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Microsoft Cellphones

Bill Gates Says Windows Phone Strategy Was Inadequate 268

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the not-the-worst-thing dept.
puddingebola writes "Perhaps it isn't newsworthy, but Bill Gates has characterized Microsoft's mobile and smartphone strategies as 'a mistake.' From the article: 'In an interview with CBS This Morning's Charlie Rose on Monday, Gates admitted he wasn't pleased with Microsoft's performance in the mobile market, going as far as to characterize the company's smartphone strategy as "a mistake." "We didn't miss cell phones," Gates said. "But the way that we went about it didn't allow us to get the leadership, so it's clearly a mistake."'"
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Bill Gates Says Windows Phone Strategy Was Inadequate

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  • Like... (Score:5, Funny)

    by pubwvj (1045960) on Monday February 18, 2013 @08:48PM (#42940333)

    Duh.

    • Re:Like... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:07PM (#42940437)

      Everybody thinks Ballmer has dropped the ball. According to Joachim Kempin, it's more likely that he's dropped the bat.

      Steve Ballmer Roams The Halls Of Microsoft Swinging A Baseball Bat

      Microsoft's history is filled with stories about its rough culture, from it's "stack-ranking" employee reviews to how Bill Gates used to yell, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard." Here's another one: Six-foot-two Steve Ballmer sometimes brings a baseball bat with him into meetings, and that's if he's feeling happy...

      http://www.businessinsider.com/ballmer-roams-halls-with-baseball-bat-2013-2 [businessinsider.com]

      • The KING has no clothes! He's big, brash, loud, a mega-shareholder and he is not managing right.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        and the way I read the bit about them not getting the leadership was that they were not able to control the market. So when since they got their DOS/Windows monopoly have they been able to get a leadership position outside of the Windows platform?

        Bill, you tried the tablet thing for 2 decades and failed. You tried the phone for a decade and failed. Bill and Steve's excellent adventure is over as you guys can no longer strong arm the industry like you seem to have strong armed your employees.

      • Steve Ballmer Roams The Halls Of Microsoft Swinging A Baseball Bat

        Microsoft's history is filled with stories about its rough culture, from it's "stack-ranking" employee reviews to how Bill Gates used to yell, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard." Here's another one: Six-foot-two Steve Ballmer sometimes brings a baseball bat with him into meetings, and that's if he's feeling happy...

        At the risk of invoking a sort of inductive-Godwin here, wasn't that a trick Al Capone used to do?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Tough Love (215404)

          Steve Ballmer Roams The Halls Of Microsoft Swinging A Baseball Bat

          Microsoft's history is filled with stories about its rough culture, from it's "stack-ranking" employee reviews to how Bill Gates used to yell, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard." Here's another one: Six-foot-two Steve Ballmer sometimes brings a baseball bat with him into meetings, and that's if he's feeling happy...

          At the risk of invoking a sort of inductive-Godwin here, wasn't that a trick Al Capone used to do?

          Are you calling Bill Gates a thug? Good call.

    • Re:Like... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrbluejello (189775) on Monday February 18, 2013 @11:04PM (#42941113)

      This article title is WRONG. Windows Mobile had the problem, which is the predecessor to Windows Phone.

      Big difference, completely different platform.

      • Re:Like... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dhavleak (912889) on Monday February 18, 2013 @11:22PM (#42941233)

        Exactly correct -- but you're expecting too much of Slashdot, and too much of The Register.

        The exact quote from the interview is "Gates admitted the company didn't "get out in the lead very early" on cell phones. He said, "We didn't miss cell phones, but the way that we went about it didn't allow us to get the leadership. So it's clearly a mistake."

        i.e. He's saying they were there with Windows Mobile when the market was in it's infancy but Windows Mobile was clearly a mistake.

        But like I said -- you're on Slashdot. Don't expect logic to get in the way of an old-fashioned MS-bashfest.

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          The real arrogance is of course that he expects nothing more than being market leader.

