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09.08.08

Eye on Microsoft: Failures on the Desktop, Server, Console, and Mobile

Posted in Hardware, Interview, Microsoft, Security, Servers, Steve Ballmer, Videos, Vista, Windows at 6:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There are heaps of material covering this particular broad topic, but included below are only news articles. The first one is the essay “Windows Vista: The OS About Nothing,” which talks about the latest Vista advertisement (last mentioned 2 days ago).

Microsoft’s new Windows ad, featuring Jerry Seinfeld, is outdated and not very funny — but it’s highly revealing of all that’s wrong out there in Redmond.

The background: Windows is losing market share to Apple’s Mac OS and even Linux. And Vista, the latest version, has been a big fat dud. Businesses have shunned it outright, and many consumers find it unintuitive and difficult to use.

Pamela Jones wrote in Groklaw: “I’m absolutely serious that this video of Steve Ballmer being interviewed by Guy Kawasaki at Microsft’s MIX08 conference in Las Vegas about Vista makes a much better ad for it than the Seinfeld shoe store ad, for my money. What makes it is the input from Kawasaki, who provides the antifluff that results in a more complete answer at the end of the video.”

Here it is as an Ogg Theora file and embedded Flash. We’ll refrain from commenting on the behaviour of Microsoft’s CEO.

Ogg Theora

Mr. Ballmer claims that Windows Vista is the most secure operating system, but the illusion of security in Vista is quickly wearing off as the software does not stand up to expectations and new critical flaws emerge that do not even affect Vista’s predecessors. This may mean that Vista and Server 2008 are even less secure than their predecessors. It agrees with everything that a recent study argued. Here is the latest new example:

Microsoft announces another critical Tuesday times four

The Windows Media Player update is rated critical for WMP 11 on Windows XP, Vista and Server 2008 (including the x64 versions). It is not applicable to Windows 2000, Server 2003 or Server 2008 for Itanium-based systems.

Recent articles on this subject include:

Failure at a software level might be recoverable (not that it justifies sloppiness), but what happens when defective hardware burns houses down, arguably kills a baby, and ultimately turns out to have a failure rate of sixty-eight percent?

In-depth exposé reveals Microsoft’s Xbox 360 failure rate was 68%

The dreaded high failure rate issue with the Xbox 360, otherwise known as the Red Ring of Death, has received some in-depth coverage. We are talking about some serious coverage here with insider interviews with the original engineers that worked on the Xbox 360 all the way up to the high ranks of Microsoft.

[...]

Microsoft’s attitude of “release now and patch later” with the Xbox 360 has ended up costing billions of dollars as well as leaving many gamers angry. It is also speculated the reason for Microsoft’s decline in worldwide sales is directly attributed to the Red Ring of Death issue.

This is also covered here, but the figures remain negotiable.

Report: Xbox 360 Failure Rate Was as High as 68%

Dean Takahashi has published an incredible report that finally goes into great detail on Microsoft’s RROD hardware saga.

Microsoft has already lost about $7 billion on its XBox business.

Another lesser-known failure is Windows Mobile, which is discussed in this new post.

Yesterday’s Microsoft Watch had an incisive article about Microsoft’s failure to compete in the mobile phone marketplace.

[...]

What do you bet that Microsoft comes up with a new “improved” release of XP Home that has features deliberately designed to block Chrome? This is, after all, what they did against Netscape in 1996, with Windows NT Workstation allowing no more than 10 TCP/IP connections so that it couldn’t be used with Netscape web servers.

But this kind of backward-looking, defensive competition doesn’t do more than buy you time. Yes, Microsoft killed Netscape, but they missed the deeper, stronger competition that would come from true web applications like Google. The future is not like the past, and any strategy that is designed to protect the past will eventually fail.

Related to this:

The real effect of the losses may remain a mystery, but for how long? Is exploiting competitors (milking them for money) all that’s left?

Microsoft ZUN

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A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    September 9, 2008 at 1:54 am

    Gravatar

    The xbox failure could use it’s own post, it’s enough of a separate topic. One problem that M$ failed to address right off and tried to whitewash was the fire hazard posed by the self-immolating power supplies. In Sweden, for example, property (as in real-estate) damage resulted on multiple occasions.

    Also, too few articles show that out of the 6 consoles on the market, Xbox is number 6. IIRC It’s ranked at about 30% of the PS2 and about 16% of the PS3.

    Actually, it’s doing quite well considering it’s not so much for gaming as it is a test-bed for end-to-end M$ DRM on commodity hardware.

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