Summary: A detailed rebuttal to an audiocast from The Guardian which ought to have misguided many listeners
THE other day we accused The Guardian of spreading Microsoft propaganda (or allowing Microsoft to do so without challenge). We asked for someone amongst our readers to volunteer to produce a transcript and eventually we got one. “I tried to add the time stamps at intervals to make it easier to find things later,” she wrote.
Our volunteer is actually a regular contributor called wallclimber. “I was surprised to hear Ubuntu mentioned once by Charles (towards the end),” she wrote, “but not surprised that it was ignored thereafter by Jack, and absolutely no mention was made of GNU/Linux at all, ever.” We add commentary to the following transcript in order to make this use of content fair.
Tech Weekly: A history of Windows and Windows 7
We find out how Windows 7 came to life and look at the history of Windows, plus Charles Arthur and Jack Schofield on the prospects for the new OS.
Hello, and a very warm welcome to this week’s Guardian Tech Weekly
Like a hopelessly premature firework, we’ll be lighting the blue touchpaper and standing well back as we enjoy a stunning display of the latest news, views and reviews from the world of technology. My name is Susie Weaser and I’m joined this week by the Statesman of Cynicism, Charles Arthur, and the Nation’s favorite pipe-smoker, Jack Schofield.
Susie Weaser: Now Charles, your favorite Firework?
Charles: Any of the ones that don’t fly off and hit you in the face.
Susie Weaser: And Jack, your Firework of choice?
Jack: Roman Candles, I suppose.
Susie Weaser: I’ll be ensuring you stand far enough away from the bonfire of news in your flammable clothing, as well as ensuring you dispose of your sparkler of technological analysis in the proper fashion. Enough of “Facts-nology”? Yeah. Then on with the show…
1:03: Susie Weaser: “You can’t fail to have noticed that last week saw the launch of Windows 7, Microsoft’s latest operating system, it surpassed both Harry Potter, and ANY Dan Brown offering to become the biggest grossing pre-order put out in Amazon’s history. And demand was such that several High Street stores opened at midnight to satisfy their customer’s Need for New.
Susie forgot to mention that, as we pointed out earlier this morning, Microsoft had spent $300,000,000 on hyping up Vista 7. Did the publishers of Harry Potter spend $300,000,000 on marketing?
1:25: However, to many, the biggest challenge Microsoft faced with this, was to undo the harm that previous version, Vista, had inflicted on its reputation. And to re-establish Microsoft as the dominating operating system in the ever-changing landscape, which now counts both Apple and Google as very serious competitors.”
Google? Where is GNU/Linux? Microsoft explicitly called GNU/Linux its #1 competitor. It has for years.
1:43: <—”I’m a PC” commercials are played here—>
1:58: One way they’ve found of addressing this has been to make it, if not future-proof, at least future compatible, making sure it will work seamlessly with the new generation of wholly touch-screen devices. Up until now they say that XP over Vista is now a very old operating system.
Touch-screens are not a new technology and they are a hardware feature going back to the eighties.
And, if you’ve seen the efforts, you’ll know they’ve also added several new features to make it easier to work with than Vista.
What would these be? Details, details. Please share. Be specific.
2:20: But, in order to understand where Microsoft are now, we need to take a look at where they’ve come from. Tech Weekly spoke to Laurence Painell, a Windows 7 UK product manager, Nick McGrath, Director of Commercial Market Strategy in the UK, and Julie Larson-Green, Vice President of Windows Experience.
“Windows Experience” is just a bunch of fluff going months back. We mentioned this here. Apple has a similar notion of “Mac experience”. It’s all PR and marketing.
2:37: My name is Nick McGrath and I’ve been with Microsoft now for 17 and 1/2 years. It’s always been called Windows, but if you put a copy of Windows version 1 next to a copy of Windows 7, you’d certainly see the evolution. I think the hardest thing you’d find is actually finding a computer that would run it.
The same can be said about any operating system. Today’s computers are several orders of magnitude faster; the same goes for storage capacity.
2:55: With Windows 1 you’re talking about a 16 bit computer. Either a black and white screen, or you may have even been fortunate to have a green and a slightly light green screen, some people had brown and orange. And that environment just did not meet consumer’s needs or business’ needs.
