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10.18.10

Many High-Level Departures at Microsoft Raise Risk of Entryism, Make Mobile Business Akin to Zune

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 12:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kin7?

KIN sinking

Summary: Microsoft Corporation is sinking and shrinking, but the threats move to other places and therefore we must keep track of them; on the bright side, the stack upon which Microsoft’s mobile development depends is in a state of crisis

THE GATES Foundation and other parts of the Microsoft movement (not just Microsoft the corporation) are the foundation which keeps this monocultural beast alive. The Gates Foundation is a subject we’ll leave aside for the time being and deal with separately because it’s more complicated and it’s also political, not just technological.

“Major Departures in Microsoft Leads to Promotions for Others” says this new headline, but the diaspora of executives also means that companies like Nokia, Yahoo! and many others get some Microsoft DNA in them. There goes some loyalty.

As Microsoft crumbles (which it undeniably does, based on several criteria/indicators), major departures will become a greater factor which shapes decision-making. Consider for example the recent resignation of Rosoff, the longtime Microsoft booster whose focus in CNET was often the Zune. He wrote about his departure in his blog and it made the news [1, 2, 3]. It doesn’t mean that Rosoff’s Microsoft boosting will end though. As one article puts it, “in a blog post on his personal blog, he announced he was leaving to join Silicon Alley Insider as West Coast Editor, continuing to focus on, and write about, Microsoft.”

“As Microsoft crumbles (which it undeniably does, based on several criteria/indicators), major departures will become a greater factor which shapes decision-making.”This means Microsoft boosters move somewhere else. To name these people for their biases and convictions is not really rude, we don’t insult them. It’s merely a way of identifying one’s financial/vested interests and sometimes it’s just known as disclosure (Mary Jo Foley, for example, does not provide a proper disclosure, just like many others who make a living from Microsoft literature).

Anyway, let us be aware that Adapx has just recruited a former Microsoft vice president who joined its board. We might come across Adapx in the future. Some of those startups in this area end up becoming complementary to Microsoft, e.g. Visible Technologies.

Another important migration is that of Knook, whom we saw in Microsoft's correspondence about DRM well before he moved from Microsoft to Vodafone. He worked for Microsoft for a long time and he finally left after he had served as the company’s head of the Windows Mobile unit. Now he leaves Vodafone and Microsoft folks wish to know where he goes (hopefully not Nokia for reasons we gave earlier this month).

Seventeen-year Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) veteran Pieter Knook joined in 2008 to direct a new internet services group in Vodafone.

The paper says his departure comes “after important aspects of the operation were scrapped” – namely, because Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) has stopped selling flagship Samsung handsets that bore the gubbins for its Vodafone 360 services suite and because Vodafone in March closed Wayfinder, the nav company it earlier bought for £22 million.

Knook left Microsoft when his unit was a disaster (it still is). As we stated last week, we prefer not to cover Windows Mobile/Phone/whatever_rebranding at this time (it would contribute to the $400 million marketing hype and it’s hard to resist sometimes), but we will only name this one article from which says “Zune is Dead” as it relates to Vista Phone 7 [sic]:

I think I know for whom the Windows Phone 7 ringtone tolls, and it is our old friend, the Zune player. My guess is that Microsoft won’t discontinue the Zune lineup (yet), but I do believe we have seen our last new Zune.

Zune is an example of the many products that fail to make money for Microsoft. At the moment there are also errors to be suffered by the few people who actually own a Zune. To quote: “A number of users — most of which seemed to be running 64-bit Windows 7 — began reporting memory-usage problems, via the Zune Forums, shortly after downloads of the client began.” Just another reminder of why using Vista 7 is risky.

“Zune is an example of the many products that fail to make money for Microsoft.”Vista Phone 7 [sic] is like Zune or KIN, only with a lot more marketing (the CEO’s career may truly depend on it). By the way, Microsoft is now using code which relates to Silverlight in its phones. This is not a good thing for the same reason that Zune overlap has been bad (see Kin for evidence). Microsoft won’t admit this formally, but Silverlight is a dying product [1, 2, 3, 4] and there is not a single headline (none found matching “Silverlight” in Google News) so far this month, or at least the 3 weeks prior to Sunday, based on the sample we have. If Zune and Silverlight both collapse, then there may be a chain effect collapsing Microsoft’s mobile business, whose market share is minuscule anyway and therefore does not justify an investment in its dependants.

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