Is Microsoft Trying to Morph into Apple?

by James R. Stoup Jul 31, 2006

Microsoft has caused quite a stir with its recent Zune (what a stupid name) announcement, haven’t they? Oh, don’t get me wrong, I am sure that the ultimate product (which will arrive shortly after Vista, no doubt) will suck in both new and fascinating ways, and yet, for the first time in a long time I am impressed by Microsoft. It hasn’t been able to get anyone to really care about Vista, or Office or even IE7, but it has gotten people to care about Zune. And Microsoft’s approach is almost, Apple-like.

Zune has been analyzed, belittled, criticized and debated like nothing else from Microsoft. It has no product, all it has is some meager advertising material and a few pictures (of dubious authenticity) of the device itself. The blogsphere has collectively gone crazy over this development as they rush to debate the implications of Microsoft’s recent move and predict the eventual outcome. Like I said, this is almost an Apple-like amount of publicity over a device that probably doesn’t even exist yet. The entire widget, from the Zune device to its supposed iTunes-like counterpart, are all just speculation. And yet, the buzz seems to be in no hurry to die down. And so I began to wonder, has Microsoft finally begun to learn something from Apple?

With the exception of Windows, Office and its mouse and keyboards, Microsoft has failed at everything they have attempted. Cell phones, online searching, music, gaming systems (when you loose over $1 billion dollars selling your product, it is a failure) everything. And this fact continues to become even more amazing once you realize how much money the company has wasted in the last decade trying to buy its way into markets. It hasn’t been pretty. So now, at long last, Microsoft has begun to come around to the idea that controlling the entire experience is the way to go. Zune, music services and the rest is only the beginning.

I think that in the coming years Microsoft will attempt to build its own computers just like Apple does currently. It won’t buy HP or Acer or anyone else, it will do it all in house, just like Zune. And when this comes around the OEMs are going to take a beating from competing directly with Microsoft. (all of the other manufacturers will take a hit to varying degrees but Dell will suffer the most)

Now, I don’t think Microsoft will do this because it wants to put Dell out of business, rather, I think it will feel forced into this move. Because at some point Ballmer (or who ever is running the show by then) is going to say “Well, we’ve tried every other market and lost so why not computers?” Microsoft has to expand its revenue stream and since it has so clearly failed to dominate the internet I think it will finally look to the hardware side of things. Maybe it will tie things in with the XBox (assuming it is still around) and shoot for a home entertainment center-type market (keeping the Media Center dream alive, albeit on life support). Who knows? But Zune proves that Microsoft is willing to step into the hardware market regardless of the cost to them or their partners. And Zune’s success (or lack their of) will be the determining factor in deciding how far Microsoft goes in expanding into hardware. The future doesn’t really look bright for Microsoft, but it certainly looks interesting.


  • Dear Mr. Stoup,

    As a convert to Apple and working in the Global Supply Chain of a Semiconductor manufacturer with years of prior experience at the big five consulting firms, your analysis is somewhat biased.  I think to be open you have neglected to be even handed in your analysis.  Why?

    1.  You failed to speak to the millions of back-office licenses sold for Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server.  This revenue stream is very large and many corporations today utilize this email and database system (Note, I did not judge the quality, just the quantity).

    2.  As well, you have failed to quote Internet Explorer.  Not that I care for the product, but it did indeed change the “ball game” for the Internet browser.  They at least gave it away for free….something that the competition failed to do and payed heavily for it.

    3.  I believe your analysis is a little off.  Microsoft may be in charge of ZUNE but the parts all come from contract manufacturers similar to the Apple Ipod.  They both play a major part in the design but do not think it is either Microsoft or Apple employee’s building the displays, hard drives, etc and then putting them together.

    4.  In regards to Microsoft building a PC.  I think you should think twice.  A PC is a commodity and even Dell today faces long term threats from low cost providers in Asia.  Remember, it is about running a global supply chain where the costs are the cheapest and Microsoft has no experience in doing this.  IBM has failed, Gateway slips closer to death each year, HP is in big trouble and true PC makers know their day’s are limited.  So why would Microsoft enter into a market where it is low margin and little profit. 

