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Microsoft's worst nightmare coming true

ipad xbox ms office huge quarterly loss

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#1 Hum

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 21:48

Almost one year ago today, we laid out the nightmare scenario for Microsoft (MSFT) that could lead to its business collapsing. After laying it all out, we concluded, "Fortunately for Microsoft, none of this is going to happen."

We were wrong.

A lot changed in the last year. Microsoft's nightmare scenario is actually starting to take hold. We're revisiting our slideshow from last year to see how things have played out.

Each number that follows has one piece of the nightmare scenario for Microsoft and an explanation of where Microsoft stands in comparison to that hypothetical situation.

1. The iPad eats the consumer PC market.

2. Employees gradually switch away from using Windows PCs for work.

3. Windows 8 fails to stop the iPad.

4. Loyal developers start to leave the Microsoft platform.

5. Windows Phone gets no traction despite the Nokia deal and RIM's collapse.

6. MS Office loses relevance.

7. Microsoft's other business applications start to erode.

8. The platform business collapses.

9. The Xbox was never going to make up the slack, and Microsoft can no longer afford to keep investing in it.

10. Microsoft suffers a huge quarterly loss. Ballmer retires to play golf.


Last year, we concluded by saying, "Fortunately for Microsoft, none of this is going to happen. Windows 8 will reassert the dominance of the Windows PC. Office and other business products will remain corporate necessities, and developers will never be able to ignore Microsoft. Windows Phone will become a viable third mobile platform, the Xbox will continue to dominate the living room, and new products will surprise the pundits who thought Microsoft couldn't innovate. Even Bing will finally make a profit someday."

This year, it's a lot harder to say much of that. Windows 8 doesn't seem to be reasserting the dominance of the PC. Windows Phone is not a viable third platform. Bing is still burning money. The Microsoft nightmare scenario is actually becoming a reality.

full story


#2 javagreen

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:10

11. Microsoft releases Windows 9, with a 'Start' button this time for all the whiners. Stuff returns to normalcy. iSheep continue to flock to the iPad 5, though, willingly placing their balls in the palms of Apple, so they can squeeze them as much as they please.

#3 f0rk_b0mb

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:13

11. Microsoft releases Windows 9, with a 'Start' button this time for all the whiners. Stuff returns to normalcy. iSheep continue to flock to the iPad 5, though, willingly placing their balls in the palms of Apple, so they can squeeze them as much as they please.


I wouldn't doubt this would happen. :D

#4 Perfect72

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:20

I haven't actually seen the sales of WP8 devices. But I am very, very pleased with my Lumia 920 and I think it is a very viable third option.

Actually, it is a viable second option, the iPhone is the third option, with Android still being the first. But that is just my opinion.

#5 farmeunit

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:24

11. Microsoft releases Windows 9, with a 'Start' button this time for all the whiners. Stuff returns to normalcy. iSheep continue to flock to the iPad 5, though, willingly placing their balls in the palms of Apple, so they can squeeze them as much as they please.


It's funny you say that about Apple fans, because that's what WinRT is basically doing.

#6 Dashel

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:25

Is this a joke? Sorry, not buying any of that bull****. I take issue with every single one. MS has problems, but not those.

#2 for example, "As more people get comfortable with Apple's mobile products at work, Microsoft will have to worry about them converting their Windows-based computers to Macs at work, too."

:laugh: Spoken like a true Apple dork.

#7 Javik

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:30

Microsoft aren't exactly setting the tablet scene alight at the moment but their business is far from failing.

#8 vetAndrew Lyle

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:32

LOL @ number 9.. Xbox is one of the only good things Microsoft has going for it right now.

#9 MorganX

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:32

2) Surface and Surface Pro will help here. Not much will really change. They're OK.

4) More like loyal iPhone and Android developers may take their time developing for the platform if at all. That is happening.

5) Windows Phone 8 and the Lumia 920 are great. In the long run, the inability to work well/sync well with Windows 8 Desk and Surface will hurt it. Particularly the state of Xbox Music.

6) Tough call. 2013 is great. But as people realize there's only so much you can do to improve a Word Processor and Spreadsheet, they will tire of the licenses. Office 365 is MS' response. Jury still out.

7-8) Not going to happen.

9) Xbox is on a tear and will keep on truckin'

10) The Windows Phone team says petition them if you want to play Xbox Video content on Windows Phone 8. WTH? Is anyone running MS, is Ballmer even there or only at Shareholder meetings? Where's the vision and leadership. Why is the Phone division making this interoperability decision unilaterally. MS management is a mess. Ballmer is the least of their problems. Hate to say it, but the managers and Microsoft may be too old, boring, and rich to connect with consumer wants, needs, and desires like Apple does.

#10 Detection

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:34

Shouldn't this be in 'jokes and funny stuff' forum ? :p

MS dominate the desktop market, they are not intimidated by any other company, and no, I'm not a MS fanboi, just a fact ;)

#11 pwgarner

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:39

This is after one year??!! It would seem that it would take a few years for each of these things to even become remotely viable. I really take exception to number 1. I thought they were saying that the iPad was not a PC!? Then number 3 Windows 8 has been out for 6 weeks and it can be determined that it has not dent in iPad sales?! And my favorite of them all number 8 the platform business collapses, yeah wait for it.

#12 a.mcdear

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:41

As an IT manager, I agree with #2. Last year when I built 50 brand new computers for the office, I opted to install Linux (Ubuntu) instead of Windows 7. At the same time I killed my Server 2003 R2 Active Directory Domain controller and switched to Ubuntu Server and LDAP for login. It was a time consuming transition, but honestly after completion I have never been happier. I rarely ever have to go in and fix anything. Everything simply works, and works great. And I've gone from 11.04 to 11.10 to 12.04 LTS without really ever having to pay a cent or do anything but install the updates from online. Its really quite genius.

Also, I use an Android tablet to manage pretty much EVERYTHING in the office. I very very rarely use an actual desktop computer at all anymore, except when I'm working on web design stuff. The only Windows machine I really use anymore is my HTPC on my TV at home, running Windows 7. I was thinking about giving Windows 8 a whirl though, as it seems like the UI might work out quite well on a TV screen.

#13 Detection

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:43

As an IT manager, I agree with #2. Last year when I built 50 brand new computers for the office, I opted to install Linux (Ubuntu) instead of Windows 7. At the same time I killed my Server 2003 R2 Active Directory Domain controller and switched to Ubuntu Server and LDAP for login. It was a time consuming transition, but honestly after completion I have never been happier. I rarely ever have to go in and fix anything. Everything simply works, and works great. And I've gone from 11.04 to 11.10 to 12.04 LTS without really ever having to pay a cent or do anything but install the updates from online. Its really quite genius.

Also, I use an Android tablet to manage pretty much EVERYTHING in the office. I very very rarely use an actual desktop computer at all anymore, except when I'm working on web design stuff. The only Windows machine I really use anymore is my HTPC on my TV at home, running Windows 7. I was thinking about giving Windows 8 a whirl though, as it seems like the UI might work out quite well on a TV screen.


Minority imo

The cost to re-train employees and to migrate an existing windows network to linux would be far too high and too much work for most companies to even bother trying

#14 HawkMan

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:44

heh, yahoo pretending to be relevant after their boss threw away the one offer that could have saved them.

#15 a.mcdear

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 22:51

Minority imo


I think you're right. I don't expect most companies to switch to Linux in the workplace, but I was pleasantly surprised after my own transition at work.
However, I do think that tablets will continue to perform more and more roles that used to be designated to a workstation or laptop, and will become the primary computing device for many people who used to rely more on workstation and laptops.