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Steve Ballmer’s ‘failure’ illustrated in a single chart


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#16 DomZ

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 18:32

Just to back up that it's Ballmer's fault they missed out on the smartphone boom, check out this video (one of my favourite videos of all time btw):

 




#17 MorganX

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 18:34

Not really. People dislike Windows 8. Sure, tablets and mobile are becoming big, but Microsoft has that space covered....with Windows 8. People aren't buying it. I would never, ever use it and I have a few friends that run it at work and they curse it constantly. They ask me how to do things and I just laugh at them. Windows 8 just ain't cutting it.

 

See, I don't think people dislike it. Our people with use whatever we put in front of them and when we have deployed Surface, they actually love it. But as a PC. I think most people are confused as to what it can do for them "better" or more efficiently. I think it was rushed and released before devs were ready, consumers were ready, and before the code and core apps were ready.

 

8.1 will be what 8.0 RTM should have been. I think it will ultimately do well, but the poor planning and execution of Windows 8 is, IMO, why the Surface has basically flopped so far. But it will get a second chance and so far that is looking good.

 

RT will still suffer from identity crisis with Office RT and a Keyboard cover, but it should do very well with business' and students. I'll have to give the mail client a go to see how well that has improved.



#18 MorganX

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 18:37

Just to back up that it's Ballmer's fault they missed out on the smartphone boom, check out this video (one of my favourite videos of all time btw):

 

 

MS didn't miss the boom, they just sucked at it. They failed to develop a touch/smartphone optimized UI. They sat on their market as the Woz said. I can't really hold this against Ballmer, he wasn't visionary enough to see this direction, and he wasn't the only one. Give Jobs and Apple credit. MS had Windows Mobile and Pens, Apple had the failed but usable Newtons, and Apple saw further faster.

 

It is however, his fault, for not leading the company to respond quicker once the iPhone's success was apparent. Took way too long.



#19 +d5aqoëp

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 18:52

Simple
Surface RT tablet when put next to an iPad looks totally confusing, unappealing in terms of UI.

The marketing of Microsoft is horrible. Here in India, they show some random guys and girls dancing to some western dub step music. The advertising is never "to the point." It always runs through several hoops and in the end all my friends are like "###### we just saw?"

However when any Apple advert comes on, it's so appealing and perfectly done even if the product they are advertising is iGoo.

I know Neowin is the only place for the last remaining Ballmer fans. But he needed to go. I actually want that Julie Larsen Green to be fired too. Then reinstate Steven Sinofsky back. He brought MS Office 2010 and Windows 7 to great heights.

#20 MorganX

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 18:58

Simple
Surface RT tablet when put next to an iPad looks totally confusing, unappealing in terms of UI.

The marketing of Microsoft is horrible. Here in India, they show some random guys and girls dancing to some western dub step music. The advertising is never "to the point." It always runs through several hoops and in the end all my friends are like "###### we just saw?"

However when any Apple advert comes on, it's so appealing and perfectly done even if the product they are advertising is iGoo.

I know Neowin is the only place for the last remaining Ballmer fans. But he needed to go. I actually want that Julie Larsen Green to be fired too. Then reinstate Steven Sinofsky back. He brought MS Office 2010 and Windows 7 to great heights.

 

I think Julie Larson easily eclipsed him with Office 2013. It is arguable, but IMO Windows 8 Desktop Environment is superior to Windows 7, with the exception of the Start Menu.



#21 Growled

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 19:05

8.1 will be what 8.0 RTM should have been. I think it will ultimately do well, but the poor planning and execution of Windows 8 is, IMO, why the Surface has basically flopped so far. But it will get a second chance and so far that is looking good.

Windows 8 will have to prove itself to me, with much better sales before I bet on it. At this moment I don't see 8.1 doing any better than 8.0. I think the brand has been damaged and at this point only a 9.0 is going to save it. To me this is the same situation that we saw with Vista and Windows 7.



#22 PGHammer

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 19:07

MS didn't miss the boom, they just sucked at it. They failed to develop a touch/smartphone optimized UI. They sat on their market as the Woz said. I can't really hold this against Ballmer, he wasn't visionary enough to see this direction, and he wasn't the only one. Give Jobs and Apple credit. MS had Windows Mobile and Pens, Apple had the failed but usable Newtons, and Apple saw further faster.

 

It is however, his fault, for not leading the company to respond quicker once the iPhone's success was apparent. Took way too long.

And would a rushed-but flawed product have been accepted?

 

Windows 8 has, in fact, been attacked for both those issues - being rushed AND being flawed (either or even both at once).