    I may not like their products, but they are not for sure stupid either.  They did not build a war chest of hundreds of millions on being dumb.

    Ryan Rhoades

    rhoades_ryan had this to say on Jul 31, 2006 Posts: 2
  • No, Microsoft did not build a war chest by being dumb. They built it through harassment, lies, and other sundry illegal activities.

    Microsoft doesn’t hesitate to enter markets that it knows nothing about. Can you say X-Box? I knew you could.

    As for browsers, Mosiac was free, and Netscape was free. IE being free was no revolution. In fact by not selling it, Microsoft made sure that no-one paid them for their work.

    Aurora77 had this to say on Jul 31, 2006 Posts: 35
  • Mr. Aurora77,

    I am glad to see that your opinions are backed up with a fair share of emotion vs. statistical facts and data.  Please define the real “facts” of your first statement other than the court cases where government agencies through PAC’s (Can you say that word…I knew you could) took Microsoft to court.  I find it so intersting that when someone just points out a different view in the Apple community people become so emotional. 

    Last time I checked, no one from Microsoft was standing there holding a weapon to anyone’s head.  You either buy their product or go someplace else (Theory of the free market). Enough people decided to buy their product.  Too bad for them.

    If you are old enough to remember the good old days of IBM being the only game in town during the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s (Check you license), they were once a monopoly and bully as well, and look what happened to them.  The only fact in the world of technology is that all things change.  Microsoft will eventually face as a company the same as well.  It will only take time.  Some people are too young to understand cycles…...

    Last but not least, if you think that Microsoft is the only game in town launching a product that they prop up through pricing and financial subsidies.  Well I hope you never shopped at Wal-Mart, purchased at TV from RCA, and flew Pan Am airlines.  Once again, considering your response, you probably only know 1 of the 3.  The fact is that welcome to capitalism, welcome to a global economy, and if you do not like the product…just do not buy it.  However, to write such things about any company without proper research just speaks for itself.

    As well, your browser theory….I think you should go back to the history books and check again.  Not everything was free back in “the day” unless you were a student at a university…..

    How do I know…I worked at IBM back in the day talking to this really tiny and small company called Netscape about some funny web browser thingy…and wondering what the heck do you do with this thing and a mainframe!


    rhoades_ryan had this to say on Jul 31, 2006 Posts: 2
  • Rhoads is correct. I will be buying my first Mac when the Merom comes out, but I hate this political-equse (couldn’t describe it any other way) attitude that some Mac people online are displaying.  You know, “the other side just can’t do anything well.” I’ve been seeing this too much on the internet message boards.

    This notion that MS has “no business,” as some have put it, of getting involved in the MP3 market (whether through PlaysForSure or hardware) is just crazy. “Why should MS get into a market that is already crowded?” “Creative should just stick to SoundBlaster.” “Apple is the only one that will ever get it right.”

    Well, with this logic, there would be no Fox News Channel (now kills CNN, CNNHN, CNBC, and MSNBC combined in ratings), Wal-Mart would not be selling groceries (needs no explanation), American Idol would be the only “America Votes” TV talent show (watched the networks at 8pm anytime this summer?), International Dr. in Orlando and U.S. 192 in neighboring Kissimmee would be state parks or something instead of Disney World alternatives (and since its opening and every other parks’ arrival in town, Disney has gone from just the Magic Kingdom, to three other major parks, two water parks, nightlife, etc.), and these people would be complaining about the rumor of Apple making a cellphone (because Nokia, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericcson, Motorola, etc. have already gotten it right, right?)...

    Competition is good. Whether or not this MS product turns out good, it will force Apple to up the ante and its products will get even better. Don’t people think the reason why Windows isn’t “da bomb” is because MS knows that it owns the market? Maybe if it were under a bigger threat, they would be forced to make it better.

