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Author Topic: Quo vadis Microsoft?  (Read 1474 times)

xtabber

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Quo vadis Microsoft?
« on: November 06, 2012, 11:41:36 AM »
At the risk of beating a dead horse (at least among DC folk), I submit the following opinion piece from PC magazine calling Windows 8 a "Desktop Disaster" along with Robert X Cringely's guess as to what Microsoft may actually be up to.

I suspect that Cringely may be putting the cart before the [dead] horse, but his idea makes as much sense as anything else in this regard.

tranglos

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Re: Quo vadis Microsoft?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 02:54:13 PM »
At the risk of beating a dead horse (at least among DC folk), I submit the following opinion piece from PC magazine calling Windows 8 a "Desktop Disaster" along with Robert X Cringely's guess as to what Microsoft may actually be up to.


I'm only in the middle of the first article, but I just have to say -

Only one app at a time? Cannot resize application windows? On a Full-HD screen?! Shut down (and probably a lot more) only from the Metro UI?

And we are supposed to buy it and into it... why?

40hz

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Re: Quo vadis Microsoft?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 04:12:09 PM »
OMG! Microsoft as the next Berkshire-Hathaway?  :tellme:

Now that's a very interesting scenario. Something I had never even once considered. (Mr. Cringely...you still haven't lost your touch AFAIC!  :up:)

Makes sense in a way. And it could work...

The only barrier would be finding another Warren Buffet to shepherd it. Not exactly what you'd call an easy hire to make.

So once again, if that were the plan, it would depend on the talents of an (as yet) unidentified stranger...

But that's assuming Ballmer didn't just take the more obvious way out and turn Microsoft into the biggest IP/patent troll the world has ever seen. Even SCO was able to postpone the inevitable against all odds (or reason) for several years by following that strategy.

Hmm... "It is quite a three pipe problem, and I beg that you won't speak to me for fifty minutes." 8)

I want to sleep on that one I think. :huh:

tranglos

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Re: Quo vadis Microsoft?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 04:39:10 PM »
OK, having read both articles, I can't make sense out of the latter one (Cringely). First, predicting the future as a mere extrapolation of today has always been a failure. Second, he talks a lot but it's neither here nor there:

Quote
Death of the desktop is clear not because Windows desktop sales are declining but because Macintosh desktop sales are declining. When Mercedes (Apple) begins to suffer declining unit sales, what does it mean for GM (Microsoft)? Not good.

Nonsense, I say. Mercedes sales depend on a completely different set of market and social conditions than the sales of your mid-size family car. Only some factors overlap, like the price of gas, but then they affect the two segments to very different degrees. Nobody needs a Mercedes (Apple), but a lot of people do need a car (some form of a personal, desktop computer).

Then he says

Quote
Microsoft didn’t invent the PC but benefited from its invention. Microsoft didn’t invent BASIC, they didn’t invent the PC operating system, they didn’t invent word processor, spreadsheet, or presentation applications, they didn’t invent PC games, they didn’t invent the graphical user interface, they didn’t invent the notebook or the tablet, they didn’t invent the Internet, they didn’t invent the music player or the video game, but they benefited from all these things.

...and I can't understand how that relates to anything. Apple didn't invent any of these, either. Samsung didn't invent the smartphone, but they're already selling more units than Apple. And it's much, much easier to switch a cell phone brand than to change your OS, all your apps and all your habits along with them.

Touch interface is a joke. It's inconvenient even on a smartphone, it's only become so common because it was the only way to grow the screen size without up-sizing the entire device. Can you touch-type on a touch keyboard? Only in Star Trek, and you had to be Data. Does anyone seriously think that everyone in the world whose work involves a lot of typing, down to the last humble clerk, will willingly switch to a touch-screen? POS terminals are one thing, writing in complete sentences and paragraphs is totally different. And, seriously, for how long can you keep your arm extended forward and carefully pecking at the on-screen keyboard? Our bodies are not even built for that kind of task.

Quote
Like Blanche DuBois, Microsoft has relied on the kindness of strangers.

More nonsense, do I even have to spell it out? Kindness?

And of course, the survival of Microsoft and the survival of your classic desktop PC are two entirely separate issues. Cringely starts with the Napier/RR engine analogy, but of course the lesson from that analogy is that that particular kind of engine did not disappear or even substantially change. Someone just made an incrementally better one. (And the jet engine did not displace the turbine, either.)

Yeah, so maybe they can live off their patents - if so, who cares? Do we really care about what happens to MS, or do we care about what technology we will be using in the days to come? That article doesn't even seem to know what it's on about. I certainly don't.

superboyac

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Re: Quo vadis Microsoft?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 04:51:13 PM »
Desktop interface will not go away.  It's too efficient, too productive.  Something would have to come along that was more efficient and productive.  Sure, temporarily some of us may try to adapt to something "new" but in the long run, human nature will prevail...and if there's one thing humans don't like to do is taking more time and more effort doing chores.

I'm somewhat confident third party tools will do away with every annoying characteristic of Windows 8.  If not, it's time to move over to Linux, depending how bad things are.  Personally, I better be able to switch between programs as easily as now, and type as easily, etc.  The only way this won't happen is if Windows 8 is built to prevent the development of such tools as start menu alternatives and stuff.  But that would be extremely against everything Windows stands for.

40hz

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Re: Quo vadis Microsoft?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 05:56:13 PM »
Then he says

Quote
Microsoft didn’t invent the PC but benefited from its invention. Microsoft didn’t invent BASIC, they didn’t invent the PC operating system, they didn’t invent word processor, spreadsheet, or presentation applications, they didn’t invent PC games, they didn’t invent the graphical user interface, they didn’t invent the notebook or the tablet, they didn’t invent the Internet, they didn’t invent the music player or the video game, but they benefited from all these things.

...and I can't understand how that relates to anything. Apple didn't invent any of these, either. Samsung didn't invent the smartphone, but they're already selling more units than Apple.

I think the point being made there is that these technical behemoths are unable to internally generate the innovation they benefit from. So they're essentially parasitic. And much like the USA, currently dependent on foreign "energy" sources to sustain their standard of living. Which in turn goes a long way towards understanding their hostility towards idependent innovation and their ongoing abuse of the patent and legal system to protect what technology they currently control. Something that's bad for everybody long-term.


40hz

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Re: Quo vadis Microsoft?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 05:59:51 PM »
Desktop interface will not go away.  It's too efficient, too productive. 

Agree 100%. :Thmbsup: The desktop's broad adoption and near universal deployment is testimony to the fact it works in practice - and it's design paradigm makes sense.