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12/19/2011
01:46 PM
Paul McDougall
Paul McDougall
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Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011

The past year was one of highs and lows for the world’s biggest software company. Here are seven reasons why.

Microsoft's struggle to adapt to a computing market in which the PC is taking a back seat to tablets and smartphones is well known, and much of the company's troubles of late have arisen directly from that market shift. But don't count Redmond out just yet--it had some solid wins in 2011. There were also a number of clunkers. Here's a look at 7 of Microsoft's dumbest and smartest moves of the past year.

1. Skype buy (Smart). Microsoft announced in May that it had reached a deal to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion. Why was that smart? Skype's VoiP tools and services will add simple, widely-used video chat features to a whole host of Microsoft's products, including Office and Office 365, Windows Phone, and Xbox, and, in the future, Windows 8 tablets. That could give Microsoft a leg up on rivals like Google and Apple that, going forward, might even have to pay Redmond for the right to use Skype on some of their platforms.

2. Still no tablets (Dumb). If the current holiday shopping season has proven anything, it's that 2011 is the year of the tablet. Market data shows that the hottest gifts under the tree this year will be touch-powered slates from the likes of Apple, Android OEMs, and Amazon and its Kindle Fire. As for Microsoft? It's still talking about tablets in the future tense. The company's tablet strategy is closely linked to the touch-friendly Windows 8, which may not see daylight until late next year or even until 2013. By then it may be too late to the party.

3. Kinect for Windows (Smart). With PCs taking a backseat to tablets and smartphones, Microsoft needs to find a way to reinvigorate its core Windows franchise. It may have just the thing in tools that will allow developers to port Kinect apps from the Xbox to the PC. Kinect on Windows machines promises a number of new applications, from entertainment to manufacturing to healthcare. Some developers at the University of Washington are already using the technology to create systems that will allow physicians to operate miniaturized surgical equipment through hand gestures.

4. Killed Zune (Smart and Dumb). Microsoft officially put its long suffering Zune franchise out of its misery in October. That was smart because Zune had become an also ran in the MP3 music player category, and as a brand did not fit with Microsoft's new mobile strategy, which is based around Windows Phone 7. The dumb part? That it took so long--Zune has been on life support for years and should have been scrapped long ago.

5. Office 365 launch (Smart). With cities like Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. moving their desktops to Google Apps, Microsoft needed to respond to its rival's cloud-based offerings. It did so with Office 365, which launched in June. Office 365 features cloud-based versions of familiar Microsoft productivity and communications tools. It includes access to Office Professional Plus, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online, and Office Web Apps.

Plans start at $6 per user, per month, making the offering competitive with Google's Google Apps service, which includes online email, productivity apps, and calendaring starting at $5 per user, per month. Key Office 365 customer wins to date include Hendrick Automotive Group.

6. Billions To Nokia (Dumb). Microsoft and Nokia earlier this year struck a deal under which the Finnish handset maker will ditch Symbian and use Windows Phone as the default OS on virtually all its mobile devices. On the surface, it's a good deal for Microsoft, given that Nokia still ships more phones worldwide than any other manufacturer. But it turns out that Microsoft will actually pay Nokia billions of dollars to use Windows Phone. Don't OEMs usually pay for the right to use software, not the other way around?

7. SUSE Linux deal (Smart). Microsoft in July announced that it would extend an agreement under which it purchases "certificates" for SUSE Linux support and services and resells them at a markup to Windows customers that operate in hybrid environments. Microsoft, which claims Linux violates its patents, also pledges not to sue certificate holders for infringement. The arrangement allows the company to profit from its claims on Linux without angering customers.

Any other Microsoft moves, dumb or smart, that caught your eye this past year? Post a comment or drop me a line.

According to our Outlook 2012 Survey, IT should expect soaring demand but cautious hiring as companies use technology to try to get closer to customers. Also in the new, all-digital issue of InformationWeek: Inside Windows Server 8. (Free registration required.)

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ThePrisoner6
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ThePrisoner6,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2011 | 4:11:10 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
Far be it from me to rush to Microsoft's defense, yet in truth only fictional companies maintain a 1,000 batting average. Even Apple has had some hiccups this year (and every year), even though they have, on balance, done extremely well with their many product offerings. Microsoft's alliance with Nokia was forged out of an immediate need to find long-term supporters of the Windows 7 Phone OS, when there were few takers elsewhere. Nokia was a fitting partner, but it had to be worth their while to drop their existing product pipeline and retool. If that was a "dumb" move on Microsoft's part, then I would question what the "smart" move would have been.