    The iPod office at Apple is examining every bit of news and blog entries about Zune like the DNC and RNC war-rooms during election years. Isn’t that good for you? Well if not, it’s good for me.

    fairandbalanced88 had this to say on Jul 31, 2006 Posts: 2
  • I think to be open you have neglected to be even handed in your analysis.  Why?


    You must be new here.  You are wasting your time with your pesky little facts and reality.  James and Aurora aren’t the least bit interested.  Anything even resembling positive words about Microsoft enters their brains (or in Aurora’s case, the positronic Apple-bot Regurgitator 2000 (tm)) as incomprehensible garbled mumblings.

    I, on the other hand, would be happy to listen.  I like competition, not just when it’s against Microsoft, and would love to see a true rival to the iPod that gives consumers a real competitive choice.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Jul 31, 2006 Posts: 2220
  • “Cell phones, online searching, music, gaming systems (when you loose over $1 billion dollars selling your product, it is a failure) everything.”

    I think you meant to say “lose”

    cayayofm had this to say on Jul 31, 2006 Posts: 6
  • I don’t understand why you are all complaining about the Xbox, as if that’s an example of M$ failing somehow.  They bought their way to 2nd place in one generation, and also created the first console to make sense of networking and online play.  Sure, it cost them hundreds of millions of dollars, but they created a quality brand by offering everything in the package, which created a unified platform for developers so that a great many game would allow you to use custom soundtracks off of MP3’s on your hard drive, which is great.  NFL 2K5 for the Xbox even allowed you to cue up specific parts of songs for different instances, say a touchdown or a sack or whatever it may be, which is all kinds of cool, let me tell you.

    I’m not about to say that the 360 is awesome or anything, but obviously the Xbox will be around for a third generation, I mean what the crap are you thinking, that they’d dump the consumer market so they can sell grey boxes?  If they would do anything, I would see a complete integration between the Xbox and the Media Center PC, to the point where the Xbox v3 would be used to watch on demand high definition video either through a downloading scheme ala itunes or streaming feeds (by that point high speed should have stepped up a notch or two).  Also, with the USB 2.0 (or faster by that point) plugs on the front of the machine, you would be able to plug in your handheld audio/video device (perhaps even an ipod, or this Zune thingamajig) and transfer your media to take with you on the go.  If it were running on some version of windows, I don’t see why you would be able to find drivers for pretty much any given device, including an ipod (although I suppose you would need to categorize your xbox v3 as one of the computers allowed to store your media on itunes).

    So yes, I suppose that Microsoft would technically be selling computers by that point, as the Xbox would be more powerful than the Mac Mini (something that I believe the 360 to be on par with, what with it’s trip-core 3.2 ghz processor and 512 megs of ram) and so it would make for a decent media machine for surfing the web in your living room on your HDTV.  I’m sure they could make a go at cornering the market on such a device, since Nintendo is only concerned with creating game machines and Sony has embraced Linux, something few people seem to be able to get a handle on at the moment.  They do have access to a wide library of movie studios though, but they’re not going to move their distribution network online unless Blu-Ray bites it, and Blu-Ray isn’t going to bite it that hard.

    Chicken2nite had this to say on Jul 31, 2006 Posts: 79
  • I don’t understand why you are all complaining about the Xbox, as if that’s an example of M$ failing somehow.

    Because in batshit-crazy-Macbot land, everything from Microsoft sucks because it’s from Microsoft.  The reasoning begins and ends there.

    For example, James already knows the Zune will suck in every way imaginable, despite the niddling little detail of knowing almost nothing about it and never having seen it, let alone used it. 

    I do agree about the name, however, but it ain’t like “iPod” is anything to write home about.  After a certain point, who really cares what it’s called?

    I’m not about to say that the 360 is awesome or anything

    I’m not a console gamer, but my brother got one and it’s pretty sweet.  Awesome HD graphics and a really nice interface.

