Results tagged “microsoft”

Windows Phone Schadenfreude #5,782

By Michael Mulvey on December 12, 2014 4:16 PM

Ed Bott on the dire outlook for Windows Phone:

If the problems with Windows Phone as a platform were as simple as Microsoft getting their product strategy together, it would probably be easy to fix. But that focus ignores the real problem.

This isn't an equal partnership between Microsoft and U.S. mobile carriers, except perhaps in the most technical sense.

Thanks to Microsoft's minuscule market share (small single-digit percentages in the U.S.), the carriers have almost no interest in collaborating with it on mobile devices. And Microsoft has almost no leverage when negotiating with carriers. The resulting not-so-virtuous circle is what stacks the deck against the Windows Phone platform and makes the experience so frustrating for the few who actually use it.

Maybe if Microsoft asks Santa for more customers, they'll get em.

"...a company that wants to change, but can't."

By Michael Mulvey on October 2, 2014 4:22 PM

MG Siegler on Microsoft and Windows 10:

Such a strange, yet predictable response to Windows 8 by Microsoft. Windows 7 was the de-Vista-ing of Windows. A return to Windows XP. Windows 10 is the de-8-ing of Windows. A return to WIndows 7.

How many development years has Microsoft collectively wasted on these OS boondoggles? It's the epitome of a company that wants to change, but can't.


Windows Phone and Windows 8 are really, really trying to be fun and useful and everything they need to be, but they're having a bitch of a time.

Getting rid of Ballmer isn't going to be a band-aid on everything.

In the same way that there's an underlying culture keeping Apple on track well after Steve Jobs has died, so too does Microsoft have an underlying culture holding them back from making great software that doesn't have a ton of baggage.

Fact: Microsoft Loves MacBook Airs

By Michael Mulvey on September 21, 2014 9:24 PM

Today, during the recording of this week's Weekly Exhaust we were talking about how NFL commentators were referring to the Surface tablets as "iPad-like devices" (that Microsoft paid $400 million for teams to use on the sidelines), so after the show I decided to check out

What did I find?

I found a MacBook Air as the most prominent product on the Microsoft homepage:

Sometimes I really wonder what they're thinking at Microsoft.

Actually I always wonder what they're thinking.

Microsoft Hardware

By Michael Mulvey on September 16, 2014 8:18 AM

I talk lots of shit about Microsoft's software, but they've been producing solid hardware products for a long time now.

This Apple/Android-compatible tablet keyboard looks interesting:

via The Verge

"iPad-like Tools"

By Michael Mulvey on September 8, 2014 8:40 AM

If the awesome tie I wore today wasn't enough to kill The Mondays then this little bit of Microsoft news is:

In among the larger-than-life humans on NFL sidelines this season, you'll notice a slew of Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 tablets helping out. Used by players and coaches to review photos of plays, the tablets are encased in chunky cyan protective cases and have been attracting the attention of the broadcast commentators when put to use. The only problem is that the announcers don't seem to have been briefed on the name, leaving them to describe Microsoft's slates as "iPad-like tools."


Oh boy. Nothing like a nice cup of schadenfreude in the morning to get ya going.

Not a Good Idea

By Michael Mulvey on August 7, 2014 8:46 AM

From the NY Daily News:

Tech giant Microsoft is in negotiations to open its first ever New York City retail store on Fifth Ave., sources told the Daily News.

The deal, at 677 Fifth Ave. near 53rd St., would give Microsoft a splashy presence on the top retail corridor in the country and put it just a stone's throw from its biggest rival Apple's iconic glass cube store.

Not a good idea.

Remember, Microsoft is the very antithesis of strategy.

Repeat after me: Microsoft: Software, Services, Enterprise. Microsoft: Software, Services, Enterprise.

Know When to Fold 'Em

By Michael Mulvey on August 6, 2014 9:00 AM

That new focus on Microsoft as a productivity company could spell the end for projects like Surface Mini, or even the larger ARM-based versions of Surface. Calculations by Computerworld suggest that Microsoft has lost $1.7 billion on Surface hardware, including the $900 million write-off for the Surface RT last year. That's a huge loss for something Nadella describes as an effort to "stimulate more demand for the entire Windows ecosystem." Microsoft has thrown similar amounts of cash at Xbox over the years, but the Xbox 360 sales have proven there's demand for Microsoft's games consoles.

—Tom Warren, The Verge

Microsoft has lost $1.7 billion on Surface hardware. Well done!

I'm trying to remember if Apple ever lost money on the iPad?

Oh that's right, they never did.

Soft News

By Michael Mulvey on July 22, 2014 8:26 AM

From BGR this morning:

One of the main features Windows 9 is expected to offer users is the return of the Start menu, which Windows users are anxiously waiting for, and Myce has obtained new screenshots showing it. Initially expected to arrive in Windows 8 Update 2 that's said to launch on August 12, the Start menu is now said to only be ready next year, when Windows 9 "Threshold" is released.

So this is where we've gotten to with Microsoft rumors. Outside of the massive layoffs, the only exciting product leaks involve a nearly 19-year-old software feature—the Start Menu.

Contrast this to Apple, where everyone is expecting a new wearable device this fall, and competitors have been scrambling to launch their own versions (regardless of how half-baked they all are), a new, bigger (thinner?) iPhone is expected and everyone was blown away at the number of new software announcements at WWDC 2014 for both OS X Mavericks and iOS 8.

Maybe next decade, Microsoft.

"There are some roads not to follow; some troops not to strike; some cities not to assault; and some ground which should not be contested."

By Michael Mulvey on July 15, 2014 9:00 AM

I'm loving this analysis of Microsoft by John Kirk on Microsoft.

His premise is Microsoft ignores every rule of warfare in how they decide to compete with products made by other companies.

Like when Microsoft took on the iPod with the Zune:

From a strategic standpoint, Microsoft's move to create the Zune was inane and bordering on the insane. Its strategy:
- 1) Obliged Microsoft to betray its existing allies (hardware manufacturing partners);
- 2) Required Microsoft to abandon its greatest and most powerful weapon (licensing software to hardware manufacturers);
- 3) Compelled Microsoft to fight with unfamiliar weapons (hardware);
- 4) Forced Microsoft to fight on the battlefield of its opponent's choosing and where its opponent could could leverage its strongest assets (integrated software and hardware).

And then again with Bing:

Google was founded in 1998 and soon became a very real threat to Microsoft. A response by Microsoft was appropriate and called for...but not the response Microsoft made. As usual, Microsoft went right at 'em by challenging Google where Google was strongest and where Microsoft was nonexistent -- in search.

Let's examine this from a strategic perspective:
1) Attack opponent where opponent is strongest. Check.
2) Attack opponent with a weapon with which you have little or no expertise (search engine/machine language). Check.
3) Attack opponent where they live, thus guaranteeing that they will they will be inspired to fight with desperation in order to ensure their very survival. Check.
4) Attack where even success gains you little or nothing. Check.

For too long, Microsoft has been in reaction mode to every other company doing something innovative (and profitable).

It begs the question, what do they really love to create? What are they good at?

Ballmer hit his ejector seat button just in time.

By Michael Mulvey on July 14, 2014 12:39 PM

When factoring in smartphones, tablets and other gadgets along with traditional PCs, Turner estimated that Windows is only on around 14% of them, which is obviously a vastly different reality from the one that Microsoft faced 10 years ago when Apple was mostly known for producing the iPod and when Google was just a very popular search engine.

—Brad Reed, Reality sinks in for Microsoft

A Surface Mini Couldn't Replace Anything

By Michael Mulvey on June 30, 2014 9:47 AM

Citing its usual anonymous supply chain sources, Digitimes on Monday reported that Microsoft called off its plan to mass-produce and launch the Surface Mini tablet back in May. According to the report, the decision to cancel the device was made because the tablet lacked differentiation compared to other small tablets, and also because the company received "negative responses" from its various brand vendor partners.

—Zach Epstein, BGR

The whole sales pitch for the Surface (Pro) is the fact that it's a laptop replacement. Microsoft has even gone so far as to offer people $650 to trade in their MacBook Air.

Considering the uphill battle they're facing trying to convince people their Surface is superior to a MacBook Air experience, imagine them trying to sell a Surface Mini. There's no way you're going to convince anyone a tablet with an 8-inch screen is going to replace a MacBook Air.

The only thing a Surface Mini could possibly replace is a Zune.

Don't even try to tell me you've forgotten about the Zune already.

User, Consumer, Employee & Person

By Michael Mulvey on June 18, 2014 9:24 AM

Google sees you as a user, Amazon sees you as a consumer, Microsoft sees you as an employee (though they're trying to change that).

Apple sees you as a person, but one at leisure who doesn't want to be using a computer in the first place.


Tacky & Tackier

By Michael Mulvey on May 27, 2014 9:48 AM

Before Samsung took over as the most prominent advertiser at Heathrow's Terminal 5, it was Nokia that used to occupy the big billboards inside the home of British Airways. Unwilling to hand over the advertising crown with grace, the company now operating under the Microsoft Devices banner has decided to troll Samsung's ads by sending out a set of four "Lumianauts" in search of a flight out into the Galaxy. Describing their apparent disappointment at not finding anything extraordinary at the terminal, Microsoft concludes that at least "the Lumia we have in our pockets is always out of this world."

—Vlad Savov, Microsoft, Samsung, and the inane battle for Terminal 5

It's shit like this that gives advertising (and the companies who pay them) a bad name.

Kinda like how 7-Up is the UN-Cola, Surface 3 is the UN-laptop, but not in a tasty 7-Uppy kind of way.

By Michael Mulvey on May 21, 2014 9:30 AM

Will Oremus at Slate asks us if Microsoft's new tablet could replace your laptop?

Luckily, he answers it:

It's hard to know how much of this is my unfamiliarity and how much is Microsoft's poor design, but this article took me significantly longer to write on the Surface than it would on either my Macbook or my old Windows XP desktop machine. That's partly because Word crashed and had to restart for no apparent reason, and partly because simple tasks like copying a URL from Internet Explorer and pasting it as a hyperlink in Word took multiple rounds of trial and error.

Sounds pretty awesome.

Microsoft: Self-Saboteur

By Michael Mulvey on May 21, 2014 8:29 AM

Microsoft, you're killing me. You've just announced what looks like a killer new tablet that you're hyping as "the tablet that can replace your laptop." It looks like a big improvement over the Surface 2 in just about every possible way, from the display quality to the super-thin build. But for some reason, you are still insisting on selling the keyboard cover separately for $130 a pop. To use an old science fiction cliché, this does not compute.

This bothers me for no other reason than because it seems like an assault on basic logic. You are selling a tablet that is, by your own admission, meant to be a laptop replacement. You compared it to the MacBook Air repeatedly during your presentation. And yet you're still telling customers that having a keyboard is optional for something that's supposed to be a laptop replacement... why?

—Brad Reed, BGR

If Microsoft opened a car dealership, they'd be selling the cars without wheels.

If Microsoft were a clothing retailer, they'd be selling shirts without buttons, and pants without zippers.

I have more, should I go on?

Seriously, Microsoft, what the fuck is wrong with you?

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