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01-27-2014 10:01 AM
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  1. Simon Tupper's Avatar
    I'm trying really hard to believe in that company, but its tough. They recently admitted that W8 was a failure and from there we haven't seen any good news about the Redmond's giant.

    In fact, it started the hate machine all over again on many websites.

    I'm trying not to care about it, but the more it goes the more I think that every devices I own that runs either WP/RT or Pro are already obsolete.

    Ballmer is a cancer. He's good with money, but he's hurting the company in every other way. Everytime he bashes on a product to make one of his products look good it has the opposite effect.

    I wish I could like this company as much as I do with many other brands, but the fact I can't buy one of their products and have the certainty that it's worth it makes it hard to appreciate MS. They had me before with Vista and the Kin, but this time I was expecting a better outcome.

    I'm one or two fails away from switching to a company that offers me some sort of certainty.
    01-23-2014 11:42 AM
  2. dznk's Avatar
    I see where you're coming from and that hate machine will continue chugging along with the press/bloggers for a long time to come, as their name will still be Microsoft. Ballmer is loved and hated. Like most CEO's if you look, they have done superb in some respects and poor/embarrassing in others. Overall, I don't think Ballmer is as bad as some say, but to have Microsoft get a fresh CEO in shortly, I think will be a good thing on the whole.

    Unfortunately Windows 8 (I actually like most parts of it personally though) has had quite a bit of bad press and RT has turned out to be fuel for the Microsoft hate machine. Although RT, again in my opinion is nowhere near as bad as some people make out. I would happily own a Surface 2 for example.

    Things do need to change though. Things like the unifying of the Windows Stores (and maybe RT and Phone combining) and Windows 9 coming out, are much needed to gain some trust back in a lot of people. Personally, Microsoft products work for me better than the likes of Google and Apple products, so I'm not considering switching, but I can't say I haven't been frustrated by a few of Microsofts decisions in the last year or two and can see where you're coming from. I think the future on the whole though, is still bright for Microsoft in most areas.
    Simon Tupper and Blu3V3nom07 like this.
    01-23-2014 11:58 AM
  3. Simon Tupper's Avatar
    I see where you're coming from and that hate machine will continue chugging along with the press/bloggers for a long time to come, as their name will still be Microsoft. Ballmer is loved and hated. Like most CEO's if you look, they have done superb in some respects and poor/embarrassing in others. Overall, I don't think Ballmer is as bad as some say, but to have Microsoft get a fresh CEO in shortly, I think will be a good thing on the whole.

    Unfortunately Windows 8 (I actually like most parts of it personally though) has had quite a bit of bad press and RT has turned out to be fuel for the Microsoft hate machine. Although RT, again in my opinion is nowhere near as bad as some people make out. I would happily own a Surface 2 for example.

    Things do need to change though. Things like the unifying of the Windows Stores (and maybe RT and Phone combining) and Windows 9 coming out, are much needed to gain some trust back in a lot of people. Personally, Microsoft products work for me better than the likes of Google and Apple products, so I'm not considering switching, but I can't say I haven't been frustrated by a few of Microsofts decisions in the last year or two and can see where you're coming from. I think the future on the whole though, is still bright for Microsoft in most areas.
    I'm sure Microsoft can do something about it, but not with Ballmer on board. I don't think Ballmer was made worst by the medias, I think he brought it on himself by making bad decisions after bad decisions.

    I hope they can make it right with W9, but I might never buy Windows again if it fails too.
    01-23-2014 12:09 PM
  4. Simon Tupper's Avatar
    Even the most die hard fans of Microsoft among the journalists are getting skeptical about the company's future.
    01-23-2014 02:38 PM
  5. jmshub's Avatar
    I think Microsoft has been doing a lot better than they used to. They are certainly getting good press from the new X-Box. Windows 8 has some really loud haters, and quiet fans, but I think I'm seeing more softening of the hatred with 8.1 fixing a lot of the problems.

    Windows Phone is slow in progressing to it's major 8.1 update, and that sucks, but it will come out.

