EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.20.08

Eye on Microsoft: A Rainy Day in Redmond Town

Posted in Apple, Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 9:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

…Not just because it’s Software Freedom Day

Blackouts

Today is a day of software freedom, so let’s begin with this good post.

Are you a user of Microsoft Windows? Are you a user of a non-licensed copy of Microsoft Windows? Does it happen to be Windows XP Professional? Have you seen “blackouts“?

Apparently, from about the end of last month (August 27 2008, to be precise), users of pirated copies of Microsoft Windows XP Professional that also happen to be connected to the Internet will see their screens go black, and have no icons visible.

[...]

Its a most interesting tactic. Annoy the user by allowing them to change their background, and 60 minutes later, give them grief again. After all, an original copy of Windows XP Professional only costs RM580. That’s about 227 litres of unleaded petrol, at the current rate of RM2.55/L. Or nearly 6 tanks of petrol, in a more fuel efficient car. No wonder, people prefer paying RM5 for pirated media.

[...]

Don’t worry about piracy. Don’t bow down to another corporations silly moves. Think open standards. Think freedom. Just go open source.

This squeeze of existing Windows users may or may not say something about Microsoft’s real financial situation [1, 2, 3, 4].

(In)Security

Here is another case of bad patches (it’s almost a monthly recurrence it would seem), which brought down Microsoft servers. Microsoft has acknowledged it is a universal problem.

However, the package was posted early and one of the bugs is causing major headaches for administrators who installed the update.

Microsoft explained that an issue with the Exchange Web Service component is leading the update to send some servers into a continuous crash cycle.

Future LSE crashes would hardly be surprising.

The Spread Firefox Web site draws a baffling comparison which is perhaps unfair given the age of the two products, but it compares Firefox 3.x and Microsoft IE 7.x.

With regards to security, Internet Explorer 7.x is has about 13 times more vulnerabilities and advisories than Firefox 3, according to security site Secunia.com:

* Vulnerability Report: Mozilla Firefox 3.x
* Vulnerability Report: Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.x

There’s a lot more to this story. Microsoft is hiding known flaws. References of interest include:

We covered this issue before.

Advertising

There are heaps of articles on this topic. The Jerry Seinfeld ads are quickly being buried, but a very tactless new slogan has been picked.

Life without walls is the title of microsoft’s new advertising campaign. It is yet another example of microsoft taking someone else’s idea and trying to claim it as their own. This has put me in rant mode because for a long time there has been a quote floating around in the Linux camp. It goes like this “In a world without walls. Who needs windows and gates?”

SJVN wrote about this advertising failure as well. He ends with a bright outlook:

Speaking as someone who prefers the Linux desktop, and, proprietary software and all, is overly fond of Macs, I have to once again say: “Thanks Microsoft.” Without you the Mac and mini-PCs like the Sylvania G Netbook, the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC, the Acer Aspire and the Asus Eee PC 1000 we recently reviewed, which are Linux powered wouldn’t have had such a great chance to make major big gains in the desktop market.

With how Microsoft is mishandling both its desktop advertising and its actual Windows operating system, I see more and more hope that Windows’ desktop monopoly is finally coming to an end.

According to Roughly Drafted Magazine, Microsoft is actually using UNIX machines (Mac OS X) to create its advertisements. There’s also the following nugget of information:

In 2003, Microsoft fired an employee who posted a photo of new PowerMac G5 systems being delivered to the company onto his blog.

At the same time, the company has no problem showing the vast numbers of Macs it buys to test builds of Office for Mac within the MacBU. Microsoft is apparently still the largest Mac developer outside of Apple.

More on the failure of Microsoft’s advertising blitz can be found in Apple Insider.

Further, as PC companies such as Dell and Acer continue to seek new ways to use Linux in place of Windows, and as the top PC vendor HP begins its own efforts to create a Windows alternative as reported by BusinessWeek, the idea of advertising “the PC” would do even less for Microsoft.

