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. The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  2. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  3. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  4. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  5. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  6. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  7. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  8. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  9. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  10. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  11. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  12. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  13. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  14. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  15. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  16. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  17. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  18. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  19. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  20. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  21. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  22. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers



  23. Links 19/7/2016: ARM and Opera Buyout

    Links for the day



  24. Large Corporations' Software Patenting Pursuits Carry on in Spite of Patent Trolls That Threaten Small Companies the Most

    With unconvincing excuses such as OIN, large corporations including IBM continue to promote software patents in the United States, even when public officials and USPTO officials work towards ending those



  25. Battistelli Has Implemented De Facto EPO Coup to Remove Oversight, Give Himself Total Power, and Allegedly Give UPC Gifts (Loot) to French Officials

    Benoît Battistelli's agenda at the EPO is anything but beneficial to the EPO and suspicions that Battistelli's overall agenda is transitioning to the UPC to further his goals grow feet



  26. EPO Social [sic] Report is a Big Pile of Lies That Responsible Journalists Must Ignore

    A reminder of where the EPO stands on social issues and why the latest so-called 'social' report is nothing but paid-for propaganda for Battistelli's political ambitions



  27. Links 18/7/2016: Vista 10 a Failure, FreeType 2.7

    Links for the day



  28. Exploiting Perceived Emergencies/Disasters, Suspending the Rule of Law, and Suspending Judges: How Erdoğan is Like Battistelli, Except the Coup

    Pretexts for crackdown on law-abiding people or figureheads who are remote and independent the hallmark not only of Erdoğan but also the EPO's President, Benoit Battistelli



  29. The Impotence of Gene Quinn

    Attacking the enforcer of Alice v CLS because it's doing harm to his source of income, which makes him angry



  30. After the FTI Consulting-EPO Reputation Laundering Deal's Expansion in Germany Süddeutsche Zeitung 'Forgets' That the EPO Even Exists

    Relative apathy if not complete silence regarding the EPO at Süddeutsche Zeitung following reports of FTI Consulting's deal expansion (media positioning in Germany), with hundreds of thousands of Euros (EPO budget) thrown at the controversial task


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