    I'm not a Microsoft cheerleader, I'll buy the product that best suits my needs. As it turns out now, Windows is it. Windows 7 was an amazing product, that's something that most people can agree on. I'll even go so far as to say that I prefer Win 8 to 7 at this point. Things like the ribbon on Windows Explorer makes 8 much better than 7. I have 20 years of Win32 applications backed up or saved someplace. I really doubt that popular perception is going to make me consider an entirely new platform.
    Editguy1900 likes this.
    01-23-2014 03:23 PM
  6. dkediger's Avatar
    Even the most die hard fans of Microsoft among the journalists are getting skeptical about the company's future.
    As it exists today, perhaps. Maybe a spin off of consumer products - Xbox, Xbox live/music/video, and Bing. As an enterprise services group though - they're in a pretty good spot and their offerings are very compelling. I've had my company in the Google Apps arena and we're switching to Office 365/Exchange Online as soon as the contract ages a bit more.

    Sure, Win 8 is a hiccup, but not on the order of Vista. It presents a lot of opportunity for an enterprise to re-think the desktop with mobile in mind. Win 7 is still a solid offering, and all my year old machines have a Win 8 license - I can flip those over in short order. The shortcomings - use on a desktop - are addressable. Enterprises were never going to rip and replace XP with W8 anyway.

    In short, no one has the depth and breadth of offerings that Microsoft has in the "get work done" category. Google's stuff still feels like they need to slap the perpetual "Beta" tag back on it. Apple for some reason refuses to make enterprise manageable services. And yes, I'll say it, they will be a Niche company in the enterprise until they do or embrace either or both Google and Microsoft.

    Edit: Exhibit A: http://forums.windowscentral.com/gen...b-revenue.html

    Edit 2: Exhibit B : c-net: Microsoft Just Made It Harder to Break Up The Company

    Exhibit C: c-net: Samsung Q4 Operating Profit Misses Analyst Expectations
    Last edited by dkediger; 01-23-2014 at 09:04 PM.
    01-23-2014 03:37 PM
  7. Nogitsune Micah's Avatar
    For me I am not unhappy at all with Microsoft....Granted things can be a lot better but just as there are many people that are unhappy with WP/Windows 8, there are people like me who are.

    First and Foremost...WIndows 8.1 is fine for me. I never owned a Mac nor do I plan to own one, though that can change of course. I didn't have any major issues with VISTA that i could remember, granted i was like what....12-13 when it came out :P

    Windows 8.1 is fine for me and I really don't get the issues people have with the OS as i use it on a non-touch screen laptop(that is super old) as well as my Surface Pro.

    secondly, Windows Phone 8....has a lot of shortcomings, believe me I know. While I am far less likely to switch to OS on my computers, it is not 100 percent certain on my Phone. Windows Phone has a lot of shortcomings and there are apps that i'd like to use that are not available. But for me I can't really see me switching back to Google's android...I see how Google is with their policies and it disgusts me not to mention 3-4 years of various Android phones which wind up getting forgotten about a month or two after their release and MAY get an update to a still outdated version of android....and the lag of even the top of the line phones. Not to mention the fact they are trying to force their crap products like google+ on people who wish to have nothing to do with them outside, youtube.

    There's a chance i could always go iPhone but then it brings me back problem #1...I like the fact that windows phone connects with my Windows 8 computer with little to no issue. An iPhone and i really wouldn't be able to fully utilize the ability of integration like i could if i owned a Mac.

    They are good for me now...Great actually but for them to be perfect for me
    1. Microsoft needs to stop trying to appease these OEMs....Go all in. Your Xbox is great and the surface is great. Screw the OEMs who are not working with you and keep the ones who are. Embrace HTC the way you embraced Nokia....work out a deal with them. They are bad off enough to need the help and likely take it....while still keeping a foot in their android world.

    Reach out to loyal OEMs on the desktop/pc side of things...Drop people like HP who are undercutting you by offering Windows 7.

    2. EMBRACE NOOK! Seriously Barnes & Noble plus Microsoft could be a great thing...I like B&N over Amazon but they really need to be embraced by a power like Microsoft.

    3. Integrate the stores....I don't go into windows 8 store often but nobody should have pay twice for the same app on W8 and Windows phone 8...or at least offer a discounted bundle rate or something.

    4. Xbox Music....It is good but work on it more so it feels more comparable to Itunes and Google play and the new beats.

    5. Xbox Gaming...It's your brand...you need to do something more with it.

    6. Stop taking forever with windows phone updates and go all in...you know what the people need and it shouldn't be taking THIS long to do it when other companies can implement those features in 1/4 of the time.

