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Microsoft Falls Further Behind

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  • User profile image
    sysrpl

    Update 12/7 3:30PM

    Google does a live demo of honeycomb at CES:

    Original post

    It's about time Microsoft to conceeded their strategy to lock people in to their operating systems.

    At CES this week hardware vendors are announcing for the first time in a long while a dizzying array of computers which depend on zero software from Microsoft. A wide array of tablet computers, based on Google's forthcomming honeycomb operating systems, will be showcased today, tomorrow, and through the weekend.

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    More announcements here.

    Unfortunately, fans of Microsoft's developer tools will be left in the cold.

    Microsoft needs to realize that they can't continue their current path without bleeding away developers. If Microsoft were to start officially making Visual Studio with Dotnet and Silverlight able to target other operating systems (please don't mention mono, moonlight, or monodevelop ... they lag too far behind), they would be able to keep and attract developers to Windows. And by "offically", I mean keeping Silverlight current on all platforms/operating system and/or agressively maintaining Dotnet assemblies to with work with the latestest MacOS/iOS/Android releases.

    As it stands right now, a lot of new and existing developers are buying Apple computers to develop iPhone/iPad software or switching to Eclipse (which can run on Linux) to develop for Android.

    Added more news:

    Dell Streak released

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    G-Slate

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    Motorolla tablet

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  • User profile image
    Cream​Filling512

    NEC is still around?

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    How long after CES ends does the reality distortion field wear off?

  • User profile image
    IDWMaster

    I agree. C# isn't remotely as cross-platform as it should be, so I've been developing a new cross-platform language that will fix this problem. I also don't like how difficult it is to simply sign up for a WP7 developer account JUST to TEST APPLICATIONS on a phyiscal device. I payed the registration fee, but am still waiting for GeoTrust. Why is GeoTrust necessary just to test applications on a device? Is MS becoming more like Apple? I sure hope not....

  • User profile image
    Bass

    Android 3 is far more epic than I expected. Good work Google!

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    @sysrpl: I agree 100%.

    The message from CES was loud and clear: the future doesn't belong to Windows. The market is forging ahead and MS is thrashing about trying to find a way to compete. Sad to see, really.

    Instead of leveraging WP7 to get their small form factor strategy moving, MS did the only thing they know how to do: they tried to steer things back towards their waning monopoly so they could avoid competing on a level playing field.

    The problem is that Apple was a little smarter: they dug up the field and moved it somewhere else. 

    The Windows8 demo was pretty vague and lacked important detail – like a release date.

    The Jupiter stuff could be interesting, except that Apple took the first step on this road yesterday when they opened their desktop app store. 

    That's the thing: Apple has a strategy; MS is still just trying to find some way to protect its existing hegemony.

    Where MS really wins out is development tools. Apple doesn't have anything that can match Visual Studio (though they will have when IntelliJ releases their IDE for Cocoa Development).

    So you could be right: maybe it's time to look at targeting other platforms.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    , ScanIAm wrote

    How long after CES ends does the reality distortion field wear off?

     

    It's not so much reality distortion as reality confirmation (if that makes sense). Everyone had a vaguely discomforting sense that Android was taking over long before CES. Now, with only a handful of Windows tablets being announced alongside a boatload of Android tablets and Android phones, folk are thinking, 'Oh, okay then, so it's not just the anti-MS brigade.'

    Now this did happen before with the netbooks. Linux was winning by a huge margin, and now you can't find a Linux netbook for love or money.

    Not sure it's going to be the same this time round though. The problem with Linux (and this will never change) is it's inability to present one unified marketing message to consumers. I'm not sure that Google and Apple have the same problem.

     

     

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    Can we just qualify this a bit?  Microsoft falls further behind in the consumer market.

    They still have a massive lead in the business market, which is they main cash-cow and which is why I've never been asked to write anything for any other platform in the last 10 years; almost everybody runs Windows in their business.

    Microsoft could feasibly ignore the consumer market and let Apple/Google fight it out while they just consolidate their business market and still be a good, profitable company. They have obviously decided that, even though they may never be the top dog for the consumers, there is still worthwhile profit in being in there as a lesser player. You don't have to be number 1 to profit.

    As a consumer I don't really care if my fancy-shmancy new tablet is from MS or Apple, or Google because they all do more or less the same things for 90% of my use-cases (check email, browse web, take and view pictures and movies, etc).

    As a developer I would prefer it if MS was top of the consumer market because I think they have the best developer tools and that would make it easier for me to write software for this market, but there's more to Microsoft than just keeping developers comfortable; profit first, developers lower down the list.

    Herbie

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    Can we just qualify this a bit?  Microsoft falls further behind in the consumer market.

    They still have a massive lead in the business market, which is they main cash-cow and which is why I've never been asked to write anything for any other platform in the last 10 years; almost everybody runs Windows in their business.

