“The purpose of announcing early like this is to freeze the market at the OEM and ISV level. In this respect it is JUST like the original Windows announcement…
“One might worry that this will help Sun because we will just have vaporware, that people will stop buying 486 machines, that we will have endorsed RISC but not delivered… So, Scott, do you really think you can fight that avalanche?”
–Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft
Summary: Microsoft’s next operating systems for desktops and mobiles are still in “vapourware” status, but Microsoft uses these to “freeze the market”
OUR coverage of “Windows 8″ vapourware has already shown ludicrous ideas that Microsoft is so famous for. Classic examples include WinFS. Microsoft consistently over-promises and under-delivers. Veterans in this industry have already become familiar with those tricks, so they can assume Microsoft is Pinocchio and thus reject Vista 7 ahead of its release.
Now that businesses ponder skipping Vista 7 (some take a look at GNU/Linux), Microsoft must immediately create an illusion of inevitability for the Vista* family (Vista 7 is just Vista with a .1 at the end). The Vista 8 hype carries on:
Windows 8, and So It Begins
Just in October, Microsoft mentioned Windows 8 in a number of job posts…
Ars Technica also plays along and participates in vapourware, again. Our reader Goblin presents a skeptic’s point of view:
Did you buy Vista?
Did you then buy 7 to replace Vista because it wasn’t fit for purpose?
well-done! Now start saving for Windows 8! Microsoft is allegedly looking for a Senior Program Manager for Windows 8 (amongst other roles).
Remember what Microsoft was telling you about Vista when it wanted you to buy it? Well, forget all that because now it wants you to buy 7, its forget Vista and buy 7…
Yes, Microsoft always talks about future versions. Its secret manuals
[PDF] indicate that “In the face of strong competition, Evangelism’s focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X.”
Microsoft uses the same tactics in hope of revitalising the failing Windows Mobile (WM) franchise. WM 7 is currently the vapourware of WM because WM 6.5 was largely rejected and Sidekick was essentially killed by a recent catastrophe that will keep carriers away from now on. See:
When it comes to WM 7, other than estimated date of arrival, little or nothing at all is said about how/why it can turn things around. It won’t. In a new article from CRN, Windows Mobile is being labeled “Microsoft’s new Vista”. It’s not a compliment.
Microsoft’s channel partners, meanwhile, are seeing dwindling demand for Windows Mobile-related business. “We’ve stopped working with Windows Mobile because our client base isn’t asking for it,” said Stuart Crawford, business development manager at Bulletproof Infotech, a solution provider in Red Deer, Alberta. “We’ve gone to Blackberry internally, and we’re seeing a lot of clients asking for iPhone. I’m a strong Microsoft advocate, but there are too many challenges with Windows Mobile.”
So Windows Mobile — just like Sidekick — may have missed its window of opportunity. One of the fastest-growing platforms in this area is Linux/Android. █
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Summary: Two giant companies continue to neglect or even reject progression, leading to irate customers
ONE MONTH ago we showed that Microsoft and Citigroup joined forces, leading back to stories about Citibank blocking GNU/Linux users. Banks should really be big advocates of GNU/Linux because it saves them money and makes customers safer. But not for Citibank. As the Consumerist shows, Citibank rejects business with GNU/Linux users. There is further, rather damning proof:
For some reason, Citibank won’t let customers using Linux computers log in to their online accounts. Adam argues that in 2009 this doesn’t make sense, especially when no other major corporate website blocks him like this.
Citibank is not the only “anti-Freedom software” company. Some months ago we showed — right from the horse’s mouth in fact — that Tesco was promoting Windows Vista (and excluding GNU/Linux from marketing) because of a form of Microsoft kickbacks. Our reader ThistleWeb has just commented and made some recommendations for Tesco, which is one of the largest chains here in the UK (products ranging from groceries to finance).
It’s worth reminding readers at this point that Linux is completely free. You can install it on as many PCs as you like, all free of charge. Microsoft charge “per PC”, they also now have “family packs” where they let you install Windows 7 on a whopping three PCs for only £150. Windows is NEVER free, even if the vendors choose not to tell you how much you’re paying for it. Not only is Linux free to install on as many PCs as you like, you can also distribute copies legally freely to anyone you like, who can in turn install on as many PCs as they like and redistribute if they want.
There are no conditions on the use of the software either, so if you use an office suite to do college homework on, and have a side income of being an ebay trader, Open Office does not care, where Microsoft Office will likely be installed as a “home and student” license. Does being a trader count as “commercial use”? If so, Microsoft want more money from you.
If being free of cost is not enough, Open Office also uses proper implementations of open standards like ODF which means any documents you create in Open Office you will open, edit etc perfectly in any other open standard office suite like KOffice. Microsoft pay lip service to ODF only because large government customers are demanding it. They reluctantly offer partial support which was never intended to work properly, as they tried to get their own OOXML approved as a replacement.Microsoft’s corruption of the ISO with ballot stuffing etc is a whole subject on it’s own, so feel free to explore that if it interests you.
