Tag Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft Responds to Horrified Developers on Future of Windows 8

A few weeks ago Microsoft released a preview video of Windows 8. Almost immediately developers all over the internet became enraged that Microsoft (with Windows 8) was leaving behind the platform and framework that they have been working with for a decade … all having hedged their bets on: win32 or .NET Framework + C# (language).

Except that Microsoft made no such moves. And no real developers were “horrified”, because a real developer knows that HTML is just a markup language and JavaScript is not a replacement for the CLR + .NET Framework.

At least that was what I thought!

Microsoft has now released a video demonstrating what Windows 8 is about.

The simple truth is that Windows 8 is a re-imagination of the desktop … geared towards the mass market which primarily uses their systems to browse the internet, post on facebook, check their email.

Windows 8 can run tailored apps where HTML and JavaScript widgets replace the traditional desktop window for the benefit of the user.

The underlining platform does not change. We simply get a new fancy UI option that uses a DLL shared with IE 10.

Google Failures of Epic Proportions

Every day I get up, turn my system on and spend a few hours reading the blogs I follow. And every day I read posts hating Microsoft for reasons that can only be explained by a serious misunderstanding of reality.

Here I present you Google Failures of Epic Proportions (a.k.a the other side of the story).

Original Idea Google Copy Result
Wikipedia Knol Fail, no one uses
YouTube Google Video Buyout, users don’t come
Exchange Wave Hype, does not deliver
Office Docs Mediocrity, does not compete
Paypal Checkout Poor vendor uptake, too many issues
Amazon Google Catalogs Discontinued
DMOZ Google Directory Fail
Y! Answers Google Answer Fail
Craigslist Google Base Fail
Twitter Jaiku acquisition Fail
Live Messenger GTalk Fail
WolframAlpha Google Squared Fail

Why Microsoft Needs Yahoo…

I was reading the comments in this article today and could not resist observing (once more) how bloggers and anonymous commenters love to pretend they know Microsoft’s business better then Microsoft *knows it itself*.

I think the real question here is why has Microsoft been unsuccessful in dominating this area of [internet search] business. Right? After all, this is what everyone agrees on — that Microsoft has failed here.

But have they?…

If you take the time to try Live Search, you’ll know it’s just as good as Google Search.

The problem here is not with better algorithms or a bigger database, but rather with consumer perception.

Consumers *have* made up their minds (< one of a thousand examples) that Google is king of internet search. And any decent marketer will tell you that once a consumer has made up his mind, it is impossible to change his notion from that point forward.

*It is that simple.*

Live Search can never compete with Google Search directly.

The above is a failed strategy. It’s just like Google Knol trying to compete with Wikipedia (fail!). It’s just not going to happen unless they are prepared to spend 100s of millions on marketing and the next 10 years slowly leaching away at the user base of whoever is #1.

There are only two ways Microsoft can win market share here: buy another major Search company such as Yahoo (to get their users and brand), or compete with Google search on different attributes.

And this is exactly what they have been trying to do, as everything else is a dead end. And of course with some creative marketing thrown in, they can attack Google on all fronts.

Update: Just take a look a Bing! Fantastic strategy on their part. Rebranding (of Live Search) and marketing at work creating a clean slate in the consumer’s mind.

Bing

Bing is a search engine that finds and organizes the answers you need so you can make faster, more informed decisions.

vs. Google

Enables users to search the Web, Usenet, and images. Features include PageRank, caching and translation of results, and an option to find similar pages.

Windows Mail for Vista, Not As Bad As I Thought.

Having used Windows XP for the last several years, I’ve recently decided to migrate to Windows Vista after purchasing a Dell 530 quad core PC with a 24 inch LCD.

My choices were to:
1. Keep using Thunderbird
2. Migrate to Outlook [Office]
3. Or try the native Windows Vista Mail application ["Windows Mail" is the replacement for Outlook Express].

The choice of using Thunderbird was the simplest of them all… But I wanted to try something new. The stability issues and a non-modern UI were the other decisive factors at play.

In the end, Windows Mail was the winner. But not an easy one.

