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(NPR)   An empire that once ruled the world now finds itself under seige   (npr.org) divider line 28
    More: Interesting, Microsoft, excel spreadsheet, mind-wandering, office software, Ballmer, Microsoft Office, Joshua Shapiro, Charles Golvin  
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4470 clicks; posted to Business » on 23 Oct 2012 at 12:53 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



28 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-10-23 11:39:20 AM  
Microsoft is lucky to have such an articulate CEO:

"Windows PCs, Windows Phones, Windows slates. Windows, Windows, Windows, Windows, Windows."
 
2012-10-23 01:03:01 PM  
Free advice for MS
1) Get rid of Balmer
2) Get out of the Hardware business (360 is ok, think it's the only successful HW idea to come out of MS)
3) Fix your OS. Focus on your OS. (Ok, focus on your office software as well)
4) Stop trying to compete with Apple

/windows user
//360 owner
 
2012-10-23 01:08:43 PM  
I think the wrong comparison was made. I think it's more Hitler than Churchill. I mean, Adolf knew that all was lost but he was still all like "Let's defend Berlin".

And sure, the U.K. never surrendered but they also had people on their side that wanted to see them succeed.
 
2012-10-23 01:09:56 PM  
I believe Steve Ballmer is the reason that Microsoft isn't stronger right now (Steve's iPhone Prediction: Link). They lack the strategic long-term vision that Bill Gates had.

The Surface Tablet and Windows 8 commercials are comical. The Surface Tablet will be to the iPad what the Zune was to the iPod.
 
2012-10-23 01:19:53 PM  
Is this what happens when the MBAs take over from the original crop of people who created the company?
 
2012-10-23 01:25:28 PM  
I before E except after C, or when sounding like A as in neighbor and weigh, subby.
 
2012-10-23 01:26:13 PM  

Unoriginal_Username: Free advice for MS
1) Get rid of Balmer
2) Get out of the Hardware business (360 is ok, think it's the only successful HW idea to come out of MS)
3) Fix your OS. Focus on your OS. (Ok, focus on your office software as well)
4) Stop trying to compete with Apple

/windows user
//360 owner


1. I'm clueless about this one. What is the consensus, honestly, on Balmer since Gates left?

2. I agree. Focus the brand. People know MS software, so give them good software. Let the people who know how to build computers and phones do that, and license your software to them.

3. Agreed fully. Win7 is actually pretty decent, so of course they f*ck that up with Win8. Desktop/laptop OS's don't translate to a tiny phone interface. Not directly like MS is trying to do. It's why Android is very different from other Linux distros, and IOS is not like OS. They share things, but they're customized for the platform.

4. Inevitable and unavoidable, for they are the two most well known peers in the market. Mac and PC are the Coke/Pepsi, Chevy/Ford, Fender/Gibson of the computers world.
 
2012-10-23 01:43:49 PM  
Actually, simply firing Ballmer and His Marketeers all with one fell swoop just might do the trick. They seem to be on a roll technology-wise, but for every step forward in that direction, the business drones step in and add their layer of suck, slowing down future movement.
 
2012-10-23 01:53:06 PM  

verbaltoxin: Unoriginal_Username: Free advice for MS
1) Get rid of Balmer
2) Get out of the Hardware business (360 is ok, think it's the only successful HW idea to come out of MS)
3) Fix your OS. Focus on your OS. (Ok, focus on your office software as well)
4) Stop trying to compete with Apple

/windows user
//360 owner

1. I'm clueless about this one. What is the consensus, honestly, on Balmer since Gates left?

2. I agree. Focus the brand. People know MS software, so give them good software. Let the people who know how to build computers and phones do that, and license your software to them.

3. Agreed fully. Win7 is actually pretty decent, so of course they f*ck that up with Win8. Desktop/laptop OS's don't translate to a tiny phone interface. Not directly like MS is trying to do. It's why Android is very different from other Linux distros, and IOS is not like OS. They share things, but they're customized for the platform.