    And since this the same team that’s now on the Zune, I have at least some hope that it’ll be a pretty decent device.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Aug 01, 2006 Posts: 2220
  • After a couple of Billion$ spent by M$‘s CE division headed by the charismatic Robbie Bach, M$ finally has some hope of a winning design in the Zune.

    I must say M$ got some nerves to duplicate Apple’s vertical model in the iPod - selling the hardware, content, and providing the service pipes, in one fell swoop.

    Now, Microsoft intends to employ the iPod playbook with the Zune. Since the CE division will handle everything from design, manufacturing, and marketing of this product, M$ can position it unlike core-M$ products such as Windows, Office, or back-end middlewares such as SQL Server and Exchange. M$ will make the foray in this market like the XBox and X360, maverick in every way and not rigidly controlled by the upper management.

    This is the real trick for M$. Robbie Batch will be given the green light to “man the con” to which he sees fit. That’s a good thing because too much top management control will only doom this device’s chance of success against the iPod domination. From the design success of the XBox 360 I have to be optimistic that M$ can finally have a breakthrough design in the Zune.

    Even if the rumoured wi-fi capability is just icing and not the best part, it has to garner a lot attention from bloggers alike. Never mind the flawed idea that the Zune will import ALL your iTunes-purchased music and videos because I don’t think that’s what you’ll get. Zune music will be subscription-based like the current Napster model using the latest WM codec technologies and yes, DRM. Unless, of course, Robbie will be so bold as to change how WM offers content with Zune. That would be interesting to watch.

    Yes, it would be nice to have a valid iPod contender. It would definitely affect Apple’s price structures and keep Jonathan Ive’s design team on their toes. Innovation would surely flow perpetually as it usually happens in a happy competition.

    So, yes, bring on the Zune!

    Robomac had this to say on Aug 01, 2006 Posts: 846
  • “Say it ain’t so Joe.”  I can buy a $400 IPod which is designed to last four years. What a deal!!! 

    Pain in the pod

    Little patience for my big iProblems
    July 24, 2006

    Apple’s 4 commandments
    July 24, 2006

    What locals had to say

    Swap your broken pod for one that’s mod
    July 24, 2006

    The iPod is invaluable in the everyday lives of millions. We name our iPods, coddle them, buy cases for them, insure them and sing their praises?until they break down.

    Then we curse them, throw them, mock them and spread the bad word?before buying our next one.Cry-pod storiesDo you have an iPod breakdown story? Tell us about it. Please include your full name, age and neighborhood.

    And the cycle repeats.

    “When they’re working, they’re great,” said Tim Vargo, an early adopter who is on his fourth iPod. “But I’ve had the Nano for four or five months, so now I’m really getting to the point where I’m waiting for it to screw up.”

    There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence calling out Apple’s portable media player as a faulty device on many counts. The company has acknowledged some problems, offering subsidized replacements for faulty batteries of certain-generation iPods and free replacements to the easily cracked and scratched screens of some Nanos.

    However, based on anecdotal evidence and online forums of iPod users, other problems remain. Exact repair/replacement numbers are unknown; those are controlled by Apple.

    But Apple maintains that failure rates are low.

    An Apple spokeswoman, Natalie Kerris, said iPods have a failure rate of less than 5 percent, which she said is “fairly low” compared with other consumer electronics. “The vast majority of our customers are extremely happy with their iPods,” she said, adding that an iPod is designed to last four years.

    A survey done in late 2005 by, a 12-year-old Web site for Apple users, offers a window into the type of problems users most frequently encounter. Of nearly 9,000 iPods owned by more than 4,000 respondents, more than 1,400 of the mp3 players had failed. The survey reported a failure rate of 13.7 percent, roughly half battery-related, while the other half were hard-drive-related. Other data indicated Nanos and Shuffles, which operate without hard drives, were less prone to failure.

