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Forbes: Microsoft Is Fast Turning Into A Sideshow

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Luis Mazza    172

Personally, I don't think MS has anything to worry about. There's nothing wrong with Metro on the desktop, as it brings to the user a new dynamic UX and unifies platforms. Keep working to improve the Metro UI, and unify the OS, and they're set.

I'm more excited for Metro than I am the bland, static desktop. As, lets face it, it's dull. It's a UX dead end.

No, it's not. That's why Macs are selling like hotcakes. They don't sell even more because they're expensive and people are still (a bit) used to Windows, mainly on companies.

Once you play with a tablet, you want it to consume content. Once you need work to do (and adults have work to do) they go for the usual desktop UX... but as you call it... it's dead, isn't it? Good luck to Apple and Google, which are investing on the "dead UX desktop" and Microsoft is helping to kill it on it's side. At least users have somewhere to go, other than choose a company like Microsoft, that's more worried about it's 'unification' than about it's users.

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redvamp128    321

This explains it all.. when a company is ran by an idiot like this

There's nothing else to be said and certainly doesn't come as a surprise they are a joke

You should really look at the old footage of Steve Jobs... there is one where he kicked down the podium and said "we need to shake things up". Then another one where (this is before the monkey man did his thing) where he lead a chant that went like -- We are not like big blue we are Apple hear us roar. I have not seen that footage put up on youtube --This was on a segment of computer show on PBS back in the 1980's named Computer Chronicles... After those rallies is when they had this big campaign

http://youtu.be/8IAzkTpqcNo

Though Microsoft probably thinks Windows 8 is going to be like XP was where in the beginning it was slow to take hold in the business world.

I can remember during that time period there was a push to get companies off NT 3.1. for workstations -- Some had changed to Win2k servers though.

Steve really needs to change-

This is what Microsoft really needs to do is go back to the basics... The simple terms of

Figure out what people do with their computers and do them well.

Some examples:

There needs to be a business line with professional looks and with features that support a network as well as security.

There should also be a Ultimate with all the bells and whistles.

There should be a gaming one where it is slimmed down so not to interfere with Gameplay.

I also thought Microsoft should acquire a company like Neat: and put that patent of recognition through scanning they have to use in Windows.http://www.neat.com/home.aspx

That would be a feature that would push Windows to be more user friendly for cheap.

I have always thought that Microsoft could do it all from the login.

By way of having Modes selected at login.

Also having a general purpose one selected by default.

You know similar to that of Choosing a DE in Linux.

Instead they tried to unify all the devices which leaves one side in the cold... either it is too flash and impractical in the workplace or it the other way around where it is too limiting to be fun.

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MorganX    1,046

No, it's not. That's why Macs are selling like hotcakes. They don't sell even more because they're expensive and people are still (a bit) used to Windows, mainly on companies.

Once you play with a tablet, you want it to consume content. Once you need work to do (and adults have work to do) they go for the usual desktop UX... but as you call it... it's dead, isn't it? Good luck to Apple and Google, which are investing on the "dead UX desktop" and Microsoft is helping to kill it on it's side. At least users have somewhere to go, other than choose a company like Microsoft, that's more worried about it's 'unification' than about it's users.

Macs are selling, but like hot cakes? I wouldn't go that far. And people are a bit used to Windows ... the IBM PC compatible hardware platform is the dominant desktop computing platform in the world and has been for decades. Microsoft has an operating system monopoly on that platform. Windows 8 won't, fail per se. But it may never be popular. Windows Vista didn't fail. It had no mindshare. People didn't necessarily "want" it. PCs came with it. That may be how Windows 8 ends up but it won't be a commercial failure, it may be a critical failure.

Clearly MS is worried. They typically don't announce or spin large account Enterprise Agreement renewals such as the DoD. Everyone who renews their EA agreement has purchased access to Windows 8 licenses and current releases of any other products covered under the EA. Anyone with an existing EA with Software Assurance has access to Windows 8 licenses. Anyone running IBM PC compatible desktops in large environments would most likely save a tone with an EA agreement and really have no meaningful alternative to running Windows. I mean, really.

Windows 8 has its annoyances, but really nothing too major. It performs quite well and "consumers" won't miss the Start Menu at all. In my opinion Microsoft dropped the ball on software and interoperability for the sake of greed. Someone decided to strip all the free apps out and replace them with services. Now anyone using media center should have already gotten a free licenses, as many as you need, so that one's OK. But, as far as consumer popularity, the biggest, most boneheaded mistake, was to NOT MAKE A MEDIA MANAGEMENT APP for Windows 8. There simply is no iTunes alternative for media/playlist management. Windows Media Player classic does not count or matter to consumers looking for iTunes or at the least Zune.