4. Inevitable and unavoidable, for they are the two most well known peers in the market. Mac and PC are the Coke/Pepsi, Chevy/Ford, Fender/Gibson of the computers world.


From what I see, and this is opinion so others may not agree, it looks like since Balmer took over, MS has been focused on trying to compete more Apple, not just in the OS wars, but hardware as well. That is what I meant by my last point. MS cannot compete with Apple. Not unless they take complete control over every aspect from the OS side, to the hardware that the OS is deployed on. And well, we all know how well MS does with hardware, the 360 excluded, because I think they've done OK with that one compared to other offerings like the Zune.
If they focused on their OS and office suit (Can we please have all departments involved in MS Office talk to each other so the programs work well together? Please?) I think the would be in a better place. Windows is ok, and has the ability to be a great OS. No, you may not take marketshare from Apple, but at least if they fix it, you won't loose any either.
 
2012-10-23 02:03:11 PM  
SOS

two definitions, same difference.
 
2012-10-23 02:26:27 PM  
Sic transit mundi
 
2012-10-23 02:51:48 PM  
Touch this. Fark the dinkyphone cult.
 
2012-10-23 03:07:50 PM  
To predict what Microsoft is going to do next, just take a look at what Apple did years before. I'm surprised Microsoft employees aren't incredibly embarrassed.

Apple sold their first iPod in 2002.
Microsoft came out with the Zune in 2006, and discontinued it in 2011.

Apple sold their first phone in 2007.
Microsoft came out with the Kin in 2010, and killed it after only 48 days on the market.

Apple opened their first store in 2001.
Microsoft opened a Retail Experience Center in 2009.

Apple came out with the iPad in 2010.
Microsoft announced the Surface will ship in late 2012.
 
2012-10-23 03:24:13 PM  
Keep the console division, dump the rest of the hardware development.
 
2012-10-23 06:29:48 PM  
Although Windows8 looks horrible on a PC, the tiles look pretty good on a phone. If I didn't already have so much tied into Android, I would buy a Windows/Nokia phone. Besides, map navigation is important to me and Nokia is the only phone maker that has true offline navigation.
 
2012-10-23 07:08:25 PM  

Unoriginal_Username: Get out of the Hardware business (360 is ok, think it's the only successful HW idea to come out of MS)
/windows user
//360 owner


I assume you mean the Tablet and phone market, but you can still pry my MS Natural Keyboard 4K from my cold dead, carpal-tunnel-free hands.
 
2012-10-23 07:17:42 PM  
Ballmer is no Winston Churchill. He's not fighting Nazis...

Obviously this writer has never encountered the devout priesthood of Linus.
 
2012-10-23 08:14:40 PM  

czei: Apple sold their first iPod in 2002.
Microsoft came out with the Zune in 2006, and discontinued it in 2011..


While the Zune hardware is gone, it's pretty easy to see that much of the Windows 8, & Xbox UI is taken from the Zune UI. The Zune music marketplace, along with subscription music service and interface lives on in all of the Windows Phones, Windows 8 and Xbox. I do wish they'd make a 3rd gen Zune though.

Apple sold their first phone in 2007.
Microsoft came out with the Kin in 2010, and killed it after only 48 days on the market.


Microsoft was in the phone (OS) business long before Apple - launching Windows Mobile in 2000. Many people have called out for an MS built 'Zune' phone - with how aggressive MS is getting with their OEM partners, it wouldn't surprise me if they did start making their own phones. Lord knows they spend several billion dollars a year in R&D. (Disclosure: They occasionally use me in their studies)

Apple opened their first store in 2001.
Microsoft opened a Retail Experience Center in 2009.


This is true. They were way behind on retail outlets.

Apple came out with the iPad in 2010.
Microsoft announced the Surface will ship in late 2012.


Apple was edging on bankruptcy when Microsoft was touting and demonstrating the tablet PC at the 2001 Comdex in Vegas. They soon launched XP tablet edition, and have been steadily improving the technology behind touch and pen based inputs. Apple has the iPad, but it's UI is light years behind Windows 8. Try your hand at handwriting recognition and you'll see what I mean (or use OneNote to record video, take time synced notes, and have the software adapt your writing to text at the same time). It makes iOS look like a joke.

