the bad decisions seem to have had little effect.

    Windows will remain the targeted platform for software developers for a while. Might be more software on Apple as well.

    Android will rule the smartphone/tablet markets.

    And please cut the Apple fanboyism; it's seriously annoying. Macs will die. The only chance Apple has is at the smartphone/tablet market (which will soon be dominated by Android, courtesy of Google and Open Source lovers, as well as 'cheap' people and hardcore geeks). Please channel your Apple fanboyism energy into Linux fanboyism.

    • Muntoo Meddler
      May 20, 2012 at 5:10 am

      Oh, and did I mention Apple stuff is designed for 'simple users' (non geeks). Developers -- in general -- don't like that. That, and the fact that it's overpriced.

      • Shadow
        May 21, 2012 at 12:08 am

        Apple is a Unix based system and used in the graphic design industry as primary choice. Apple isn't for "simple Users" You can open a command shell and use Unix to customize it same as Linux (which I use most). It does lean more towards the "simple user" but a serious developer and programer like me can find and use more of its power. The only thing you have said that is 100% true about Apple is that it is way over priced. If they lowered their prices and increased their per-installed apps then they could catch up to Microsoft and finally over take them. The other thing I completely agree with you is increase the Linux fan-base. It really is a great operating system and is technically way ahead of windows. Just less known and less "dumbed down" but more powerful

        • Laga Mahesa
          May 21, 2012 at 10:06 am

          Actually I disagree regarding Apple prices. I don't see any other company providing the same level of after sales support.

          My 3 year old 3Gs is running the most recent OS version. Show me a single Android device that can claim the same.

          My ex's Macbook was 6 months past warranty - he took it in on my advice and they replaced the Motherboard AND LCD for free.

          I want an Android device, if only so I can get developing for it, but at those prices I expect substantially more support for my dollars. I had my eye on the Galaxy Note, but at $650 for a life expectancy of 6 months? Hah.

        • Muntoo Meddler
          May 21, 2012 at 11:26 pm

          I don't know about Apple support, but I know Robert Scoble wasn't really happy recently.

          When I played around with my sister's iPod Touch, I hated it. Android and Apple weren't even in the same league. Relatively no customizability (launchers), less free apps, no ability to view app permisions, the 30+ minutes it took me to set up the App store (vs 0 minutes on Android), less 'geeky' apps or dumbed down versions (Opera Mini has no extension support), scalability (8GB, final; no SD cards) and stories of Apple's "hate" of developers...

          I would rather have my $350 Xperia Pro than mess around with an iPhone 4S. (The cameras are relatively the same in terms of performance, from what I can tell; although, on certain Android devices, ISO, Metering, and other goodies are controllable. In addition, Android > iOS.)

          If you're worried about warranties, you can buy your own with water-damage, surges etc, for 3 years for less than $100, IIRC.

        • Alexia
          May 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

          Thanks for commenting Shadow~ It's nice to be disagreed with, without being personally insulted!

    • Alexia
      May 21, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Well, you're allowed to disagree, but if you have even a shred of evidence that Apple is somehow declining then I'd love to see it. Linux is certainly coming on in leaps and bounds - a influx of disgruntled windows users would help push it more, I think.

      I suspect Android won't so much dominate as share the market - both are fundamentally different approaches to hardware and software, and both have a place.

      We can both agree on MS on the out though!

      • Muntoo Meddler
        May 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm

        MS is destined to die (at least, in its current form), but it'll hold on for a few more Windows versions.

        I would love to see Linux become mainstream.

  21. Laga Mahesa
    May 18, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Microsoft lost the plot when it became clear their primary focus was clueless corporate secretaries, not end users.

    Starting with Win98, the endless dumbing down of Windows has made me look elsewhere; I keep it for games and generally tooling around, nothing else.

    Have you experienced the joy of a corrupted display driver in Windows 7? Have fun fixing your system in 640x480 resolution. The toolbar eats most of that.

    • Shadow
      May 20, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      Agree completely, Microsoft computers simply serve as a game console for me now. Most users only use Windows because school courses use them so students need Word to hand in their homework on disk. LbreOffice and OpenOffice have destroyed that obstacle. They also use windows because that is the operating system they were brought up on. They just feel a loyalty to Microsoft that Microsoft doesn't have for them in return. I grew up on DOS, GW-BASIC, and DeskMate. I learned that If I needed and application to do something I had to make it. I left Windows when they got rid of the DOS command. I used only DOS GW-BASIC and the 1989 DeskMate OS until I found the newer versions of Linux that were more user friendly while keeping it possible to create your own programs, games, drivers, and system protocols. Now DeskMate is just for holding the past with all of the programs I made.

