Summary: The main pillar of Microsoft’s monopolistic power is shaken and battered
THE myth Microsoft created out of Vista 7 is that it’s good; in reality, it’s just better than Vista. Now we learn from the Microsoft booster that 3 years after Vista 7′s release only about 20% of large businesses use it. To quote: “Windows 7 is running in just 20 per cent of large enterprises with the most difficult migrations yet to come.” As Pogson puts it: “There are lessons to be learned from this. Why not rewrite those web applications in FLOSS and use FLOSS clients to prevent a repetition?”
Microsoft’s encryption has just been cracked, assuring that Windows security will continue to be poor:
Security researcher Moxie Marlinspike has turned his attention to VPNs based on Microsoft’s MS-CHAPv2 protocol, demonstrating software at Defcon that can capture and crack passwords.
Chapcrack  parses the credential information out of MS-CHAPv2 handshakes, which are then sent to Cloudcracker . Cloudcracker will then return a packet that can be decrypted by Chapcrack to recover the password.
As noted by ThreatPost , MS-CHAPv2 is an old protocol that should have been replaced, but hasn’t: criticisms go back as far as 1999.
This affects all versions of Windows.
Microsoft in general is declining as Windows declines. Despite whitewash pieces like this one, the reality remains clear to see; it is not just a lost past but also a lost future. As one pundit put it, Microsoft is in a “downward spiral”:
In essence, Microsoft was unwilling over the last 12 years, since Ballmer took over as CEO, to give new technologies a gestation period without demanding that they prove their worth in dollar terms. Technology companies come up with a great many ideas, 90 per cent of which prove to be ghosts in the dark. The 10 per cent that do succeed make the big bucks.
But it all takes time. And, from Eichenwald’s article, it looks like Ballmer is always in a big hurry – though he does not appear to have a clue about his destination.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates himself was more of a marketing man than a technology person; he was interested in the money and did not mind selling mediocre products that he convinced himself were the best. None of his minions ever dared to contradict him.
That culture has been taken to its logical extension by Ballmer. Some technologies like the e-book were looked at by Microsoft in 1998, well before other companies did; yet Gates did not have the patience to give developers their head to go off and create the right kind of hardware for such a product. No time was given for consolidation of the product because it did not look like a Windows product. It had to immediately had to have a business plan, a projected profit and loss statement.
This is a surprising development because it indicates that Microsoft did not learn from its own history of never getting anything right except on the third try.
And then, Eichenwald writes, there was the stack ranking system for evaluating its workers. When a given group was evaluated, there was a predetermined outcome. Some people had to get lower rankings than others, the evaluation wasn’t objective. Which meant that some people just could not progress in career terms.
People, in short, became dispensable. If you were in good with your manager, you got ahead. The incompetent were encouraged by this, the competent (read less mainstream types) were discouraged.
Microsoft’s monopoly is a “house of cards” in the sense that without Windows monopoly Office too will suffer. In a later post we’ll show new studies which suggest declining market share for Windows. Things change rapidly and Linux gains the most through Android right now. █