Here is what I have discovered, which should have been documented somewhere but is not.

a) There is no way to import mbox format mail from other Mail Clients.

I used a temporary IMAP folder to copy/move messages from one mail client to the other; to bypass the obvious underlining format issues.

b) All POP accounts go into the main Local Inbox folder.

If you want to structurally segment different POP accounts, you will need to create Local sub-folders and create message rules that are conditional on the specific account. I can make a case for or against this [if this is a feature or a limit].

c) Message Rules do not apply to IMAP folders.

And there are no setting to automatically copy/move messages from select IMAP folders or accounts to the Local Folders. Again, I can make a case for or against this [both ways].

d) The Spam filter does not automatically apply to IMAP accounts and folders even when “Synchronization Settings” are set to “All messages” [which downloads the entire message body].

You actually have to open the message for the spam filter to process it. Though I think it might act on the header data it receives, proactively, or perhaps even on the message body when you select “Work Offline”.

All in all, after using Windows Mail I’ve actually become fond of it. It’s a great app and integrates well with the system.

Note:
Gmail IMAP folders use a “/” path in their structure. Example: The All Mail folder is “[Gmail]/All Mail”. Windows Mail does not allow you to use this character to specify the special IMAP folders. It still works, but looks a little odd. There are ways to get around this if it bothers you.

Both Sides Play Dirty. Linux and Microsoft.

My favorite FUD recipe, it’s delicious:

1) Create a completely misleading title.

2) Make a mountain out of a molehill.

3) Proclaim insider knowledge not possessed by more experienced individuals.

4) Carefully craft statements based on false premisses.

5) Spread the FUD around and bake @ 350.

And whatever you do, DO NOT ADD FACTS, Facts, facts!

Typical Linux FUD Campaign towards Microsoft.

An Exercise for the Reader: Take a look at any of the major Linux friendly sites around the net and see if you can spot a pattern.

The typical day revolves around crying wolf, proclaiming Linux the winner of every battle, and screaming FUD at anything and everything Microsoft does.

It’s almost like watching under-developed, spoiled children running around, screaming, constantly trying to evoke attention and reassurance within their group.

Paris Hilton (and friends) come to mind here.

Lets take a look at the current round of FUD [Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt]…

Tactic #1.

Virtualize Windows on Linux? Microsoft Says No Way!

Create a completely misleading title.

Microsoft made no such statements…

“We haven’t seen significant demand [from enterprise-level customers] for Linux applications on the desktop or for desktop virtualization on top of Linux,” — Sam Ramji, Director Platform Technology Strategy, Microsoft

Little to no demand for Windows virtualization under Linux from enterprise-level customers does not translate to anything remotely close to what the author will have you believe.

Tactic #2.

However, one has to wonder why Microsoft is blowing off the enthusiast community…

Make a mountain out of a non-existent molehill.

The referred to community is not the sort that goes out purchasing copies of Windows to run under Linux. They either violate the EULA terms of existing copies or revert to their roots: stealing a fresh (virus and backdoor infected) copy of Windows from The Pirate Bay.

Microsoft is in business to make money, and will allocate resources to the market segment where there are profits to be made. Pleasing a community that never buys anything, that spits on them, that provides no benefit, and drains resources *does nothing* and efforts are better focused elsewhere.

Tactic #3.

I think the decision to refuse to support virtualized Vista and XP on Linux will hurt Microsoft in both the short and long term.

Proclamation of knowledge not possessed by others.

Microsoft is not run by morons. Talent is everywhere, and not just at Google.

Again, the author does not clarify what “support” is referring to exactly, but if there was a decision made, you can be sure that more knowledgeable and experienced individuals have worked it out.

Tactic #4.

I like Windows Vista (and XP), but I want to use Linux, too. And, I want to run the operating systems I prefer the way I want to. Microsoft’s decision to refuse to support virtualization on Linux makes it harder for me to do things the way I want – and I’m not happy. By refusing to support virtualization on Linux, Microsoft is basically telling users, “it’s our way or the highway.”

Carefully craft statements based on false premisses… Leaving just enough room to backpedal out of certain assertions in the future.