Even with Nokia's Lumia phones now reaching the market, WP7 has an uphill battle against iOS and Android, but I see it only as a precursor to Windows 8. To be sure, the future is unknown, and anything can happen. Even more exciting times are ahead.
Guest
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Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/28/2011 | 12:42:52 AM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
I think that is the point. There is no smart move for Microsoft in tablets and mobile. The genie is out of the bottle and OEMs have figured out that they can make computers/phones without paying protection money to Microsoft for the privilege of using their OS. The Microsoft business model is in the rear view as the OEMs realize that even if they sell millions of MS devices, they are just doing all of the work and shipping all of the profit to MS. It is better for them to go the open source route or the proprietary route (Apple, RIM) where they at least have the possibility of not being in a completely commoditized, race to the bottom on price business.
ThePrisoner6
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ThePrisoner6,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/28/2011 | 4:43:48 AM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
I agree that Microsoft definitely has yet to prove itself as a viable contender in the mobile space. You can't just buy your way into the market and expect everyone else to bow out. still, the more choices we have as consumers is, I think, beneficial, as long as they offer something that we want. The onus is on Microsoft to prove themselves. Their deal with Nokia, apparently paying them to convert to WP7, is not without its risks, but they have taken similar steps before to garner market share. Offering Internet Explorer for free and embedding it into Windows is one example that comes to mind. For years they dominated the global browser market as a result. Windows Phone 7 may be a consumer flop, but with RIM in apparent decline and many of the existing mobile devices lacking secure, integrated, core MS Office functionality, this leaves an opening for Microsoft to swoop in with broad support for its flagship productivity suite and once again be the darling of the enterprise.

This may or may not happen in reality, but despite what you may think of Microsoft as a company, there are some really smart people working for them. There are still many fronts in the mobile and tablet industries that have yet to be won and lost. Microsoft is good at throwing their weight around, and to be sure, there is a target on their back, but you might be surprised at the outcome. Many have predicted Microsoft's demise, but so far, they have managed to surprise everyone with their resiliency.
Guest
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Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/29/2011 | 12:01:09 AM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
I agree that it is doubtful buying their way into the mobile market will work. All of Microsoft, or at least everything that makes a profit, is tied to their dominance with Windows (Office, .NET, MS Server, Exchange, etc). All of those businesses will do as well or as poorly as Windows. They need to make Windows the dominant client OS to continue to hold up the rest of their proprietary products.

I don't underestimate Microsoft. They have an enormous amount of influence and cash. The known world standardized on Java and related technologies. Microsoft said "nope, we're going to do .NET so deal with it world." Amazingly it sort of worked. Microsoft is not going to be irrelevant overnight, but they are now chasing the market and trying to squeeze it back into their Windows centric world. I doubt they are going to be able to convince everyone it is Windows or nothing on mobile and tablets as they did with PCs. If they have Windows dominance, Office, Exchange, Server, etc just falls in line because of the integration. A Windows centric world is just not in anyone's interest anymore, consumers or the rest of the IT industry. I think they will be as profitable as ever next year and the year after, but it is sliding away from them.
ThePrisoner6
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ThePrisoner6,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/30/2011 | 1:46:06 AM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
I agree with your assessment, that a Windows-centric world is not in anyone's interest anymore, and CIOs everywhere are beginning to steer their shops away from it, albeit slowly. Still, there are a number of risk-averse companies out there who, rather than weighing other options, are likely to choose the Familiar over the unknown.