John Gruber writes:

It’s not necessary for effective ads to directly sell anything. An effective ad simply has to make a point. Some of the best ads, rather than establishing facts or planting ideas, instead create a feeling. Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign didn’t tell you to buy sneakers. Apple’s “Think Different” didn’t even mention computers. But those campaigns created feelings about those brands that were so strong that they still feel new.

Microsoft’s panicked reaction to these Seinfeld ads, yanking them from the air and severing ties with Seinfeld, isn’t because the ads were poorly received. And dropping these ads is a panicked reaction. Let’s not pretend it makes any sense that the Seinfeld spots were planned as a two-episode teaser all along. No one signs Jerry Seinfeld for $10 million in a much-heralded deal to make just two spots that only run for a grand total of two weeks.

The current situation does not bode well for the successor of Windows Vista, according to this report from IDG.

Why make the same mistakes all over again, when there are so many new mistakes to make?

That thought came to mind a few weeks ago when Microsoft spent some time talking about Windows 7 (the current name for whatever comes after Vista) at a technology conference. From what I saw, it would seem that the company learned little from the Longhorn/Vista launch and is setting out down the same road.

The Indian press, which is typically blind to legitimate critics and therefore supportive of Microsoft, indicates that Microsoft will hire some other talking points.

Microsoft has axed American comedian Jerry Seinfeld from its 300million-dollar ad campaign to spruce up Windows Vista’s image just two weeks since the first ad aired, and roped in a host of celebrities, including author Deepak Chopra.

Actress Eva Longoria and singer Pharrell Williams are also said to have been hired for the campaign.

This isn’t the first time that Microsoft reaches out to celebrities in India [1, 2].

At the end of the day, not even famous people can save Microsoft’s reputation and brand power, which is declining.

Google leaps, Microsoft drops in brand value

Google’s brand name value jumped from 20th place last year to 10th in 2008, according to the latest version of an annual study that ranks the best brands, with only four technology companies ahead of it on the list.

Recent articles about Microsoft’s brand problems include:

1. Microsoft’s credibility turning to junk while Linux revenue grows

Sweeping changes are needed in Microsoft’s go-to-market approach, and it may find more success by creating products like Live Writer, which found a huge following right away. Continuing on its current path, the company will continue to destroy its credibility and build animosity with users looking for quality products on their terms.

2. Google ‘UK’s top consumer brand’ [up at Microsoft's expense]

Google also topped a poll of “superbrands” as judged by professionals earlier this year.

3. Google reputation hits top spot

Google has finally managed to push Microsoft from its top spot.

The Vole actually fell to tenth place in the annual Harris Interactive Reputation Quotient poll, but overall, the tech sector did outstandingly well this year.

4. Microsoft Plummets, Retail Falls While Beauty Gains in CoreBrand 2007 Brand Power Rankings

The annual “CoreBrand Brand Power 100″ Branding Index(R) of 1,200 US corporations ranks Coca-Cola Company and Johnson & Johnson at #1 and #2 respectively, unchanged since 2004. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s corporate brand declined in stunning fashion over the past four years, falling from 11 in 2004 to 59 in 2007 Microsoft, a decline of 48 places!

5. Some Quick Quips – Yahoo, #86, and MSPoll

Would you believe… that Microsoft has dropped down to #86 within the Fortune Best Places to Work survey? That’s down from #50 in 2007 and #42 in 2006. Like a rock. In a bad way. And who is #1 for two years in a row? Grab that chair and give it a big effen toss in the air to Google! Toot! They get bigger and they’re still #1.

6. Apple has biggest impact on world consumers: survey

Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker was also a winner, but it received the dubious honor of the brand most readers wanted to argue with, and the one they most wanted to revamp. Voted into second place in the category was brand USA.

Bottom of the Ranks

Speaking of brand value, where Google seems to rapidly outpace rivals and almost dominate, Google continues rising in terms of search engine share, whereas Microsoft continues to fall despite heavy investments in datacentres, advertisements, reimbursements, bundling, a recent $100 million acquisition, and so much more.