Give a typical consumer and Windows 8 Phone, or a Windows 8 Tablet (yes, there's more than the Surface available right now, only nobody cares, and nobody is buying) and they won't know how to get playlists and music on it. Someone at Microsoft thought they could get users to buy into Xbox Music and Video services by omitting this type of application from the Operating System. Fail. There's no way to sync a Surface or other tablet, Windows Phone 8, and your desktop PC in an easy, slick, cool, iTunes or Zune kind of way with your existing content. This is inexcusable and boneheaded and an attempted money grab by some idiot in a high place at Microsoft. You may be able to strong arm corporations but not consumers.

Furthermore, the Modern UI and it's search just aren't really suited for this type of consumer activity. This can be overcome within the application, but Xbox Music and Video don't even attempt this, because that's not their purpose.

This situation can be easily fixed by releasing Zune 8 for Windows 8 that syncs Surface and other tablet, and Windows Phone 8 to your PC and existing media and provides playlist and content management with a useable UI and slick consumer oriented application.

However, it may be too late. Google's cheap A$$ tablets are winning mindshare and they are cheap. Cheap means a lot with consumers.

For Christ's sake, Windows Phone 8 won't even play your marketplace video purchases. The decision makers at Microsoft are just out of touch with consumers and really seem to be oblivious to that fact. If that is Sinofsky's fault, why was he allowed to remain a cancer for so long?

snip

Microsoft has no problem in the enterprise. Their problem is with consumers buying mobile devices like iPad, Nexus, iPhone, and Android Phones.

They forgot to figure out what consumers do with their gadgets, and do those things better than the competition.

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Wakers    327

People these days have such a short memory. Remember Windows 7? Microsoft still make money from that. It's still selling a lot of units. Windows 8 is selling decently. Office is selling a lot of units. They're hardly "incidental" just because they don't make a device that sells and then stick to the exact same recipe + 1 minor feature and then sell it as a completely different model.

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redvamp128    321

Microsoft has no problem in the enterprise. Their problem is with consumers buying mobile devices like iPad, Nexus, iPhone, and Android Phones.

They forgot to figure out what consumers do with their gadgets, and do those things better than the competition.

Those were just examples-- one of my suggestions is by purchasing the NEAT company and adding that feature.

I mean without having to buy their software when it would be included with Windows.... Think about the ability to scan something and it be searchable or a business card or recipe and it be able to tell where to put it.

This would be a feature that could be added to Windows to make it more desirable for both home and office use.

I said they need to figure out what users do with them and do them well -

The problem is they tried to put all the eggs in one basket.... but with that you now have duck eggs mixed with chicken eggs and one big ostrich egg.

Where each of the departments in the past did well on their own.

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MorganX    1,046

People these days have such a short memory. Remember Windows 7? Microsoft still make money from that. It's still selling a lot of units. Windows 8 is selling decently. Office is selling a lot of units. They're hardly "incidental" just because they don't make a device that sells and then stick to the exact same recipe + 1 minor feature and then sell it as a completely different model.

It will take years to determine the true success of Windows 8 due to Microsoft's dominance, particularly in the Enterprise. It will be much easier with consumers and consumer devices such as phones and tablets.

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MorganX    1,046

Those were just examples-- one of my suggestions is by purchasing the NEAT company and adding that feature.

I mean without having to buy their software when it would be included with Windows.... Think about the ability to scan something and it be searchable or a business card or recipe and it be able to tell where to put it.

This would be a feature that could be added to Windows to make it more desirable for both home and office use.

I said they need to figure out what users do with them and do them well -

The problem is they tried to put all the eggs in one basket.... but with that you now have duck eggs mixed with chicken eggs and one big ostrich egg.

Where each of the departments in the past did well on their own.

For business MS has SharePoint and scanning and content management are easy to implement. I'm not sure they would want to compete with the SharePoint product. For consumers and small business, I honestly don't know how big that market is.

I don't disagree with you, I just think they need to be more in tune with what consumers want. People who don't want to think a lot about the PC. They want to take their gadgets with them, and take their music and movies with them and share those things easily. Apple does it well. Android doesn't, but it's dirt cheap.

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Luis Mazza    172

Macs are selling, but like hot cakes? I wouldn't go that far. And people are a bit used to Windows ... the IBM PC compatible hardware platform is the dominant desktop computing platform in the world and has been for decades. Microsoft has an operating system monopoly on that platform. Windows 8 won't, fail per se. But it may never be popular. Windows Vista didn't fail. It had no mindshare. People didn't necessarily "want" it. PCs came with it. That may be how Windows 8 ends up but it won't be a commercial failure, it may be a critical failure.