          This alone is unrealistic. Of course it's a good target, but being happy with anything less is crazy. Now the point that they can't even be a good second or even a good third, that's the true tragedy for MS. Now Windows Mobile is virtually nothing compared to iOS and Android.

          And really I'd hope they can do better than this. Not because I like MS, but because I like more viable options in the marketplace. Competition keeps

      • Re:Like... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by symbolset (646467) * on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @12:46AM (#42941585) Journal
        So you think that what he's saying here is that they WERE lagging, but now that they have a commanding 3% global mobile share he's happy they're taking their market leadership to the next level? How... interesting.
      • by erroneus (253617)

        I would agree with you on principle, but there are two problems with that notion:

        1. Different versions of MS Windows, though "completely different" are still marked by the same [often disappointing] user experiences and complaints.
        2. People, based on their experiences with MS Windows, are not willing to own a Windows phone or tablet (based on #1) so they will never see that one windows mobile experience is completely different from another which, ironically enough, makes their Windows mobile in-experience i

  • Not news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ultrasawblade (2105922) on Monday February 18, 2013 @08:55PM (#42940373)

    I mean if the failing marketshare year on year since the iPhone came out didn't clue you in, maybe the KIN debacle would have, or certainly the fact that your marketshare is no better off despite practically owning a phone manufacturing company could point that out.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      despite practically owning a phone manufacturing company

      And yet Nokia isn't head and shoulders above the other WP8 phones, here the Lumia 820 got weak reviews and they ended up recommending the HTC WP 8S instead if you wanted a WP8 phone in that price range, not that they found either of them hot (dice throw 3 and 4, respectively). I wouldn't be surprised if Nokia eventually gets the boot - or bought - and Microsoft goes solo like with their Surface tablets, right now Nokia isn't living up to their hardware reputation.

      • by sd4f (1891894)

        I have a lumia 920, and hardware wise, it's brilliant. The problem is MS with the software, they need to start burning the midnight oil to get some features in. Very annoying that you can't download files off the internet, only photos, and from the email app, you can only attach photos, and the only other files you can attach, are office documents, which have to be opened in the office app and shared through there, one at a time.

        With the L920, i think nokia have pretty much done everything they can to make

  • big (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Monday February 18, 2013 @08:59PM (#42940395) Journal
    Considering the lead Microsoft had in the mobile phone market, they were there in 2002 (before Blackberry, I believe), but somehow they never made it work. I'm not sure exactly why. It's actually surprising, not that they failed, but how big their failure actually is.

    They knew it was important, they tried to get the market, had a huge lead, and they failed. It's a little more than 'inadequate.'
    • Re:big (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Howitzer86 (964585) on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:11PM (#42940457)

      Anyone with a WinMo phone will tell you one of the biggest problems with them is the difficulty in finding apps that actually work. They would have an app store for it towards the end, but by then it was too late.

      My last phone was an HTC Touch Pro 2. In 2009 it was billed as an iPhone killer. Seems laughable in hindsight (and I'm not an Apple fanatic either, I'm a "M$ shill" according to some slashdotters.)

      • Re:big (Score:5, Informative)

        by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@@@hotmail...com> on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:25PM (#42940559) Journal

        Anyone with a WinMo phone will tell you one of the biggest problems with them is the difficulty in finding apps that actually work.

        I developed apps for Windows Mobile, and I can tell you that the biggest problem was getting a phone/OS that would actually work.

        They were uniformly terrible, unreliable as phones and inconsistent and hard to understand as PDAs. You couldn't even rely on them as alarm clocks, given their propensity to hang and/or crash.

        • Re:big (Score:5, Funny)

          by jd2112 (1535857) on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:56PM (#42940753)

          Anyone with a WinMo phone will tell you one of the biggest problems with them is the difficulty in finding apps that actually work.

          I developed apps for Windows Mobile, and I can tell you that the biggest problem was getting a phone/OS that would actually work.

          They were uniformly terrible, unreliable as phones and inconsistent and hard to understand as PDAs. You couldn't even rely on them as alarm clocks, given their propensity to hang and/or crash.