Google Sites led the U.S. core search market in July with 63 percent of the searches conducted, up from 61.9 percent in July, followed by Yahoo! Sites (19.6 percent), Microsoft Sites (8.3 percent), Ask Network (4.8 percent), and AOL LLC (4.3 percent).

Microsoft is ranked lower not only for brand power; it’s also ranked very poorly by Greenpeace, according to many new reports.

Japan-based games console company Nintendo came last in the rankings, with a score of 0.8, whilst world renowned software-maker Microsoft was placed second last with a score of just 2.2.

For those who think that SharePoint is doing well (Slog tactics can be compellingly-deceiving), here is a wakeup call:

Microsoft losing grip on ECM mid-market

SharePoint not as dominant as was thought, claims research

Mid-sized organisations have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to choosing an enterprise content management (ECM) supplier, according to new research from independent ECM analyst CMS Watch.

So, all in all, there’s lots of hype but results are mixed. Alfresco performs well in this space.

Sour Grapes

Several operations of Microsoft were shut down recently. It’s a pattern, so here is another new one for the pile.

Microsoft-backed social network gets walloped

A would-be social network called Wallop has shut its doors, according to a message on the home page.

Other recent examples include:

Earlier in the week, albeit behind closed doors (to the media), there was some more erratic behaviour from Microsoft’s CEO, who is bemoaning success of others in eccentric ways right on stage.

At Microsoft’s company meeting today, CEO Steve Ballmer was in full cheerleader mode, running around the stage, high-fiving Microsoft employees at Safeco Field, breathing hard and yelling into the microphone, said one observer, who asked to remain anonymous while describing an event that was closed to the public.

Is this a celebration of success or an ego trip? Ego trips are typically momentary. The nightmare comes later.

“But this is going to end as all tragedies must, with tears. Steve Ballmer is getting taken for the biggest ride of his life, and one day he’s going to find himself dumped out of the limo by the side of the road wondering what happened.”

Dana Blankenhorn (Liddell destroying Microsoft from within)

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, April 07, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, April 07, 2020



  2. GitHug - A Guest Article by Thomas Grzybowski

    "Now, if Azure revenue has increased 72%, but the gross revenue in this category has only increased 25%, that means that the other components, primary GitHub, are actually a substantial negative."



  3. Links 7/4/2020: Firefox 75, Python 2.7.1 RC1

    Links for the day



  4. The Fall of the UPC - Part XIV: Media Owned and Controlled by Law Firms Did Not Properly Cover the Decision of the German Constitutional Court (FCC)

    We take another look at the shallow if not deliberately misleading coverage in sites that are literally owned and run by law firms, for the benefit of law firms rather than informing the public



  5. The Media Paints Bill Gates as the Man Who Will Save the World While Seattle's Police Department Obstructs Access to Documents About Pedophilia Arrest at His Home

    We're still unable to receive even one single page of the police report about arrest for pedophilia at the home of Bill and Melinda Gates; the media says nothing about this and instead it paints Gates as a national or international hero



  6. IRC Proceedings: Monday, April 06, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, April 06, 2020



  7. Software Patents Remain Junk Patents in the United States (Not Enforceable), Whereas the EPO Keeps Granting Them and Promoting Them

    We take note of the positive outcomes in the US, where courts continue to reject software patents, but in Europe the largest patent office, which sought to replace all the courts, still acts as if patent law does not exist and patents can be endlessly printed irrespective of their merit (or validity as judged by actual courts)



  8. The Fall of the UPC - Part XIII: A Death Worth Celebrating and Many Lies Worth Debunking

    We take stock of positive responses to the decision made by the German constitutional court (FCC) 2.5 weeks ago; we also explain why it has taken so long to piece together firm-by-firm scoresheet for UPC lies



  9. GitHub is Moving the Free Software Movement Into “Check”

    GitHub's growing levels of control over Free software projects (GitHub itself is proprietary and Microsoft-controlled) ought to alarm the community; it's a lot worse than most people care to acknowledge, based on weeks of detailed analysis of GNU/Linux distros