Clearly MS is worried. They typically don't announce or spin large account Enterprise Agreement renewals such as the DoD. Everyone who renews their EA agreement has purchased access to Windows 8 licenses and current releases of any other products covered under the EA. Anyone with an existing EA with Software Assurance has access to Windows 8 licenses. Anyone running IBM PC compatible desktops in large environments would most likely save a tone with an EA agreement and really have no meaningful alternative to running Windows. I mean, really.

Windows 8 has its annoyances, but really nothing too major. It performs quite well and "consumers" won't miss the Start Menu at all. In my opinion Microsoft dropped the ball on software and interoperability for the sake of greed. Someone decided to strip all the free apps out and replace them with services. Now anyone using media center should have already gotten a free licenses, as many as you need, so that one's OK. But, as far as consumer popularity, the biggest, most boneheaded mistake, was to NOT MAKE A MEDIA MANAGEMENT APP for Windows 8. There simply is no iTunes alternative for media/playlist management. Windows Media Player classic does not count or matter to consumers looking for iTunes or at the least Zune.

Give a typical consumer and Windows 8 Phone, or a Windows 8 Tablet (yes, there's more than the Surface available right now, only nobody cares, and nobody is buying) and they won't know how to get playlists and music on it. Someone at Microsoft thought they could get users to buy into Xbox Music and Video services by omitting this type of application from the Operating System. Fail. There's no way to sync a Surface or other tablet, Windows Phone 8, and your desktop PC in an easy, slick, cool, iTunes or Zune kind of way with your existing content. This is inexcusable and boneheaded and an attempted money grab by some idiot in a high place at Microsoft. You may be able to strong arm corporations but not consumers.

Furthermore, the Modern UI and it's search just aren't really suited for this type of consumer activity. This can be overcome within the application, but Xbox Music and Video don't even attempt this, because that's not their purpose.

This situation can be easily fixed by releasing Zune 8 for Windows 8 that syncs Surface and other tablet, and Windows Phone 8 to your PC and existing media and provides playlist and content management with a useable UI and slick consumer oriented application.

However, it may be too late. Google's cheap A$$ tablets are winning mindshare and they are cheap. Cheap means a lot with consumers.

For Christ's sake, Windows Phone 8 won't even play your marketplace video purchases. The decision makers at Microsoft are just out of touch with consumers and really seem to be oblivious to that fact. If that is Sinofsky's fault, why was he allowed to remain a cancer for so long?

Microsoft has no problem in the enterprise. Their problem is with consumers buying mobile devices like iPad, Nexus, iPhone, and Android Phones.

They forgot to figure out what consumers do with their gadgets, and do those things better than the competition.

I agree with a lot of what you wrote. I can add to that...

What does Microsoft think when they build a hybrid tablet/PC that weights in a lot and has a 13 inch screen? Does the company expect someone to lay down in a bed and hold this monstrous device?

Nobody can really raise their arms for 8 hours to use a touchscreen computer that can be controlled perfectly and effortlessly with a mouse! That's ridiculous. That's why the touchscreen on a desktop IS A TOTAL FAILURE. That's not because it can be done that it should be done.

Also, those minor problems you call are not really minor if they're subtracting from an established platform that users are used to and it is proven to work perfectly.

Regarding Mac sales, take a look at this:

http://seekingalpha....uggish-pc-sales

This could be called "hotcakes" in today's economy, of course. People who don't absolutely need to upgrade are not upgrading.

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spenser.d    1,100

Macs are selling, but like hot cakes? I wouldn't go that far. And people are a bit used to Windows ... the IBM PC compatible hardware platform is the dominant desktop computing platform in the world and has been for decades. Microsoft has an operating system monopoly on that platform. Windows 8 won't, fail per se. But it may never be popular. Windows Vista didn't fail. It had no mindshare. People didn't necessarily "want" it. PCs came with it. That may be how Windows 8 ends up but it won't be a commercial failure, it may be a critical failure.

Clearly MS is worried.

Worried? When has MS ever thought about a product launch in the short term. It's been a handful of months since Windows 8 was released. Microsoft typically takes these things in terms of years if not decades. By your logic MS was worried about Xbox when they launched it in 2001 and not being patient, waiting for it to grow into an extremely popular product. Same for Windows 95. Same for Windows 8. Microsoft is looking at 5 years from now, not 5 months from launch. Metro will be in the majority of consumer homes.