 

It really doesn't help that Windows 8 is competing directly with the still-supported (for another eight years, at minimum) Windows 7.  Given a sour economy AND a tepid recovery (the weakest recovery on record) you would think that Windows 8 is behind Windows 7's sales pace.  However, despite all of that, Windows 8 has, in fact, kept the same sales pace that Windows 7 did.  Throw in that much-maligned monstrous UI change, and you would think that 8 is doing worse than what it actually is - which is not the case, even according to the critics' own numbers.

 

And how has the iPhone's success been apparent?  It didn't REALLY become apparent until the iPhone 4 (and it took adding more carriers for it to even get there) - the first three generations of iPhone were tied to a single carrier in the US (AT&T Mobility) AND a single carrier technology - GSM.  Note that the iPad did NOT make that initial mistake - it was multi-frequency from the jump.  Therefore, if anybody learned from the mistakes of the iPhone, it was Google/Android/Android OEMs - they did not tie themselves down to a single carrier OR carrier technology.  Microsoft didn't make that mistake at all with Windows Phone - like Android, it has been multi-carrier-tech from the beginning (which was not true of WinMo or the KIN).

 

Microsoft is, apparently, supposed to succeed despite every possible obstacle that can be thrown at it - whether by competition or regulation.  They are also supposed to succeed, if not outright dominate, in every single market. No other company - and especially not any of its competition - has that amount of pressure in even ONE of its markets, let alone all of them.  (Surprisingly, such expectations didn't exist for IBM.)  And if it merely managed to stay stable, it is accused of failing.  (Looked at from a straight sales standpoint, Vista was not a failure, and even Windows 8 has not been a failure - in either comparative OR absolute terms; like Windows 7 did, it still cleared the fence.)  However, what is expected is for every version of Windows to not merely clear the fence sales-wise, but to clear the uppermost deck - straightaway center field - every single time.  No other company - in fact, no individual in any sport, not even Usain Bolt - has the sort of target painted on that Microsoft apparently does.

 

Given that sort of unrelenting pressure - year in and year out - I'm not surprised that Steve Ballmer has had enough.



#23 yowanvista

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 19:21

Oh I am in agreement, Microsoft did mess up there.  However, I was replying more along the lines of yowanvista blaming Windows 8.

 

Edit:

 

Technically, Microsoft did anticipate the shift to mobile.  Hence WP and Windows 8 being similar (taking a page from Apple on iOS and OS X).  However, the OEMs did not exactly switch to mobile.  So the OEMs have some blame in this as well.

 

Windows 8 would have been a commercial success, provided Microsoft didn't force the App concept and Metro stuff too hard on PC users. After all, the Windows userbase is mostly PC and not touchscreens as tech pundits often seem to claim. Yes tablets are on the rise but inadvertently wrecking the PC ecosystem with a naturally unsuited UI while promoting touch-based systems will only make things worse. They didn't simply listen to the community and basically implemented too much touch garbage into what was once a pure PC OS.

 

The transition wasn't smooth imho, they went backwards trying to seduce the PC user with Windows 8.1 but it's kinda too late now, their failure can be seen. If only they offered the ability to disable the whole touchscreen stuff and a simple toggle to enable the Start Menu.. Moreover Apps with a touch design language don't make sense on the PC. They couldn't even make the Windows Store decent enough to attract major players, one can judge that by the mind blowing amount of crap Apps in there. So yes, Windows 8 is a direct cause, it has a personality disorder, it's a mongrel of an OS; a mobile touchscreen OS attached to a castrated dumbed down desktop.



#24 adrynalyne

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 19:23

Windows 8 would have been a commercial success, provided Microsoft didn't force the App concept and Metro stuff too hard on PC users. After all, the Windows userbase is mostly PC and not touchscreens as tech pundits often seem to claim. Yes tablets are on the rise but inadvertently wrecking the PC ecosystem with a naturally unsuited UI while promoting touch-based systems will only make things worse. They didn't simply listen to the community and basically implemented too much touch garbage into what was once a pure PC OS.

 

The transition wasn't smooth imho, they went backwards trying to seduce the PC user with Windows 8.1 but it's kinda too late now, their failure can be seen. If only they offered the ability to disable the whole touchscreen stuff and a simple toggle to enable the Start Menu.. Moreover Apps with a touch design language don't make sense on the PC. They couldn't even make the Windows Store decent enough to attract major players, one can judge that by the mind blowing amount of crap Apps in there. So yes, Windows 8 is a direct cause, it has a personality disorder, it's a mongrel of an OS; a mobile touchscreen OS attached to a castrated dumbed down desktop.

Again, if Windows 8 wrecked the ecosystem, we would have seen a jump in Macbooks and iMacs.



#25 yowanvista

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 19:36

Again, if Windows 8 wrecked the ecosystem, we would have seen a jump in Macbooks and iMacs.

Well, statistics prove that Apple PC sales are well above that of PC.

