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Microsoft Cellphones Handhelds Windows Technology

Bungled Mobile Bet Will Be Ballmer's Swan Song 300

Posted by Soulskill
from the tablets-tablets-tablets dept.
snydeq writes "'If Windows 8 and the Surface tablet flop, you'll see a shareholder revolt that will send Steve Ballmer packing by this time next year,' writes InfoWorld's Bill Snyder. 'First it was the netbook, then it was the Ultrabook. Microsoft, Intel, and the PC makers keep looking for a way to convince buyers they don't need an iPad or Android tablet. Neither initiative gained much traction, so Microsoft bet big on Windows 8 and the Surface. ... Maybe we're wrong, and buyers will decide that the new OS and the Microsoft's first serious venture into hardware are what they want. It would be a huge boost for the industry if it happens, but I'm not optimistic. ... There's been a string of bad quarters, and the stock has been frozen for nine years. At some point — I think we're getting really close — investors are going to demand a shakeup. When they do, it's going to be good-bye, Ballmer."
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Bungled Mobile Bet Will Be Ballmer's Swan Song

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  • by Andy Prough (2730467) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:27PM (#41933409)
    not the other way around.
  • Good riddance (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:28PM (#41933421)

    when he eventually goes, it will be the best thing ever to happen to the computer industry.

  • Netbooks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by romanval (556418) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:32PM (#41933477)
    Netbooks were started by ASUS and their peers as an 'appliance' laptop- They were Linux based and only cost a few hundred bucks. Microsoft didn't try to get into it until it was posing as a threat to Windows!
  • by JMJimmy (2036122) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:39PM (#41933555)

    So Microsoft releases the first stable version of Windows 7 on February 22 of 2011 and a year later you're calling a 1/3 drop in Windows sales "frightening"? Perhaps they were just coming down from everyone's move to Windows 7? I mean you (hopefully) only need to buy that once for your machine.

    When revenue in just about all divisions drop to near 2006 levels, you've got a problem.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-microsoft-income-by-segment-2012-10 [businessinsider.com]

  • by pecosdave (536896) * on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:39PM (#41933557) Homepage Journal

    I would love to have an Ultrabook also, so I could do serious work on the road. Probably wouldn't use it much since I use surf on the netbook and do my serious work on my desktop, but an Ultrabook has it's place for certain work.

    Still - removing Windows would be my first task.

  • Too late... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:45PM (#41933617)
    Mr. Ballmer should have been sent packing after the Vista debacle. He should have been sent packing after the iPod/iPhone/iPad cleaned Microsoft's clock in the mobile world while Microsoft just sat on its collective monopoly-enhanced fat ass.

    .
    At this point, I doubt if Microsoft's Board of Directors (who are chartered with looking out for shareholder interests) are any less to blame than Mr. Ballmer.

    Maybe the shareholders should demand significant fresh blood in Microsoft's Board of Directors, since the BoD has allowed to continue, even fostered, the Ballmer problem far longer than they should have.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:52PM (#41933683)

    I sure there are a whole host of reasons why Ballmer should go, but they are not covered in this irrelevant Apple vs Microsoft pissing contest. Here is the thing Google is winning mobile, yet is mentioned nowhere in the article. Apple are losing there grip on mobile as we speak...the numbers quoted in the article sound impressive, but there market share is shrinking 23.1% to 14.9% for smartphones...and the iPad only occupies 50.4% of the tablet market. Its in trouble, and in context of this article its share price is dropping because of its poor results, ironically the same results quoted in the article. Microsoft do need a compelling mobile offering, but nothing in the article says anything about what is happening in the current Mobile market place.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:58PM (#41933753)

    So Microsoft releases the first stable version of Windows 7 on February 22 of 2011 and a year later you're calling a 1/3 drop in Windows sales "frightening"? Perhaps they were just coming down from everyone's move to Windows 7? I mean you (hopefully) only need to buy that once for your machine.

    When revenue in just about all divisions drop to near 2006 levels, you've got a problem.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-microsoft-income-by-segment-2012-10 [businessinsider.com]

    Uh, we're also at the same levels were were in March of 2010 and March of 2011. Mind explaining why he wasn't ousted then? Or why you skipped those dates and went all the way back to 2006 before the recession? Yeah, everyone was riding high before the recession ... we know ...

  • by ACalcutt (937737) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:01PM (#41933779)
    In server 2012 the picture preview is available, its just not installed by default. I am pretty sure its part of the 'desktop experience' feature. My question is, why would you even want that on a server?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:02PM (#41933795)

    Steve Balmer is the Rahm Emanuel of High Tech: He has no respect for the people who put him and his company where they are.

    His customers have long since noticed. They are forced to use MS products because there are no other practical choices in the marketplace, and Balmer disrespects them even while he takes their money. This has now become a serious problem for Microsoft -- as a company it enjoys no good will from its customers. Without customer good will, MS products don't get the attention and consideration they might deserve, from customers, who have been forced to use MS Windows and MS Office and pay unrealistic prices for the dubious privilege.