In the year 2009 there is no reason to exclude GNU/Linux and Free software. Citibank and Tesco are either living in the past or inside Microsoft’s back pocket. █
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“I’m an American; I believe in the American way, I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don’t think we’ve done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat.”
–Jim Allchin, President of Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft
Summary: New disclosures from the White House reveal that Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates are regular visitors
Microsoft’s influence in the United States (US) government is a subject that we cover quite a lot. It only makes sense to do so if Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer blackmails Obama, for example. Steve Ballmer and his wife also paid Obama at a personal capacity. Breakfast with Michelle Obama, anyone?
Well, according to the White House Web site (the new Web site runs GNU/Linux and Free software, having recently dumped Windows), transparency truly comes.
This new disclosures page states: “As part of President Obama’s commitment to government transparency, we are providing records of White House visitors on an ongoing basis online. ”
Watch who came knocking:
BALLMER STEVEN A U84453 71597 VA 4/9/2009 7:31:13 PM B0402 4/9/2009 9:06:25 PM B0402 4/4/2009 2:47:13 PM 4/9/2009 7:25:00 PM 4/9/2009 11:59:00 PM 6 RC WIN 4/4/2009 2:49:01 PM RC GODFREY HARRISON WH WESTWING GODFREY HARRISON WESTWINGTOUR
BALLMER STEVEN A U04221 74703 VA 6/3/2009 10:43:04 AM A0401 6/3/2009 11:57:11 AM A0401 6/2/2009 5:55:23 PM 6/3/2009 11:00:00 AM 6/3/2009 11:59:00 PM 13 DC WIN 6/2/2009 5:59:33 PM DC SUMMERS LAWRENCE WH WW JUNG BRYAN
BALLMER STEVEN A U02528 74697 VA 6/3/2009 12:03:01 PM K0102 6/3/2009 4:50:42 PM K0102 5/28/2009 2:25:10 PM 6/3/2009 11:45:00 AM 6/3/2009 11:59:00 PM
Groklaw interprets the above as follows: “Steve Ballmer requested and got appointments once in April and twice in June, if I’ve read the records accurately.”
According to TechFlash, Bill Gates still visits the White House, just like Ballmer:
What exactly did Bill Gates discuss with Barack Obama in the Oval Office in March?
For the record, Steve Ballmer is also on the list of White House visitors, but it doesn’t look like the Microsoft CEO got any face-to-face POTUS time of his own.
Barack Obama’s relationship with Bill Gates is nothing new. They met before. Bill Gates and his father have legions of lobbyists running rampant around there. These include an infamous chap called Jack Abramoff.
One of our readers says that Microsoft is a “political movement” — a suspicion which may be defensible using evidence and deeds.
In light of the recent Mississippi settlement [1, 2], read the following new press release. Is it maybe related to the Mississippi settlement? Somewhere, somehow? It would be absurd for the Mississippi Department of Information Technology to contract Microsoft, which they have just fined severely for crimes. It still serves as a good example of Microsoft’s brunt in the US. █
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Summary: Xbox hardware failures still a real problem; Sky on Xbox Live goes belly-up; Sony gains features and sales at Microsoft’s expense
XBOX has already cost Microsoft billions of dollars in losses, but the company carries on. It insists it must evolve as old business models gradually dry up and perish. Yahoo! has this new piece which almost empirically confirms that failure rates are still a major issue.
My Xbox 360: Dead again
Instead, I’m sitting here looking at yet another dead Xbox 360, and wondering: Do I bother buying some bubble wrap and a cardboard box to send this thing back? Should I just cough up $200 and start over with a new Xbox? Or should I call it quits and go all-in with my PlayStation 3, which hasn’t skipped a beat since I bought it more than a year ago?
Microsoft had hooked up with Sky (UK broadcasting) and this is what customers received:
“The service has been suspended due to an unforeseen technical issue.” Sky said in a statement. “Sky Player engineers are hard at work to resolve the problem. We expect to have the full service available on Wednesday.”
“Microsoft removes Sky on Xbox Live,” according to another source. How typical.
Microsoft has said that it is “investigating” the technical problems delaying the launch of Sky Player on Xbox Live.
To make matters worse (for Microsoft), PS3 has climbed to first place in the United States, Microsoft’s home ground, and now it gains Netflix support, whereas Microsoft has no reactionary offering.
