04.25.09

Further Confirmation That Microsoft’s Big Pain Comes from GNU/Linux on Sub-notebooks

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 6:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Increasing wealth
GNU/Linux forces Microsoft’s Windows margins to decrease

Summary: Analysis of the GNU/Linux factor in Microsoft’s negative results

Sub-notebooks are hurting Microsoft's bottom line because GNU/Linux competes also on price proposition, not just Freedom and technical edge. The result is very clear to see [1, 2] and to corroborate we have:

Microsoft earnings drop as netbooks take chunk of PC sales

[...]

The client division saw its revenue drop by a bit more than $600 million, with income down by almost the same amount. The trend of the PC market towards netbooks, which either run Linux or a low-cost version of Windows XP, undoubtedly hit this division hard. With Windows 7 apparently progressing well, however, the light may be visible at the end of the tunnel here, provided the company can convince netbook makers to pay more for the improvements it brings (and consumers are interested in its netbook version).

Matt Asay alleges that “Netbooks bleed Microsoft profits. It’s about to get worse.” Here’s why:

After all, Canonical, which develops Ubuntu, the world’s leading consumer-focused, Linux-based desktop operating system, on Monday released a Netbook-optimized Ubuntu distribution, as IDG reports.

Better battery life. A nicer visual experience. An operating system tightly tuned for applications like e-mail, Web browsing, and office productivity. All for a price that is dramatically less than Microsoft Windows…even after Microsoft discounts.

Windows XP? No thanks, says this prominent writer.

Rant: Microsoft Windows Out of Box Experience Sucks

OK, rant mode on. This morning I spent over three hours running Windows Update on the cool Viliv S5 UMPC I am evaluating. Yes, I realize it runs the older Windows XP operating system, but even so Microsoft must make the out of box experience (OOBE) better than this. I have recently experienced this process with Vista too, and it’s no better than XP. It’s time that Microsoft fix this absolutely unbearable process.

The entire Windows Update process resulted in 5 reboots and took almost 3.5 hours. That is ridiculous in and of itself, but watching it closely (something you have to do as it requires user input at inopportune moments) really got me steamed, as I realized that Microsoft could easily fix this stupid process.

Windows Vista seems to be passé already. To prove this, we conducted our weekly experiment. We grouped together news picks from Yahoo! News and Google Groups, accumulated using RSS feeds for the keyword “Microsoft”. Slicing based on the presence of “Vista” inside the headline, we have just 2 matches. Doing the same for “Windows 7″ we are left with 17 matches, which is almost 10 times the number of “Vista”. But Vista 7 does not even exist yet (it’s vapourware). In fact, given that the Microsoft-sympathetic blogs are now crowing about “Vista 8″ (Windows 8), it's clear that something is wrong (there are more new examples and they arrive from the usual suspects).

“There is a group of Microsoft-sympathetic reporters who spin Microsoft’s bad financial results…”Forbes Magazine has just come up with the headline “Forget Vista”, but it’s actually more of an advertisements for Vista 7. The Shane O'Neill marionette is promoting Vista 7 although it does not even exist yet (at least not as a product). The message he is sending from IDG goes along the lines of: “it’s coming, it’s coming, so get ready because there is no other choice.” Richard Waters from the Financial Times* plays along with the Microsoft ‘party line’, as usual. There is a group of Microsoft-sympathetic reporters who spin Microsoft’s bad financial results and rather grim outlook; Waters is usually one of them.
______
* Or financial tiems[sic], i.e. TIE-MS (ties with Microsoft).

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11 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    April 25, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Gravatar

    I wouldn’t call Windows 7 “vaporware” – I think that implies the product is completely marketing fiction at this stage and there’s nothing even on its way to being a product. Windows 7 exists as a beta and will quite definitely be released unless Microsoft actually utterly collapses before then. Windows 95 wasn’t “vaporware” on August 23, 1995, for example.