It's odd to see so many people looking at Microsoft in the short-term when historically they've always succeeded by thinking in the long-term.

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MorganX    1,046

Worried? When has MS ever thought about a product launch in the short term. It's been a handful of months since Windows 8 was released. Microsoft typically takes these things in terms of years if not decades. By your logic MS was worried about Xbox when they launched it in 2001 and not being patient, waiting for it to grow into an extremely popular product. Same for Windows 95. Same for Windows 8. Microsoft is looking at 5 years from now, not 5 months from launch. Metro will be in the majority of consumer homes.

It's odd to see so many people looking at Microsoft in the short-term when historically they've always succeeded by thinking in the long-term.

Competition changes things. Microsoft has no desktop competition. Windows 8 is about Tablets. And yes, I believe they are worried and should be. Xbox, yes they were worried, that's why despite knowing of a critical flaw in the design that resulted in the RRoD fiasco, they released it anyway. Yes, I believe Microsoft is worried. If they weren't worried they would have taken more time to refine Windows 8. And all Christmas sales are important, or lack thereof which remains to be seen.

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redvamp128    321

I agree with a lot of what you wrote. I can add to that...

What does Microsoft think when they build a hybrid tablet/PC that weights a lot and has a 13 inch screen? Does the company expect someone to lay down in a bed and hold this monstrous device?

Nobody can really raise their arms for 8 hours to use a touchscreen computer that can be controlled perfectly and effortlessly with a mouse! That's ridiculous. That's why the touchscreen on a desktop IS A TOTAL FAILURE. That's not because it can be done that it should be done.

Just remember it was not so long ago when Apple (during the days of Steve Jobs)

Said this.

7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad. ?.7-Inch tablets are dead on arrival.

So Apple has learned from that mistake and released a smaller one.

I do understand about the mouse--

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+warwagon    9,939

also the metro start screen works BETTER with a mouse than with touch.

926

Scrolling side to side better maybe. But metro is so much better to use on a tablet with your finger.

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Active.    1,400
I'm more excited for Metro than I am the bland, static desktop. As, lets face it, it's dull. It's a UX dead end.

It's only a UX dead end if Microsoft wants it to be, and apparently they do. Thankfully there are other options besides Metro out there.

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Luis Mazza    172

Just remember it was not so long ago when Apple (during the days of Steve Jobs)

Said this.

So Apple has learned from that mistake and released a smaller one.

I do understand about the mouse--

That should be learned by Microsoft, as whatever you say, can change. You don't need to die to make this change, though. :)

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spenser.d    1,100

Competition changes things. Microsoft has no desktop competition. Windows 8 is about Tablets. And yes, I believe they are worried and should be. Xbox, yes they were worried, that's why despite knowing of a critical flaw in the design that resulted in the RRoD fiasco, they released it anyway. Yes, I believe Microsoft is worried. If they weren't worried they would have taken more time to refine Windows 8. And all Christmas sales are important, or lack thereof which remains to be seen.

Yeah, they're not worried. Why would they have to be? Sales a bit slow? They've been there before and because they look at the big picture, they don't have to worry about it. They'll bounce back like they always do. It's extremely premature to think that MS is in any sort of a slump or any sort of worried.

And that's not proof they were worried about Xbox. They weren't worried, they were playing their cards right and they played them perfectly. They do that a lot more than people give them credit for.

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n_K    1,657

This thread has derailed into once again a boring fight between people that want the startscreen and people that don't, like most other windows 8 discussion threads I've seen.

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redvamp128    321

That should be learned by Microsoft, as whatever you say, can change. You don't need to die to make this change, though. :)

That is why I said -- Microsoft should go back to the roots:

Find what users do with their computers and do it well.

Have a

Business OS

Gaming OS

General Purpose OS

Starter device OS.

Those models worked in favor in the past but instead they tried to lump them all into one.

That and the one thing they forgot to stop some of this Complaining is simple-

Since the vast majority of the users install some secondary Start menu ...

why not just allow people to easily re-enable that feature instead of locking people out of it. (and you have just solved the bulk of people complaining as to why they won't upgrade)

I mean for example: during Windows 95 it was possible (which I have done) to use the Win3.1 layout but still have all the features of 95.

Then when the user was ready- with one change in the boot.ini file you could turn it off and use WIn95 layout.

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MorganX    1,046

Yeah, they're not worried. Why would they have to be? Sales a bit slow? They've been there before and because they look at the big picture, they don't have to worry about it. They'll bounce back like they always do. It's extremely premature to think that MS is in any sort of a slump or any sort of worried.