    Balmer also has no respect for his employees. He plays projects, managers and products off against each other until his best employees leave. This creates stress, consumes time, costs money and consistently produces compromised, mediocre products that are often outdated on their FCS date. MS talent drain has always been unmanageable, even when employment conditions favored MS.

    Without happy customers, without happy employees, and without the sense to correct these two negative business issues, MS is pretty much doomed.

  • by shmlco (594907) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:03PM (#41933805) Homepage

    " So the MS tablet was more expensive and more cumbersome and did not do more than a laptop did. It was no wonder it was a flop."

    The tablet failed under MS because they saw it as just another platform for "Windows Everywhere". Because it ran Windows and Windows applications it needed an expensive Intel processor, RAM, storage, fans, and so on. Add it all up, and MS's "vision" of a table was a big, heavy, clunky device with 3 hours of battery life.

  • by kenorland (2691677) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:37PM (#41934175)

    Windows 8 is a pretty mixed bag. Parts of it are good, parts of it are mediocre, and parts of it are lousy. The problem with this is that it doesn't average out; it's the parts that users get stuck on again and again that determine the overall experience. Consistently mediocre would be better than this.

    Part of what makes it such a mixed bag is the way in which old software constantly rears its ugly (and I mean ugly!) head, when you least expect it. That's really confusing.

    Microsoft's bad karma, meticulously built over decades, also comes back to haunt them: developers just expect getting screwed again. Maybe Microsoft will copy their wildly successful product, Maybe Microsoft will just drop some important API or technology leaving their product stranded. Maybe Microsoft will just decide next year to give up on Surface altogether and clone Google Glass instead. No matter what, developers pretty much know they are going to get screwed.

    50% great tech just isn't enough.

  • Bad Performance? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:55PM (#41934387)

    Where's the bad performance? Anyone looked at the stock market? The tech sector OVERALL is at -22% since 2003 (9 years ago). MS is BEATING THE INDUSTRY, lol. Sure, APPLE is way up, but if you discount that one stock MS is actually pretty much the best performer around. I mean I'm sure you can find smaller plays that are of course MUCH MUCH better, or Apple, but I hardly think that the shareholders at MS have any big reason to complain currently. They MAY feel uneasy about the strategic direction of the company, but the notion that stock performance is going to get Balmer tossed is probably not even close to realistic. Truthfully stock holders don't generally think a lot about strategic considerations either, sadly. If they did a LOT of CEOs would be out of jobs...

  • by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3@@@justconnected...net> on Friday November 09, 2012 @02:08PM (#41934535)

    And I've heard (maybe this is just a rumor) that the next version of Windows server is not going to have a GUI interface and will be completely command line driven; what sysadmin wants to sit there typing command after command into a Dos prompt.

    Uh... most sysadmins do that all day on Linux. That is, people whose title is "sysadmin" (implying a big-league system), not "IT guy" (implying a small-medium business) pretty much use Linux for servers, and they manage just fine.

    I seem to remember that the GUI would be an option, not unavailable, but even if it were unavailable a server is not something you administer at the console. It's something you manage remotely, and even if you need a GUI (which is fine for the smaller companies), RDP is a stupid way to do that compared to a desktop console.

    However, not requiring a GUI means that everything is controllable by command line which is a MASSIVE boon for anybody doing serious administration, because it means everything is scriptable and repeatable.

  • by JohnFen (1641097) on Friday November 09, 2012 @04:33PM (#41935929)

    Everyone I have talked to who has been forced to use the ribbon has eventually concluded that it is indeed a better interface than the old toolbar/menu combo. The only ones I know who still complain about the ribbon are the ones who never gave it a real chance

    You know a different crowd than I, then. I know a lot of people who use the ribbon on a daily basis, and have for quite a long time. They've all given it a real chance. I'd say that 8 or 9 out of ten of them think it's a barely-acceptable horrorshow.

  • by Gription (1006467) on Friday November 09, 2012 @07:46PM (#41938129)
    Small new devices are 'cool' but that isn't where MS / Ballmer missed the point. They took Microsoft's flagship OS and optimized the whole user interface to work on 'cool' handheld devices where they don't have a serious foothold in the market. I know that they are salivating looking at Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store but they just thumbed their nose at everyone who uses the most entrenched desktop operating system in the world. It is a train wreck as a desktop UI and they are so obscenely blind that they didn't see it or just plain ignored it.

    How many people with a tablet and a PC will sit down and use the tablet for word processing or an spreadsheet? This is the biggest opening for a competitor to jump into the desktop OS market I've ever seen. And for the people who think hand held toys like tablets "are a paradigm shift" then explain to me how that correlates with the number of dual or triple display setups that are being rolled out?
    (Ask Oracle how the mas shift to thin computing is working for them!)

    The boat has been missed. Let's see if they notice.

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