    Most importantly work on the Marketing....I rarely see anything for Microsoft products on tv except an office commercial and the occasional windows phone and windows 8 commercial.
    The original surface commercials played all the time and I actually never see ANYTHING about surface 2/Surface pro 2.

    Samsung has crap products yet millions and millions believe otherwise, simply based on the hype and the marketing.

    Any momentum Microsoft is losing is simply not because they don't have good products...they do, it's because the attitude they have makes it seem as if they don't have confidence enough in their products. That's what i feel like when I rarely see a commercial showing off Surface line or showing off windows phone. It's like they are lacking confidence and if they aren't confident enough in their own products, then why would consumers be.

    TL, dr:
    I am happy enough with Windows/Microsoft on my PC...I have no desire to ever change because Linux is not for me and Macs are overpriced in my opinion. So i will not be changing ANYTIME SOON....
    For phone, I am content enough where I am but unless Windows Phone 8.1 comes out with some awesome hardware for phones, I won't be buying another Windows Phone until they show me they mean business.
    sejgiul likes this.
    01-23-2014 09:15 PM
  8. Simon Tupper's Avatar
    @all, I like w8.1 and the Xbox one, but I'm becoming impatient about WP. Sure, W8.1 is awesome for us, but the fact that Microsoft is already replacing it with Windows 9 makes it the new Vista. Which means that Windows 8 will not be seen as anything more than a failure.

    I may like the products that I own today, but how much will W9 cost for me? Its something I have to ask myself because I will need an OS that receives some support from most developers and Windows 8 will lose the tiny support it got as of October 2014. Don't get me wrong I still plan on enjoying my Windows based devices, but there may be no third chance for Microsoft if they cannot make it right for almost everyone with Windows 9.
    01-23-2014 10:14 PM
  9. Mike Gibson's Avatar
    MSFT has not only lost momentum in the consumer, they're actually going the wrong direction. In the financial conference call, Hood said that consumer Windows was down a whopping 20% in the 4th quarter. Enterprise Windows sales increased ("OEM Pro" sales, a.k.a. Win7), so the overall Windows decline was only 3%. They didn't even mention Windows Phone 8 until prompted in the Q&A session ... and replied with generic corporate-speak ("we need to do better", yada, yada). They're riding on the coattails of work done 5-20 years ago. All of their newer efforts have been epic disasters and they've even screwed up previously good products (e.g. Win7). That 20% decline in consumer Windows means that expected PC sales have plummeted, even worse than last year, since it's a forward-looking number. The hardware OEMs are going to be in trouble this quarter, big time. It's no wonder Intel is laying off workers and shutting wafer fabs.

    Imagine an alternate universe where MSFT had created a native scalable UI on top of Win32's API (to replace USER and GDI) and backported it to Win7. Since only the UI layer is different, ISVs could use much of their existing Win32 code to rapidly move to the new system. And they would have an installed base of hundreds of millions of happy Win7 customers to sell to. The programming guidelines would show devs how to make scalable apps that span the various screen sizes, from 4" phones to 27" desktop monitors to XBoxOnes connected to 60" TVs. There would be no disastrous split between "Desktop" and "Mobile" apps. Conceivably, one program could run on all devices, peeling off UI layers as needed to adapt to the screen being used. Devs could make a special "small screen" version for phones if they wanted to. Regardless, users would purchase one program and use it everywhere.

    To quote Belushi, "but nooooooo". MSFT completely threw away all the existing Win32 developer expertise by creating the critically limited WinRT API. You might think that starting from scratch would provide some benefits, like source code compatibility across all device types ... well, you would be wrong. You can't simply recompile a WinRT app for WinPRT. You have to rewrite large chunks. All this for 3% market share in WinPRT! Maybe all your code will work with a simple recompile for XBoxOne? Apparently not. We don't know because MSFT hasn't even produced an SDK for XBoxOne for regular ISVs.

    That's just the ISV side of the RT disaster. Regular users have rejected the GUI counterpart to WinRT on PCs: Metro. Those that already have Win7 are probably pretty happy, so they don't want to buy into a Win8 system. Users that need a new machine hear bad things about Win8 and think, "maybe it's time to look at alternatives since I'm going to have to learn a new UI anyway". Win8 is a complete whiff for business users -- they won't touch it with a 10' pole since the training costs would swamp any potential benefits.