 

"Apple remained the top PC vendor in Q2, with a 4.5 million unit lead over second-placed Lenovo"
http://www.canalys.c...e-tablet-growth

 

It's clear that Microsoft royally screwed it's own OS.



#26 MorganX

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 19:37

And would a rushed-but flawed product have been accepted?

 

Windows 8 has, in fact, been attacked for both those issues - being rushed AND being flawed (either or even both at once).

 

It really doesn't help that Windows 8 is competing directly with the still-supported (for another eight years, at minimum) Windows 7. 

 

And how has the iPhone's success been apparent?

 

Microsoft is, apparently, supposed to succeed despite every possible obstacle that can be thrown at it - whether by competition or regulation.

 

Given that sort of unrelenting pressure - year in and year out - I'm not surprised that Steve Ballmer has had enough.

 

Windows 8's success is clouded by inertia. Any Windows OS MS sells is going to sell hundreds of millions because it is the default OS the OEMs install on PCs by and large. However, due to the nature of the changes, enterprises are slow to adopt, there is no mindshare, consumers are not clamoring for it, the Modern UI has limited support as it was limited in its initial scope (touch/tablets), and as you said, it has to compete with 7, which from and end users standpoint, wasn't broken. MS knew that, and made bad decisions and released half finished and poorly thought out software anyway. There was bad decision making throughout. Having said that, Windows 8 is headed in the right direction as is Modern UI, of course, in its second year ...

 

iPhone, success - It's what consumers want, it has been the leading smartphone, and is till the standard most look too. No other phone has the application or peripheral support, and Apple would be dead without it. It ushered in the touch-centric mobile era (along with iPad) and destroyed Windows Mobile. It's still making inroads into the enterprise (that will eventually cease as WP keeps improving, unless it dies). In the consumer space, MS took waaay too long to realize Metro was needed and not shoehorning a K/M UI on to a mobile device best suited for touch navigation.

 

This time around Microsoft tripped over it's own feet. No one asked them to release Windows 8/RT with horrendous core apps (consumer bait), that totally disrupted the desktop experience for many, etc. That didn't work well with Windows Phone 8, that left the phone, Surface, & Desktop feeling completely disconnected and not a part of any cohesive ecosystem, etc. It was just bad decision making, poor planning and communication. They're under the same obstacles and microscope whether they succeed or fail. That's not a blanket excuse. Mistakes were made, people were let go, new people promoted, and it appears things are headed in the right direction. With the same obstacles and microscope as always. There's no excuse other than to change management for the past year IMO. At least I wouldn't accept any.



#27 MorganX

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 19:38

Again, if Windows 8 wrecked the ecosystem, we would have seen a jump in Macbooks and iMacs.

No, you would have seen people stay with Windows 7 and avoid Windows 8. PGHammer is correct in stating  that Windows 7 is stiff competition.

 

If XP lasted a decade, how long do you think Windows 7 can last? It's much more robust and stable than XP. There are many reasons MS rushed 8, financial and otherwise.  EA customers seeing no value in certain parts of their agreements and having the opportunity to drop them (stop paying) being one of them. Not something people talk about much, but I can promise you it is real.



#28 adrynalyne

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 19:39

Well, statistics prove that Apple PC sales are well above that of PC.

 

"Apple remained the top PC vendor in Q2, with a 4.5 million unit lead over second-placed Lenovo"
http://www.canalys.c...e-tablet-growth

 

U.S. Mac Sales Down in June Despite Introduction of New MacBook Airs

http://www.macrumors...w-macbook-airs/

 

Apple Sells 3.95M Macs In Q2 2013, Nearly Flat From Q2 2012 And Down 1.25% Sequentially

http://techcrunch.co...-sales-q2-2013/

 

Doesn't sound to me like Windows 8 is doing much of anything for Apple.

 

Then there is this:

PC sales up 24% in Q2 2013; weak rupee affects enterprise spend

http://articles.econ...13-pc-shipments

 

Then you could look at Apple being a number one OEM, which != PC sales as a market.  You misinterpreted it.



#29 adrynalyne

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 19:40

No, you would have seen people stay with Windows 7 and avoid Windows 8.

Maybe., maybe not.  I don't think the average consumer rushes out to buy a new PC due to OS, but rather need.  I could be wrong, however.



#30 MorganX

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 19:41

Well, statistics prove that Apple PC sales are well above that of PC.

 

"Apple remained the top PC vendor in Q2, with a 4.5 million unit lead over second-placed Lenovo"
http://www.canalys.c...e-tablet-growth

 

It's clear that Microsoft royally screwed it's own OS.

 That's as an individual vendor. Apple is the only pc maker selling Macs. The rest of the top 10 all sell PCs whose sales dwarf Mac sales even in a bad quarter.