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

02.22.10

Microsoft’s Gadgets/Hardware Business is Collapsing (Zune, Xbox, Mobile)

Posted in Boycott Novell, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 12:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Gates’s refusal to adopt Adobe’s technology had something to do with money—Gates was not feeling cash rich in 1984—but it had even more to do with Gates’s persistent delusion that Windows be like the Mac.”

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul

PCB

Summary: Microsoft’s money sinks continue to leak; present and foreseen future indicate that Zune, Xbox, and Windows Mobile are still going down the sewer

Zune

Modeling Microsoft’s mobile business based on the Zune is an atrocious mistake to make because the Zune was a disaster whose sales decline at an alarming rate. Some time earlier this month we wrote about how Zune deleted music and Microsoft is now acknowledging the problem by assigning a firm to deal with it.

Critics of subscription music have often to pointed to licensing as a major problem. Without guaranteed access, the services can often lose significant value if a licensing dispute takes certain music down or if technical issues prevent access for long stretches of time.

This is the (at least) third time Microsoft screws customers when it comes to music. Previously, there were PlaysForSure and MSN Music.

Xbox

Another area where Microsoft has failed quite miserably (although Microsoft tries to hide it) is Xbox. Sony is laughing at Microsoft’s expense and bashes its policies.

Sony’s PR strategy in the console war seems to be to point out that Microsoft is a devilish, top hat-wearing fat cat lording over the population with its giant dollar-sign labeled sacks of cash.

Back in April, Sony bashed Microsoft for purchasing most of its exclusive titles rather than creating them, and with the recent release of Mass Effect 2 has gone back to those same tactics. Rob Dyer, SCEA Senior Vice President of Publisher Relations, told IndustryGamers that Sony “counters” Xbox 360 exclusives with its own first-party games, which Microsoft simply has no answer to.

The English-speaking press is fixated on US-only market share, so the overall picture can be very deceiving. Microsoft has the only console not from Japan and the US military prefers to buy stock from a US company (even if it’s really made in Asia) only to be declined:

Microsoft restricting Xbox 360 units from Army because the sale wouldn’t give them enough money?

[...]

Argue if you want, but the Xbox 360 with it’s cheap hardware, massive online gameplay and options for scenarios, and rather robust library of war games means it’s a pretty good fit as a training tool for the fine men and women training our country. Common sense also makes a might appearance. It’s simple actually. Why should the Army spend upwards of $1,000 on training computers for each and ever soldier if an Xbox 360 can be had for significantly less and be used for multiple soldiers? It’s basic math.

Microsoft was selling the consoles at a loss for quite some time. And to make matters worse, the defective design cost it billions of dollars and annoyed a lot of customers.

Here is one example of “hard luck” with Microsoft’s Xbox 360. It’s from two weeks ago:

Many in the gaming community are familiar with a common pitfall of the Xbox 360. Gamers know the syndrome simply as “the red rings of death.” The issue is common and easily remedied, and is a problem that the newest generations of Xbox 360s are supposedly free of.

So I rested easy after purchasing my 360 Arcade and a 20-gigabyte hard drive last winter, knowing that the folks at Microsoft had eliminated this frustrating problem.

Much to my dismay, I recently powered-on my system and was greeted with a distressing noise. I waited and waited but the system never advanced past the logo screen. After 5 minutes of troubleshooting, the screen flashed to black with the words “error 67” emblazoned near the bottom.

Shit, I thought. Red rings of death I can deal with, but what is this ‘error 67?’ This experience would lead me to verify what I had long suspected: Microsoft isn’t as keen on satisfying their customers as they may appear to be.

Another such error is being reported:

Players face a lot of technical errors. Microsoft must offer some kind of substitutes for their products when they simply stop working. Red ring errors can be solved but technical errors like “error 67” is difficult to tackle.

Yes, Microsoft still has a defect problem in its hands and retailers react. Not good, not good at all.

Mobile

The Windows Mobile business is also a money sink and the latest version of Windows Mobile (Microsoft has attempted to rename/rebrand it) is rather disappointing for many reasons that we wrote about before. Could it be the end of the line? Here are some opinions:

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Series: Too little too late?

If you assume Microsoft’s mobile platform share further erodes the Windows Phone 7 launch will have to be big to compete. That’s why you hear the stray rumors about Microsoft buying Research in Motion.

Windows Mobile 7: Too Late to Save Microsoft?

Microsoft is not too big to fail, and it has done so spectacularly in the past. While we have high hopes that whatever Steve Ballmer shows off on Monday can revive the Windows Mobile name, Microsoft will need a hell of a product and brutish PR to overcome the barriers it has already laid out for itself by sauntering into the marketplace years after the game leaders.

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series Is Programmed To Fail

The two bullets that Microsoft shot at its feet are:

1) Windows Phone 7 Series is a non-free or Slaveware* operating system. That means OEMs don’t get to see the code. OEMs can not customize or tweak the software to meet their customer’s needs.

2) Licence Fee. Microsoft’s deep pockets owe a lot to the heavy license fee Microsoft charges for its Operating Systems and Office Suites. Windows Phone 7 Series continues to follow the same pattern. OEMs will have to pay a license fee to Microsoft to use the operating system, along with the conditions that they can’t change the code.