Xbox is good news to GNU/Linux because it helps Microsoft go broke faster; as long as Microsoft attacks GNU/Linux as it most certainly does [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], to wish harm to Xbox is not schadenfreude, it’s a simple case of common sense. █
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Summary: Microsoft continues exploiting children to market products that have nothing to do with children
MICROSOFT was slammed last month for using innocent children to sell its products. In separate posts, we have also shown how Microsoft uses sentimental blackmail to improve sales. Examples include:
No doubt we will be writing again about Microsoft’s obsession with using kids to advance its products, even kids that do not understand what they do, let alone what company with a criminal past they are helping. In the following new case, Microsoft uses kids to advance a Google challenger that lies to its users. TechCrunch publishes: “Microsoft Tortures Little Kids With Bing Jingle”
As you can see in the video below, Microsoft has forced a bunch of middle schoolers in Pennsylvania to learn and perform Mann’s Bing song. The horror. It’s hard to watch this without immediately thinking about parents who accept money to allow their child to be sponsored. Is this the future of branding?
Could it be any worse than the "Family Guy" advert-as-a-show — an arrangement which was fortunately called off?
One person thinks that Microsoft’s latest video may be “the strangest Microsoft video ever.”
Microsoft spent very little money and received much publicity. However, some new footage of the Bing jingle being performed has struck me in the eyes and buried itself in my worried parts.
You see, it features many, many children from the Keith Valley Middle School in the non-Amish region of Pennsylvania singing the jingle, dancing to the jingle and wearing uniform T-shirts imported from the Left Coast.
Later on we will show how Microsoft spends $300,000,000 promoting Vista 7, even using bribery. █
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Summary: Microsoft President and Microsoft do a little trick and backtrack after backlash from investors
ONE month ago we wrote about the Elop scandal which got Microsoft shareholders furious. Well, Microsoft — probably realising that it had a true scandal in its hands — seems to decided to correct things. Only the Seattle press seems to have covered this though.
Complaints arose after Microsoft disclosed in a September proxy that it took a bath on real estate deals made to recruit Business Division President Stephen Elop. Relocating him to Redmond cost $4.1 million in part because Microsoft covered the loss Elop took when he sold his California home.
Recall the story of Martin Bean. █
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Summary: This post looks at the insult Microsoft-sponsored studies really are; it also looks at high-level Microsoft staff (incoming and outgoing) and which companies are affected
EARLIER this month we showed that Microsoft had paid IDC (IDG at another level [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]) rather handsomely in order to assist with lobbying of governments. This has hitherto been covered in:
- Microsoft Pays IDC (Again) to Assist Government Lobbying
- Microsoft Already Uses IDC Study it Paid for to Further Digitally Colonise India and Portugal
- IDC, Gartner, NPD, and Other Corruptible ‘Analysts’
We ought not to repeat the above examples or show what was contained in the propaganda; previous posts did this already, but curiously we are starting to find the backlash, which apparently comes from concerned citizens who come across the self-serving, self-glorifying propaganda from Microsoft/IDC (with lobbying in mind). Here is one new rant from a rather respectable source.
As Microsoft Goes, So Goes Nation?
Turns out we were wrong, for it is solely Microsoft’s recovery that is being hoped for (presumably by Steve Ballmer and the population of Greater Seattle, if no one else). Nowhere in the article was there any mention of hopes for a broad-based U.S. recovery. Nor did the article speculate on whether Microsoft, the General Motors of the software industry, might help pull the rest of the economy out of the hole.
Microsoft is not recovering; its revenue and profit have sunk and more layoffs are rumoured. But Microsoft is awfully busy selling the “too big to fail” illusion to prospective customers; thus the sudden need for Microsoft-sponsored IDC propaganda. It ought to be added that nothing unusual has happened here; they do this all the time.
“The side that benefits adopts a different, more convenient perspective than that of the exploited.”The author above rightly mentioned the “Greater Seattle” population. It is known to many that the Seattle press is as biased as its readers; they mostly love Microsoft, but who in a royal family, for instance, would ever rant about an expanding empire that pays off? The side that benefits adopts a different, more convenient perspective than that of the exploited. It eliminates guilt.
In the past week we found out that the Seattle-based Amazon is hooking up with Microsoft (several Amazon managers came from Microsoft in recent years). This is worth keeping track of.
We have also found out that NPR gets a Microsoft senior as president and CEO at a corporate sponsorship firm.
National Public Media, the corporate sponsorship firm for NPR, PBS and Boston-based WGBH, named Stephen Moss its president and chief executive officer yesterday.
More in the article “NPR Taps Former Microsoft, DoubleClick Exec To Head Sponsorship Arm”
By mere coincidence, NPR did a special (and long) glorification segment about Bill Gates this week; so, this is a valid reason to at least keep track of who runs the show/s. Razorfish seniors run back to Microsoft after the sale and another ad executive from Microsoft is now joining AOL. He will serve as the advertising vice president in Europe. This gives him (and maybe his former employer/convictions) power over the media.
“By mere coincidence, NPR did a special (and long) glorification segment about Bill Gates this week…”And lastly, speaking of media, Murdoch and Gates get a little more effectively connected with the joining of MSN and MySpace (For audio).
To name a more benign new appointment, a Microsoft manager lands in Starbucks too, but Starbucks is not in technology. █
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