06.21.10

Microsoft’s Mobile Business Broke

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft, Rumour, Windows at 3:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Out of luck

Summary: Rumours suggest that only 500 units of “KIN” were sold and Microsoft’s mobile business diverges in too many directions, none of which is successful

“KIN” is doing extremely poorly [1, 2, 3, 4] and so does Microsoft’s mobile business in general. One of Nokia’s new phones is being insulted by a comparison to “KIN” [1, 2], which is simply a non-starter because it’s behind the competition in almost every way.

A few years ago it was reported that Vista had sold just hundreds of copies in the whole of China (where people download it illegally). Microsoft refused (“declined” is the nicer word) to comment on it, which probably means the real numbers were too embarrassing to disclose. Here is a new report titled “Microsoft KIN sales woes – Rumor hints at just 500 sold”

The latest rumblings in the rumor mill have Microsoft selling just 500 KIN phones (KIN 1 and KIN 2) since it’s launch earlier this year. No, we’re not joking, and that’s not a typo – although if this rumor is true, we’re sure Microsoft will be wishing the sales figures were at least lacking an extra “zero.”

Microsoft has not yet commented to refute this. If Microsoft does not refute it, then it’s probably true. Here is a massive number of other reports on the subject:

That’s just 8 among more. Unless Microsoft comes up with a statement, that ought to be a massive embarrassment that also reflects badly on “Kinect” [1, 2] (which has a similar name, probably not by coincidence). When it comes to “KIN”, people who bought the thing complain in the forums that it’s buggy at so many levels. We gave several examples. It’s yet another sign of a dying company, at least in some areas which it might be forced to quit (despite them being the future of industry).

Since Microsoft is unable to compete using products, it will probably try to tax the competition using software patents (e.g. Microsoft ‘Android tax’ at Samsung, LG, and HTC). Who would even want to stock “KIN” and put it on shelves in a store, especially after Microsoft destroyed T-Mobile’s reputation?

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is trying to verify claims about the “KIN” sales number:

There’s an unsubstantiated rumor going around that Microsoft has only sold 500 Kin handsets. I’m in search of someone who has actually bought one.

He also writes about Windows fragmentation, stating in his headline that “Microsoft’s mobile ambitions suffers from fragmentation overload”

“Will Microsoft try to buy RIM by borrowing a lot more money?”Adrian, whose colleague calls this “Microsoft’s Mobile OS Maze”, raises a point which we wrote about last week [1, 2, 3]. There is far too much fragmentation in Windows Mobile, which took too many unsuccessful new paths. Other sites complain about the confusion and misdirection Microsoft is causing [1, 2]. Just making more and more separate platforms is not a winning strategy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Everyone can see that and Microsoft even talks about operating systems that do not exist [1, 2], at least not in the market. They have broken functionality for example. Will Microsoft try to buy RIM by borrowing a lot more money?

It is mostly the Seattle press which advertises Microsoft in mobile/embedded [1, 2] and to put it more realistically:

While there’s no real way to accurately gauge the financial impact of Windows Mobile on the company, we can assume it’s small.

It’s very small. Microsoft’s market share is under 10% here (and declining). No wonder the management in charge of this has left the company [1, 2, 3, 4]. Some sources said it got sacked (or pressured to leave).

The Economist Says “Migration From XP to Windows 7 Has Been Little More Than a Trickle”; Windows News is Still News About Flaws

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 3:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7 starts now

Summary: The unpleasant side of Windows, which includes expiries, lack of security (with no remedies), and even large-scale abandonments

MICROSOFT IS trying to move users not just to Vista 7 but also to Fog Computing, which gives Microsoft control of these users’ data. The Economist advertises this and it also contains this reminder that Vista 7 is not selling better than Vista. It’s just a load of hype and Microsoft’s usual game with numbers that are meaningless — or worse — highly misleading (we provided an explanation before).

And yet the migration from XP to Windows 7 has been little more than a trickle. While Microsoft may not like to admit it, the majority of Windows 7 adoptions have come from people buying new computers with the latest operating system already installed, rather than purchasing an upgrade for their tiresome Vista computers, let alone old XP workhorses.