One also questions whether pending changes to the Windows interface will help them retain market share by upping the coolness factor, or be sufficiently unrecognizable as to open the door to competing products. I have no doubt that if Win8 is a flop, they will redouble their efforts on Win9. Microsoft will do their darndest to hold onto market share or expand into other areas, such as mobile and gaming. It remains to be seen whether they will succeed, but I agree that they are bringing up the rear on mobile and tablets. I personally think there are too many unknowns to predict the outcome, but to look at the market right now, it is easy to surmise that, in a few years, Microsoft's hold on the enterprise will be about as tenuous as RIM's right now. I just hope it will be a little more interesting than that.
Guest
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Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/31/2011 | 2:25:42 AM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
The paradigm shift has not yet happened, but it is in the works. These shifts usually build for a number of years with rumblings behind the scenes. When they start to turn, they generally turn quickly. I don't think it will be an Ubuntu or Debian thick-client, but probably something that catches on outside of IT, like Android. If Android eats the corporate smartphone/tablet world, it could very easily migrate upstream to PC form factors. Even a mixture of platforms would marginalize Windows. The new mobile OSs, iOS and Android primarily, need to come to some common development standard so the ISVs can write above the OS, the elusive "write once, run anywhere" language that Java was supposed to be. If they can just write their applications to a common standard which can be ported easily to run on any platform, any browser, then the OS will really be irrelevant. The problem is that iOS and Android don't want the OS to be irrelevant. They just want to displace Microsoft as the standard, which makes things more difficult.
ThePrisoner6
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ThePrisoner6,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/16/2012 | 3:16:38 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
As you say, the "write once, run anyware" model has been a lofty goal, harder to deliver - especially when competing interests are jostling for a larger share of the pie. I appreciate your thoughts, and the intellectual discourse as well. Looking forward to the next exchange!
John doe
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John doe,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2011 | 4:30:13 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
Just want to add the reason for no tablet is that they are waiting for there Windows Phone to take off. But with recent Gartner numbers at 1.5% market share I'm afraid this wont happen anytime soon if ever.
frankshifreen
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frankshifreen,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2011 | 4:33:14 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
I hate Microsoft. Their culture is one of arrogance, power-plays, poor performance and squeezing the customers, suppliers, as much as they can. They started that way and have not changed. Windows is still on top, but there has been a shift. They know it too. Microsoft is on the defensive now, and their era will be soon over. People are moving away from them because of the bad taste of dealing with the company, as well as their products. In response the poster below- The Vista debacle is an example of Microsoft trying to steamroll, lie to, obfuscate- do everything except forthrightly apologize, improve the product and move on. Their customer service is the worst of any company in the field, and I for one will celebrate, when other competitors move up and take their place in all areas.
kerMingle
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kerMingle,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2011 | 8:27:30 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
The Vista debacle is a case in point as to why I think it is good for MS to hold off on a tablet until they actually get it right. As for someone who has already used the Windows 8, it's lighter and faster than 7 and it will be able to run on mobile devices.

I don't think Microsoft is on the defensive. The last 8 years or so they have been working on their backend technologies. They are miles ahead of anyone else on this. The synergy at Microsoft is turning into a powerful force and the coupling of XBox, windows 8, and windows 7.5 mobile are going to be hard to compete with.
Guest
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Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/28/2011 | 12:37:39 AM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
What back-end technologies? MS SQL, Windows Server, and the like? They are toys. No respectable company uses them for anything resembling mission critical. That is the domain of IBM and Oracle.

Microsoft is chasing the market, not leading it any longer. What OEM, short of one being paid billions by MS to subsidize their OS profit taking, would want to get in bed with MS on mobile or tablets? Even if MS succeeds with Win 8, that OEM (be it HP, Dell, HTC, Samsung) will be doing all the work to ship all the profits to Microsoft. The same failing business model as PCs, failing for everyone except Microsoft.
Woland
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Woland,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/28/2011 | 9:03:25 AM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
This is funny. How about .NET, Azure, WPF/Silverlight? And there are plenty of respectable companies that do run SQL Server, Windows Servers (AD).
Zzz2002
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Zzz2002,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/28/2011 | 4:19:27 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
Silverlight is being dropped - HTML 5 took care of it!
.NET is being replaced in Windows 8 - a lot of developers are pissed because yet one more change.
A number of companies are dropping Exchange - they are getting rid of eMail as it a major time waster!
MS SQL is not really up to it when you get to really large data stores and it doesn't handle unstructured data very well - think Hardoop (sp?).
M$ is not down but it is certainly looking to its corner.
Woland
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Woland,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/28/2011 | 7:57:26 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
You are getting your information from the headlines.
Silverlight is not dropped and it is much superior than html5 + script. It will be still used in a lot of business apps. .net is not replaced in windows 8, windows 8 actually uses silvelight/wpf xaml technology and .net. The runtime is not built using .net but can for sure be called by .net, just like in windows before.
Exchange is old and fits in organization with tight controls, but yes it becomes to much maintenance when used in small organizations.
MS SQL is not designed to handle unstructured data (so is Oracle) and that is why Hardoop support was added in Azure
Guest
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Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/29/2011 | 12:26:56 AM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
Silverlight is an obscure, proprietary technology which is only backed by Microsoft. Very much like Flash which MS was trying to copy with Silverlight. It is just stuff which is designed to get people to use flimsy MS Server instead of Linux/Unix and open languages. Developing on .NET now would be a mistake as you are totally dependent on MS's roadmap and viability. If you develop on an open standard, you don't have to deal with MS's whims and worry about it still being around in 5 years if the Windows dominance goes away.