      • Laga Mahesa
        May 21, 2012 at 10:07 am

        God I wish sometimes I could 'like' comments here. My beginnings are similar, except I was an Amiga head. :p

        • Alexia
          May 21, 2012 at 10:13 am

          Liking comments will come soon~ish!

        • Laga Mahesa
          May 21, 2012 at 10:52 am

          *Like* :p

  22. Matt Smith
    May 18, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Actually, Microsoft understands the plot very well. They always seem to execute the broad strokes well. Bill Gates understood that an operating system would be needed for computers, so he did everything he could to make one that would be widely adopted.

    Microsoft understood that consoles were the gateway to the our living rooms, so they introduced an incredibly popular console, taking away huge chunks of market share from Nintendo and Sony - two companies with way more experience in the area.

    And Microsoft understands that mobile is a new and important market, so they're doing everything they can to figure that out and offer a solution that will work for it.

    The problem is the Microsoft doesn't get the little things right. They make weird mistakes that seem obvious and frequently introduce half-hearted or so-so products.

    But is it really a problem? Nah? They've made a lot of money. They still make a lot of money. They will continue to make a lot of money. It's fun to hate on Microsoft, but they're going no where soon.

    • muotechguy
      May 19, 2012 at 7:33 am

      I agree entirely, but... I think these are all historic facts; they are no indication of the future. Technology and the state of the market has changed significantly in the time since; significantly, Gates is no longer leading.

      Sure, they still have a pot of money, but will it be enough to bring consumers back once they've all flocked to the competition? The phones are a mess; Windows 8 is a mess. How do they fix that? Do you think thy've got some alternative OS waiting just in case? Are they really going to buy Nokia to save the phones?

      I have no doubt they'll still be around in 5 years. I just don't think they'll be the defacto standard OS anymore.

      • Laga Mahesa
        May 21, 2012 at 10:08 am

        Agreed, in five years they'll be where Yahoo! is now unless some serious reshuffling goes on.

    • Anshu
      May 19, 2012 at 10:35 am

      An interesting insight. MS definitely knows to execute BROAD strokes well, but in bargain loses out on finest of the points. We all know that mobile is the future of the world, but is it now the future? Is it going to replace every PC and Laptop in next 10 years? I need to daydream to believe that. Asia, Africa, South America and major parts of Europe which roughly accounts for about 77% of the world population- they simply can't afford to replace PC in next 10 years.
      Second comes the Enterprise level of usage. I am not sure that in current years desktops going to be replaced by mobile devises. Maybe at the higher executive level- but not beginners and mid-level. So what they are going to do? Move to windows 7 and not 8. And it's also beneficial for them because manufacturers going to charge them less for windows 7 than 8.
      They surely have made a lot of money. But in early 2000's if my memory serves me good they had a market share of about 622 billion which now is about 212 billion. I can understand that no company can ever keep the same rate of progress but than how much downfall is too much?? And how can that be improved? By missing on finer points in your great products is surely not the brightest idea. And they really need to ask themselves - what they have done to make sure to keep the momentum?? I can't see many.
      It's like seeing your kingdom breaking in front of you and feeling helplessness but consoling yourself that we done our best...

      • Laga Mahesa
        May 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

        Actually you'd be surprised about Asia. Yes the PC dominates, but only because of Windows... and Windows because of the software - Office and Photoshop.

        Those three are rarely paid for in Asia. Here in Indonesia I'm surprised when I find a local company with legitimate licenses. It is impossible to buy boxed software, and importing them is almost impossible due to the ridiculously high shipping rates.

        Now we have the iPad, where prices average at $5 instead of $500 for business apps. More and more I'm seeing iPads and cheap droid tablets at coffee shops instead of laptops.

        The vast majority of PCs in Asia are ancient, and well past the expected lifespan. You're right, they can't afford to replace them - but change them? Hell yes, it's just round the corner.

  23. Anshu
    May 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I am using Windows 8 since its incorporation of developers preview. Did I liked it- of cos i do. Why else should I be using this as a primary OS-knowing the fact that it's not even beta?? Will it succeed? I hardly imagine. Looking at the designs- it has been primarily designed for tablets and touchscreens. And how many of us are gonna buy a touchscreen monitor in coming days?? Yep we can use this with majestic ease with our mouse but what if you are having about 500 different applications- with all their tits-bits, its gonna be a pain to scroll. I fainted with my 170 odd different applications!!!
    Second- I am really not sure what's wrong with Microsoft. For me- they are the living incarnation of failure marketing, waste of bright ideas and implementation of good ideas. They simply lack one thing-backbone to stand up for their own decisions. What else can you say for a company who thought to have a tablet as early as 2003-04 and till date has no existence in market?? They seem to look at the things from a closed mind. And now after all these years they simply can't get back what they have lost. How else can you define that even after ruling about 90% of the market share MS is seen just as an OS whereas Apple as a Cult??
    Windows 8 is surely a brilliant product. But not for PC's/Laptop's with old hardware and MS simply can't rule tablets and phone markets in a couple of months. And yep I completely disagree to their practice of insane naming and pricing.

    Hopefully- I am going to see Windows 9 rock. Or maybe Barrelfish OS?? Or some other one from Midori Project which they are developing?? 4-5 years to see that :D

  24. Phil Godwin
    May 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    It does seem that MS no longer want the home or desktop market. As it currently stands I will be looking to the Linux Distro's for my future desktop as I am not a tablet user and doubt I will become one.

    So Ubuntu are you ready.........

    • Laga Mahesa
      May 21, 2012 at 10:16 am

      The 'home' and desktop market hasn't been their focus... well, ever. Microsoft makes comparitively little money from that segment - the bulk of the userbase is using a pirated install. This is fine, for them, as it made Windows ubiquitous and helped cement their big earner - corporate licensing.

  25. Susan Oliver
    May 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Time to save my pennies for a Mac, methinks.

  26. Mitchell
    May 18, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Basically there are 3 situations that will happen:
    We'll have another XP/Vista problem where Microsoft will force people to switch.
    Apple will get a big boost from this and gain a good chunk of the market.
    Or... Linux will finally get recognized by the mass market and completely take over the pc market.

    what i think will happen, probably another XP/Vista problem, cause Microsoft has way too much of the market. i won't like, 8 looks like a wonderful tablet OS, but on a desktop/laptop system will just wither and die.

    killing the DVD playback will be the worse thing they will ever do to the pc market. even though DVDS will eventually be replaced somehow, it's not anytime soon.

    final remarks, 8 will be a failure, Apple and Linux will see a little success from it, and like last time, Microsoft will slap a amazing OS together after the failed 8, Windows 9, and hopefully they will get their act together real soon.

    • Laga Mahesa
      May 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Linux has one chance - a desktop version of Android. That's it, none of the others are going the way end users want, and never will as long as the geeks remain in control.

      • LANLocked
        May 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm

        I don't entirely agree. Android is not a desktop OS. I don't see it working on the Desktop for the same reasons Windows 8 will bomb on the desktop. That is not what it is designed for and would be a kludge in any incarnation. How would multiple monitor support even work in Android? Android's goal is to utlize a tiny screen and lightweight hardware efficiently. The antithesis to what a modern desktop is.

        I think KDE is a fantastic desktop (now). If you tried KDE 4 pre-4.3 and didn't like it, you really need to check it out again. KDE 4 was released way to early IMHO but has come a very long way since those early days.

        Another desktop to look at is LXDE if you don't want anything fancy. Super lightweight and simple to use.

        As far as Gnome and Unity go, I am right behind you. I personally never cared for Gnome, but the new "improvements" in Gnome 3 are appalling. Unity is an abomination IMHO.

        • Laga Mahesa
          May 22, 2012 at 10:08 am

          I vastly preferred KDE over Gnome for a variety of reasons - I tried both extensively when I was first setting up my Gentoo install, and Gnome fell short. The last time I used KDE was when 4 was just released - it had its issues but overall I had no real gripes with it.

          When I said Android 'version', what I really meant was something along the lines of what Apple is doing with OSX and iOS - a merger of *parts* of both. Not a direct translation... agreed, that would not work.

          Consider - a linux desktop OS with access to the Android Market.

          Consider also the 'native' integration such a beast could offer.

          Hell, being able to run a mobile app as a desktop widget... wouldn't that be nice? True, it would have to be recompiled for the processor, etc, but, again, take a page from Apple's book - universal binaries.

  27. Scutterman
    May 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I really wanted to like W8, but that's becoming less and less likely, but I don't believe it will affect Microsoft unduly. They're used to every other operating system flopping and it seems that the further one flops, the better the next one is (or at least appears in comparison) so maybe they're just trying to get a better success with Windows 9. I would hope they will at least learn from the failings of W8. In the mean time I'm going to stick with Windows 7, upgrade my hardware when I need to, and bide my time for a better OS.

    • muotechguy
      May 19, 2012 at 7:27 am

      I don't think there was much alternative in the past though; Apple now has a strong consumer presence, and people may look their way. The stakes are higher now.

      • Scutterman
        May 19, 2012 at 10:21 am

        Apple still has only about 7-10% market share (depending on what stats you use, I used http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=8&qpcustomd=0&qptimeframe=Y&qpct=2 ) and a, quite frankly, ridiculous price tag. I cannot see the value of buying a mac at that price. If Microsoft wasn't in the game I would go look at what hardware runs Linux well, and use that. I know a lot of people wouldn't even consider that option, but I reckon that a fair number would go Linux rather than Mac.

        • Shadow
          May 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm

          I agree that people will be looking to Apple or Linux. Apples price tags are high though so the everyday user would probably go with Linux since there is very little it isn't compatible with. I've already switch most of my hard drives and computers over to Ubuntu Linux. It works for everyday users right out of the box and is free. It also has really good support for it.There are new releases every 6months and you can run windows applications on it. I use it for game design and creation. I haven't had to do anything with the command line yet like other Linux versions. But Apple has better driver support because they have specific hardware in the computers.Also Apple is what is used in the movie and TV show industry. I just find Linux more customizable and the price for Ubuntu and most applications is free. The only thing I use Windows for now is for games. Ubuntu also has a pr-installed app that lets you get and receive email and chat from all your accounts right on your status bar. Out of the way but close at hand. You get a pop up informing you and then you can answer it or go about your business. you also get multiple workspace instead of always using Alt-Tab or the task bar to switch applications. I use all three OS daily but Linux is becoming my favorite for every day task. There are so many different versions out there for different needs and if you dont like the way the desktop that came with it looks then download a different one, recode the existing one, or even build your own. Apple is a good OS but you are stuck with apps and hardware specific to Apple and very good customer support. There are a lot of apps and games made for windows and a lot of hardware choices, but really bad customer support. Linux has a lot of apps, games, and add-ons that are made by users. It is also user maintained and have really good customer support. Because its user maintained and designed they actually listen to what the users want for the next release and bugs are fixed as soon as they can usually way before the next release. They all have good and bad points but Microsoft is definitely sinking.

        • Laga Mahesa
          May 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

          Ubuntu has a huge following here in Indonesia, but Unity is turning them away in droves.

        • Scutterman
          May 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm

          Someone needs to take a linux distro and build four separate computers: low, mid, high, and gaming spec. All they would need to do is get the hardware right and put some real effort to get the drivers locked down, and it would be a great seller. Lower price than Mac, or even Windows. If it's pre-installed with WINE, Thunderbird, Firefox or Chrome, and Libre Office then it'll do very well.

  28. Mitesh Budhabhatti
    May 18, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I am not Microsoft fanboy.. but I think we must accept that Microsoft has simply ruled. And now its decline for Microsoft. Don't you guys think Bill Gates should return? I strongly Bill Gates should return full time.

    • muotechguy
      May 19, 2012 at 7:25 am

      He's busy saving the world by curing AIDS, cancer, and making cold fusion happen!

      • Minimitch
        June 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm

        To be fair, HE isn't making cold fusion happen, he is out there having a holiday while he funds the actual scientists who are doing good work

  29. Argoson
    May 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    You keep forgetting one thing: most of the Windows systems running are NOT sold by Microsoft directly (unlike Apple for example) but by computer manufacturers. When Microsoft decides, it will kill Win7, and XP and force vendors to switch to Win 8 with their brand new computers (and tablets ??). This is what MS is counting on. This is their power, and that is exactly why they still hold about 90% of the market. So it doesnt matter whether YOU like it or not, MS have the upper hand in this matter (and i wish it didn't...).

    • muotechguy
      May 19, 2012 at 7:25 am

      You may be right, but I think a lot of consumers when entering the store will be faced with a Windows 8 or OSX choice; and a lot of them will go with Apple.

      In the corporate market, I can see your point. But then, will they upgrade just for the sake of it?

      • Laga Mahesa
        May 21, 2012 at 10:20 am

        No, they'll upgrade when the regular employees all come in with Apple products. This is already starting.

      • TtfnJohn
        May 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm

        The corporate market gets the choice of the latest and greatest (?) version of Win and Office or bare metal and an empty drive.
        My beloved employer skipped Office when the ribbon first appeared and the howls of outage started. Suddenly copies of OpenOffice.org were appearing everywhere driving the support people nuts but at least the touch typists were happy and their shortcuts worked.
        The mobile market? Tablets? MS is so far behind in both markets they can't even see the market leaders dust. On non Apple rigs that would be Android. Even RIM has a larger market share than Win7.
        Innovation is all very well and good. "Imagining" is all very well and good though it would help to test a lot of this with existing customers and power users (mostly corporate folks) before inflicting ribbons and other nonsense on users. It's also nice to see that MS is thinking about dictating which web browser we'll use again.
        Bringing back the "ribbon" on typing devices isn't a pleasant memory as anyone who ever had a typewriter ribbon jam up or unwind about 3 hours before the term paper was due can tell you. Nightmare is more like it.
        What I have seen of Win8 is nice. Not compelling but nice. Until the little "innovations" strike. That's when I remember being an early adopter of KDE4 who presented a new, cool looking Linux desktop clearly labelled a late beta which some distros immediately distributed as the newest and most wonderful KDE there was. Far from it. Mess would be more like it. (I expect beta's to be messy, btw.)
        Back to nice. If there was ever a killing comment on a product "nice" would be it. Nice is used for things that sit on the corner of the coffee table whose entire reason for existence is that it looks nice but is not meant to be actually used. Think coffee table book which brings us back to Surface.
        For now my Win box stays on Win7. In far too many ways I think I'm experiencing the dying days of Lotus again. No big surprise given whose in charge there these days. Doing things "for the users" that "the users" didn't ask for, didn't want and hated in Notes while Lotus gleefully ignored this strange thing called The Web in Notes.
        History repeats. Especially to those who refuse to remember it.

      • Levi
        May 25, 2012 at 4:03 am

        No, a lot of companies would rather keep old software instead of upgrading to new software that poses any potential problems for the company. So companies that used Windows 7-only functionality will just not upgrade their computers for years, posing other maintainability problems. This has already happened widescale with XP, IE, Office, and oh-so-many other products.

    • geeky
      May 20, 2012 at 11:51 am

      They now sell computers with linux preinstalled to

      • Greg
        July 2, 2012 at 1:22 am

        Yeah, but they're usually overpriced because most people don't know about them.

  30. Reý Aetar
    May 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    to earn they have to hear the customers

  31. Kyem Ghosh
    May 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Microsoft is just going crazy.... It may have removed the inbuilt games... but removing the media center??? It really sounds crazy...Man if it goes like this, I'll never go for the 8, rather I'll b happy with xp n 7 and my linuxes and when I'll be able to afford a mac, I'll stick to the OSX...

  32. crescentdave
    May 18, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Yes, it's crazy- and self defeating. OSX is a good example of a contrast. One price, everything, no restrictions. Period. Dead simple.

    Microsoft has all these versions of it's products and it's absurd- nobody can keep track of them. Plus, making Windows8 a tablet OS, it's lost it's desktop base. So do they really think it's going to push windows-centric tablets and phones? Too complex, too late.

    They can't market. Where are simple, compelling ads?

    They stuck with the XBox and it shows. Zune is some sort of bastard child, woefully underdeveloped and burdened with a dumbed down music finding and music management system. But oh so pretty.

    I like the ribbon in Word and Outlook. Linux looks better and better. And ... far less expensive.

    • Laga Mahesa
      May 21, 2012 at 10:22 am

      To make it worse, the 'lesser' versions are crippleware - that functionality that's missing is all there, waiting for the correct license key.

    • George
      October 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      Ubuntu is also 'like' OSX (e.g: Your explanation covers Ubuntu as well), Ubuntu. Two downloads, 32bit and 64bit. 32bit says RECOMMENDED in bold, so users know where to look :).

      Ubuntu also comes with an Office software (Admittedly, I installed MS Office in Wine right away :D).

      Canonical and Apple should work together.
      I Don't see that happening :D.

  33. John Hauxwell
    May 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Ridiculous Branding Strategies ??????

    Oh so true - they have me totally confused.

    • ui
      May 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Have you seen the Windows 8 logo? Terrible!