          Not true. One of my co-workers has an old Windows phone. It works great and he had no problem getting apps for it.
          (He rooted it and somehow hacked it to run Android.)

          • Yeah, he's right. I remember lots of crashes.

            Even XDAndroid was unstable, and generally unfinished, so really there was no escape. It once completely drained my battery, and that's not something you wanted to happen on that phone. Windows looked out for it and would shut you down in advance. The reason being... if you let the battery drain completely, it would not power up even under outlet power. I had to use the battery from my older HTC Dash, tear off a small tab, and hold it in the battery compartmen

            • I should mention that it wouldn't charge either. Once the battery was gone, it is gone. And as far as I knew, it could only happen with XDAndroid. I stopped using it after that, and soon got another phone.
          • Well yeah the hardware is probably fine. My Microsoft keyboard and mouse work great too.

            Provided you keep Windows away from it of course. :)

        • by tibman (623933)

          I still have an old win phone (6.2, from 6.1). It does not crash but it can be sluggish or become unresponsive for a few seconds (an eternity on a phone). The apps always sucked and were not cheap. I swear there was no more than 100 in the market. Which by the way gives a 404 now, lol. Still enjoy the phone though. Email and texting with a qwerty is nice and the battery will last 5-6 days on a charge (old ass battery too).

          I have a sexy Nexus 7 and really enjoy android but will likely keep the winmo fo

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          Were? They're still selling them [amazon.com]. We could ask today's buyer about their experience.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Anyone with a WinMo phone will tell you one of the biggest problems with them is the difficulty in finding apps that actually work. They would have an app store for it towards the end, but by then it was too late.

        I still have a winmo phone and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Do I miss not being able to run angry birds and facebook apps? I couldn't give a shit less.

        I can connection share, vpn, voice command, offline navigate, sd cards, manage files, sync contacts and crap that WP8 still can't do to this day.

        What I would not give for a modern mobile OS that was either not a locked down vendor orgy of control or didn't invade your privacy at every possible turn. The mobile space is a fucking joke so I'll keep my o

        • What I would not give for a modern mobile OS that was either not a locked down vendor orgy of control

          Buy an iPhone and jailbreak. Best of both worlds, and you have ultimate control over everything.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gorfie (700458)
        I have a Lumia 900 (after owning a Captivate/Galaxy) and I haven't had any problems with the apps. Some of the apps are significantly better than the Android counterparts in terms of polish and reliability. I know the marketplace isn't as mature as iPhone/Android but it's not dismal either. My "biggest" problem with the Lumia 900? I'd say it's that I paid $100 for it a month before they knocked it down to $50.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Billly Gates (198444)

      Apple finally beat them.

      If it were not for IBM and only corps and engineers buying computers in the 1980s the Mac would have one easily. Most hipsters then did not care about computers at all and Bill got used to having a monopoly handed to him on a silver platter. It bit him in the ass later on.

      MS is very project manager dominated. I DON"T CARE SHIP IT ... attitude. There was no desire at all to ask why? Or what do people want? No thinner, save battery power, make it pretty, make the UI very geared toward

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Of course nothing will change while the current management is in place. Arrogance, petty vindictiveness have created a creativity chilling environment. M$ can either drop it's management and buy a new direction or just slowly but surely die off.

    • Re:big (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Gothmolly (148874) on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:18PM (#42940521)

      Nobody wants their phone to be as reliable as Windows. They want it to work 24x7x365. When was the last time it was "ok" to have to reboot your phone. Microsoft makes neat toys and cheap PC software - but reliable and "applicance-like" in a way that a Mac or DVD player or a toaster is - they are not.

      It's kind of like why nobody buys the Chevy Volt - it's a $40k Chevy econobox. Chevy != high tech quality, that's what Toyota is for.