I find it funny that all of these technology articles gloss over the fact that even though Apple and Google spend inordinate amounts on usurping Microsoft, they're not making a dent in Microsoft's cash cows of operating systems, office productivity and server systems. Throw in the fact that there are more Xbox live gold subscribers than Comcast has customers (the largest single media outlet in the USA), they have the livingroom entertainment market cornered. MS has always branded themselves a platform company - it's nice to see them branching out to consumer oriented platforms vs. business software.
 
2012-10-23 09:53:45 PM  

Nexzus: Unoriginal_Username: Get out of the Hardware business (360 is ok, think it's the only successful HW idea to come out of MS)
/windows user
//360 owner

I assume you mean the Tablet and phone market, but you can still pry my MS Natural Keyboard 4K from my cold dead, carpal-tunnel-free hands.


Yeah, essentially those two markets. The 360 has been a good piece of HW. and I'd imagine their keyboards are decent.
 
2012-10-23 10:16:36 PM  
Wow...this article is about 10 years late.
 
2012-10-23 10:17:26 PM  

fjellt: I believe Steve Ballmer is the reason that Microsoft isn't stronger right now (Steve's iPhone Prediction: Link). They lack the strategic long-term vision that Bill Gates had.

The Surface Tablet and Windows 8 commercials are comical. The Surface Tablet will be to the iPad what the Zune was to the iPod.


A far superior product that is marketed poorly?
 
2012-10-23 10:18:40 PM  

czei: To predict what Microsoft is going to do next, just take a look at what Apple did years before. I'm surprised Microsoft employees aren't incredibly embarrassed.

Apple sold their first iPod in 2002.
Microsoft came out with the Zune in 2006, and discontinued it in 2011.

Apple sold their first phone in 2007.
Microsoft came out with the Kin in 2010, and killed it after only 48 days on the market.

Apple opened their first store in 2001.
Microsoft opened a Retail Experience Center in 2009.

Apple came out with the iPad in 2010.
Microsoft announced the Surface will ship in late 2012.


Yes. Apple invented the phone.
 
2012-10-23 10:47:33 PM  
"Windows is the backbone product of Microsoft," Ballmer said at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in July.

Yeah, and yours just slipped a disk.
 
2012-10-24 12:41:12 AM  

feanorn: Actually, simply firing Ballmer and His Marketeers all with one fell swoop just might do the trick. They seem to be on a roll technology-wise, but for every step forward in that direction, the business drones step in and add their layer of suck, slowing down future movement.


You must know by now that the "business drones" are the company. The geeks making technology to sell are just a necessary evil, because that's what the business guys happen to be selling.

See, the selling is the business. Any business.

Not the product. It doesn't matter what you make. All that matters are the sales. Business drones.
 
2012-10-24 01:39:31 AM  
I have a phone...that you can call people with...and text...

/my lawn
//you still on it?
 
2012-10-24 05:40:10 AM  

czei: Apple came out with the iPad in 2010.
Microsoft announced the Surface will ship in late 2012.


You're forgetting that MS was working on the Courier tablet for years, and killed the project just weeks
before the iPad was announced.
 
2012-10-24 06:09:47 AM  
Subby should not have linked to NPR. This is the 2nd week of the "I'm not paying attention to NPR" routine. Happens from time to time. During this period nothing useful is found.
 
2012-10-26 04:31:25 AM  

fjellt: I believe Steve Ballmer is the reason that Microsoft isn't stronger right now (Steve's iPhone Prediction: Link). They lack the strategic long-term vision that Bill Gates had.

The Surface Tablet and Windows 8 commercials are comical. The Surface Tablet will be to the iPad what the Zune was to the iPod.


Wow, did he really say "and it doesn't appeal to business customers"? How many regular people are there compared to business people? It really seems like Microsoft is trying to sell black and white, while Apple is selling rainbows.
 
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