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Author Topic: Steal like an artist, zombie lies, and why Microsoft is irrelevant  (Read 5516 times)
zridling
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« on: May 12, 2011, 01:53:11 AM »

Three things that got my attention:

HOW TO STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST (AND 9 OTHER THINGS NOBODY TOLD ME) by Austin Kleon
http://www.austinkleon.co...er-things-nobody-told-me/



Zombie Lie -- No matter how many times you refute it, it keeps coming back and people keep believing it.
http://www.wordspy.com/words/zombielie.asp

How Microsoft Caused the DotCom Bubble and why their Skype ‘Hail Mary’ is irrelevant
http://www.ritholtz.com/b...caused-the-dotcom-bubble/



Microsoft remains hugely profitable today, but increasingly irrelevant. Their purchase of Skype is an attempt to buy back some relevance. They are the rich, uncool fat kid at school, trying desperately to buy their way into some popularity.
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40hz
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2011, 02:52:33 AM »


How Microsoft Caused the DotCom Bubble and why their Skype ‘Hail Mary’ is irrelevant
http://www.ritholtz.com/b...caused-the-dotcom-bubble/

([url=http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=26722.msg248778#msg248778]see out attachment in previous post)[/i][/url]

Microsoft remains hugely profitable today, but increasingly irrelevant. Their purchase of Skype is an attempt to buy back some relevance. They are the rich, uncool fat kid at school, trying desperately to buy their way into some popularity.

Cute sound byte. But like so many clever remarks, it's little more than wishful thinking and a pile of hot air. Microsoft never worried about "relevance" or being "insanely great," or...well, all those other things hipsters so fervently wish were more important to running a business than they actually are. Especially when it comes to successful and very large businesses.

Microsoft doesn't worry much about the things that keep the coffee shop and wine bar crowd from getting a good night's sleep. Microsoft prefers to think about more mundane things. Like ROI and market share.

And (possibly much to the dismay of people like Steve Jobs and Barry Ritholtz) it appears to be working beautifully for Microsoft.

 Grin
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 03:01:08 AM by 40hz » Logged

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Deozaan
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2011, 04:43:35 AM »

I've never heard of Barry Ritholtz before, so maybe this is common knowledge, but he outs himself as "a longstanding member of the [Microsoft] bashers" in the comments in response to a comment that adequately described the thoughts I had while reading that article:

joshmaher Says:
You do realize that you are saying you can’t believe Microsoft didn’t invent every technological advance in the last three decades right? That is like saying why doesn’t Ford invent every advance in automobile manufacturing. You are suggesting that a single company can invent everything and that the free market system that actually provides for the innovation that we love so much is irrelevant. Of course that is right after saying that when they did control all things in the tech space they were also bad. Which is it? Are they bad if they have invented or copied everything in the tech space to the point that they are the only player or are they bad if they are not inventing every little tech advance that happens? They can’t be bad for both reasons.