    WinRT/Win8 was a panicked response to smartphones and tablets. It was poorly designed and poorly implemented. An epic disaster that will probably sink the entire company. They'll retreat to the "enterprise" and then fade away like all the minicomputer manufacturers did in the 1980s (back then MSFT was the up and coming company).
    01-23-2014 11:16 PM
  10. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    MSFT has not only lost momentum in the consumer, they're actually going the wrong direction. In the financial conference call, Hood said that consumer Windows was down a whopping 20% in the 4th quarter. Enterprise Windows sales increased ("OEM Pro" sales, a.k.a. Win7), so the overall Windows decline was only 3%. They didn't even mention Windows Phone 8 until prompted in the Q&A session ... and replied with generic corporate-speak ("we need to do better", yada, yada). They're riding on the coattails of work done 5-20 years ago. All of their newer efforts have been epic disasters and they've even screwed up previously good products (e.g. Win7). That 20% decline in consumer Windows means that expected PC sales have plummeted, even worse than last year, since it's a forward-looking number. The hardware OEMs are going to be in trouble this quarter, big time. It's no wonder Intel is laying off workers and shutting wafer fabs.
    I think the reason for declining consumer sales has more to do with current hardware/software being 'good enough', not so much anything Microsoft has done or failed to do.

    Back in the 90s/early 00s, one pretty much had to buy new hardware to run new software. There were also enough improvements in software to justify buying new software and the necessary new hardware needed to run it.

    Nowadays, only hardcore geeks and early-adopters have any need to buy new hardware and software. The 'average Joe' or 'average Jane' who does not frequent sites such as WPCentral (or other tech sites) has no need to buy a new PC or upgrade to Windows 8/8.1, when his/her PC running Windows 7 suits his/her needs.
    01-23-2014 11:28 PM
  11. mmcpher's Avatar
    http://mobile.theverge.com/2014/1/23...ncial-earnings

    Record revenue, profit and positive trends in gaming, WP AND Surface
    01-23-2014 11:29 PM
  12. dkediger's Avatar
    ....
    Imagine an alternate universe where MSFT had created a native scalable UI on top of Win32's API (to replace USER and GDI) and backported it to Win7. Since only the UI layer is different, ISVs could use much of their existing Win32 code to rapidly move to the new system. And they would have an installed base of hundreds of millions of happy Win7 customers to sell to. The programming guidelines would show devs how to make scalable apps that span the various screen sizes, from 4" phones to 27" desktop monitors to XBoxOnes connected to 60" TVs. There would be no disastrous split between "Desktop" and "Mobile" apps. Conceivably, one program could run on all devices, peeling off UI layers as needed to adapt to the screen being used. Devs could make a special "small screen" version for phones if they wanted to. Regardless, users would purchase one program and use it everywhere.....
    Maybe its a nice alternate reality, but not a practical reality. Why did Apple (OSx/IOS) and Google (Android/ChromeOS) reject that alternate reality? They don't have a "disastrous split" between desktop and mobile? They both had a lot less inertia and more of a clean slate to work from. Why saddle Microsoft uniquely with this burden?

    After a year of using Win 8, I wish Microsoft had gone further with the traditional desktop, to the point of virtualizing Win32 apps like Parallels "Coherence Mode" virtualize Windows on OSx.

    I continue to roll out Win7 on my work desktops not because of the UI, but because I have 3rd party dependencies that dictate IE9/Java 6. The moment those dictates move up, Win8, or 9, gets to come out to play. In the interim, I get to really evaluate "desktop" versus "mobile," and because of that Modern interface, still expect a commonality in experience at that time.
    Laura Knotek and Cleavitt76 like this.
    01-23-2014 11:51 PM
  13. Cleavitt76's Avatar
    MSFT has not only lost momentum in the consumer, they're actually going the wrong direction. In the financial conference call, ...

    ...etc, etc, etc,...