      • by jabberw0k (62554) on Monday February 18, 2013 @11:20PM (#42941219) Homepage Journal
        I would prefer 24x7 to 24x7x365, as the latter misses leap years. It is my understanding, though, that Windows Phones now have achieved five-nines uptime, running properly 9.9999% of the time.
        • by Spectre (1685)

          I would prefer 24x7 to 24x7x365, as the latter misses leap years. It is my understanding, though, that Windows Phones now have achieved five-nines uptime, running properly 9.9999% of the time.

          This should get a billion funny mods.
          I actually re-read that percentage 'cause I couldn't believe anybody would think MS had 5 9's on anything, then on the second read finally noticed where the decimal place was!
          Thanks for the late night chuckle.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by DogDude (805747)
        Nobody wants their phone to be as reliable as Windows. They want it to work 24x7x365

        Welcome to 2013! You must be a time traveler from the late 1990's! Today, Windows is very stable, as is their phones. In the off chance that you're not a time traveler, you should consider working on your trolling skills.
        • Nobody wants their phone to be as reliable as Windows. They want it to work 24x7x365

          Welcome to 2013! You must be a time traveler from the late 1990's! Today, Windows is very stable, as is their phones.

          No, wrong, Windows is still not stable. It doesn't actually blue screen all the time like it used to, but it does plenty of really strange, inexplicable things, and it's so crappy at managing resources that it has long been standard corporate policy to reboot all windows machines regularly.

      • Nobody wants their phone to be as reliable as Windows. They want it to work 24x7x365.

        What's that? Windows is essentially fully stable.

    • Re:big (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pausanias (681077) <pausaniasx@NosPaM.gmail.com> on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:19PM (#42940523)

      It's Windows. Everything had to be windows. They stuck to windows until the gamechangers (iPhone, Android) had market dominance... now is a little too late to switch everything over to Metro.

      The problem is, you can't just always be reactive. You have to lead at some point, with real innovation. And this company has simply never done that.

      • Re:big (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Teresita (982888) <badinage1@netzer ... t minus math_god> on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:25PM (#42940549) Homepage
        It's Windows. Everything had to be windows. They stuck to windows until the gamechangers (iPhone, Android) had market dominance... now is a little too late to switch everything over to Metro.

        When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If Microsoft was a bit smaller, like Adobe, and only had Word going for them, they'd push out a Word Phone. Sell Word Tablets. Get Marky Mark to do their commercials, say, "Word Up."
      • The problem is, you can't just always be reactive

        You're so wrong. In fact, I will predict right now that Microsoft will continue to always be reactive.

      • Re:big (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sir-gold (949031) on Monday February 18, 2013 @10:33PM (#42940963)

        It's Windows. Everything had to be windows.

        This is probably the most important cause of microsoft's gradual downfall over the last 10-12 years. With each of their attempts to build a music player, an ebook reader, or a phone, every time an engineer would show his prototype to a manager, the first thing that manager would say is "thats neat, but how does it relate to windows?"

        Microsoft is a company that has poured billions into researching product diversification, while still possessing a complete unwillingness to actually diversify. It's kinda like a fat guy who buys all the Weight Watchers meals every week, but lets it all spoil and go to waste because he would rather eat delivery pizza and chinese takeout instead.

    • I had figured that Microsoft had the mobile market locked up when Palm started shipping Treo phones with Windows mobile on them. What killed them is the internet. A platform that they didn't control but that everyone had access to. Google killed them on search and web based e-mail and Apple killed them on hardware that made accessing the internet easy.
      • Re:big (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Miamicanes (730264) on Monday February 18, 2013 @11:30PM (#42941261)

        ^^^ What killed them was themselves, when Microsoft literally abandoned it when it was finally becoming good.

        WinMo 6.5 was fine... as a pocket laptop & PDA with built-in wireless data.It was utterly dysfunctional for making voice calls, but that was just the deal those of us who used it made with the devil. Given a month or two of hardcore tweaking & thirdparty enhancements, it blew away both iPhone AND the first year or two of Android.

        Really, 90% of its real-world usability problems were caused by HTC's last-minute ill-conceived decision to eliminate the menu & ok hard buttons from most of their phones around 2008 (which caused endless misery when a missed call or unnoticed text msg activated the touchscreen in your pocket).