    For comparison, Cairo/WinFS/$DATABASE_FILESYSTEM has been “vaporware” since 1991.

    twitter Reply:

    Given M$’s long record of dropped features and their current claims for Windows 7, it is fair to call the whole OS vaporware. As usual, the next version of Windows is presented as everything the competition already is. Windows 7 will save M$ from GNU/Linux on netbooks by being light, quick booting, secure, beautiful, powerful and all that. Right. It is indeed amazing that people, journalist even, continue the hype when the beta version out is just as bloated and buggy as Vista is, but what else does M$ have to offer? Despite grand promisses, the Windows experience has not fundamentally improved since 1995. In many ways, it has gotten worse and the company has yet to deliver on promisses made way back in 1990. If 20 years of unsubstantiated claims are not vapor, I’m not sure what is … other than M$FT quarterly reports.

    David Gerard Reply:

    This is also an overstatement so vast as to be incorrect. Windows 2000 was a major improvement in experience over Windows 98 and Windows NT … stuff worked and it didn’t crash daily. (I have had the inestimable joy of using all three as my workplace OS.) It was of course stupidly fat, but machines caught up sufficiently in time.

    twitter Reply:

    I’ve had the exact opposite experience, but “stability” is unimportant in Windows land. Each version of Windows I’ve used was less stable than the last. I used W2K in 2001 and 2002 or so and it did indeed crash daily on me, sometimes as often as three times a day. A third installation of that OS used as a data collection machine seemed to be a little more stable than that, but it was a fresh install that I never connected to a network or did anything other than data collection. For me 98 was more stable than W2K, W95>W98, W3.1>95 and finally DOS>W3.1. All of them were crap next to GNU/Linux.

    Really though, when I say that the user experience has not changed significantly since 95, I’m not really talking about stability. Windows has never had much stability and users just put up with a daily boot. UI, networking and other things that matter more to users have not changed for the better as Mac and GNU/Linux have. GNU/Linux started off with better networking and has grown a vastly superior collection of user interfaces. Compare the KDE way of file and network management to the tired physical device analogy M$ still uses, as if people remember the days when floppy disks sat on top of their computer and were addressed as “A:” or “B:” XP and Vista are even more insanely arranged, awkward and restricting.

    G. Michaels Reply:

    An unfortunate conundrum have we here, as Yoda would say. Either “twitter” is full of it (naaah), or David Gerard works for “M$” because he’s not agreeing with all the bad things “twitter” is saying about them. Yes, since anyone who does not forcefully hate Microsoft, must work for Microsoft. Or at least that’s my understanding of the logic process favored by this crowd.

    I guess you weren’t laughed out of Slashdot because you “told the truth” and “disrupted revisionism”. I’ll link to this the next time Roy actually says that :)

    David Gerard Reply:

    You’re just bitter.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I know what you mean, but until Vista 7 is a boxed product, any promises that are made cannot be confirmed.

    David Gerard Reply:

    Oh yes. But, for instance, I doubt they’ll significantly cutfeatures from the beta. That beta was 100% advertising and “fergoshsakes try our new thing for yourself” – much like saying “fergoshsakes try our live CD” except more destructive of the host system.

    (Of course, the beta was “ultimate” and most people who get Windows 7 won’t get that. Let alone those who get a Win7 netbook because they liked the beta. I wonder what the backlash will be like.)

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I thought they might add antifeatures like ‘support’ for broadcasting flags and all that malarkey.

    David Gerard Reply:

    Quite plausible. Hopefully they’re smart enough to know that people will directly be comparing the “RC” marketing preview to the “Beta” marketing preview, and the final release to both. (Writing up an extensive comparison post will be a very easy spacefiller, in fact, and the tech press is *all* about filling space between the ads.) Microsoft could win big by making RC and final measurably faster than the beta (which just removing debug from the compilation would help with).

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s possible that they disabled some services at startup for agility, speed, and positive early reviews. Look back at Vista reviews from 2006. These were largely positive, so I’m getting a deja vu. In 2006 Microsoft paid Edelman to bribe bloggers and this time (2008) it was W-E.

    See the review/s of Vista 7 from Randall Kennedy. Microsoft and W-E blacklisted him, but he benchmarked Vista 7 anyway. He said it’s as bloated as Vista if tested properly (the scientific way).

    “My initial evaluation of Windows 7 shows that it’s really just Vista with a fresh coat of paint.”

    Randall Kennedy

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