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Microsoft Cellphones Handhelds Windows Technology

Bungled Mobile Bet Will Be Ballmer's Swan Song 300

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 tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:57PM (#41933747)

    4 million Windows 8 "upgrades" in just the first weekend - doesn't count any of the OEM or retail sales, just the online upgrade portal.

    Is that a lot!? ...seems like a tiny number to me considering the Desktop maketplace is 1.6Billion last time I looked. Android activates 1.3million users daily, and that's a phone OS. I don't see large queues of people like I do for say the iPhone...or like there used to be for say Windows95.

    Lets be honest 4million isn't all that many.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:59PM (#41933759)

    What does Microsoft have to do with netbooks or ultrabooks? Netbooks were Intel's initiative to create a secondary computer for consumption only that would be too weak to run Windows (Vista at the time). The fact that almost all of them ended up running Windows was bonus for Microsoft, and Intel's loss. Tablets (iPad and Android) are intended for the same purpose. Ultrabooks are Intel's initiative to reduce their dependency on Apple for the high-end laptop market. Neither of these was started by Microsoft, although Microsoft has clearly benefitted from both. So I don't know where he's coming from with this.

    He's on better ground with the claim that if Windows 8 and Surface fail Balmer will be in trouble. At least these are both clearly Microsoft's doing. But how could Window 8 fail? It's pretty much guaranteed at least Vista levels of success, which is to say a marketing failure but a sales success. And considering that most enterprises are currently moving to Windows 7 and Windows 8 won't be in their normal upgrade cycle a lack of enterprise sales won't be considered failure by itself. It's pretty much impossible for Balmer to get serious pain from a single release of Windows. Surface is easier to measure failure on. Microsoft has clearly invested lots of money in designing and producing it, so if there are very few sales there will be a substantial loss. Still, the sales projections aren't huge, so it seems likely that they will be met. Surface has limited distribution, likely due to limited production. If sales are really bad then production will slow down and distribution will increase, which would help to minimize losses. And I'm ignoring the fact that reviews for both have been generally positive. Outside of places like Slashdot the reception has been mixed, but more positive than negative. Which makes complete failure seem unlikely. Unless people stop buying PCs and buy iPads instead Balmer seems pretty secure in his position for now.

  • by Andy Prough ( 2730467 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:12PM (#41933901)
    specifically said that the iPad was introduced to fill a void between the smart phone and the laptop, and that the iPad was created because "the problem is, netbooks aren't better than anything": []!
  • Wrong. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:40PM (#41934205)

    ASUS and their peers copied the idea about 10 years after the first netbook and started a new boom of cheap latop-like mobile computers.

    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!

    Let me fix that for you:

    Netbooks were started by PSION as an 'appliance' laptop- They were EPOC based and only cost a few hundred bucks AND had 40 hrs of battery uptime. Microsoft did get into it with the last Edition WindowsCE, because PSION thought it would be a great Idea to get in bed with MS. PSION standing in the mobile market folded shortly thereafter, just as Nokia is folding now.

    A shame actually, the original Netbook [] was a very good machine with some features we can only dream about even today, 13 years later (like a really awesome keyboard despite the really small size)

    EPOC went on to become the awesome Symbian Mobile OS which Nokia dropped after getting in bed with MS. ... What a coincidence.

I have not yet begun to byte!