7 Mistakes Microsoft Made In 2013 - InformationWeek

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7 Mistakes Microsoft Made In 2013
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sgbeal
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sgbeal,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/30/2013 | 10:19:49 AM
"The time for that move was 2013. Alas, it didn't happen, so it's on our list."
The past decade, MS has made a habit of waiting 3 years to respond to any market activities of its competitors (e.g. compare the release dates of Google Docs and Office Online). They demonstrated Surface computing YEARS before anyone else and then SAT ON IT, not doing anything with it until 2+ years after Apple, then Android, ran with tablet computing (a very close relative of Surface computing). To be honest, i'm not sure what's keeping MS afloat. They are becoming less and less relevant in the world, quite possibly for the reason the author mentions: that they assume everyone wants a single-platform solution to all their problems. If that's what they continue to believe, and act on, well... so long, Microsoft!
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2013 | 10:33:11 AM
Surface sales
I'd like to have Microsoft give out sell through on Surface. We get the idea of how well a Microsoft product is doing depending on whether they announce sales or not. If it's doing well, they tell us the numbers. If not, then they don't give us the numbers. Selling out means nothing. So far, skepticism over Surface sales seems proper.
DominicG929
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DominicG929,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/30/2013 | 10:58:28 AM
RT name dump a bad decision?
As confusing as it was to have Windows RT, I don't agree with dumping the name.  There are major compatibility issues between RT and 8 (since software designed to run on x86 CPUs doesn't natively run on ARM CPUs), and there needed to be something to denote to customers that they aren't the same.  If anything, they should have called it something more meaningful, like Windows Tablet.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2013 | 11:34:08 AM
Re: RT name dump a bad decision?
You're right that the need to keep a distinction because of incompatibility. Of course, they kind of created their own problem here by trying to make everything look exactly the same on the surface (no pun intended) when underneath they're really not. 

 

Interestingly, Apple has the same logical issue of a tablet/phone platform that runs different software to the laptop/computer platform, yet seems to manage this much more gracefully. Perhaps while iOS is a limiting factor in the "pseudo-laptop" capabilities of the iPad, in the same way, dumbing Win8 down enough that it will work on other form factors was a worse idea.

 
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2013 | 11:38:09 AM
Re: "The time for that move was 2013. Alas, it didn't happen, so it's on our list."
And so from this we conclude that Microsoft has great R&D but an inability to see which products are going to be successful or, perhaps, to accomplish the task of taking a product from idea to market. Maybe they've just got scared as they have got larger, and don't want to be seen betting the house on something new. Maybe they just don't have the flair for marketing that Apple does (and, love them or hate them, you gotta give Apple credit for knowing how to create demand).

 

Your underlying point stands then; by playing the follower rather than the innovator, Microsoft runs the risk of losing all credibility in the marketplace and ending up as an "also-ran" in many technology areas, following a well-beaten path behind such behemoths as IBM and Xerox.
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2013 | 1:06:42 PM
One more
Announcing Steve Ballmer's retirement before his successor had been appointed.


My suspicion is that the reorg was decided upon before Mr. Ballmer decided to retire early, but that wouldn't be public knowledge.  I'm guessing that the board gave him an ultimatum shortly before the retirement was announced (the other alternative being dismissal).

 
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2013 | 1:09:35 PM
Office for any tablet is dumb
I don't understand why folks get so bent out of shape that there is no full features office suite for tablets. Who in their right mind uses a tablet with a soft keyboard to do any office work? I can see some decent file viewers and maybe even a special app for slide shows, but beyond that I cannot see any point in office apps for any tablet.
millardlatimer
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millardlatimer,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/30/2013 | 1:49:06 PM
Re: Office for any tablet is dumb
Due to a myriad of pre-existing restrictions, a tablet might be the only option for an employee. They could also be using a bluetooth keyboard. Given the light hardware requirements for basic word processing, it doesn't seem too much to as for at least a lite version of Office for tablets. 
anon5060085694
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anon5060085694,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/30/2013 | 2:43:10 PM
Re: Office for any tablet is dumb
Who said anything about a soft keyboard? One can use bluetooth keyboard with tablets just fine.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2013 | 3:34:32 PM
Re: Office for any tablet is dumb
@moarsauce123: "Who in their right mind uses a tablet with a soft keyboard to do any office work?"

I see the value of being able to continue working on documents that you started on a tablet, whether using a soft keyboard or a bluetooth keyboard or similar. Cloud document storage makes working on the same document on multiple platforms so easy, it's a real shame that you can't transparently switch between platforms using software that's fully compatible with the original. It's not for everbody, sure, but I suspect there's a market for it (assuming that it's priced reasonably, and not insanely expensive like Office for PC/Mac, right kids?)
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