Exchange tight controls... in what world. Lotus has much better security controls than Exchange. It is also able to run on an enterprise grade platform, Linux, Unix, etc, instead of Wintel or Wintel. If it is hard to maintain for a small organization (which it is designed for), think about setting up DAGS for a 100,000 user system. Lets say what is obvious, the only reason people use Exchange is for the MS Windows/Office look and feel, which isn't as important as it was a few years ago. It has zero to do with technology superiority and it certainly isn't to do with business value as it is the most expensive e-mail suite on the market (e-mail being a pretty standardized, "you have seen one, you have seen them all" service).

I agree that Oracle, DB2 and MS SQL are not designed to handle unstructured data. You are correct on that point, but that isn't the reason people use Oracle or DB2 (primarily Oracle) for mission critical and MS SQL for MS workgroup applications. In MS SQL, the DBA doesn't have any control over memory usage or caching. All of the blocks are 8k in MS SQL, which is no good if you have large objects. No partitioning, no clustering, no bit map indexes, etc.... It is just not in the same functional class as Oracle or DB2. Microsoft and Sybase developed SQL together. After they split, Sybase tried, and basically failed, to create an enterprise database. MS went the other way and tried to create a workgroup DB which is easy to administer. Sure, every large company has some MS SQL servers, but they are not running mission critical transactional systems (SAP, for instance).

tbel
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tbel,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/29/2011 | 2:52:12 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
getting rid of email.. Pass me whatever you been smoking
Guest
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Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/29/2011 | 12:43:36 AM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
How about them? They are all ostracized in the tech world and only exist because MS keeps dumping Windows money into them. They are not even taught in any real computer science or IS program because .NET is a MS copy of Java and it a vendor proprietary framework. When Windows starts to slide, people will wish they would have kept their options open. Yes, nearly every company runs MS SQL (I hate it when MS calls it "SQL Server" as both DB2 and Oracle are SQL based and IBM invented SQL) and MS Server, but not for mission critical. They section off the Wintel environment from the enterprise gear.
tbel
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tbel,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/29/2011 | 2:50:40 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
I have been hearing that for about 15 years now.. I'm still waiting on linux to takeover the world Or Novell to takeoer the data center
Tom Mariner
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Tom Mariner,
User Rank: Strategist
12/27/2011 | 4:37:39 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
The whole tablet thing points up a generic problem -- too slow. In tech land, a year to come out with a new product is about right, 18 months is risking your market. Windows 8 / Touch technology will be three years if it makes what it considers an aggressive commercialization schedule. The iPhone, which cemented touch and gesturing to even the toughest critic, was more than four years ago! How much arrogance does it take to not understand a sea change when it is in your face?

Microsoft has billions of R&D dollars -- a tiny fraction of that in the right hands in Redmond would have put them equal with the pack. Instead, their internecine battles over turf cost them hundreds of billions and an entire market -- how could mighty Microsoft utterly lose to an implementation of Linux by a browser company (Android)? OK, they get the cloud is somehow important, that HTML5 / JavaScript has a future to VS, but that mobile OS boo boo had better be a gigantic wake-up call. Maybe a giant tech company needs a certifiably crazy techie as head dictator rather than a great salesman.
kerMingle
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kerMingle,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2011 | 8:38:35 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
Like the comment about the great salesman and internal turf battles. However, I think that XBox is really showing up the other divisions and making shareholders really question what's going on in the rest of MS.
hettingr
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hettingr,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/29/2011 | 2:29:27 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
"Too slow." But they did it before. When Commodore Amiga, Atari & Macintosh excited the world with an OS "for the rest of us," the formidable Microsoft sales force previewed demos of "Windows" that would not be functional for over five years. It was enough. IBM/Microsoft was hugely aided by a perception of generations of competence in the public mind and the habits associated with that perception. The competition was drained and progress stagnated for at least five years.