        If Microsoft had made "phone" just another app with first-class API support (allowing thirdparty phone apps instead of treating "phone app" as HTC's private domain), and rolled out an open, Android-like app market, they would have been a strong force keeping the fire lit under Google's feet. They would have absolutely lost marketSHARE to Android (& iOS), but would probably have twice as many users today as they had in 2008 (due to the market itself growing).

        WinMo wasn't "open" in the purest Android sense, but with a few improvements to strengthen its API for "phone" apps, it would have been more de-facto open & hackable by end users than a non-rooted Android phone is today.

      • I had figured that Microsoft had the mobile market locked up when Palm started shipping Treo phones with Windows mobile on them.

        I figured both Palm and Windows Mobile were dead when that happened. The Treo Windows Mobile was horrible. At the same time it sucked away effort from the Palm based Treo, I mean if Treo couldn't make up their mind what OS was the future why should I buy into that wishy-washy nest? I was a die-hard Palm fan before that but the Treo Windows Mobile cured me of that rapidly.

        As fo

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Considering the lead Microsoft had in the mobile phone market, they were there in 2002 (before Blackberry, I believe), but somehow they never made it work. I'm not sure exactly why. It's actually surprising, not that they failed, but how big their failure actually is.

      They knew it was important, they tried to get the market, had a huge lead, and they failed. It's a little more than 'inadequate.'

      To me, it's not really surprising at all. It's the same reason planned economies fail. A wholly top-down approac

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Swampash (1131503)

      Considering the lead Microsoft had in the mobile phone market, they were there in 2002 (before Blackberry, I believe), but somehow they never made it work.

      Because Microsoft has no taste. It can't design for shit, and it never could. Thus we now have a situation where, in spite of Microsoft being "there in 2002", the iPhone business unit at Apple generates more revenue than Microsoft. Not the Windows Phone business unit - the entirety of Microsoft.

    • The problem was that MS was targeting the wrong market. MS has made their biggest gains in the enterprise market first then consumer later. For PCs most consumers don't have a choice but Windows. Unless they got a Mac. With the mobile phone market, MS was always targeting enterprises and competing with RIM. Maybe they thought the same thing would happen again they would get some traction in the consumer market but Apple beat them to it. Apple never compete directly with RIM or MS as they targeted the
      • Re:big (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099) on Monday February 18, 2013 @11:41PM (#42941297) Homepage

        There is the big point. MS got in on the OS primarily because they were the only real choice for the PC when it came out and had a few years to get entrenched. They got Office in the door through their lock on the O/S.

        They haven't been able to get anywhere since because they aren't the only option. Nobody will put up with their general klunkiness, gaping holes, and crashiness.

        MS won't likely succeed like that again. They would have to get in first, ride on the coattails of a well respected entity in the market like IBM was to business in the '80s. It would have to be a product that most people wrote off as a mere toy for the first several years. And the killer for them, they would have to be a nobody so that their involvement wouldn't attract more technically capable and equally well funded competition.

        They got a once in several lifetimes opportunity and made the very most of it, but it won't likely happen again.

        • I don't know, they've done ok with the xbox. You'd think they could do at least as well with a phone as they did with the xbox.
          • by sjames (1099)

            They've done OK with the Xbox, but just OK. Notably, the Xbox division reported a loss last quarter.

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          I think ISVs are on to their "culling" scheme, and eager for a level field.
    • by jader3rd (2222716)

      Considering the lead Microsoft had in the mobile phone market, they were there in 2002 (before Blackberry, I believe), but somehow they never made it work. I'm not sure exactly why.