    ... An epic disaster that will probably sink the entire company. They'll retreat to the "enterprise" and then fade away like all the minicomputer manufacturers did in the 1980s (back then MSFT was the up and coming company).
    All I can say is that you have to do some serious mental gymnastics to get those conclusions from the latest MS earnings report. Best financial results in at least two years. They reported revenue and profits up across the board despite the increased costs of marketing and launching major new products (Xbox, Surface 2 line). I won't even bother to touch the technical aspects of your post (I disagree with most of it also) because the basic premise of your post just doesn't align with reality.
    01-24-2014 12:40 AM
  14. rockstarzzz's Avatar
    Definitely no offense to OP but this isn't the economical or financial conclusion from what I saw in figures yesterday. This is an emotional response but if you look at numbers, any economist may want you to invest in a company that has reported increased revenue for everything they do!

    Also, MSFT has started off with +3% pre-market today and so far gained 0.12% not lost any. So sure those figures weren't bad news for the market.
    01-24-2014 03:54 AM
  15. Markham Ranja's Avatar
    All I can say is that you have to do some serious mental gymnastics to get those conclusions from the latest MS earnings report. Best financial results in at least two years. They reported revenue and profits up across the board despite the increased costs of marketing and launching major new products (Xbox, Surface 2 line). I won't even bother to touch the technical aspects of your post (I disagree with most of it also) because the basic premise of your post just doesn't align with reality.
    None of this reflects the sustainability of their primary businesses (i.e. Enterprise).
    01-24-2014 05:45 AM
  16. Ian Too's Avatar
    No. Quite the contrary.

    Don't mistake being amenable to criticism for being inept or lacking vision.

    Windows 8 has not been a failure, it just hasn't outsold Windows 7. That something can be called a failure after selling over 100 million copies is a failure of perspective on the part of its critics.

    It should be remembered that Windows 7 followed Vista, which was awful enough to require replacement; whereas 8 followed 7, which is a good product still. I don't blame people for not wanting to change if they're happy with W7, but that has no bearing on whether W8 is good or bad. So fewer sales are clearly not a valid measure of W8's success as an operating system. Indeed 100 million sales is an achievement given that PCs last longer than ever before and that the rate of obsolescence has decreased. I am writing this on a six year old PC that is still smooth, of course PC sales are declining, people like me don't have to replace the thing as often as we used to. That's not a failure, it's a success.

    As for the adverse reaction to the Modern UI, well they are very minor (basically 'where's the Start button' and 'I don't see the point in these tile thingys') compared with Vista and show people's resistance to change. I'm sure that if Apple had introduced live tiles, their more progressive following would have adopted them enthusiastically and everyone would be lauding Apple for their foresight. I'm also sure that if people were as accustomed to live tiles as we Windows Phone users, the reception would have been much better, because we better appreciate the advantages.

    Windows Phone suffered delays mainly due to the Other Storage problem. Once GDR2 was out, GDR3 was announced almost immediately and we are receiving it as I write (my 920 has it, my 620 hasn't). Now GDR3 is out, WP 8.1 is already leaking and will be announced at Build. What about this do you think is slow? I think 3 significant updates in less than a year plus a big one on the horizon is pretty impressive; a bit late but better late than never, like Android.

    Joe Belfiore clearly stated why we've waited for new features: Other Storage took longer to fix than anticipated and GDR updates have focused on accommodating new hardware like quad-core and HD screens. Meanwhile they've kept every Windows 8 device in the update loop all the way down to the Huawei whateveritscalled(W1?).

    Of course, the main block to regular updates are the carriers and you should put the blame where it lies. Let me just say that AT&T are now internationally recognised as a crap service provider. Well done.

    Lastly, (and well done if you've made it this far) people who criticise MS, clearly don't see the scope of the vision Redmond have. The innovation Microsoft have started with their 3 screens vision is exciting and has a very wide scope, whereas the others are only offering faster versions of what we already have. Ultimately, ordinary people will catch on, because people around them will benefit and everyone will want a piece of the action.
    01-24-2014 06:40 AM
  17. Mike Gibson's Avatar
    Maybe its a nice alternate reality, but not a practical reality. Why did Apple (OSx/IOS) and Google (Android/ChromeOS) reject that alternate reality? They don't have a "disastrous split" between desktop and mobile? They both had a lot less inertia and more of a clean slate to work from. Why saddle Microsoft uniquely with this burden?
    Microsoft saddled itself with this burden. They're the ones that strapped a mobile UI and API on their existing Desktop OS. How many times have you heard/read complaints about the split between the simple things like changing Windows settings in Win8 (e.g. "is the setting in the Control Panel or Metro's PC Settings")? If a giant software company has problems with the split platform, imagine the burden on smaller ISVs. Well, I can tell you, they're avoiding the problem by abandoning MSFT.