Apple may have taken the shine off that unconscious level of perception this time.
goldcode
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goldcode,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2011 | 5:26:32 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
Dropping the ball on Silverlight seems dumb to me. At the very least, MSFT has failed to be clear about the future of Silverlight. Will SL live on only in Windows Phone? Or is its path forward mainly relegated to Metro's XAML dev flavor? Or (as many cogniscenti claim) has MSFT shuffled SL onto its oft-used dark conveyer belt to oblivion?

Bottom line: developers who were seduced by the Silverlight vision pushed by MSFT now find themselves with many questions and no clear answers. The really dumb part is that SL has been a major success and had potential to be the biggest advantage of Windows-based tablets.
kerMingle
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kerMingle,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2011 | 8:33:16 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
I think it is quite clear that Silverlight will be in Microsoft's eye for as long as the Market is still interested in it and it can compete with javascript. I know silverlight is a superior product but so many more people know javascript ... getting a few silverlight developers to jump on the javascript bandwagon is allot less expensive than getting the entire web to jump onto silverlight. They HAD to cater to the javascript crowd or face alienating them. But I think as long as their are people out there that prefer a superior product, you will always find silverlight out there.
MJONES000
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MJONES000,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2011 | 10:09:12 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
It is a non-sequiter to compare Silverlight to Javascript. Silverlight is a user-presentation/development/component environment, whereas Javascript is just a scripting language that uses a subset of java syntax and primitives. The most significant aspects of Silverlight, which actually eclipse it, are WPF and .NET, along with the associated huge wealth of development facilities, tools, and languages.

The merging of Javascript and HTML5 still does not directly correspond to the Silverlight/WPF/.NET environment. The issue here is: how much power is in the hands of app developers, how much knowledge, time, and money will it take to use that power, and what is the financial result? Although Microsoft's deprecation of Silverlight in its marketing hype is quite obvious, it is not deprecating its underlying power -- WPF and .NET. HTML5 and Javascript are only upper-level layers.
Guest
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Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/28/2011 | 1:04:22 AM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
Agree, Silverlight is more comparable to Flash. A client side run-time for visual development. Javascript is just a client scripting language. All of the client side stuff is being replaced by server side scripting and tools. The only thing that will remain on the client side is presentation HTML when web apps/sites are being designed to run on a phone.

From a larger perspective, I think all of .NET does not have a rosy future. .NET was a Microsoft vs. the world framework. In direct opposition not only to open standards and open source, but to the rest of the IT industry (IBM, Oracle, Apple, SAP, etc). If Microsoft cannot subsidize .NET with their Windows and other cash cow businesses, no one is going to be jumping in to save it as everyone, primarily IBM and Oracle, jumped in to save Java after Sun could no longer support it.
kerMingle
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kerMingle,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2011 | 8:15:34 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
Microsoft didn't release a tablet (Smart!!).

I have to say that I am happy Microsoft is shaping up. As a person who has been disappointed with MS mobile products in the past ... I think it is good that they are finally waiting until they have a really GOOD product before just rushing something to market. I think that windows mobile/PocketPC versions 1 .. 6 were a complete waste of time. If they aren't going to put out a killer tablet ... then don't put out a tablet at all. All it does is hurt their already wounded branding.

With that being said. WP mango is the best mobile OS to date. It took them a while but they finally got it!!! Good job Microsoft!!. Take your time and do it right for the tablet as well!!!!
MJONES000
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MJONES000,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2011 | 10:00:53 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
I would agree with most of the points, except for #'s 2 and 6.

2. Still no tablets
MSFT has apparently learned from various past, huge mistakes it made in entering new markets. In the phone arena, it's pushing not only an OS over which it has control (as it did with the previous Windows phone failure), but it's also pushing a new user interface (Metro), which is not only well suited to portable devices but also has the advantage of being both distinctively different and in some cases is a simpler, more consistent, and easier UX than its competitors. That being said, MSFT is leveraging its growing experience with Metro, along with its solid Windows base, to have an OS/UX combination for tablets that has the potential to be broadly competitive. And let's not forget the huge reservoir of Microsoft-experienced developers out there who will follow the path of least resistance when selecting an OS platform and development tools for portable apps, which is the MSFT set. All of these factors say that Microsoft is right to wait, especially since the tablet market is still very, very young, relatively speaking.