  10. Links 6/4/2020: New Red Hat CEO, elementary OS Hera Updates

    Links for the day



  11. When the Decision is OK and the Judge's Motivations Are Also OK

    Justice Huber made the right call; but the bullies and charlatans who conspired to undermine laws and constitutions will never be satisfied



  12. The Fall of the UPC - Part XII: Doing the Unthinkable by Blaming the Judge's (Justice's) Wife?

    Team UPC and its media partners never cease to amaze us; anybody who stands in their way is either portrayed as a Russian stooge or too ignorant to be worth talking to



  13. The Fall of the UPC - Part XI: Lies Told by Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI) in Süddeutsche Zeitung

    Today we look at misleading claims (or lies) published by Süddeutsche Zeitung after the Germans' constitutional court (FCC) had pointed out the obvious, namely that UPC ratification would be in violation of the German constitution



  14. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 05, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, April 05, 2020



  15. Links 5/4/2020: MindSpore, Covid-19 Projects and More

    Links for the day



  16. EPO is Just Like Some Cruel Political Party and Not a Patent Office

    The "cabal" which runs today's EPO (even the word "Mafia" seems suitable here) isn't acting -- not even remotely -- like a patent office; it's a patent-printing operation ("protection money" as income) that uses shallow political stunts to manufacture consent with the EU's 'generous' assistance



  17. Digitalisation and Digital Technologies as a Ploy to Justify Illegal Software Patents

    Say "hello" to the next weasel word/s; from the "hey hi" hype wave we've now moved to something "digital" (which can mean just about anything, including algorithms of all sorts)



  18. The Fall of the UPC - Part X: How We Shall Catalogue UPC Lies

    The cult that Team UPC became (one member lying to another member, maintaining a false version of reality) will be judged based on underlying facts, not lying about facts; we start with a token of contempt for IP Kat and Bristows LLP (there are overlaps)



  19. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 04, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, April 04, 2020



  20. Major Revelation: Microsoft Blackmail Against LAMP (GNU/Linux and Free Stacks for Servers) Goes At Least 16 Years Back, Predating the Novell Patent Deal

    (Techno-)Anthropological analyses of Microsoft's patent war on Free/libre software must take into account what Microsoft did to MySQL, a Swedish company at the time



  21. Links 4/4/2020: Sparky 5.11, Firefox 74.0.1, POCL 1.5

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, April 03, 2020



  23. Links 3/4/2020: Ubuntu Beta, GNOME 3.36.1, ExTiX LXQt Mini, NetBSD 8.2 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Digital Communication, Digitalisation and Videogaming Among the EPO's Latest Smokescreens for Illegal and Abstract Patents on Algorithms

    The EPO keeps liaising with the EU to promote patents which EU officials have themselves said were illegal; to make matters worse, the EPO's violations of its own laws inspire the United States to do the same



  25. Emotional Blackmail for Illegal Software Patents

    Semantic tactics the European Patent Office (EPO) uses to promote software patents in Europe and may theoretically use in the future (satire)



  26. Clear Linux is to GNU/Linux What Clearly Defined is to Open Source

    The idea that we need Intel to take GNU/Linux ‘mainstream’ is ludicrous; as OSDL co-founder (now succeeded in the flesh of the Corporate Linux Foundation), Intel is more about Linux (with DRM, “secure boot” and everything that lets it be remotely controlled) than about GNU and it’s not too keen on GPL (copyleft), either



  27. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 02, 2020



  28. Links 2/4/2020: Linux 5.6.2, Qt Creator 4.11.2, LineageOS ROM Based on Android 10

    Links for the day



  29. OIN in 2020 Resembles Linux Foundation in 2020 (Corporate Front Group Piggybacking the Linux Brand)

    We regret to say that the Open Invention Network seems not to care at all about Software Freedom; to make matters worse, it is a proponent of software patents and a voice for companies like IBM and Microsoft, not the "Community" it fancies misrepresenting



  30. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part IX: Semi-Happy Ending

    Richard Stallman is here to stay and the FSF will let him stay (as chief of GNU); we want to close the series on a positive note


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts