Microsoft at 40: 5 Successes, 5 Failures - InformationWeek

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4/9/2015
05:05 PM
Kelly Sheridan
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Microsoft at 40: 5 Successes, 5 Failures

In honor of Microsoft's 40th birthday, InformationWeek reflects on the successes, failures, and lessons learned that built the company as it stands today.
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MS-DOS
In August 1981, Microsoft released operating software entitled Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS). The OS was created in response to IBM, which had approached the young company about a project code-named 'Chess.' Microsoft developed MS-DOS as a foundation on which computers could run, bridging the gap between hardware and programs. This creation marked Microsoft's entry into the personal computing space, which it would eventually grow to overpower in coming years.
In 1983, Microsoft announced the developed of Windows 1.0, a visually enhanced version of MS-DOS. The first Windows-branded OS shipped in 1985.
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

MS-DOS

In August 1981, Microsoft released operating software entitled Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS). The OS was created in response to IBM, which had approached the young company about a project code-named "Chess." Microsoft developed MS-DOS as a foundation on which computers could run, bridging the gap between hardware and programs. This creation marked Microsoft's entry into the personal computing space, which it would eventually grow to overpower in coming years.

In 1983, Microsoft announced the developed of Windows 1.0, a visually enhanced version of MS-DOS. The first Windows-branded OS shipped in 1985.

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

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tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
5/4/2015 | 5:31:13 PM
Re: What? No Windows ME?
Aside from the general clumsiness of the UI, trying to set up wi-fi connectivity on my company's network has been a real challenge lately. Despite using protocols (such as PEAP) that have worked in Win 7, they do not work with Win 8.x. It is very difficult to get into various devices and settings. Nothing is logically or intuitively designed.
mejiac
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50%
mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
5/4/2015 | 3:37:42 PM
Re: What? No Windows ME?
@tjgkg,

Thank you for your comment. Think you can share with the community what have been your main hurdles and any leassons learned?

 

Thanks
tjgkg
50%
50%
tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
5/4/2015 | 1:43:01 PM
Re: What? No Windows ME?
@mejiac: Very encouraging news about Win 10. I'm happy that Microsoft hears the comments. I'm trying to support a vendor with Win 8.x laptops and it has really been terrible. Maybe all this will go away with the new system.
jries921
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50%
jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
4/17/2015 | 12:33:23 PM
Re: What? No Windows ME?
The notion that MS can or should force customers or anyone else to do anything is precisely what got it into legal trouble in the 1990s and early 2000s.  Legitimate businesses don't force, they put out goods and services people want to buy at prices they're happy to pay.  Vista was an expensive lesson in what happens when a vendor overestimates its ability to dictate to the market.  It appeared for a time that MS management had learned that lesson, but then they put out Windows 8.  Hopefully this time the lesson will take permanently, but only time will tell.

 
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
4/17/2015 | 12:24:38 PM
Vista was not the worst Windows of all time
I won't discuss 1 and 2 since I never used them, but while Vista was slow and booby trap laden, the UI was decent and it is rumored that once the driver issues were worked out, it functioned rather nicely (but was that really worth the effort?).  Nope, the worst Windows I have ever used is none other than Windows 8.0 due to its confusing, cumbersome user interface.  It should be noted that though a few of us thought Steve Ballmer should have been fired over Vista, it appears to have been the Windows 8 debacle that finally pushed him into a new career as an NBA owner.

 After all these years, I still think Windows 2000 was the best Windows I ever used.  May it rest in peace and honor.

 
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
4/16/2015 | 1:01:16 PM
Re: What? No Windows ME?
It's clear that microsoft has been in many ways at the forefront of technology trends and consumer behaviour. Things have changed mostly because of fierce (very fierce) competition, where customers today want quicker turn around regarding product upgrades. And because of the market, consumers also want things to "just work", versus having to go through installation wizzards and check boxes.

So far what I've seen in Windows 10 is a winner, and the rest of the ecosystem (Phone, Tablets) are also looking very promising.
Li Tan
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50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
4/15/2015 | 2:48:32 PM
Re: What? No Windows ME?
I have tried Windows 10 and it brings much better user experience compared to its ancestors. In the past 40 years, MS brought us a bunch of great products: MS Messenger, Windows, Office, etc. Some of them are still dominating today and the milestone product of mordern computing industry.
Li Tan
50%
50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
4/15/2015 | 2:48:29 PM
Re: What? No Windows ME?
I have tried Windows 10 and it brings much better user experience compared to its ancestors. In the past 40 years, MS brought us a bunch of great products: MS Messenger, Windows, Office, etc. Some of them are still dominating today and the milestone product of mordern computing industry.
TerryB
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50%
TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2015 | 1:21:18 PM
Re: 40 years of leassons learned
@mejac, I don't see that changing, certainly not at our company. Enterprises care about getting work done, which means applications, not o/s. I would argue the last o/s reason for enterprise productivity was either Active Directory or Group Policy support. You could also throw in, from the old days, the ability to boot faster and not crash on users. But for most part, that problem ended with XP and Pentium 4.

Now that core o/s doesn't bring anything new (like AD) to the table, every upgrade is just a cost exercise to get your applications running on new version, plus any user training. Win 10 should at least minimize training effort (over Win 8 with no Start button) and Win 10 should run most Win 7 apps without requiring upgrades. I think biggest thing to watch will be this new browser, how backwards compatible it is for IE apps. For example, we still run WSS 3.0 (free Sharepoint), how's that going to do with this new browser geared for HTML5?

So I'm suspecting end of support for Win 7 will again drive upgrade. If anyone in enterprise space disagrees, I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts why you would go sooner.
mejiac
50%
50%
mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2015 | 9:54:19 AM
Re: What? No Windows ME?
@tjgkh,

I share your sentiment regarding Win 8...the Metro UI added no value what so ever, even less at the entreprise level.

I do encourage you to try out Windows 10 Technical Preview, and I think you'll be pleasently surprised at the changes and enhancements Microsoft has implemented. I'm using it as a dedicated HTPC, and I love it (granted, with bugs here and there, but it's expected).

I love the use of Cortana, it's so convenient.
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