    Gregg Radell, who started a company that refurbishes faulty iPods, said “the single weakest link” is the iPod’s hard drive. “When they’re being carried around and being tossed up and down, they go through such a variety of environments that I think the hard drive has a tendency to fail,” he said.

    But several analysts said the problems have more to do with the popularity of the iPod and the tendency of users to abuse them than with Apple’s manufacturing policies.

    Bob O’Donnell, a vice president at technology research firm IDC, said, “Any time you have that many of anything,” some will not function properly.

    Fifteen percent of iPods will fail within one year, estimates Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group in San Jose, Calif. He said that’s roughly comparable to other small electronic devices, such as cell phones. Nevertheless, he said, cell phones are much easier and cheaper to repair. Hard data on iPod repair and replacement rates may be spotty.

    But consumers at least appear to think the devices fail at an unreasonable rate. Lately, as the iPod approaches its fifth birthday in October, the accounts of hard-drive failure are commonplace on online tech forums.

    “Right now mine is a $400 paperweight,” wrote one blogger in February after his hard drive died without apparent reason.

    Apple created a device that is unparalleled in size, functionality, design and capability. But many modern digital products, whether hardware or software, seem to be manufactured with an eye toward frequent replacement and updates?the sort of built-in obsolescence that has frustrated consumers for decades. Companies such as Apple and Microsoft hope at least some customers will update often to get a more advanced product.

    There appears to be no lack of customers willing to do just that. It took more than three years for Apple to release its first 14 iPod models, but the company has introduced another 12 models in the past 15 months.

    Dano Shattuck had recurring problems with his old iPod, from a balky headphone jack to a dead battery. But they were easily handled until he dropped the mp3 player on a concrete floor. He accepted fault and bought a new 60-gig video iPod.

    “None of that changes my opinion that the iPod is the best thing to ever happen to music,” Shattuck said. “It’s such an incredible product.”

    Replacing a $150 cell phone is one thing. A $400 60-gig video iPod is another story. Yet still, many people mourn the premature loss of their iPod with the purchase of a new iPod.

    “The first one I bought new, and it wasn’t long before I got the little frowny-faced guy, and there was no recovering,” said Jason Lucero, an iPod enthusiast now on his second player. “I’m a computer geek and can figure that stuff out, but it was broken, it was done.”

    Enthusiasts know and fear the frowny-faced guy, which means the iPod must be sent to the company for repair or replacement.

    “When I sent the first one back, they sent me a refurbished one within a week,” Lucero said. “But I still have the same problems. It’ll just freeze up, pretending it doesn’t want to work sometimes. I’ve gotten so [angry] that I’ve thrown it across the room. And then it worked. Banging it up a little bit helps sometimes.”

    Regardless of these problems, brand loyalty isn’t something Apple has to worry about. Vargo, a longtime Mac user, is content with his Nano and doesn’t see himself without an Apple-made MP3 player.

    “Walkmans were everywhere in the ‘80s,” said Vargo, “and now iPods have that exact same effect on this generation

    ckasch had this to say on Aug 01, 2006 Posts: 1
  • adding that an iPod is designed to last four years. -ckash

    Natalie Kerris admits she was misquoted by the Chicago press. She said, “for years” not “four years”. Still, that means an iPod could last longer than four years or as little as one year. For an anecdote, my 30GB G3 iPod is now two years old and still ticking with daily abuse. I haven’t noticed any problems with it - be it battery or hard drive or display. It just works.

    cell phones are much easier and cheaper to repair -ckash

    Not really. I was in test engineering at Qualcomm, then Kyocera, then Nokia, and I can tell you a “repaired” phone can cost over $100 to the owner if it’s not covered by warranty. This is because the returned unit goes through a very rigorous refurbishing and testing line and if it makes it through, it behaves, feels, and looks exactly like a new phone. If it fails somewhat in the middle of the line it will be debugged to pass or a completely new components are placed until passing final QC.

    I would assume Apple has this same “CCO” or customer care operations for their cash cow. Even at that miniscule failure rate of 5%, that is a LOT to process in any day - thousands of units has to be processed through the entire test/refurb line every day.