Looking at Google News for the past week, we found nothing about “Vista” (in the headlines) and almost nothing about “Windows 7″ (and none about “Silverlight” for example), except one Microsoft booster talking about SP1 and a couple of press releases. It’s almost all silence. The marketing blitz is more or less over.

“Even users who move on to Windows XP SP3 are still exposed.”Microsoft is now officially dumping Windows XP SP2 [1, 2], which means security headachs for those who don’t move up (original here). Windows Server 2000 is named among the expired products, but it has not actually been patched for a long time. Microsoft may have already violated its agreement.

Even users who move on to Windows XP SP3 will still be exposed. There are those who resort to blaming Google for Microsoft’s incompetence here (notably InformationWeek [1, 2] and Forbes blogs). It’s an exercise in more blame-passing, making Google the “bad guy” for revealing a Windows weakness that needs fixing. Even Murdoch’s press wrote about it amid controversy.

The incident—along with another episode last week where a Google Inc. researcher went public with a security flaw in some Microsoft Corp. software before the company fixed it—have revived debate in the technology industry over how exactly people should go about disclosing security problems.

This critical security problem is actively exploited [1, 2, 3] and there is no solution to it yet. As IDG puts it (also here):

Anyone running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 needs to update their registry ASAP.

Yes, registry hacking seems to be the only solution (however temporary). Try telling one who is a computer rookie to do this (without breaking the entire operating system) or come under attack [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Yet Microsoft insists that Windows is easy to use and that registry hacking is not ever necessary.

It’s really no wonder that Google keeps raving about its abandonment of Windows (also on all desktops). This is the kind of trouble some of them have had to cope with. Windows reduces productivity and imperils actual work.

Speaking of Google, Microsoft still pretends that it invented the “background image”. We wrote about it last week, but it’s still in the news.

Microsoft took a potshot at Google’s bid to spice-up its search page by adding a feature to add background images.

Google was probably doing it better anyway (it’s not hard to just place an image from a stock that’s nice looking).

In conclusion, Windows has serious security problems that dominate the news. Other than that, Windows news seems to be about lackluster response from the public and lost market share. All Microsoft can do is point fingers at companies like Google and resort to ridicule. It’s rather pathetic.

Microsoft Shoves Bing Toolbar Down People’s Throats Using Windows Update, Cheats Search Engine Meters

Posted in Deception, Mail, Microsoft, Servers at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Big yawn

Summary: Microsoft’s hyperaggressive business practices lead to a withdrawal and require companies to change how they measure search engine market share

MICROSOFT OFTEN abuses Windows Update, which was intended to be about security, not about promoting services like Bong [sic].

Microsoft "sabotages" Firefox every now and then by modifying the Web browser without the users' permission. It last happened earlier this month. Microsoft goes further than that by bundling new software with Windows Update (which was supposed to target security issues), then pretending it was an accident:

Microsoft has bundled a Bing toolbar add-on along with its Patch Tuesday security update.

The download adds the Bing toolbar to the Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox web browsers of certain users without their permission.

[...]

Microsoft told tech news site The Register that the stealth toolbar installation was the result of a bug in the update, and that the problem has since been taken care of.

This publication put scare quotes around ‘Bug’ in the headline. How can a company install an entire piece of software “by accident”? Perhaps this ‘bug’ is backlash from the public. Well, maybe; but maybe it’s something else. Either way, the thing about Microsoft is, it has already victimised many people’s Web browsers — browsers which are now stuck with this unwanted toolbar. Microsoft gets to say that it fixed the ‘bug’, but the mission was accomplished because many forceful installations went through.

Let this prove that Microsoft has never changed. It’s a highly unethical company that lets no law get in its way. The browser ballot which Microsoft had to implement to dodge massive fines (for serious violations of the law) is something that took Microsoft many times to get right as well. There kept being all sorts of ‘bugs’ that always worked in Microsoft’s favour. See for example:

  1. Browser Ballot Critique
  2. Microsoft’s Fake “Choice” Campaign is Back
  3. Microsoft Claimed to be Cheating in Web Browsers Ballot
  4. Microsoft Loses Impact in the Web Despite Unfair Ballot Placements
  5. Given Choice, Customers Reject Microsoft
  6. Microsoft is Still Cheating in Browser Ballot — Claim
  7. The Microsoft Who Cried “Wolf!”