6. Billions To Nokia
Neither this nor the linked article established any facts that show Microsoft is outright paying billions to Nokia in their OEM arrangement. The facts of the linked article even more strongly suggest otherwise. Regardless, Nokia's world presence and support structure is not to be sneezed at, to say the least. Microsoft has executed a coup in their deal with Nokia, which I believe gives them a leg up in both the emerging smartphone market and in the tablet market as well.
Guest
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Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/28/2011 | 4:00:42 AM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
No tablets? What about the HP Slate with Windows 7? At $800 per tablet, they must be selling literally dozens of them.
mfritz119
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mfritz119,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/29/2011 | 12:21:21 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
"Anytime someone makes a statement of fact, the first thing we should ask ourselves is, 'Wait a minute. Is that true'? (credit to Chomsky). The endless 'us and them' rants against all things MS are sophomoric at best and often based on assertions that are either simply not true or are gross exaggerations that seem to get amplified with each re-telling.

All companies have a life-span but rumors of MicrosoftGĮÖs demise are (once again) pre-mature. If you choose to believe that their success is all about evil business tactics and nothing to do with building competitive platforms and dev tools then thatGĮÖs your choice. As the saying goes, GĮ˙youGĮÖre entitled to your opinions but not your own factsGĮÖ.

I look forward to the outrage from the GĮ˙I hate MSGĮÖ tribe when they gain double-digit market share in the mobile space. It should be entertaining.
Guest
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Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/31/2011 | 1:29:20 AM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
It is beyond words hilarious that you are invoking Chomsky to defend a monopolistic corporation. I am sure you are not taking that out of context at all. Have you ever read any of Chomsky's books?

Microsoft relies on people not questioning assumptions which are stated as facts. For instance,

- Linux is a "cancer" (quoting Ballmer) that destroys intellectual property. Read: The Linux community is developing comparable or better technology, without using any Microsoft IP, that threatens their monopoly.

- Linux is not suited for the enterprise. Read: IBM and Oracle run enterprise Linux which is infinitely more scalable, reliable and secure than any Wintel server. See IBM System z - Linux.

- You must run Office. Nothing else is acceptable for business. Read: Please don't consider OpenOffice. It is free, nearly identical functionally, but we are going to make it nearly impossible for you to integrate it with any of our technology (directly in the face of multiple Federal rulings).

- Users need the rich client experience in Windows. Read: Please don't remember that every application you run is on a web browser and the OS is becoming increasingly irrelevant.
mfritz119
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mfritz119,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2012 | 5:46:19 PM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
If IBM didnGĮÖt drop the ball on OS/2 and if they made OS/2 seamless with DB2 and their mainframe / iSeries OSGĮÖs, and if they provided quality tools to develop in object oriented languages, Microsoft may have been reduced to a tools vendor because they would not have the OS platform upon which so much else derived. Novell dropped the ball. Oracle laughed off SQL Server. Netscape was a one-product company. Sun just didnGĮÖt get it and now no one cares. The list of companies that simply underestimated the challenge goes on and on.

Perhaps if Google and Apple adopted Linux youGĮÖd have more of an argument since these are MSGĮÖs greatest competitors today. The end game of every business is 100% market share (and zero regulations and zero taxes GĮô but thatGĮÖs another topic). That includes those companies of that people who hate MS love to love. Good luck with the endless struggle against the evil empire.
kaliolio
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kaliolio,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/11/2012 | 10:54:24 AM
re: Microsoft's Dumbest And Smartest Moves Of 2011
Microsoft started screwing up when they changed over to "ribbons" instead of "drop down menus". They seem to be on a curve to dumb down everything. This in my opinion makes doing any real work difficult as the most powerful functions get obscured by the most popular ones.

To get into the pad and phone arena they need to invent a whole new interface. Something along the lines of a true 3d operating system might do it (might) but it has to besomething new, not another endless repackaging of an interface that has ben around since the 80's. it seems really likely that after 30 years some one will come up with a better paradigm sometime
soon.

Perhaps it will be a true conversational interface or how about an app that uses Konect and 3d technology to display useable controls floating in front of our screens.
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