That’s not true. Maybe Windows did not suit them (it was behind the competition), but computers in general met many needs.
3:15: Most applications themselves were developed in isolation. You had a very specific application which was written in a very bespoke way, using a very bespoke development language. And this was a program which we brought out, which sat on top of MS-DOS, and in essence, it took people away from the command view interface and it introduced them to a graphical user interface.
3:41: And it was an environment that inherently had two problems. The first of those was flexibility; being able to deliver to the user what they expected, either in the business space, or the home space.
3:52: And the second one was very much around “Ease of Use” and it was really across those two different dynamics that we started off on the journey of Windows.
It ought to be added that many companies other than Microsoft were involved.
4:01: Hear Steve Ballmer launch Windows 1 in 1985.
4:05: <—Steve Ballmer Windows commercial is here—>
Steve Ballmer: “How much do YOU think this advanced operating environment is worth? WAIT just one minute before you answer! Now we can take this Ferrari and paste it right into Windows Write. NOW how much do you think Microsoft Windows is worth? DON’T ANSWER! Wait until you see Windows Write and Windows Paint all for just $99 dollars! That’s right! It’s 99 dollars! It’s an incredible value, but it’s true. It’s Windows from Microsoft! Order today!
4:32: (Nick McGrath speaks again): We introduced this amazing concept to the world, it was called the “GUI” – the Graphical User Interface.
Nope. Microsoft ‘stole’ the idea from other companies. Bill Gates is famously quoted as saying: “Hey, Steve, just because you broke into Xerox’s store before I did and took the TV doesn’t mean I can’t go in later and steal the stereo.”
4:39: Yes there were many organizations in the world that…who have built “windowing” style technologies. The GEM technology was one, certainly Apple with their first, the Macs that came out, the UNIX environment…uh…some of the graphical workstations that were built on technologies like Solaris, and so on and so forth…
5:00: Um, I think though, there is only one version…there is only one Windows.
5:06: We quickly evolved that, in 1987 we brought out Windows 2.0, and Windows 2.0 took the basis of Windows 1, and it built on top of it by introducing a thing called DDE, or Dynamic Data Exchange.
5:23: Now what that gave was the ability for one application to automatically talk to another application, which hitherto had not been simple or easy to actually do. The example here being the ability to have overlapping screens or windows.
5:35: We also introduced a software development kit. Which meant that, for third parties, people writing the software, and writing software for hardware for things like device drivers, there was a single developing kit that gave them the ability to be able to really get the most value out of Windows.
5:56: And it was really this basis that then we saw the entire independent software vendor community grow up around Windows…uh…um…which has exploded to where it is today.
6:06: [Ta-daaaa!] (narrator’s voice here): That was the sound that launched Windows 3 for millions more users as the next version of this system was launched in 1990. It brought with it icon groupings and important developments like the file and print managers. But as Windows became installed on many more computers, Microsoft then had to tackle the problem of how to get inexperienced users comfortable with using their machines.
6:30: (Nick McGrath speaks again) One of the biggest issues we had was teaching people how to use the mouse. Uh, and that’s where there was a product called Solitaire, it’s one of the world’s most exceptionally widely tested BETA programs in the entire planet. I can absolutely guarantee you that there are no bugs in their product, uh, it’s been extensively tested by millions of people over the years.
6:50: There is a serious side to why we built Solitaire. It actually uses every single mouse function that you can possibly do. Um…without, to the exclusion, obviously, of the right mouse click. But that’s about the only one that you can’t do.
7:02: So you click on a card to drag it and drop it, you double-click on it to move it from the bottom of the deck up onto the discard pile, you have pull-downs from menus. That was the reason why we built Solitaire.
7:14: (narrator’s voice here) The next milestone was a launch which departed from the architecture that had been present in previous versions and set out a pathway for the future; Windows NT.
7:24: (Nick McGrath speaks again) This was built by a gentleman called David Cutler, who we brought over from Digital. Windows NT stood for New Technology, and the reason why we built NT was very much with the business customer in mind.
7:38: But it was a ground-up operating system that was built without some of the encumbrances of MS-DOS, so it looked and felt the same, but the underlying heart of the…of the machine, the kernel of the operating system, if you will…
7:52: was significantly better, from a security point of view, a reliability point of view, and a stability perspective.
Many years later there is still neither reliability nor stability. Ask the London Stock Exchange.
8:00: (narrator’s voice here) The end of the ’90s and the turn of the Millenium saw a succession of updates to the OS, Windows 95 introduced the “Start” button to the interface, as well as “Plug and Play” compatibility when adding hardware. Windows 98, Windows 2000, and WindowsME all followed. Until in 2001, Windows XP was released.
8:21: (Nick McGrath speaks again) Windows XP stands for Experience, uh, and that is because…uh…this was when we effectively retired the Windows 9X or the MS-DOS versions of the Windows tree…uh…and now the future lay on top of the NT kernel. A primary benefits behind the Windows XP product was around reliability and security. I think that’s one of the main reasons why people who…who…who have looked at Windows XP and thought “Yes, this delivering what I need, and it’s providing me with the functionality I need.
Isn’t it funny that just after XP Microsoft decided to bring back and promote the command line (many references here), proving that UNIX/Linux mentality was right all along? Also, to claim that “Windows XP product was around reliability and security” is to ignore the sheer number of zombie PCs it has generated.
8:56: My name’s Laurence Painell, I’m a Windows 7 Product Manager here in the UK. We recognized that the…the XP product…uh…wasn’t gonna be the platform that we wanted to move forward with, from a security perspective…
In other words, false promises were made.
9:10: We understood the challenges that we had there, and we had to make some significant changes to the Windows platform, in order to make it more secure, and give us a foundation that we would be prepared to move forward with in the future.
9:20: [XP boot-up sound] Windows Vista pretty much provided that foundation. But we understood that the…the changes that we’d introduced in Windows Vista would cause bad challenges…
9:31: Especially around application device compatibility, because we changed some of the models that were provided in XP, fundamentally to give a more secure platform. Because XP was around for so long, estimations were for anywhere between 70 and 80 percent of the user install base when we released Windows Vista right to users running Windows XP.
9:47: So that meant that anybody could look around, they could go to somebody and say…uh, you know, I don’t understand what’s happening here, and they had somebody there who understood what was happening and could provide them with support and give them guidance on how to use the product.
9:58: <—more “Hello, I’m a PC” commercials are played here—>
Wait. Is this an advert or actual information? They blur the gap.
10:17: With the advent of Service Pack 1, which came out just over a year after the release of Windows Vista, we’d really addressed a lot of the compatibility issues. We…we gathered a lot of feedback in market from customers. We listened to what was said and obviously we tried to address as much of that as possible.
10:33: And, on the business side of things, we understood that maybe we didn’t do as good a job as we could have done with Vista…uh…in that space. And we learned a lot and we made sure that with Windows 7, that we’ve really changed the way in which we approach our audience.
10:49: We made it available to everybody worldwide in the BETA in the beginning of this year, and we also released the release candidate to everybody. So we’ve had 8 million testers, worldwide, of Windows 7.
To put things in perspective, Microsoft made a novel version of Windows available for download by anyone free of charge, yet desktop GNU/Linux, which is usually free of charge and has virtually no marketing, outpaced that number. Few people actually buy Windows; they buy a computer and are forced to get Windows with it (that’s where 80% of Windows licences are sold — OEMs).
11:00: We really picked up on the feedback that we gathered from Windows Vista.
11:02: (narrator’s voice here) Julie Larson-Green was instrumental in creating the version of Windows that was going to follow Vista; Windows 7. She’s the Vice President of Windows Experience, and oversaw the program managers who wrote the specifications for Windows 7, as well as the designers and researchers.
11:19: Julie Larson-Green: I joined the team in July 2006, and right away we started thinking about what we wanted to do for the next release, although Windows Vista wasn’t out the door, yet.
11:28: So I had time to learn about the team, and learn about the challenges with the product, or also about the challenges in the marketplace and what customers were looking for out of Windows…and kind of developed some hypotheses about what we should do, and we started looking at deeply into customer research.
11:44: We have over a billion customers, with Windows, so you can imagine that there’s a lot of…uh…conflicting information about what you should do, and what you shouldn’t do…and so we worked hard to understand the full scenario that people were trying to get done, and then try to make those much easier…so one of those things was how long it takes to get back to a document you were working on the day before, and so that led to the invention of “Jump Lists” on the taskbar, so…
Did Microsoft really “invent” that? Like many things in Vista 7, KDE4 has had analogous ideas for years. They were already implemented and released. One ought to wonder if Windows developers looked at KDE4 for inspiration. Comes vs Microsoft exhibits show that Microsoft did that with Mac OS X. It systematically copies with the approval of managerial staff.
12:12: Now, instead of going to the Start menu, starting the program, going to the file menu, finding the document, you just right-click on the icon on the taskbar and the documents you were using are all right there.
12:23: And so it reduces quite a number of steps and makes people more efficient.
12:27: [another Windows commercial here]
What, again? Who are they kidding?
12:33: (Julie speaking again) There’s lots of brainstorming, there’s lots of data collection and we have statisticians that look for [...] significance on trends and things like that, but we also do a lot of creative, drawing on paper, putting it in front of customers very early, before we’ve even started it in code.
12:50: One of the things that we do is, kind of, how principles…to come up with a set of principles of how we want the product to feel.
12:57: And so one of the principles we had in Windows 7 was to have you feel like you’re in control. And that the computer was performing a service for you and was being a helpful friend or butler to get you to what you wanted to do. Rather than trying to tell you, being the annoying friend saying there’s a new Defender definitions download, or there’s this or there’s that coming out of the notification tray…
This became Microsoft’s Vista 7 slogan, “was my idea.”
13:18: so you have a series of those things, and then we take it back to customers and double check that we were on the right track.
13:23: [another "I'm a PC" Windows commercial here]
What is the purpose of all these adverts? Free marketing? It repeats itself just minutes apart.
13:30: (narrator’s voice here) The new “Snap” feature is something that appears to be a rather, at least, small and simple new feature in this version of Windows. But actually involved quite a bit of work.
13:38: (Julie speaking again) Being able to put two documents side-by-side, snap them to the edges of the screen, seems a very straight forward. We knew the number of documents that people, from our data, the number of documents people tend to have on the screen. But when you get into it, there’s all of the…How close does it get to the side of the screen before it “snaps”? – How can you reduce the amount of accidental snapping? – How…what are the different ways we’re going to help people snap? And shouldn’t there be keyboard access for snapping?…um, and we had a lot of trial and error around both the location of the mouse to the edge of the screen, then having an outline where it shows you a little bit before you actually do it, that it’s gonna happen.
14:18: Those were all things that we had to refine over time, like any feedback to people until it felt, to most folks, that it’s pretty natural and just does what you think it’s gonna do, and no surprises.
It would be useful to compare that to 3-D features (desktop effects) in KDE, GNOME, and Enlightenment. These do not receive the attention they deserve from the press.
14:28: (narrator’s voice here) Though it’s unlikely that Windows 7 will have a lifespan as long as XP’s six years, it’s likely to see significant developments in how we interact with machines. Notably the introduction of “Touchscreen” capabilities to the PC. Microsoft has built this capability into Windows 7, but how were they able to plan and prepare for this, when they were building the operating system years before the release date, which itself is years before the introduction of the technology?
Nope. Touch-screens are an old, old technology. Additionally, GNU/Linux supported this before Windows.
14:55: (Julie speaking again) One of the fun things about working on Windows is you have a vast ecosystem of hardware developers, and software developers that you can work with to come up with ideas and things that are happening, and kind of help start a trend, and so Touch Computing is something that we felt we started in Windows 7, and we worked closely with the Microsoft Surface Team, which had built the Surface Table with a lot of Touch interface…
Speaking of Surface, how is that coming along? Microsoft was going to kill the product, but Bill Gates insisted against it. Right now it exists just in the pages of history and Microsoft is hunting down critics of Surface.
15:19: …and we picked up a lot of ques from that. Then we worked with several different screen manufacturers, and several of the OEMs. To start the trend you have to be a good example of the trend. So, Windows itself has to be a…a good use of your finger, and that you can use, or multiple fingers to manipulate the user experience.
Anyone who has used such screens for more than a few minutes will know that they tire the arms. There are real practical limitations, but Microsoft uses this as a gimmick nonetheless; it’s good for demos. If nothing is new with the software, then some hardware bling is desperately required.
15:37: And so, we did a lot of work there – we worked very closely with the Windows Live Team to…to Touch-enable things like Photo Gallery and things like that. But we also get surprised by what people bring back to you.
15:49: So we worked with a company called AutoDesk, and they have had some very interesting CAD software that they’ve built…uh…where you can extrude the actual item by dragging your fingers out and it redraws everything.
16:06: Uh, Corel have done things in their applications as well, and so it’s really fun to see how it sparks the imagination of how you can interact with the computer and the new things that you can do.
16:16: (narrator’s voice here) So now that Windows 7 is out the door, the planning starts for the next version. But what does the future hold for Windows? Will operating systems be as important when an increasing number of tasks are moving into the Cloud? Julie Lawson-Greene has the last word on that, in a minute, but first, Nick McGraw again on the prospects for Windows.
16:35: (Nick McGrath) If I look at the future of Windows, as it’s about 3 screens in the cloud. We have Windows phones now, and the latest version of Windows on the phone has just released. A laptop screen, or a desktop screen, as well as on a television screen when it comes to a media center, and we will support all of that using cloud-based services.
17:00: (Julie speaking again) I never understand when people say “I want just a browser” because the data shows that that is not the case. In a six month period on the BETA we had over 800 thousand unique applications used by our customers that were on the BETA. So there’s still a reason, many reasons, to want to connect to, or to run our PC operating system. Of course you need a PC operating system to run a browser on and connect devices to it to print and things like that, so…
Julie conveniently forgot to mention that those users of the beta are not average users; they are computer experts for the most part and tossing in statistics like “800 thousand unique applications” is not only admission of spying on users and rival software vendors (Windows Update has done that for years); it is also a case of using the black art of selective statistics.
17:27: I don’t see a world where the operating system becomes less important any time soon.
“Don’t see” or “don’t hope”?
17:32: (Hostess, Susie Weaser, speaks) That was Laurence Painell, Nick McGrath, and Julie Lawson-Green, for Microsoft. Now Jack, you’ve had a chance to play with the product, just briefly, what are your initial thoughts on it?
17:40: (Jack Schofield) Well the initial impression is how much it looks like Vista. Which I think is…uh…the thing I’m not supposed to say.
Why not? Honesty counts in journalism.
17:48: It is rather smooth, rather powerful, rather nice.
These are not quantifiable measures. It’s a bunch of vague concepts and colourful adjectives.
I think Michael Dell said it will make you love your computer again.
Michael Dell wants to sell many new computers. What else is new?
And I couldn’t…I don’t love my computer, but I understand what he means.
Wait wait wait wait wait wait. Microsoft Jack uses Windows and now he admits not loving his computer? He ought to speak to Mac users, who mostly feel differently.
It’s a much more engaging operating system and I think it probably will be much more successful than Vista, although, of course, that depends on how many people buy it.
“Think it probably”? Wait a second. So he has used Vista 7 for a while, he says it’s like Vista and he only thinks that it will be more successful than Vista, probably Microsoft’s worst-ever release? Well, Steve Ballmer feels similarly.
18:06: (Hostess, Susie Weaser, speaks) Absolutely. Is it the kind of products that you’d recommend people go and purchase immediately, or should they be waiting until they upgrade their PC when it’s likely to come bundled?
18:15: (Jack Schofield) Well, I think most people only upgrade to a new version of Windows when they buy a new PC…um, that’s historically always been true. I don’t see any particular reason to change that now. I mean, there are people who are early adopters, who are enthusiasts, who have probably already run out and bought it, and that’s fine. I mean there’s nothing to stop people from buying it…
Feeling the excitement? Not really. Even fans of Microsoft lack enthusiasm.
18:37: But…um, Windows XP is going to be around for a very long time. There are, you know, more than a billion Windows users out there. So for the forseeable future most of those are still going to be on XP.
These numbers come from Microsoft. They should not be repeated without independent verification.
18:49: On the other hand, XP’s clearly going to go away, it’s clearly doomed, and so, you know, you might as well face the fact that you, you’re going to um…move at some point, and do it at the most convenient time. That might be now, it might be in two years time, but that’s entirely up to the person who’s using the computer.
It is quite likely that most GNU/Linux users are former XP users. Great stuff.
19:07: (Hostess, Susie Weaser, speaks) Okay, so aside from what’s available in terms of Microsoft in the market at the moment, how does it stack up what else is available. Apple have recently launched Snow Leopard, There’s an Ubuntu update coming this week. Charles, can Windows 7 compete?
19:20: (Charles Arthur speaks) First of all, I just want to go back to the, uh, the point that might have had a lot of people sort of jumping out of their seats, where the guy said “We introduced people to the Graphical Interface. Not true, I’m sorry here, Apple did that! Uh…GEM was doing that, Digital…Digital Research, I think was the name…(Jack interrupts Charles)…there’s another one which was DizzyOn (Busy on?)…(Charles) Yeah, there were TONS of GUIs.
Well done, Charles Arthur.
19:42: I think for, uh, for Microsoft to be claiming that they invented the GUI or introduced people to the GUI is hardly…
19:49: (Jack interrupts Charles) Hold on, Charles, people who work [...] in the industry obviously knew graphical user interfaces, and no way did Microsoft invent, or get into market first. But if you go on to 1990, Windows 3.1 was the first mass-market graphical user interface, in terms of volume shipping, and so it’s kind of reasonable to say that they did introduce, you know, the man in the streets to…
There he goes again. Microsoft Jack spinning.
20:18: (Charles) It’s just one of those…it’s one of those little things of sort of ignoring, ignoring everything else that’s around, which…which is, which is easily done, but which I think sort of contains the seeds of…of a sort of downfall, Microsoft is so…is so big now that it’s at risk of simply becoming really [...] and the whole, the whole that Windows 7 is being thought about and presented is indicative of how big it’s got…
20:46: I’ve just been looking at the [...] the results that they announced on Friday after, of course, the Vista launch…sorry, the Windows 7 launch, it’s really interesting because looking at the sector there’s a fall in revenues and in profits for pretty much all of the sectors – as a fall in revenue for the Windows and Windows Live, of nearly 2 billion dollars. Uh, and there’s a fall in profits of nearly the same, sort of…well, 1.5 billion dollars. These are big numbers that they are losing here…
Indeed. Well done, Charles Arthur. We wrote about those numbers last week.
21:14: And I think that, that Microsoft is gonna have to face, well I’m not sure if they can face the fact, actually, but other people perhaps that are gonna realise that it’s become so big that, as you say, even if Windows 7 is the most incredibly successful product, it’s not gonna displace XP, and actually I think there’s a question of where are people gonna go? Are they really going to go up to Windows 7, or are they gonna start looking around and just get a little netbook?
21:38: And actually, will they find that the problems of intrusion and viruses and Trojans mean that Ubuntu could actually get some sort of hold?
We are already seeing those who look at Vista 7 and turn away to GNU/Linux.
21:47: (Jack) Well I think they are going to go to Windows 7, or Windows 8, because XP is not going to survive the next five years. And, um…you know, the fact is that Microsoft does do a better job of producing a mass-market operating system than anybody else. More polish, more depth, more applications, easier to use…
“More polish”? Come on, Jack. Did you try Vista RTM? And why on Earth does he introduce vapourware (Vista Eight) again? The Microsoft crowd does a lot of that these days, especially when the present becomes hard to defend. A leap from reality to fantasy.
22:10: Um…and it has roughly 96% of the market. Now 96% of the market isn’t going to go away.
More lies from Microsoft Jack. Even Microsoft has abandoned these lies. Here is Steve Ballmer’s presentation slide (from 2009). It shows GNU/Linux as bigger than Apple on the desktop, internationally.
Dell has already slammed Microsoft for FUD. It says that one third of its sub-notebooks are shipped with GNU/Linux and the return rates are the same for all operating systems.
And anybody who’s bothered about viruses can upgrade to Windows 7 and will find themselves more secure. And, because it’s still Windows underneath, the amount of relearning they have to do, and the ease of upgrade…including getting, you know, getting the applications to work, is much lower than for any other system. And on the grounds of the line of least resistance, um, I see, you know, Windows continuing for the foreseeable future.
More lies, this time about security. Have a look at:
- Cybercrime Rises and Vista 7 is Already Open to Hijackers
- Vista 7: Broken Apart Before Arrival
- Department of Homeland Security ‘Poisoned’ by Microsoft; Vista 7 is Open to Hijackers Again
- Vista 7 Security “Cannot be Fixed. It’s a Design Problem.”
- Why Vista 7 Could be the Least Secure Operating System Ever
- Journalists Suggest Banning Windows, Maybe Suing Microsoft Over DDoS Attacks
- Vista 7 Vulnerable to Latest “Critical” Flaws
- Vista 7 Seemingly Affected by Several More “Critical” Flaws This Month
- Reason #1 to Avoid Vista 7: Insecurity
- Vista 7 Left Hijackable Again (Almost a Monthly Recurrence)
22:43: (Hostess, Susie Weaser, speaks) Since Microsoft’s last launch, we’ve seen a massive rise in cloud computing, and specifically Google are now beginning to talk about their Chrome OS, which makes way from…uh, basically puts the user’s workspace onto the Internet. Now, Charles, given that Google are pioneers in this area, can Microsoft sufficiently catch up to make Windows a true player in cloud computing?
Actually, Chrome OS uses Linux. It remains to be seen if Google are really “pioneers in this area”. And besides, this whole thing they call “cloud computing” is nothing new; it’s just the notion of connecting to a server to do work with data that’s on it.
23:03: (Charles) That’s difficult, because its entire DNA is built around people having computers which are storing things locally. It’s not built into the DNA that when you log-in, that everything’s about having stuff elsewhere. I mean you can say much the same, actually, about the way that Apple’s OS is designed. I think it’s interesting that, for example, in the last few weeks we’ve heard of big contract wins for Google.
23:35: Um, there’s Rent-a-Kill, for example, which is taking 35,000 seats, as they’re called. And it’s gotta be going with Google Apps for those. I mean, The Guardian, in fact, is gone away from using Microsoft Office, now it uses Open Office and Google Apps as well. CAP Gemini’s also going Google Apps and [...] I think there’s gonna be more of these cases and I think there’s quite a challenge coming from Google here, and it’s quite hard for Microsoft to react to it, because…if you look at the numbers again for it’s recent financials, its online division actually made a loss of 480 million dollars on revenues of 490 million dollars. So basically, for every dollar it was getting in, it was paying out two.
24:18: So, it doesn’t seem to quite have the hang of it yet.
One has to wonder how Microsoft Jack felt about his employer abandoning Microsoft Office and moving to Google+Free software (OpenOffice.org).
24:20: (Hostess, Susie Weaser, speaks) Hmmm, Jack, what’s your opinion on this? Can Microsoft catch up with Google?
24:24: (Jack) It’s…I think it is a very complicated situation. On the financial results there…one of the reasons the Windows revenue is down is that there’s 1.5 billion of deferred revenues, from uh…you know, giving people free copies of Windows 7 when they buy Vista.
That’s the talking point used consistently by all the Microsoft apologists. Can Jack explain why Microsoft saw very large drops in the past two quarters? The “deferred revenues” excuse does really not apply to those.
You’re certainly going to see these figures rebound. When it comes to the cloud, Microsoft is heavily investing in the cloud, so I think it’s much too soon to…to decide which way…which way that’s going to go. Especially since Microsoft’s Azure cloud-based system will, ultimately enable people to move Windows applications to the cloud.
If Microsoft has a viable response to Google, then how come the huge marketing blitz generated nothing of substance?
25:06: But I’m not…I’m not actually terribly sold on cloud computing, personally. Giving somebody else your data is not my idea of a wise move from the point of view of protecting yourself.
Well, he must have seen what happens when Microsoft meets “cloud”. See our posts about the Sidekick danger, e.g.:
- Microsoft Pink is Already Declared Dead and Danger Dies with Permanent Data Loss
- Microsoft Sued for Data Loss
- Lawsuits Against Microsoft Turn to Class Action Lawsuit While Microsoft Mobiles Become Dying Breed
- Microsoft Recovers Sidekick Data? Not So Fast!
25:17: (Hostess, Susie Weaser, speaks) Yeah, well a controversial subject we’re gonna have to…have to have a whole new show on, I think, by the sounds of it. Believe it or not there’s been more going on than just the launch of Windows 7.
25:25: Here’s the roundup of the tech news headlines.
…………..(The Windows History segment ends here)…………..
Any more thoughts? █