    Robomac had this to say on Aug 01, 2006 Posts: 846
  • That was a misquote. The person actually said that iPods are made to last “FOR years”, not four years.

    my SN fits really well, doesn’t it? wink

    fairandbalanced88 had this to say on Aug 01, 2006 Posts: 2
  • A failure rate of 5% does NOT translate to a product issue.  This failure rate will include a large number of faults attributable to mishandling - how many of these failed units were dropped?  A high level of warranty claims would show up in Apple’s financials - as you know, they have not done so to date and Apple has just reported a very healthy set of numbers.

    Microsoft may well do some things well.  However, most IT people I know find Microsoft APPALLING to deal with as an organisation.  And most home users I know are just uninterested in anything to do with Microsoft (i don’t know any gamers so I cannot comment on the usability or otherwise of the Xbox).

    Xbox shows that you can bludgeon your way into a market if you have enough dollars and a product which works well enough.  Zune may well achieve the same for Microsoft - and of course that would be good for consumers, assuming MS and Apple can cooperate at some stage so that there is some compatibility between the two product lines.

    But the risk for Microsoft is that they are too, too late…  The iPod is a great product - it sells because it works.  If Zune does not improve on the user experience then it will fail - and all the money in the world won’t change that.  XBox will not make money until 2008 according to a Microsoft spokesman and reported elsewhere on this site.  How long until Zune makes money?

    Exchange:  Exchange is under threat from Linux-based mail applications which are appearing in small and mid-sized companies in significant numbers.  Each new version of Exchange is bigger, more complex and harder to install.  While very large organisations can handle this, many mid-sized companies are baulking at the complexity and cost involved.  A linux mail server is much simpler and cheaper.  I suspect that MS will lose significant market share in the SME space over the next few years - firstly because organisations will just decide not to upgrade, and then because when the eventually have to do so, they will move to a pre-packaged solution based on Linux.

    SQL Server:  Same deal as Exchange.  The latest version of SQL Server is significantly different.  Again, in large organisations, SQL does a good job.  It has to - because Oracle and other database products are effective competitors.  But, again, in the SME space (which is the largest space by far) the database application which is growing apace is not SQL, but the open systems product mySQL.

    Microsoft Desktops: I agree with the writer that Microsoft will move into the PC business at some stage.  The xBox is a PC of course - the same people who manufacture the xBox bits can manufacture PC bits.  If Xbox morphs into a home entertainment system and runs Office, then Microsoft is in the PC business.  in the corporate space, MS could start with high end servers.  Compaq started out by making high end portables.  HP was a mid-range computer systems manufacturer.

    Microsoft cannot increase its market share in its traditional markets - and to grow and provide a return to investors it has to find new markets.  The problem for Microsoft is that it does not appear to employ the visionary individuals who can identify new markets and bring something new to market.

    Apple, on the other hand, have done exactly this with the iPod.  Apple can continue to grow their iPod business because they have not reached anywhere near market saturation yet, and they have a HUGE installed base who can be expected to upgrade their iPods over the next 5-10 years.  Also, they can continue to develop products around this model - an iPhone will leverage the iPod phenomenon, but take Apple into a brand new sector with lots of blue sky.

    If Apple don’t rest on their laurels and put their collective minds to work on the next “really new” thing, then there is a good chance that Apple will dominate a new market in the same way they did with iPod/iTunes.