    Microsoft could feasibly ignore the consumer market and let Apple/Google fight it out while they just consolidate their business market and still be a good, profitable company. They have obviously decided that, even though they may never be the top dog for the consumers, there is still worthwhile profit in being in there as a lesser player. You don't have to be number 1 to profit.

    As a consumer I don't really care if my fancy-shmancy new tablet is from MS or Apple, or Google because they all do more or less the same things for 90% of my use-cases (check email, browse web, take and view pictures and movies, etc).

    As a developer I would prefer it if MS was top of the consumer market because I think they have the best developer tools and that would make it easier for me to write software for this market, but there's more to Microsoft than just keeping developers comfortable; profit first, developers lower down the list.

    Herbie

    Yes, definitely worth mentioning. 

    I think MS is trying to extricate itself from the consumer market and retire to the enterprise services sector where IBM has been sitting for the past twenty years. Consumers are hard work:their whims make no logical sense to anyone other than Steve Jobs.

    Having seen what everyone else is doing in the consumer space, I'm no longer sure that MS quitting  would be such a great loss. Having said that, I think WP7 has potential, but I don't think MS really has the consumer nonce to take the Kinnect much further. They've lit fire, but I reckon some other outfit will realise the potential for this kind of tech.

    And yes, their lead in the business market should be safe for the simple reason that Apple isn't interested in it (no real expertise, not enough money in it, and I'm not sure the enterprise would put up with Apple's closed garden for very long).

     

  • User profile image
    sysrpl

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    Can we just qualify this a bit?  Microsoft falls further behind in the consumer market.

    The problem with this logic is that the consumer market inevitably becomes part of the business market. This happened with the personal computer during the 80's. Little by little people started bringing their home computers to work using them to aid in tasks. Eventually businesses started adopting these personal computers for business purposes. There is a clip in the Triumph of the Nerds documentary that greatly illustrated this effect.

    History has lessons to teach.

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    What @sysrpl said. If the strategy really is to pull out of the consumer market and firmly into the business market, that's basically just accepting defeat and slowing death. I'm not at all convinced that is the strategy, however. From what I've seen, the consumer market is vitally important to the Microsoft strategy (WP7, Kinnect, Xbox, games, etc.). The problem seems to just be that Microsoft can't embrace the agile mentality. Rather than rushing to compete, they're taking the longer approach with Windows 8. In the business world that sort of "safe" strategy would probably work. In this emerging (consumer/mobile) market place, it won't. The WP7 team seems to be working hard enough to catch up right now, but if they don't make the cross over to consumer tablets in a big way *this* year, it may not matter.

    I'm not surprised that CES went this way, but I'm not writing Microsoft off yet. It's quite possible that despite announcements they will have some significant answers in this market this year. Then again, they might not, and I understand the message people are getting by observing CES. We'll have to wait and see.

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    @sysrpl: I don't think Microsoft is falling behind, but more competition is good for everybody. Given that Microsoft had a quasi-monopoly for years, it is logical that its market share diminishes when there is more competition. Quite frankly Microsoft has pulled off some great products and innovations this year (Kinect, WP7) and personally I am not so worried that the software giant will disappear tomorrow. 

    What I think Microsoft needs is a younger and more polished image together with a better international strategy (stop using ugly stock photos on the MS website please!!!). Leaving iTune as the only music store for years in Europe and having Bing in beta for almost as long outside of the US only makes winning these markets much harder.

  • User profile image
    SteveRichter

    It is kind of like Android is to phones what MS-DOS was to the early PC. Android is an OS that runs on all phones ( guessing ).  A programmer codes a phone app to the Android OS. Why has Microsoft turned its back on an approach that made it dominant in the PC space?

    Will the .NET Micro Framework run on cell phones? Maybe micro framework is to be the replacement for windows mobile. 

     

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    Maybe they should change the name to some kind of fruit? Apple & Orange are probably no 1 &2 but Pear is still up for grabs, and if they really want to be trendy how about Mango?

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    @Ian2: I like Mango! Smiley

  • User profile image
    felix9
  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    @felix9: I would say that MS is as entrenched in the enterprise as Apple is in the consumer market.

    Herbie

    PS : How much Apple stock does MS still own? Does anyone know?

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    I hate to admit it, but the PC as we know it today is going to slip back into hobbyism. Devices like Motorola's Atrix webtop and smartphones are quickly going to replace laptops and desktop PCs at home. Proliferation of cellular data networks will only accelerate this move.

    Business will hold on to computers for a little longer, but even now we are seeing a move back to a mainframe/dummy terminal architecture with virtualized desktops and thin clients. Soon all that will be on the average white-collar employee's desk is a screen, mouse, and keyboard.

    I really hope that MS realizes this change is coming. Some evidence for that would be the ARM-version of Windows 8, but we won't know until some more details about Windows 8 are released. From the screenshots that Long Zheng posted, it looks like Windows 7 R2, which would be a huge mistake in my mind. Revolutionary changes are needed, not minor updates to a UI that premiered in 1995.

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