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Ballmer to Retire

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#106 Rickkins

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:38

you gotta look at who's generating that backlash

Damn those pesky customers...




#107 PGHammer

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 14:35

 Hold on, if the Surface RT had been running iOS or even Android it would have been a smash hit. Windows 8 RTM was lacking too much. It will get better with 8.1. It's not over yet, for Ballmer as CEO yes. But the Surface still lives, for now.

RT is closer to iOS than Android, and it's also cheaper than iOS (iPad specifically) - however, the critics of RT have insisted that it compete with Android (not iOS) - why?

 

RT cannot compete with Android on hardware cheapness, because RT has higher hardware requirements.  (That is, in fact, the real reason Acer and ASUS quit RT- margins got squeezed too much.)  In fact, if anything, some of those same critics of RT are calling for even better RT hardware, while at the same time calling for lower prices for RT-based hardware. That is the heart of the disconnect when it comes to RT.

 

The call is basically for "cheaper and cheaper".



#108 HawkMan

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 14:36

other than WIndows 8 you mean, where customers were totally ignored, likewise OEM's who were lambasted for not being innovative.

 

I guess the Surface that Microsoft produced in response shows that karma is a bitch - miserable fail, lack innovation, no one wants it - lol

 

No consumers weren't ignored. 

 

As I said, I haven't met a single consumers who has a problem with Windows 8 once they get to try it and are showed it's not some scary monster their wannabe tech friend told them it is. 

 

the only people with a problem with a small sub section of "techies" who refuse to adapt. 

 

More importantly, your assumptions that the consumers and users themselves know what's best for them is flawed. Change takes time and is always met with resistance. The change to modern and modern+desktop is a necessary step to move computing on. We're already seeing massive improvements with blue/8.1 and when windows 9 rolls around in about a years time or so I expect from 8.1 you will see a much better itnegrated modern UI and Desktop. 



#109 MorganX

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 14:40

RT is closer to iOS than Android, and it's also cheaper than iOS (iPad specifically) - however, the critics of RT have insisted that it compete with Android (not iOS) - why?

 

RT cannot compete with Android on hardware cheapness, because RT has higher hardware requirements.  (That is, in fact, the real reason Acer and ASUS quit RT- margins got squeezed too much.)  In fact, if anything, some of those same critics of RT are calling for even better RT hardware, while at the same time calling for lower prices for RT-based hardware. That is the heart of the disconnect when it comes to RT.

 

The call is basically for "cheaper and cheaper".

 

If the optimization/performance of RT 8.1 holds through RTM, the current hardware at $249 with Office RT is a steal IMO. Of course, the apps must be there, but it's a whole new experience with 8.1. I'm actually using it again. I have an unopened Surface Pro and Surface RT is enough for me for now. Of course with Windows 8.1 RTM I will break out the Pro and ditch the laptop.

 

Windows RT can compete with Android once enough apps come, but you are correct, not the Surface. Just the case is premium. I like it like that.

 

For that market, I think it's all about software and usability. I think MS would have to remove the Desktop Environment and Office RT for that. Those people aren't interested in those things, just endless running games, very basic email and web browsing, and more low end games with a high end feel.



#110 Dot Matrix

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 14:44

other than WIndows 8 you mean, where customers were totally ignored, likewise OEM's who were lambasted for not being innovative.

I guess the Surface that Microsoft produced in response shows that karma is a bitch - miserable fail, lack innovation, no one wants it - lol


I seem to remember Microsoft customers quite frequently asking for an answer to the iPad, and OEMs struggling with the garbage desktop UI on mobile devices...

#111 AJerman

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 15:46

Oh, please. I didn't say you couldn't do it, I said it was too much hassle and it is. If you have a music library of a couple thousand MP3's and 10 playlists that change regularly, it's an absolute, why bother. Finding and dragging and dropping hundreds of songs and playlists that unless you're a masochist you have to create in another app and copy playlists and more and new songs every time they change or are acquired. As opposed to a well thought out and media management ecosystem such as is present with iOS and even in it's shabby state far superior with even Windows.

 

You have all day to waste or let your phones lack on usability dictate what you listen to and how often you change that, be my guest.

