Microsoft Buys Into More Media Companies
A few days ago we wrote about Microsoft's effect on Globo, which along with other publications that Microsoft pays, resorts to more mind-shaping and manufactured consent. It turns out now — not that it’s surprising at all — that Microsoft is still putting its money in media/cable companies, the latest example being an investment in Japanese television. What has Microsoft, a
software marketing company, has really got to gain here?
Microsoft and Japanese phone company NTT are joining 11 other companies in taking a stake in Japan’s first 24-hour-English language broadcasting service.
Will they be covering any GNU/Linux? Favourably?
Windows in a Crisis
Business Week is by no means an independent publication, but nonetheless, it covers what seems like a major development.
As Hewlett-Packard steps up efforts to make Microsoft’s operating system easier to use, some want to devise a rival version with Linux
Others in HP’s PC division are exploring the possibility of building an HP operating system for mainstream desktop and notebook computers based on the open-source Linux system, which competes with Windows, say people familiar with the company’s plans. The goals may be to make HP less dependent on new releases of Windows, and to strengthen HP’s hand against Apple (AAPL), which has gained market share with computers that boast innovative features and inspire a loyal following of users.
This new post compares the above to a Windows obituary.
Wow, a tough day for Windows.
BusinessWeek reports that HP, the world’s biggest PC company, is so troubled by Vista’s ‘tepid reception’ and Apple’s resurgence that it is developing its own operating system. Meanwhile a New York Times columnist writes on his blog that Windows is “already dying a death by a thousand cuts.”
It’s widely agreed that the Vista advertisement campaign has thus far been a major failure [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10], but the latest ‘suckage’ has proven successful because even FOSS bloggers are spreading the message for free (showing that video commercial to ridicule it). They are demonstrating the effect of viral marketing. It’s better to abstain drawing attention any to it.
Regardless, despite the fact that people are disappointed with those Vista ads, Microsoft has other things going on. Like this one:
Microsoft isn’t opening brick-and-mortar Microsoft stores. Instead, this holiday season, Microsoft will be hiring 150 or so Microsoft-trained “Windows gurus” to work in retailers like Best Buy and Circuit City to help explain how Windows, Windows Live services and Windows Mobile PCs and devices work. The gurus will “assist PC buyers, similar to the Nordstrom model of ‘personal shoppers,’ where the focus is more on informing and supporting the customer than on the actual sale,” according to Microsoft.
There is also an article about this here and a reader who sent this to us adds: “I found the following story interesting, where Microsoft plans to put its own representatives in major retail chains.
“I also liked the placement of the story under “wild, wacky” or “watercooler” stories. It’s supposed to combat something that Apple already does. The writer correctly expresses doubt about how much this will help Microsoft improve its sales. My own take is that this is a sign of desperation, where before Microsoft had no need to try anything of this sort.”
Windows has not just a marketing problem; there are some more critical problems, such as those which result in approximately 320,000,000 zombies PCs. A fully-updated Windows is currently open for hijackers and patches will be available only next week.
Microsoft will release four critical updates to several software packages next Tuesday, the company said.
Yahoo! Escapes Microsoft and Recommends Firefox!
According to a report from Bloomberg, Yahoo has been walking further away from Microsoft. That’s what Microsoft seems to suggest, but can its CFO be believed despite alleged securities fraud?
Microsoft Corp.’s chief financial officer said Thursday that the chances of the software maker buying Yahoo Inc. are still “negligible.”
Yahoo is offering a customized Firefox 3 edition which comes with some customizations optimized for Yahoo users:
• The world’s homepage with built-in Search powered by Yahoo!
• Yahoo! Search with Search Assist for instant suggestions as you type, and SearchScan for added safety
• Yahoo! Toolbar to keep your favorites at your fingertips
Embracing Firefox in this fashion makes Yahoo less attractive a target for Microsoft takeovers. In fact, the more Free software Yahoo adopts now, the safer it will be from such a hostile takeovers. Let us hope for more of the same. █