    MSFT's mobile API, WinRT, sucks ... plain and simple. Look at the mess Async makes of your code (read the MSDN forums to see all the issues ISVs have using it properly). Win32 already had the best multithreading of any OS. Why throw that all away for the fine-grained Async BS? For example, why is every step of file access an Async call? You should start one thread to perform the entire file manipulation task using synchronous API calls.

    None of this was necessary. The only differences between a "mobile" app and a "desktop" app are the size of the screen and the input method. MSFT should have spent its time tackling those problems in their existing framework.

    Edit: before anyone replies saying "who cares how difficult it is to write code for", remember that MSFT is *way* behind in marketshare in mobile. Their competitors have far more momentum and, in the case of AAPL, have more money. MSFT has to do it better and make it easier for ISVs to support their products. Instead, they doubled the burden on ISVs (tripled it when you consider the split between WinRT and WinPRT). That's just stupid.
    Last edited by Mike Gibson; 01-24-2014 at 07:44 AM.
    01-24-2014 07:20 AM
  18. jlzimmerman's Avatar
    While MS is slipping, MS is still King of the Hill. Companies, media, and people target the king of the hill. People like to root for the underdog (one reason I like WP).

    You also have to remember that almost all media is subjective these days. Most people that write tech articles are biased. Personal tech ownership new religion. Blindy follow and judge those who don't use what you do.

    You also have to look at the recent past with MS. They've had their hands tied for several years because of the anti-trust regulation on them. Since that has been over they have exploded on the scene with new services and products. Granted, they have flaws and even I say WTF with some things they go backward on, but they're moving. And for the smartphone market, unlike Apple and partially Android, MS hasn't had vast empty land on which to grow their platforms. The market was very much saturated when WP7/8 came on the scene . It's going to be harder. But given that WP is going on 3 years old compared to 7 year old Apple, that gap has grossly closed in terms of functionality, ease of use, and apps.

    They have had their missteps and bone-headed moves, but overall have made great strides. Where they continue to mess up is in the marketing, advertising, and PR departments. They are so p!ss poor. I have learned more useful things about my Surface from watching this video than anything MS has put out.


    Even just naming the products better would help eliminate the media and end user angst.

    And people will always complain about Windows because of it's problems, but when you try to make a one-stop-shop operating system, not everything is going to work great. Working in the IT field, I see it and hear it frequently from fan boys. "If our environment was built on MAC's we would have these problems." I roll my eyes and reply "If our environment was built on MAC's our entire infrastructure / environment would collapse." Apple is built to work with Apple stuff. That's why it works so well. It's easy to get things to work when your sandbox is two feet by two feet. Windows has to is tweaked to work with everything. Just a month ago our server admins implemented a tool to help our NAS' (linux server) data diodes with auto negotiation to our layer 3 network. EMC didn't build that tool, Micro-f**king-soft did!