Okay, I'll give you dragging and dropping is hard in a huge library, but that's only one way to get music on your phone and you still make it sound difficult because you want it to be. First off, I stream my music like the rest of the world now. Even if I didn't like the pay version of the streaming, I could still have 20,000 of my songs synced with Google Play where I can there sort it into any playlist I want and listen to it on any phone, tablet, or computer away from home. And if wireless data is an issue, it takes just a few minutes to pin a playlist while I'm on wifi and keep it on the phone. On top of that, there are a number of alternative applications like Winamp (you know, that player that's been around a LOT longer than iTunes?) that offer options such as wireless library and playlist syncing.

 

It seems like the bigger issue, as I see it frequently from those who prefer iOS, and even Windows like you mention, is that there seems to be some difficulty in going out and finding which application is customized to work best for you. If it's not already a part of the phone, the concept of using a third party app bafflingly seems looked down upon.

 

On the contrary, I think the concept of syncing your phone to your computer is an incredibly dated concept that dates back to the days of the iPod and other early MP3 players. There are still ways to do it easily on any phone if desired, but my equally large music library on my computer just sits idle on it's own drive now. Even at home I'd rather pull up Google Play to listen to music because it has a far larger library still. So I can easily and equally make the argument that your method is the one that's a hassle.



#112 Torolol

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 15:47

Fact: Ballmer to Retire, Stock Market rejoice.

 

Question: Therefore, who else on MSFT upper levels that are to retires, so the stock market could rejoice even more?



#113 MorganX

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 16:16

1) First off, I stream my music like the rest of the world now. Even if I didn't like the pay version of the streaming.

 

2) is that there seems to be some difficulty in going out and finding which application is customized to work best for you. If it's not already a part of the phone, the concept of using a third party app bafflingly seems looked down upon.

 

3) On the contrary, I think the concept of syncing your phone to your computer is an incredibly dated concept that dates back to the days of the iPod and other early MP3 players. There are still ways to do it easily on any phone if desired, but my equally large music library on my computer just sits idle on it's own drive now.

 

1) I think you make PGHammer's point here. Android supporters ignore its flaws and just do something else. Like streaming? I prefer to listen to exactly what I want, when I want, at the fidelity I want, without bandwidth. People who don't own a lot of music, have cheap androids and no computer, stream a lot. Of course they're not the only ones, but that's who really use it a lot.

 

2) Third party apps don't cut it. And none do it better than iTunes, or even Windows Media Player classic. Like I said, it can be done, it's an extra hassle, especially if you're just looking for basic simple functionality. I used Cloudskipper when I was using Android. It was OK but still a hassle to manage large libraries and playlists. It's simply not.

 

3) It's not dated, it's just done wirelessly now. With iTunes with no loss of management capability, ease of use/change, flexibility. And it was done well with Zune wirelessly but Windows 8 took a huge step backwards. Only those users didn't ignore it, they've been ripping Xbox Music to shreds. It, the Xbox Music syncing service, and playlist/media management appear greatly improved in 8.1. Actually moving your music to your other devices still has issues as does streaming unmatched music you own via cloud.

 

I have hopes for Windows 8's ecosystem as cloud sync of settings and some Modern UI apps use the cloud sync quite well. It's just going to take much longer than anyone expected to get it right. There really is no one to get "Android" right or to hold accountable for flaws and/or omissions. Google? pfft. Lucky for them the millions who pad Android's numbers couldn't care less. Chirp Chirp.



#114 PGHammer

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 16:58

1) I think you make PGHammer's point here. Android supporters ignore its flaws and just do something else. Like streaming? I prefer to listen to exactly what I want, when I want, at the fidelity I want, without bandwidth. People who don't own a lot of music, have cheap androids and no computer, stream a lot. Of course they're not the only ones, but that's who really use it a lot.

 

2) Third party apps don't cut it. And none do it better than iTunes, or even Windows Media Player classic. Like I said, it can be done, it's an extra hassle, especially if you're just looking for basic simple functionality. I used Cloudskipper when I was using Android. It was OK but still a hassle to manage large libraries and playlists. It's simply not.