      The reason is because Microsoft fears breaking backwards compatibility. Once the first third party app was written for Windows Mobile it guaranteed lock in to a certain paradigm. So even though a lot of technology advanced, MS was still unwilling to make any breaking changes for fear that they might loose a customer, because one app wouldn't work anymore. It took getting wiped by Apple, and a change in leadership team to tell the existing Windows Mobile team that what they've been working on is wrong and th

      • They definitely didn't need to break backwards compatibility to create WP7, because WP7 was built on WinCE, so that's not the reason. Not only that, breaking backwards compatibility is a bad thing, not a feature.
  • by avatar139 (918375) on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:06PM (#42940433)
    Clearly, you must be new here!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:12PM (#42940467)

    A lot of it can be traced to Microsoft's bullying behavior throughout the '90s, when they (along with Intel) owned the digital platforms that mattered. Carriers, handset vendors, application developers, and technically savvy consumers remember that era and don't want to be bullied again. So just canning the EVPs and SVPs in charge of Windows Phone development isn't likely to change things. Getting rid of Ballmer and replacing him with someone who's not a 15-year Softie, now that might be perceived differently.

  • Mistake?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:20PM (#42940527)

    It may be a mistake but weighed against the disaster of Balmer's leadership of Microsoft... You'd be forced to conclude the mobile market was a success.

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:22PM (#42940541) Journal

    I happen to agree with that.

    Will Bill Gates return then? I like the newer gentler Microsoft even if it is turning incompetent. If Bill was left IE would still have IE 6 crap in their on purpose to make it incompatible with everything else and .docx would be a drmed binary format with no OpenXML so no LibreOffice or GoogleDocs compatibility.

    He did the same tricks with SCO Unix before they sold it completely to make sure apps could not be ported. Balmer is too stupid to be this evil

    • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Monday February 18, 2013 @10:02PM (#42940789)

      Will Bill Gates return then? I like the newer gentler Microsoft even if it is turning incompetent. If Bill was left IE would still have IE 6 crap in their on purpose to make it incompatible with everything else and .docx would be a drmed binary format with no OpenXML so no LibreOffice or GoogleDocs compatibility.

      The reason Microsoft isn't doing this crap any more (at least not nearly as much) isn't because Ballmer is less ruthless than Gates was. It's because the European Union found the balls to do what the US antitrust authorities wouldn't, and actually effectively regulated Microsoft's worst anticompetitive excesses. Not only that, but an array of governments and large corporations got bit hard by Microsoft's lock-in as a result of the IE6 fiasco, so they made it clear that they weren't going to put up with any more proprietary nonsense like ActiveX. The whole reason why OOXML was created is that many government agencies insisted on an open and documented file format, and were about to switch to ODF if Microsoft had held the line on their opaque binary blobs.

      • Everyone locked into ActiveX did so willingly. MS never held a gun to anyone's head and the problems inherent with it were obvious from the day of release.

        • I am referring to custom CSS and HTML where you need to use scripts to place the elements that break in any other platform. Tricks like this and undermining C++ and the "dont code it. Include it!" and other lockin attempts. Bill Gates did this to create such a monopoly that business users are locked in hence why they still run XP and ancient browsers while the rest of us are using Android tablets and IPADs.

          While Windows 7 and Office 2010 and IE 9 are much better and do I dare say usable and not as proprieta

    • Will Bill Gates return then?

      I wish. He's such an idiot, I would love to seem him fully exposed and finally put to rest the bullshit genius-nerd mythos that grew up around him, when in fact his only real skill is flipping the flinger to the rule of law. [wikipedia.org]

  • He says 'Microsoft made a mistake', not 'the Board didn't lead the company in the right direction'.

    Why do I get the feeling that he won't take any personal responsibility for the running of Microsoft?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:25PM (#42940557)

    You heavily promote a WP 7.5 product - the Lumia 900 - and not two months later you declare it to be incapable of running WP8. Good job of throwing WP7.5 users to the wolves. And they wonder why they're losing money...