When it comes to search market share, Microsoft has just 3% of the market, according to this new article from Forbes, which says that “Microsoft Slumps” and explains:

Fast forward to June 2010. Microsoft has lost 40% of the market in Internet browser use–Google’s Chrome browser and the “open source” Mozilla Firefox browser control one-third of the market along with 100% of the media buzz. And in spite of years of effort, Microsoft owns a mere 3% of the search market worldwide, compared with 84% for Google.

The article is more of an Apple vs Microsoft comparison, with more at CNN/Fortune. “Technology Research Group: More Downside Risk Than Upside Potential In Microsoft,” says another new article about Microsoft’s trouble. At this stage, Microsoft directly interferes with rivals rather than improve its own products.

“At this stage, Microsoft directly interferes with rivals rather than improve its own products.”So far over the past 2.5 years we have seen how Microsoft used unethical tactics to hijack Yahoo!, which now has an alliance (meaning that Yahoo! serves Microsoft).

The same dishonesty which was exposed over a week ago keeps making false headlines such as [1, 2, 3, 4], claiming that both Yahoo! and Microsoft have gained market share in search. They are publishing lies in the press, thanks to comScore which allowed Microsoft to manipulate it (Microsoft is also gaming others who are Microsoft partners that claim to measure US market share in search). Even comScore, despite being a Microsoft partner [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10], had to admit its numbers were bunk. They are breaking search and as BNET puts it, Microsoft is gaming the system. The headline says “How Yahoo and Microsoft are Gaming the Search Market, and Why it Will End”. Well, when will disinformation from the press end? Microsoft is spamming its way into claims of gains and typically, the press only mentions US market share, which almost triples Microsoft’s real impact.

As a side note, regarding Hotmail, Microsoft is suing some more, as covered in:

There are even articles about it from Microsoft itself, using the R&D Magazine that it so regularly uses for self promotion and PR. Then there are the shameless advertising gigs from Ina Fried and others [1, 2] who play along with the PR.

Microsoft is cheating online for bragging rights. When it comes to money, however, Microsoft loses at a pace of about $3 billion per year.

Microsoft Leverages Indian Commerce and Government to Increase Dependency

Posted in Asia, Microsoft, VMware at 1:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vikas Soudha, Bangalore

Summary: Wipro and even NASSCOM are once again helping the monopoly from abroad gain greater control over Indians; companies in the US do something similar

Microsoft has a lot of control over the English-speaking Indian press in the sense that there are rarely critical articles coming from there. They play along for the most part, e.g. [1, 2] because some technology companies in India became dependent on Microsoft. Wipro is one of those companies and one of its employees tries to enter OpenOffice.org, which is risky because Wipro is a close Microsoft partner [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. According to this new press release, “Wipro Partners with Microsoft to Deliver Global Legal Process Outsourcing Efficiencies” and additional news coverage says that:

The Microsoft legal team's jobs are being sent to India. That’s not exactly news, but the role played by Wipro is news.

“NASSCOM has decided to help increase Microsoft lock-in and this helps nobody, except Microsoft.”NASSCOM is another Indian entity that typically serves Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and based on this news, NASSCOM is again proving that it does not serve the people of India; rather, it once again makes them dependent on foreign interests and proprietary software. NASSCOM has decided to help increase Microsoft lock-in and this helps nobody, except Microsoft.

Looking at potential entryism in the United States, “Microsoft’s Decision to Friend Facebook Is Looking Good,” says this headline from the Wall Street Journal after Facebook decided to do so much to serve its friend and shareholder, Microsoft.

VMware, which is now run by former Microsoft executives, gets blessed by Microsoft magazines (there are others) and Amazon, which is also filled with former Microsoft executives, grows somewhat closer to Microsoft.

Amazon wants to own the shopping results that are served up from Microsoft’s Bing search engine, we’ve heard from an industry source close to both companies.

This so-called “search engine” has only a market share of about 3%. We’ll write about that next.

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