 

3) It's not dated, it's just done wirelessly now. With iTunes with no loss of management capability, ease of use/change, flexibility. And it was done well with Zune wirelessly but Windows 8 took a huge step backwards. Only those users didn't ignore it, they've been ripping Xbox Music to shreds. It, the Xbox Music syncing service, and playlist/media management appear greatly improved in 8.1. Actually moving your music to your other devices still has issues as does streaming unmatched music you own via cloud.

 

I have hopes for Windows 8's ecosystem as cloud sync of settings and some Modern UI apps use the cloud sync quite well. It's just going to take much longer than anyone expected to get it right. There really is no one to get "Android" right or to hold accountable for flaws and/or omissions. Google? pfft. Lucky for them the millions who pad Android's numbers couldn't care less. Chirp Chirp.

Also, there ARE applications that do combinations of streaming AND local playback, even for Windows - Windows Media Player and Xbox Music both can (yes - WMP has been able to do so for the past several versions; it's just that the back-end - MSN Music - does not have as large a library of streamable music as competitors, such as iTunes).  I use Spotify for this (like iTunes and even Google Play, it's multi-client, including a client for Windows desktops) because it's less cumbersome than either WMP or Xbox Music (and far less cumbersome than even iTunes) on Windows - on OS X (same physical computer, but different HDD), I use iTunes.  If Spotify can adapt to ModernUI (especially background playback support), I'd use it.

 

Still, the biggest problem of managing large media libraries among multiple devices with different UIs is precisely that - the UI/UX problem.  How many media players that also double as media managers have unique UIs or UXes? iTunes comes immediately to mind - however, Apple didn't go to the common UI/UX to necessarily benefit users.  (Worse, there is a major penalty for Windows users for having iTunes on Windows - in fact, it's a bigger penalty than ModernUI; there are now TWO services you must deal with when you have iTunes on Windows - any version of Windows.  Finally, like Google Play, iTunes is MIA on RT, let alone ModernUI.)

 

Preferably, I'd LOVE to see a ModernUI-based media manager use SkyDrive File Explorer - ModernUI's file management app.  As to why Xbox Music hasn't, you can certainly imagine the hue and cry that would happen if Microsoft's various ModernUI teams actually talked to each other and worked together - or have we forgotten the lashing that Microsoft has taken merely for including Internet Explorer as part of Windows - even when IE was NOT as good compared to the competition as it has become?  The not talking to each other that we are complaining about now is part of the unintended, but very real, consequences of the hullabaloo over IE.  Why would Microsoft risk getting whacked in the court of public opinion, or worse yet, the courts of law, over engaging in the SAME behavior that has gotten it in trouble before - even, if not especially, for the benefit of users, as opposed to its own benefit?



#115 PGHammer

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 17:31

Fact: Ballmer to Retire, Stock Market rejoice.

 

Question: Therefore, who else on MSFT upper levels that are to retires, so the stock market could rejoice even more?

 

Ballmer has not been a favorite of institutional investors since he BECAME CEO - primarily because he's a prickly sort.  The fact that institutional investors don't care for his attitude means exactly squat to his effectiveness as a CEO.  (Lee Iacocca was liked even less as CEO of Chrysler by those same institutional investors - same applies to Jack Welch at GE.)

 

Also, CEOs that shake things up are going to hork off institutional investors.  "Institutional investors" means the largest investors - groups such as pension plans (such as the California Public Employees Retirement System - CalPERS).  Such groups have a fiduciary responsibility to be as safe and risk-averse as possible.  Microsoft (and Apple, and GE, and even Google to an extent) have been reliable as clockwork in terms of paying dividends.  What have been THE biggest source of Microsoft's revenues (and thus its dividends)?  Windows and Office - in that respect, the critics had a point.  Here's the problem the critics have - despite the $900 million write-down with regard to Surface, not only are earnings up, so is post-charge revenue.  Can the critics say that either would be the case had the investment in Surface and/or RT NOT been made?  (Quite honestly, I seriously doubt it - the investment in Surface is way too closely tied to all the other works that has been going on - including Windows, Office, Azure, etc.  It's the equivalent of disassembling a wedding cake into its ingredients - AFTER it's been baked, frosted, and presented to the reception.  While I understand the concern, it's the thought process as it applies to Microsoft, or Apple, or Google, for that matter - that I have an issue with.  The SAME criticism - by the same groups of investors - has indeed been leveled at Apple CEO Tim Cook, and even to an extent at Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman.  How the heck do you unbake a cake?)