    • Isn't that how things generally work in software, especially in mobile gear? The device is designed for the major version of software, with just patches and security updates released afterwards.
  • by a boggy mile, but it still wouldn't have sold. And that's because they've become a dirty brand - generally people use windows, not because they like it, but because they need to run particular software (office, business apps, games) or because they'd rather a mac but can't justify the expense. They have irritated geeks with their anti-competitive behaviour, and seem to be heading into an even more restrictive and walled-garden approach - but starting with the wall before really having a must-have produ

  • by lseltzer (311306) on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:30PM (#42940585)
    In the context of the article he's talking about Microsoft's *old* phone strategy. Windows Mobile was basically an attempt to do the Blackberry thing with Windows. It could have done worse, but obviously it didn't succeed, which is why they dumped it for Windows Phone. I don't think he's criticizing Windows Phone.
    • In the context of the article he's talking about Microsoft's *old* phone strategy. Windows Mobile was basically an attempt to do the Blackberry thing with Windows. It could have done worse, but obviously it didn't succeed, which is why they dumped it for Windows Phone.

      I don't think he's criticizing Windows Phone.

      But then, why is he criticizing Ballmer too?

  • by Virtucon (127420) on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:49PM (#42940713)

    You have to start counting the cards against Ballmer. Windows Mobile was a dominant product up until the iPhone. Symbian was lame and Blackberry was coming on strong. Had they put together a good game plan, working from their strengths, they would have had a better position than they are now. I'm afraid buying a Windows Phone is a losing proposition because 1) Not many phone manufacturers will want to support it, unless MSFT pays most of the freight and 2) Not many developers are running to the platform even though they're opening their arms to get anybody to come over. That means MSFT will have to subsidize on both fronts, which if you're new into the market isn't much of a stretch except they've been in the mobile space for over a decade. And, to be honest, the MSFT ship seems to be missing the dock on quite a few things, which ultimately lead straight to Ballmer's desk. Yes, the company is successful but it's getting passed very quickly by Apple, Google and I'll be interested to see if Blackberry's First Quarter numbers don't do better than Windows Phone 8 in terms of shipped units. If the latter happens I'd stick a fork in it for MSFT and try to recoup what they can from their Desktop/Tablet endeavor or ultimately, just start porting office to Android and wave a white flag.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by amiga3D (567632)

      I always thought Paul Allen was the real brains at Microsoft anyway. Gates and Ballmer were the ruthless cutthroats who bamboozled IBM. What they did to wring IBM's business away isn't going to work against Google and Apple as it's a different era not to mention the EU isn't going to allow that stuff anymore.

  • Ballmer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by asmkm22 (1902712) on Monday February 18, 2013 @10:02PM (#42940795)

    At what point is Ballmer going to be held responsible any of the "mistakes" that Microsoft has been making? The guy is bulletproof beyond all logic for a publicly traded company.

    • Re:Ballmer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jader3rd (2222716) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @03:05AM (#42942257)

      At what point is Ballmer going to be held responsible any of the "mistakes" that Microsoft has been making? The guy is bulletproof beyond all logic for a publicly traded company.

      Maybe once Microsoft looses money for a couple of consecutive quarters. For a publicly traded company, they have a history of increased profits quarter after quarter.

  • by paiute (550198) on Monday February 18, 2013 @11:03PM (#42941101)
    I just saw the 2013 printing of his book The Road Ahead with a sticker on the cover which read: Now Revised To Include Wireless.
  • Has anybody looked at Office 2013? I got a copy for $9.95 through the Micro$soft home user program. They are re-making all of their APPS look like the phone. The package was about $11.00 more than it was worth. The company is putting all of their eggs in the "Metro" basket, and it will not end up well for them, unless Ballmer walks through computer stores with a baseball bat to "convince" people to buy their products.
    • It is so damn ugly. A phone wont make you go blind looking at white like a much better phone screen would. Odd since computer monitors are considered inferior in DPI as well as flickering.

      I plan to get rid of it soon which is a damn shame. Under the hood Windows 8 and Office 2013 are fucking nice. I like the sharing abilities, easy cloud integration, and with 8 all the power and data saving features all with global profiles that go where you go.

      But it is sooo white! I have trouble telling if I dose off wher

  • by reboot246 (623534) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @06:51AM (#42943047) Homepage
    The biggest surprise is that anybody on this planet actually watches Charlie Rose!

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev

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