The gainers at the moment are UNIX and Linux, so Microsoft seems to be copying them:

Microsoft Mimics Apple

Microsoft Lags Behind Apple, Again…

IPhone, Android Gain Market-Share at Microsoft and Palm’s Expense

Here is an interesting observation from the IRC channel. Microsoft is already up to vapourware tricks on the face of it (and Microsoft Windows Phone 7 won’t actually be out before the end of the year or one year from now).

oiaohm http://blogs.zdnet.com/gadgetreviews/?p=12325&tag=content;col1  Boy idiots and MS press releases. Feb 20 20:32
phIRCe-BNc Title: Report: Microsoft, Asus partner on mobile phone | The Toybox | ZDNet.com .::. Size~: 101.25 KB Feb 20 20:32
oiaohm http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2010/feb10/02-15MWC10PR.mspx Feb 20 20:32
phIRCe-BNc Title: Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Series: New phones designed for life in motion to debut at holiday 2010. .::. Size~: 49.47 KB Feb 20 20:32
schestowitz *LOL* http://techdirt.com/articles/20100219/0353358240.shtml Feb 20 20:32
phIRCe-BNc Title: Could Looking At London’s 2012 Olympics Logo Land People In Prison? | Techdirt .::. Size~: 49.56 KB Feb 20 20:32
oiaohm Until the phones are made just because someone has partnered does not mean they will make phone. Feb 20 20:33
oiaohm They have to partner to get access to all MS specs. Feb 20 20:33
schestowitz oiaohm: yes, seen it Feb 20 20:33
schestowitz The Vista phone is nothing Feb 20 20:33
oiaohm Ie its FUD.  schestowitz Feb 20 20:33
schestowitz It won’t have any effect Feb 20 20:33
schestowitz oiaohm: it’s  vapourware Feb 20 20:34
oiaohm MS FUD we have all these unwilling supporters so its going to take off. Feb 20 20:34
oiaohm This is way different to android. Feb 20 20:34
oiaohm Android they makers could look at almost the full device before deciding if they would partner. Feb 20 20:35
oiaohm Even then after companies did partner places like zdnet said nothing about it. Feb 20 20:35
oiaohm What you call double standards in reporting. Feb 20 20:35

It was interesting to find that Microsoft and its bad ally AT&T [1, 2, 3] are also collaborating here [1, 2], which makes one wonder about Apple’s AT&T exclusivity.

Microsoft booster Joseph Tartakoff shut his eye in the face of criticism and pretended that “[a]lmost without exception, reviewers have praised Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7″. What does he read? Just Microsoft blogs? As we stressed last week, Android/Linux dominated this event in many ways and Microsoft’s phone received its share of criticisms. Why can’t Microsoft boosters ever be objective? In context there is more being said though:

Has Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) upstaged Google (NSDQ: GOOG) at this year’s Mobile World Congress? Almost without exception, reviewers have praised Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 series—but on Tuesday Google got its own chance in the spotlight as CEO Eric Schmidt took the keynote stage. Schmidt’s speech was thinky; holding a piece of paper with his notes, he referred to the rise of cloud computing and faster connectivity speeds as driving mobile adoption. “A device that is not connected is not interesting, it is literally lonely. An application that does not leverage the cloud isn’t going to wow anybody,” he said. “It’s like magic. All of a sudden there are things you can do that we’ve never even (thought of) because of this convergence.”

Business Insider made its “JOKE OF THE WEEK” the fact that Microsoft — unlike its free/open source competition which is technically better in many ways — intends to charge for its proprietary operating system.

Microsoft will charge carriers for its OS, while Google is giving Android away for free. (The other big competitors, Apple and RIM, don’t license their operating systems to third parties.)

Not everyone is impressed by this decision given Microsoft’s weak position (it has less than 10% of the market). Windows Mobile does not have the advantage of compatibility with many third-party applications.

Business Insider has also put up this “CHART OF THE DAY” which it titled “The Collapse Of Microsoft’s Mobile Business”. The page says:

In any event, for Microsoft, the new product can’t come soon enough. After an early lead in the U.S. smartphone war, Microsoft has lost much of its market share and almost all of its relevance, as BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Apple’s iPhone have taken over.

The market share shown there is for the US alone, it’s not global (almost double the real market share for familiar reasons). Microsoft-loving publications seem to be more fascinated by the latest Linux phones and this analysis from Reuters indicates that Microsoft may end up just buying a rival platform to replace Windows Mobile.

The new Windows phone software is a big improvement on its predecessor but may not be enough to reverse market share losses, and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) may have to eventually buy a Nokia or BlackBerry maker RIM to get back into the game.

That would require borrowing of even more money. Can Microsoft afford it? Can it get the required loans? Microsoft Nick has this to say:

Microsoft Acquiring RIM May Be Bad Idea, Says Analyst

Microsoft is reportedly interested in purchasing BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, but such an acquisition could have negative consequences for Microsoft, an analyst says.

Also in the news:

So, in conclusion, Microsoft has just introduced a new version of its mobile platform and sources suggest that it might have to be thrown away and replaced. Microsoft has already failed with Danger/Sidekick as the links below show.

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. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  2. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  3. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  4. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  5. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  6. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  7. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  8. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  9. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  10. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  11. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  12. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  13. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  14. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  15. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  16. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  17. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  18. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  19. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  20. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  21. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  22. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  23. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  24. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  25. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  26. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  27. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  28. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

    Links for the day



  30. Links 8/10/2014: A Lot of Linux+AMD News, New ROSA Desktop Is Out

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts