08.11.08

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Eye on Microsoft: Tough Weekend

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 5:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Windows Lock-in

Tim Bray is Angry. Here is what he wrote:

So, if I want to watch the Olympics online, I need to install Microsoft Silverlight. And if I’m interested in good-looking new high-end compact cameras, I’m super-interested in the new Nikon P6000; which writes a RAW format that can only be read by Microsoft WIC, available only on Windows.

Open, non-proprietary equivalents to all of these, which do not constrain your customers’ choice of platform, are widely available.

Nikon is a competent camera company. The IOC is a competent sports impresario. The Chinese government is a competent authoritarian dictatorship. Pity they’re all so fucking stupid about technology.

Failures

When will it be time to panic?

Yesterday Bloomberg reported an analyst’s expectation that Microsoft (MSFT) would institute a $20 billion share buyback program.

There hasn’t actually been a formal announcement from Microsoft that I have seen, yet the news has rapidly spread around the Internet as the Bloomberg report was picked up by bloggers, news sites and technology sites.

[...]

For those of you who would like to see a resurgent Microsoft stock trading higher based on organic growth and compelling new product introductions, you may have to wait for quite a while. In the meantime, financial shenanigans appear to be the rule.

Microsoft & Blockbuster: Deal Failure Is the New Success

In Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations,” the character of Miss Havisham lives a life stopped in time by her canceled wedding. Floating around her house in a tattered wedding dress, with a marital feast decomposing on the table, she pretends life never changed.

Miss Havisham may well be the model for companies that launched quixotic, failed bids to take over rivals. The executives of those companies–-Microsoft Corp. and Blockbuster Inc.-–have, in the wake of their disappointment, painted a picture of their future in which they gained all the advantages of an acquisition without actually doing one.

NDAs to Excuse Bad Security

Just splendid. Don’t you feel more secure now?

Microsoft is to release fixes for a dozen serious vulnerabilities next Tuesday, seven of them ranked critical. But the firm has also announced a three-stage process to reducing the effects of future vulnerabilities.

[...]

To receive the advance notice, firms must have “a significant Microsoft customer base” and sign non-disclosure agreements promising to keep the details secret.

Head of Microsoft at Nigeria Quits

Yes, it’s true, but it happened very quietly. It’s part of a larger such exodus.

Onyeje joins the Microsoft operations in Lagos, replacing Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu who has left the company to pursue personal interests.

Shrink-wrapped Graveyard

Is Microsoft abandoning a dying business/sales model?

Microsoft has decided to halt boxed retail sales of Microsoft Money in favor of online downloads.

Exclusivity

Just watch these. None of them is confirmed yet.

Microsoft on Final Fantasy XIII

Speculations abounded Microsoft had to pay Square Enix in order to breach their exclusivity contract with Sony.

Microsoft Seeking Zune-Exclusive Content

Now, the Hollywood Reporter and other sources report that Microsoft has been hitting production companies and agencies in hopes of securing exclusive digital video content exclusively for the Zune. Although Microsoft execs would love to have hot content that was Zune only, reports indicate they’re also open to deals in which content would debut on the Zune before becoming available in other channels.

Fragmentation in Microsoft Software

Microsoft and Symbian just love attacking Free software, claiming it is fragmented. Well, a leaked document shows a pot calling the kettle “black”.

Microsoft worried over .NET fragmentation

Multiple product groups at Microsoft are contributing functionality to the .NET Framework, but juxtaposed with that growth is the company’s concern that too many cooks might spoil the broth, a Microsoft internal document reveals.

The management too is still fragmented and undecided about the future.

DEFRAG doesn’t spend much time thinking about young people.

Windows Trouble

The possible end of Windows is a big opportunity to Free software. SJVN has the details.

Some very interesting documents have been leaking out of Microsoft. They clearly indicate, believe it or not, that Microsoft is considering shifting its users from Windows to a new operating system: Midori.

And, when I say “new,” I mean new. This isn’t the kind of lip-service change that we saw with David Cutler and NT or Jim Allchin and Vista. Midori, under Eric Rudder, senior vice president for technical strategy, isn’t a cosmetic change; it’s a completely new operating system.

[...]

Now, you may not believe that the Linux desktop or the Mac is really taking market share from Windows, but they are. In the U.K., Linux was preinstalled on 2.9% of all PCs sold in June. Meanwhile, 14% of all PCs sold in the U.S. are Macs. People are no longer mindlessly buying Windows systems, and Microsoft knows that.

New and interesting information here.

Microsoft prepares for end of Windows

[...]

“Breaking with the legacy of a product that first shipped 23 years ago seems wholly necessary in terms of keeping the product manageable and in sync with computing’s state of the art,” Brust says. “If Midori isn’t real, then I imagine something of this nature still must be in the works. It’s absolutely as necessary, if not more so, to Microsoft’s survival as their initiatives around internet advertising, search and cloud computing offerings.”

Java Beats .NET

So much for claims from Mono fans. Java is far from dying.

It is probably no surprise that Paul Jansen and Robert Dewar feel very differently about not only Java, but about programming languages in general.

Paul Jansen, managing director of TIOBE software, maintains the TIOBE index of popular programming languages, which – here’s the key point – ranks Java as the top programming language.

Oracle too joins the fight against .NET.

Countering the .Net initiative that bitter rival Microsoft Corp. announced earlier this year, Oracle Corp. last week released software for use in developing and managing online services.

In a swipe at Microsoft, which doesn’t expect to deliver a full portfolio of its .Net-based technologies for two years or more, Oracle is informally referring to its Oracle9i Dynamic Services software as .Now.

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A Single Comment

  1. aeshna23 said,

    August 11, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Gravatar

    We should applaud Microsoft share buybacks. The buybacks enable the owners of capital to put their money into projects that are much likely to be profitable to society than anyway Microsoft is likely to use money.

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