A little short sighted if you ask me. Sounds more like you are jumping on the MSFT bashing bandwagon to get readership (which I guess worked because I am commenting).

~~~

BR: I have been a longstanding member of the MSFT bashers; this has been kicking around my head for a long time (I wrote it in an hour this AM).
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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2011, 05:51:30 AM »

I have my own share of anger at Microsoft for lots of things they do that I'm not happy with.

But I honestly wonder if in 10 or 20 years we are going to look back at the times we are living in now and lament the death of microsoft and the death of the good old days when software companies actually made products and sold those products to users.

Seems like we are headed into an age where companies are going to be trying to find increasingly convoluted and complicated schemes to extract money from us without actually charging us directly for the products we use.  And I'm not looking forward to it.
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2011, 06:28:42 AM »

I have my own share of anger at Microsoft for lots of things they do that I'm not happy with.

But I honestly wonder if in 10 or 20 years we are going to look back at the times we are living in now and lament the death of microsoft and the death of the good old days when software companies actually made products and sold those products to users.

Seems like we are headed into an age where companies are going to be trying to find increasingly convoluted and complicated schemes to extract money from us without actually charging us directly for the products we use.  And I'm not looking forward to it.

+1

MS can certainly drive me into a screaming frenzy at times, but man... Look at the alternatives!

MS has a long history of bringing people along to make money with them. I'm afraid that the environment for independent, small developers will become increasingly hostile.

The normal EULA in the shareware/trialware/try-before-you-buy world is going to be slowly subverted with increasingly complex clauses and whatnot.

I for one would LOVE to see legislation that made it illegal to change an EULA for existing users, and regulation that forced companies to ONLY display an EULA for an upgrade IFF there were changes in it, AND to make those changes visible UP FRONT. i.e. Make a changelog mandatory. Well, at least for companies with revenues over some sane number, like $10 million or so.

Like who wants to read Apple's 80 page EULA for iTunes every week when they shit put out an update? Same goes for Java and Adobe with their 50 trillion daily updates.

Can I get an Amen? cheesy

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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2011, 06:41:12 AM »

Seems like we are headed into an age where companies are going to be trying to find increasingly convoluted and complicated schemes to extract money from us without actually charging us directly for the products we use.  And I'm not looking forward to it.

+1 The industry seem to have stopped being about technology, and is now all about monetizing IP ... Innovation is irrelevant - A rather key point the article missed.
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2011, 06:43:07 AM »

Can I get an Amen?

Amen Brotha, Testify..!

 cheesy
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Josh
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2011, 07:14:28 AM »

Like who wants to read Apple's 80 page EULA for iTunes every week when they shit put out an update? Same goes for Java and Adobe with their 50 trillion daily updates.

You should watch the South Park season 15 premiere episode entitled: "Human CentiPad". It is a showcase of what could happen if you fail to read the EULA.
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Strength in Knowledge
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2011, 07:40:58 AM »

Like who wants to read Apple's 80 page EULA for iTunes every week when they shit put out an update? Same goes for Java and Adobe with their 50 trillion daily updates.

You should watch the South Park season 15 premiere episode entitled: "Human CentiPad". It is a showcase of what could happen if you fail to read the EULA.

That was excellent! smiley I love South Park!

I think they went a bit easy on Apple though...
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2011, 07:45:05 AM »

Like who wants to read Apple's 80 page EULA for iTunes every week when they shit put out an update? Same goes for Java and Adobe with their 50 trillion daily updates.

You should watch the South Park season 15 premiere episode entitled: "Human CentiPad". It is a showcase of what could happen if you fail to read the EULA.

That was excellent! smiley I love South Park!

I think they went a bit easy on Apple though...

They might have gone easy...but can we at least get some dinner because I like to be whined and dined when I get.....
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2011, 08:38:41 AM »

They might have gone easy...but can we at least get some dinner because I like to be whined and dined when I get.....

Bwahahahaha~!

That was awesome! Gotta love Cartman!
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40hz
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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2011, 10:31:09 AM »


I've never heard of Barry Ritholtz before...

Neither had I. But he (like Justin Beiber) apparently also has a following.

Read some of his commentary and other remarks. But for the life of me I can't really see what the big deal is about him. Most of what he has to say is 'old' and obvious to anyone who actively monitors the tech world. Maybe to the financial community (who are generally clueless about technology even though they never seem realize it) he sounds like some sort of prophet. But to me, he's just another snarky financial/investment pundit.

(40hz Definition: Pundit (noun) a loudmouth with an entourage. Positive proof you can fool some of the people all of the time - and make a living doing it! )
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 10:37:50 AM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2011, 05:05:04 PM »

(40hz Definition: Pundit (noun) a loudmouth with an entourage. Positive proof you can fool some of the people all of the time - and make a living doing it! )

By any chance is your IRL name Ambrose? cheesy

(I like that definition!)
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40hz
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2011, 05:22:02 PM »

(40hz Definition: Pundit (noun) a loudmouth with an entourage. Positive proof you can fool some of the people all of the time - and make a living doing it! )

By any chance is your IRL name Ambrose? cheesy

(I like that definition!)

No. But Mssr. Bierce is a major role model as you so cannily noticed.  Grin
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zridling
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2011, 02:07:29 AM »

Barry Ritholtz is an investment guy who calls bullshit on the thieves and hucksters in the system. He's one of the good guys.

His point, however, is that the internet has largely made Microsoft's old business model irrelevant. That is, selling to businesses first since many business apps are only Windows compatible is still a viable business, but there's not a big future there. The proliferation of cloud computing has placed more business services in the browser, rather than in the data center, making it easier for businesses to let users choose their own devices. Thus why we all say that most of our time is spent accessing, sharing, or downloading data through the browser.

Then look at Microsoft's behavior this decade. In the past ten years, Microsoft has acquired nearly 10 times as many companies (104) as Apple (11), and spent nearly nine times as many dollars on research and development. Yet Microsoft's stock price performance is half the value it was 10 years ago, while Apple has soared to its current status as the world's most valuable tech firm.

Based on willingness to spend money, it would seem that Microsoft should be the more innovative company of the two. But Ritholtz is saying if you're investing, Microsoft is spending aircraft carriers of cash with nothing to brag about, much less put money back in the investor's pocket. (Microsoft spent $71 billion on research and development, compared with Apple's $8 billion.) If you're going to Ritholtz for investing advice, don't expect him to tell you throw your money away in Microsoft stock. He won't lie, and nor do the numbers.

That doesn't make Apple a better company. It just makes Forrest Gump a rich man again.
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zridling
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2011, 03:27:19 AM »

Ben Brooks fleshes out the financial case since '04:

The Ballmer Days Are Over
http://brooksreview.net/2011/05/ballmer/
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2011, 03:48:02 AM »

Zaine: as a researcher in Computer Science, I have seen several important articles by Microsoft, I have seen very good presentations by their employees and I know they give food for some of the best researchers in the world. The same applies to Google, Amazon and Facebook.

I have yet to see an article with Apple's name on it. From my point of view, the only 2 fields where they have innovated is marketing and design, and haven't shared their knowledge with anyone.

Honestly, I'm surprised that you, being a linux supported, are saying that you prefer Apple's R&D to Microsoft's R&D, since Apple share zero knowledge to help the community.

Disclaimer: I suppose this is only valid for my field of work, distributed systems.
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« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2011, 01:07:35 PM »

I don't think you can really compare R&D figures between the two different companies. As I understand, the R&D division at Apple is focused on researching new technologies that later can be used in any of Apple's current products, as well as trying to come up with new products that Apple could commercialize in the future. This approach is understandable considering Apple status as a consumer electronics company that specializes in a very narrow set of products.

Compare this with Microsoft's vast line of both consumer and business products. Its R&D division operates very much as a traditional laboratory in that much of what they research there it's not supposed to have a commercial application, maybe something will come out of it or not. Couple this with the encompassing nature of Microsoft's businesses, and it's natural their R&D figures end up being many times that of Apple's.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 01:14:57 PM by Lashiec » Logged
mahesh2k
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« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2011, 01:49:22 PM »

Quote
Honestly, I'm surprised that you, being a linux supported, are saying that you prefer Apple's R&D to Microsoft's R&D, since Apple share zero knowledge to help the community.
I second that. Microsoft has tools made for unix platform. Apple being UNIX/BSD fork, how much actively it is helping open source ? like say mono ? or to platforms that are base of apple core from open source code ?
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Deozaan
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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2011, 02:11:10 PM »

By the way, I had mixed reactions to the Steal Like An Artist article. I thought some of it was good, and some of it was uninteresting.

"Zombie Lie" is an interesting term I'll have to try to remember so I can use it. smiley
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40hz
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2011, 02:33:36 PM »

Barry Ritholtz is an investment guy who calls bullshit on the thieves and hucksters in the system. He's one of the good guys.

His point, however, is that the internet has largely made Microsoft's old business model irrelevant. That is, selling to businesses first since many business apps are only Windows compatible is still a viable business, but there's not a big future there. The proliferation of cloud computing has placed more business services in the browser, rather than in the data center, making it easier for businesses to let users choose their own devices. Thus why we all say that most of our time is spent accessing, sharing, or downloading data through the browser.

Just an FYI: Microsoft has made a major and serious commitment to cloud technology and already has product available for it. There's been a huge amount of material and training available in the Partner to channel to get them ready for it. Because it's going to completely revamp how Redmond does business in the not too distant future.

Basically, Microsoft is gearing up for providing everything they make to users as a web accessible service for a very reasonable monthly fee. No contracts. No commitments. Buy what you require, add additional users and capacity as needed, reduce it when your don't. No more servers to set up, no more office suites or other software to update, no more security to worry about. Help resources whenever you need it. 24 x 365. All administrated by the customer through a simple dashboard that allows you to add or remove services as needed.

Very sweet. Makes a huge mount of sense for small and midsize businesses who need IT but would rather not do it themselves...or pay a company like mine to handle it for them. (Grrrrr... Grin)

So I think Microsoft has it covered. They're already moving over to "Software as a Service."

And the MS Partners have been put on notice that a lot of the "old way" we've done business is either going to change or soon disappear. A major pain for many of us. My company is still pondering our next steps in the wake of this new initiative.

This could, however, be a major bonanza for software developers since Microsoft is strongly encouraging all its Partners to start thinking in terms of developing applications and add-ons for industry specific needs. In short, start thinking system design, customizations, and client specific solutions. Because the generic one-size-fits-all stuff (i.e. file/print/collaboration/mail/web servers and services) is going to start moving over to Microsoft's cloud.

So if it's a Microsoft product you're selling - which you currently set up straight out of the box with no significant changes - you'll soon be out of luck. Because Microsoft's Cloud services is going to start handling all of that. Those Gen-4 "modular" data centers Microsoft is building aren't being put in place just to host GenuineAdvantageâ„¢ and the Microsoft update services.

I'm very surprised Ritholtz made no mention of any of this. It's not like it's a secret. The sales brochures are already available. Go to Microsoft's website and search for "cloud."

Whole new world for Microsoft. And one they're definitely gearing up to be a major playa in.

Note: I'm not trying to be a Microsoft advocate or apologist with any if this. What I am taking issue with is how little so many industry 'experts' and bloggers seem to know about what Microsoft is working on or currently doing.

Not that it ever stops them from writing about Microsoft.  
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 04:32:03 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2011, 06:06:45 PM »

Ben Brooks fleshes out the financial case since '04:

The Ballmer Days Are Over
http://brooksreview.net/2011/05/ballmer/

That was an excellent article.

And my favorite part:

Quote
Microsoft needs a swift kick in the ass.

 Grin
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
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