#116 JasonMiles

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 19:02

This makes much sense. That big flop from Surface and Windows Phone surely caused a lot of annoyances.



#117 PGHammer

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 19:51

This makes much sense. That big flop from Surface and Windows Phone surely caused a lot of annoyances.

I don't see Surface/RT as a flop.  Admittedly, the timing sucked - however, a flop it isn't.  (Same, surprisingly, applies to Windows Phone 8.)

 

The REAL problem is that both Surface/RT and WP8 released into the teeth of a sour economy.

 

Sour economies cause retrenchments - both in corporate spending and consumer spending; the Great Recession certainly earned its name in that regard, and on a global basis.

 

The sour economy has largely segued into a VERY tepid recovery - the most tepid recovery in recent memory.  (What even the most critical of economic analysts and pundits admit that the recovery of the Great Depression was largely spurred by World War II and the destruction wrought thereby.  However, MODERN pundits - especially in terms of tech - don't see that; in fact, they have refused to even look at it.)

 

Such a tepid recovery has, understandably, forced a continuance of the low-end risk in terms of spending - the thirst for cheap.  Android is cheap - cheaper than RT; hence easier to swallow than RT.

 

It sure sounds like the same folks that are calling RT a flop are the same ones critical of Wal-Mart corporate policies - all the while going there and purchasing like crazy and thus taking advantage of the lower prices those same policies create.  (And yes - ditto Amazon; notice how much Amazon gets whacked, for the same reasons Wal-Mart has been.)

 

Hypocrisy run rampant!



#118 MorganX

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 20:46

I don't see Surface/RT as a flop.  Admittedly, the timing sucked - however, a flop it isn't.  (Same, surprisingly, applies to Windows Phone 8.)

I don't see it as a flop. I did until I installed 8.1 Preview. I think timing sucked, and the software sucked, and the dearth of meaningful Modern UI apps sucked(s).

 

But the concept and the hardware were and are excellent with negligible flaws. I definitely things as the software matures and materializes, it has a big upside. Just going to take a while. I'm not sure it was the economy. I think the economy did affect PC Sales among other factors. Still with the decline, it's a decline of perennial massive growth.



#119 Dot Matrix

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 20:51

Surface and Windows Phone are hardly a flop. Both are solid products making waves in the market. Don't let the markdown fool you.



#120 AJerman

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 22:31

1) I think you make PGHammer's point here. Android supporters ignore its flaws and just do something else. Like streaming? I prefer to listen to exactly what I want, when I want, at the fidelity I want, without bandwidth. People who don't own a lot of music, have cheap androids and no computer, stream a lot. Of course they're not the only ones, but that's who really use it a lot.

 

2) Third party apps don't cut it. And none do it better than iTunes, or even Windows Media Player classic. Like I said, it can be done, it's an extra hassle, especially if you're just looking for basic simple functionality. I used Cloudskipper when I was using Android. It was OK but still a hassle to manage large libraries and playlists. It's simply not.

 

3) It's not dated, it's just done wirelessly now. With iTunes with no loss of management capability, ease of use/change, flexibility. And it was done well with Zune wirelessly but Windows 8 took a huge step backwards. Only those users didn't ignore it, they've been ripping Xbox Music to shreds. It, the Xbox Music syncing service, and playlist/media management appear greatly improved in 8.1. Actually moving your music to your other devices still has issues as does streaming unmatched music you own via cloud.

 

I have hopes for Windows 8's ecosystem as cloud sync of settings and some Modern UI apps use the cloud sync quite well. It's just going to take much longer than anyone expected to get it right. There really is no one to get "Android" right or to hold accountable for flaws and/or omissions. Google? pfft. Lucky for them the millions who pad Android's numbers couldn't care less. Chirp Chirp.

Well, I started to write a response but I'm sure we could both discuss this all day and we're already going off topic. It all comes down to, as always, using whatever works best for you. I was a long time iTunes user that hasn't used it for the last couple of years because I don't like it as much as the alternatives anymore. If you like it, then there's nothing wrong with it.