You can run just about any version of Windows as a guest OS under a Linux or Debain based host with VMWare, Xen, QEMU, etc. Paid customers are provided support from the VM vendor.

Tactic #5.

Somebody needs to remind Microsoft that it’s no longer alone on the desktop – and it can’t bully users like it used to. Somebody (namely me) just did. Is anybody in Redmond listening?

Pretend you have fallen, and can’t get up. Your target has pushed you down the stairs. Threaten to sue!

Please clarify what exactly it is that you believe Microsoft owes you?

It’s not enough that you get to steal their products, but now they also need to provide support for you to run Windows under Linux.

Remember what I said about the problems of having to cater to the vocal sub-category of the Linux home user-base? They never stop complaining, no matter what you do. Ubuntu comes to mind here.

The OS is a tool to be used, not a way of life.

Microsoft Thanks Ubuntu For Increasing XP and Vista Sales

It’s great that Linux is finally getting the exposure it deserves, thanks to Dell, but the question still remains: how is Dell profiting from its Ubuntu offering?

We know that the net margin for Dell, as a whole, is around 5% [the true profit made on revenue]. While we can compare this number to the industry standard, it does not tell us anything about the margins Dell pockets on its commodity PC and Notebook lines.

Per system, it is rumored to be around 2% or less and to be razor-thin and ever decreasing.

Considering that Dell pays $25-$45 per OEM volume XP/Vista license and profits $45+ from the “Desktop Real Estate” provided by Windows, where is the profit made when a Ubuntu system is priced less than it’s Windows counterpart?

Surely not with the upgrades that are either lacking or similarly priced [that sometimes cost more].

Publicity.

The profits made on selling Ubuntu systems at cost, or even at a loss, is with the free publicity Dell is generating for itself via major news and social network sites around the net regurgitating on this deal literally every few days. This in turn generates traffic and sales on profitable items, such as the Windows systems, for Dell.

Breaking News: Wal-Mart to Sell Linux Laptops at Below $400, and PCs For Less Than $300

WalMart Linux Laptop: $398

Just don’t get too excited, because this is old news [circa 2004]. And something that is currently being rehashed as new on Digg, Slashdot, and Linux sites…

I’m sure you have seen it too: the news along the lines of “[insert random OEM here] releasing incredible Linux offers”, quickly followed by naive comments proclaiming the end of Microsoft.

The fact is, OEMs and companies like Wal-Mart have been attempting to sell Linux based PCs and Laptops/Notebooks for years. Take a look:

Unfortunately, most of these attempts have resulted in complete failure or extremely small volume [Wal-Mart couldn't even sell 1000 of those Laptops]. And every few years, the waters are tested again, with the same exact outcome.

Lets face the truth: Linux does not work for the average consumer, it never has, as “choice” is not something that consumers are looking for. Familiarity, function, and eye candy are the determining factors here.

As “Linux” is not synonymous with “Wal-Mart”; it neither is with “Desktop.”

See more for yourself at the Google News Archives and here.

Another Microsoft Defection

Peter Wright, best know for writing popular Visual Basic books, has defected from Microsoft, in another high profile switch of known authors abandoning ship [or at least, moving to greener pastures].

Good bye Microsoft; Pete has now left the building!

I eat, slept and breathed Windows code. I learned VB inside out. I read numerous editions of Petzold’s book cover to cover and learned how to do what I could with VB first in C, then in C++ with MFC. Technology was advancing at a stunning pace and I was right there in the middle of it. Those were giddy days.

Somewhere along the way though, things changed. I don’t know exactly when or how, but the world I loved got torn to shreds, set fire to, then mooshed into a pile of horse manure.

I found myself surrounded by power hungry muppets, the odd idiot, a few downright liars…

Everywhere I went looking for passion, talent and excitement I found myself surrounded only by politics that would make a Roman Senator shrivel in fear, and programmers whose only goal in life was to make it from pay check to pay check.

Mr. Wright now uses a Macintosh, has an Ubuntu Linux install on another system, writes Ruby on Rails code, and uses Python and Perl.

Will Charles Petzold soon follow? Mr.Petzold is the author of “Programming Windows”; the bible of Windows Programming.