    So where are Microsoft’s new markets?  Instead of doing something really new, they are bludgeoning their way into existing markets - first gaming, now music players.  This is expensive, time consuming, and may not be successful anyway.  Nintendo have done something very different in the gaming space - this could well derail Xbox if the Nintendo approach catches on.  Redmond cannot support a loss-making gaming business forever - and even if Xbox does become profitable in 2008, how long before Microsoft make enough profits to cover their burgeoning accumulated losses - I read somewhere they have lost $1billion to date on this product…

    Imagination, creativity, flair…  These are NOT attributes one readily attributes to Microsoft.  Yet it is exactly these attributes that Microsoft will need to discover if they are to prevent their inexorable decline into oblivion.  It is ALL bad news out of Redmond right now.  Bill is leaving, Vista is late, Xbox is still losing money, Zunes is going to be a very, very, very hard sell… 

    And, my dear Beeblebrox, you have again forgotten to take your nice pills this morning haven’t you?  Tsk tsk…  It’s a shame that your point of view is always shrouded in unpleasantness - I am sure that what you have to say is overlooked by many who are simply affronted by your approach…  You really should try harder…

    sydneystephen had this to say on Aug 01, 2006 Posts: 124
  • most IT people I know find Microsoft APPALLING to deal with as an organisation. -Sydney

    I wonder if this IT animosity towards M$ is just in Australia. I am curious if MS Australia is the problem and not MS USA, in general, as we would normally point our fingers to.

    I am not a corporate IT person, so to speak, and from my experience with my colleague (the IT guy) he would not look back to anything but Microsoft products. I have tried convincing him to look at Apple’s corporate products such as the storage and servers to no avail. Anyway, to keep the story short, I convinced the honcho (CEO) to purchase a dual G5 towers, several MacBooks, eight top-line Intel Mac Minis for HD video demos. What’s best is I get to maintain all those - sort of like a mini-IT just for Apple products. Sweet! wink

    The problem for Microsoft is that it does not appear to employ the visionary individuals who can identify new markets and bring something new to market. -Sydney

    This is the problem that brought in Ray Ozzie as the Chief Software Architect, pushing aside the great Bill Gates. Ozzie, as you may know, created Lotus Notes - the pervasive Fortune 1000 corporate collaboration suite, then went on to form Groove Networks which M$ acquired in 2005.

    MS is now betting the farm on this guy’s vision of web collaboration into Office 2007.
    His first directive is for M$ to attack the, so called, Web 2.0 technologies using SOAP, AJAX, or M$ proprietary technolgies to combat Google’s encroachment on its turf. Windows Live Search (beta) will be the first Ozzie-visioned product with this “collaboration” in mind.

    More will come, indeed, but we will see and watch how Ozzie will combat Google’s growing dominance in net collaboration technologies. Balmer, it has been nice knowing ya…

    Robomac had this to say on Aug 01, 2006 Posts: 846
  • Wow so much to comment on where to start.  First i’ll just say this is fun to comment, nobody will take anything said by somone who starts with “Oh, don’t get me wrong, I am sure that the ultimate product (which will arrive shortly after Vista, no doubt) will suck in both new and fascinating ways” as serious journalism.  So since the writer has already discredited himself I’ll just leave his rubbish article alone and move onto some of the other peoples comments.

    “Exchange:  Exchange is under threat from Linux-based mail applications which are appearing in small and mid-sized companies in significant numbers.  Each new version of Exchange is bigger, more complex and harder to install.  While very large organisations can handle this, many mid-sized companies are baulking at the complexity and cost involved.  A linux mail server is much simpler and cheaper.  I suspect that MS will lose significant market share in the SME space over the next few years - firstly because organisations will just decide not to upgrade, and then because when the eventually have to do so, they will move to a pre-packaged solution based on Linux.” - This could be the biggest joke of a statement I’ve ever heard.  Could you please back up your statements with some link to proof.  Anyone can say, gee lots of people are moving off, where are your numbers to back this statement up and could you please name one of these pre-packaged solutions on Linux.

    So lets just go the xbox path for a moment.  To make a statment like “gaming systems (when you loose over $1 billion dollars selling your product, it is a failure)” clearly shows a lack of understanding of the game business.  All companies lose money on the unit it’s a loss, you make it on game licensing.  Sony lost a ton on the playstation 2, let me guess that was a failure as well.

    DeM0ney had this to say on Aug 16, 2006 Posts: 2
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