And that's not proof they were worried about Xbox. They weren't worried, they were playing their cards right and they played them perfectly. They do that a lot more than people give them credit for.

Windows 8 is a testament to their worry. They would be idiots if they were not worried. Their shareholders are worried. I'm not sure why that's so hard to swallow. RRoD cost them hundreds of millions or more. They survived it, but worried, it's nonsensical to think they were not and are not worried.

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Luis Mazza    172

Yeah, they're not worried. Why would they have to be? Sales a bit slow? They've been there before and because they look at the big picture, they don't have to worry about it. They'll bounce back like they always do. It's extremely premature to think that MS is in any sort of a slump or any sort of worried.

And that's not proof they were worried about Xbox. They weren't worried, they were playing their cards right and they played them perfectly. They do that a lot more than people give them credit for.

Companies that stay still and "don't worry, because we always win" are EXACTLY the ones that get screwed really hard. But you've got to remember that companies are not people... So, if a company get's screwed, people look for other jobs. They don't cry for Microsoft if it fails, but maybe Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates, or other minor shareholders will...

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MorganX    1,046

926

Actually he's right, as long as you have a mouse with a scroll wheel. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but it is a fact.

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Luis Mazza    172

This thread has derailed into once again a boring fight between people that want the startscreen and people that don't, like most other windows 8 discussion threads I've seen.

Except nobody is talking about about wanting the Startscreen. You should read the thread entirely before posting critics to it.

Actually he's right, as long as you have a mouse with a scroll wheel. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but it is a fact.

The Startscreen is actually the last problem Microsoft should be worried about. The whole touchsrceen fiasco is the worst part, as I stated earlier.

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LaP    1,723

And that's not proof they were worried about Xbox. They weren't worried, they were playing their cards right and they played them perfectly. They do that a lot more than people give them credit for.

I don't want to say MS did not do well with the xbox cause they did. There was a lot of criticize about the big fat controller and MS made the good move by making the controller s. They bundled 2 sega games to help push sales and they secured the exclusivity of big titles by american devs.

But lets be honest Nintendo bad moves helped them a lot. I don't think you can compare the tablet markets right now to the console market. Had Nintendo been as effective as it was in the 80ies and 90ies it would have been WAY harder for MS to be as dominant as they are right now in this market.

Nintendo has been a total disaster since the sales of rare and the end of the collaboration with SK and other 3rd party devs. Yes they sold a lot of Wii. But 3rd party games don't sell and i dont think they will fool as much people with the Wii U. One day or another people will get bored by Mario and Zelda (and COD too hopefully). I know i am.

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MorganX    1,046

The Startscreen is actually the last problem Microsoft should be worried about. The whole touchsrceen fiasco is the worst part, as I stated earlier.

I'm not sure touchscreens on a desktop is actually going to go anywhere other than static kiosks. But to have any chance in the tablet space at all a touch UI on top of Windows was required.

I don't want to say MS did not do well with the xbox cause they did. There was a lot of criticize about the big fat controller and MS made the good move by making the controller s. They bundled 2 sega games to help push sales and they secured the exclusivity of big titles by american devs.

But lets be honest Nintendo bad moves helped them a lot. I don't think you can compare the tablet markets right now to the console market. Had Nintendo been as effective as it was in the 80ies and 90ies it would have been WAY harder for MS to be as dominant as they are right now in this market.

Nintendo has been a total disaster since the sales of rare and the end of the collaboration with SK and other 3rd party devs. Yes they sold a lot of Wii. But they dont sell many games and i dont think they will fool as much people with the Wii U.

MS had games the US market wanted to play, RRoD or not. That's why they succeeded. And if they had or soon have Windows 8 Desktop, tablet and phone apps or services that the US market has to have, they will succeed with Windows 8 Tablets and Windows Phone 8 as well. It's as simple as that. Desktop success is difficult to quantify with their monopoly of that environment. It will succeed by default there.

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Luis Mazza    172

I'm not sure touchscreens on a desktop is actually going to go anywhere other than static kiosks. But to have any chance in the tablet space at all a touch UI on top of Windows was required.

I agree. They just should have asked themselves why on earth users would want to have a hybrid contraption that can't either be big enough for a desktop and small enough for a tablet, with a touchscreen UI that does not make sense on a desktop, but is included anyway because they want to gamble with user's IQ in the long-term. They completely ignored competition. And they will pay for that.

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BoDEAN    68

This explains it all.. when a company is ran by an idiot like this

There's nothing else to be said and certainly doesn't come as a surprise they are a joke

Missed the laugh on that repeat clip....sorry

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