    MS seems to be doing too much without having a clear cut mission statement. That or their execution continuously stumbles. Ballmer does need to go, and they need to finalize their re-org. All-in-all, they are doing much more good than bad.
    Blu3V3nom07 and Cleavitt76 like this.
    01-24-2014 07:59 AM
  19. Jazmac's Avatar
    Again, these tales-of-woe always seem to follow stories of Microsoft "doing better than expected." When Microsoft makes gains of any kind, like clockwork, there are always fresh stories from bloggers, stuck on other brands as well as the incredibly envious among us that push and are pushed by these same buttons. And also like clockwork, they always seem to find nest on these pages. Nothing new about Microsoft. They are a big company and have a lot of pieces and parts that cannot move independently of the other parts. They process for itself, IOS, android and others all while protecting its enterprise from those same entities Korea, China, google looking to use its IP without paying for it.
    01-24-2014 08:43 AM
  20. Mike Gibson's Avatar
    While MS is slipping, MS is still King of the Hill. Companies, media, and people target the king of the hill. People like to root for the underdog (one reason I like WP).
    Not true. Look at the financial statements/profile for AAPL. It has more revenue and cash on hand than MSFT. Its iPhone business alone is larger than MSFT's total from all products. MSFT is the underdog.
    01-24-2014 08:57 AM
  21. dkediger's Avatar
    Microsoft saddled itself with this burden. They're the ones that strapped a mobile UI and API on their existing Desktop OS. How many times have you heard/read complaints about the split between the simple things like changing Windows settings in Win8 (e.g. "is the setting in the Control Panel or Metro's PC Settings")? If a giant software company has problems with the split platform, imagine the burden on smaller ISVs. Well, I can tell you, they're avoiding the problem by abandoning MSFT.
    Let me pose the question less rhetorically. If the ISV's goal is "top to bottom" desktop to mobile support, who provides that? Serious question. Microsoft may be a giant software company, but that means their installed base - and hence support - inertia is also higher. How is developing for IOS gonna reach OSx? Android to ChromeOS? Likely running just a front end on whatever device and using cloud services behind the scenes. And who has some pretty comprehensive cloud services?
    Win32 still exists, and will through Win 9 at least. The desktop is still there.

    None of this was necessary. The only differences between a "mobile" app and a "desktop" app are the size of the screen and the input method. MSFT should have spent its time tackling those problems in their existing framework.
    And the underlying physical hardware. That's a BIG difference...ARM to x86/x64. If anything, we should all be railing at Intel for ignoring the mobile hardware platform and creating the underlying hardware mess. They're receiving their pound of flesh. Microsoft went the abstracted hardware support path once, it ended up a dead end for them. And that was when the UI form factor was all fairly homogenous.
    01-24-2014 08:59 AM
  22. Cleavitt76's Avatar
    None of this reflects the sustainability of their primary businesses (i.e. Enterprise).
    Are you saying that their enterprise business is sustainable or unsustainable?
    01-24-2014 10:57 AM
  23. Mike Gibson's Avatar
    Let me pose the question less rhetorically. If the ISV's goal is "top to bottom" desktop to mobile support, who provides that? Serious question.
    Serious answer. MSFT is way behind in mobile and needs to provide the tools and infrastructure to bring ISVs to their platform. Why should small ISVs break their backs supporting a platform with 3% market share (WinPRT) or one with declining sales (Win32)? As much as I hate AAPL and GOOG, I will be forced to move to their platforms at some point in the future unless MSFT turns things around.

    Microsoft may be a giant software company, but that means their installed base - and hence support - inertia is also higher.
    Yes, and they knifed that huge installed base in the back by radically changing the Windows UI and they knifed their ISVs by radically changing their core API.

    And the underlying physical hardware. That's a BIG difference...ARM to x86/x64. If anything, we should all be railing at Intel for ignoring the mobile hardware platform and creating the underlying hardware mess. They're receiving their pound of flesh. Microsoft went the abstracted hardware support path once, it ended up a dead end for them. And that was when the UI form factor was all fairly homogenous.
    ARM vs x86 is irrelevant. The Win32 API is portable across CPU architectures. I can compile my C#/C++ WP8 app, which uses Win32's Direct3D extensively, for x86 to test in the emulator and then for ARM to test on phone hardware. Office on the Surface are Win32 programs compiled for ARM.

    The bottom line: MSFT already had a portable, battle-tested Win32 API for serious programs. All they had to do was change the UI APIs to support scalable programs. That's it. Backport it to Win7 and they would have had a winner.
    01-24-2014 11:23 AM
  24. Cleavitt76's Avatar
    Serious answer. MSFT is way behind in mobile and needs to provide the tools and infrastructure to bring ISVs to their platform. Why should small ISVs break their backs supporting a platform with 3% market share (WinPRT) or one with declining sales (Win32)? As much as I hate AAPL and GOOG, I will be forced to move to their platforms at some point in the future unless MSFT turns things around.
    You completely avoided his question and only talked about the one area where MS is behind (mobile) while ignoring all the areas of technology that they dominate.

    Yes, and they knifed that huge installed base in the back by radically changing the Windows UI and they knifed their ISVs by radically changing their core API.
    The deskop UI is still there and so are all the core APIs which is why desktop programs continue to run on Windows 8 just as they did on previous versions. Microsoft has *added* Modern UI apps and programming models to their ecosystem in order to provide for a new use case. They have not abandoned their other programming technology/frameworks. Microsoft has not told developers to stop programming other apps types. They are still expanding the frameworks used by desktop apps and other types of apps. They are still developing brand new software themselves using non-modern UI frameworks and tools. I don't know why so many people think that Modern UI and the Windows Store is intended to replace every other aspects of Windows and Microsoft software.

    The WinRT/WinPRT runtime is accessed mostly through .Net and XAML. XAML has been around for several years and .Net is well over a decade old now. Both of these are also used to create desktop applications (among other things) so clearly MS is not abandoning their developers. The only difference is the programming model, but that is no different that a developer that has to learn web programming techniques (session handling, data persistence, etc.) after becoming an expert in desktop programming or vice versa. I hate to break it to you, but as a developer you will need to be willing to learn new things if you want to write new kinds of programs.

    ARM vs x86 is irrelevant. The Win32 API is portable across CPU architectures. I can compile my C#/C++ WP8 app, which uses Win32's Direct3D extensively, for x86 to test in the emulator and then for ARM to test on phone hardware. Office on the Surface are Win32 programs compiled for ARM.

    The bottom line: MSFT already had a portable, battle-tested Win32 API for serious programs. All they had to do was change the UI APIs to support scalable programs. That's it. Backport it to Win7 and they would have had a winner.
    Of course ARM vs. x86 is relevant. WinRT is designed to support relatively simple apps that *may* be running on devices with very limited hardware, devices with power constraints, and devices with slow/cloud storage as their primary storage. The Win32 APIs are not designed for this type of device. If the goal was to create touch apps for quad core desktop computers I would agree that Win32 with a modified UI would be the best route. However, that is not the case. Many ARM devices are too simple to be able to support all the functionality of Win32 and even if they could it would make them very inefficient. There is a reason why apps get "tombstoned" instead of just collecting as background processes where they would eat memory and kill battery life. WinRT is designed to compliment Win32, not replace it. It is an option for developing a certain type of application with requirements that are very different from desktop programs. Complaining about this is like saying that MS should have used Win32 APIs as the basis for their HTTP services and web application development frameworks.
    01-24-2014 12:17 PM
  25. dkediger's Avatar
    OK, let's try a different tack on this question....

    My viewpoint is an enterprise IT manager. My concern is keeping the technology at the point of use as appropriate and effective as it can be. Honestly, I'm not that concerned with the phone side of things. I think for the near/intermediate future, this overarching hardware cycle and the next, those will exist - in the enterprise - as an auxiliary, secondary device that compliments the primary working device. And those are what I am concerned about - the working tablet, notebook, and desktop.

    In my enterprise, 2/3's to 3/4 of my devices only need one or two "browser" apps and then email. That is it. I'm really pretty excited overall about this time period - I get to re-imagine technology at the point of use for a large part of my enterprise. Sure there is also quite a bit of hand wringing and gnashing of teeth, but overall, this type of opportunity hasn't existed in a long time. Prior to this, it was always easy to walk around and say "desktop here, desktop there, desktop there, ohh, notebook over here." All of that was also extreme overkill for the previously mentioned fractions of my workforce. I realize I am not representative of every enterprise, but I suspect more so I am than I am not.

    For those users, what gets my interest, is the premise of WinRT, or even IOS. Relatively lightweight, sandboxed apps that greatly limit some of the exposure in the "sins of apps past." Conceptually, its appealing. Whether its practical, we'll all find out. If that's Microsoft or Apple (I don't think Google really cares as long as ad revenue flows) or both, I'm fine with it. Microsoft has actually presented and seems to be working to produce that vision. As I've mentioned before, Apple desperately needs to get enterprise managed services (iCloud) to up their game. Simply beating a BYOD drum gets pretty old pretty fast without some type of coherent service behind it.

    I'm not prioritizing a grand unified app experience from desktop to notebook to tablet to phone. I am prioritizing consumption of some of the same info across devices, but not the overall app experience - although that would be an awesome bonus. Maybe there's a disconnect in expectations between end users, devs, OS providers, and the press?
    Last edited by dkediger; 01-24-2014 at 01:11 PM.
    Laura Knotek, jmshub and a5cent like this.
    01-24-2014 12:53 PM
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