With the coming of the Galaxy Tab and possible releases of a number of Android tablets at the end of the year, the question still remains: do most consumers really want or need a tablet device? We have seen the success of the iPad but have yet to see anything really go up against it, Android or otherwise. It’s a bit hard to judge sometimes what “real consumers” in the market place want as opposed to us Android fanboys, but a recent Zogby pole may clear some of this up.
Then there is the tablet-class device called “Slate”. Watch the following new video of Vista 7 choking on it:
But then HP bought Palm, and with it webOS. webOS may be a phone operating system, but ever since news of the purchase came out, there has been widespread conjecture about a webOS-powered tablet. The appeal of webOS on such a device is that webOS is designed around a touch-screen, and built for low-power hardware—ideal for battery life.
Earlier today we learned about this “Linspire on MeeGo” tablet thing, which is baffling as no other source seems to be covering it and it’s not clear what Linspire has to do with it.
The Linspire-MeeGo tablet will likely support touch-based input methods and gestures. Linpus will be creating touchscreen-specific apps to run on MeeGo, such as an eReader, maps, mail, a browser, and a media player. Linpus will also include a contact manager.
We were pretty sure Linspire (Ballnux) was in its grave by now; given that it was a Microsoft-taxed distribution, no love was lost. Is this “Linspire-MeeGo tablet” taxed by Microsoft for imaginary patent violations? What would Nokia say now that its CEO is a former Microsoft president (also see [1, 2, 3])?
Speaking of tablets, in our previous posts about the HP-Hurd scandal [1, 2, 3, 4] we explained that Microsoft entryism at HP seemed to have had the effect of making the company neglect Linux and bring back Vista 7 to the “Slate”, even after HP had officially abandoned it. According to this new video (“Supposed HP Slate prototype video”), Microsoft cronies at HP may have had their way.
It’s a Windows 7 version of the same old Microsoft Tablet PC form factor, but this time, with a finger instead of a stylus. They used to call these “slate”-type Tablet PCs. They were slaughtered in the market by the “convertible” type that had the flip-around laptop keyboards, because most Windows software simply works much better with a keyboard and trackpad.
This was brought to our attention by lnxwalt, who dented: “HP “Slate” video: http://cl.ly/2W0J via @firstname.lastname@example.org — should have killed it; #WebOS tablets should be *much* better. [...] Holy cow! That thing is awful! Is it Flash that makes it so slow?”
Well, Vista 7 is not suitable for portable devices. That’s why Linux/Android does so well on these form factors whose sales grow. █
Summary: Mark Hurd, who navigated closer to Linux and had Microsoft name HP as a competitive threat for this (in its SEC filings even), was not really ejected for his publicly-exaggerated situation with Fisher; MSI turns to Linux for slates and Microsoft starts turning to more Vista 8 vapourware
EARLIER this month we raised suspicions that Hurd got virtually fired (pressured to quit) for his policies rather than any particular scandal [1, 2, 3].
HP had decided to force this month’s resignation of chief executive Mark Hurd before he settled a sexual harassment claim from a former actress, according to sources close to the matter.
Hurd was forced out of the company because the board concluded he had broken HP’s code of conduct. While the directors found Hurd had not harassed Fisher, they found improper expense filing that allegedly deliberately failed to reveal the actress’ name on a number of occasions.
Hurd said he was not involved in filing the expenses and was not attempting to conceal any relationship. Fisher has also said that she and Hurd “never had an affair or intimate sexual relationship”.
Another week, another Windows 7 slate is cut from the list of those slated (pun intended) to ship in time for this holiday season.
This time, as Engadget’s PC reviewer extraordinaire Joanna Stern noted on August 23, the vendor didn’t decide to dump Windows 7 for Android. Instead, MSI has decided to delay its Windows 7-based WindPad so it can incorporate Intel’s Oak Trail processors that are expected to offer better power management and battery life. (MSI is also developing an Android WindPad slate, which is still on tap to ship before the end of this year, by the way.)
Windows 95 marks 15th birthday in uncertain Microsoft future
The company is also now facing long-term threats to its success. Apple and now Google both have much larger presences in the smartphone space where Microsoft has had to scrap Windows Mobile and start fresh with Windows Phone 7 to stay current. Attempts by co-founder Bill Gates and later Steve Ballmer to force acceptance of pen-based Windows tablet PCs have also been undermined almost overnight as the iPad has crushed tablet PC records; Apple sold more than twice as many tablets in three months than Microsoft was expected to manage all year.
“In January of 1994, Waggener Edstrom began recruiting 100 key editors, 32 analysts, and 150 third-party vendors for the Windows 95 bandwagon. Lining up the national media and the business press was easy. Edstrom had been massaging those relationships for over a decade, sending flowers and cartoons and reminding editors of their spouses’ birthdays and wedding anniversaries, earning her “Gates’s keeper” reputation. Not only would these people tout Windows 95, they would also be more inclined to show sympathy for Microsoft when competitors started ragging them. [...] In an unusual move, Edstrom’s minions had New York’s Empire State Building lit in the Windows 95 colors. [...] Waggener Edstrom claimed that Microsoft received more media attention than even the O.J. Simpson trial, which was going on at the same time.”
–Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed by the daughter of Microsoft’s Pam Edstrom
Internal candidates to replace Hurd include Todd Bradley, who turned around the company’s once-struggling PC business. Ann Livermore, who runs HP’s huge services business is another oft-mentioned possibility. Outside candidates include two Softies: Microsoft COO Kevin Turner and Stephen Elop, president of the company’s Business Division.
This is a reach, but one interesting possibility to think about is Robbie Bach, the outgoing Entertainment & Devices Division president at Microsoft. Bach has said he truly plans to retire, but given his history across business computing and mobile devices — and his impending availability — he would seem less of a long shot than the Microsoft execs floated by the Seattle Times last week: Kevin Turner, the company’s chief operating officer, and Bob Muglia, the Microsoft Server & Tools president.
Tim Bajarin, typically a stern Microsoft booster, says that “HP’s New CEO Must Embrace Palm,” but based on Murdoch’s rags/tabloids, “HP to Ship Microsoft Tablet This Year, webOS Tablet Next Year” (and notice the bits about Android):
Noticeably absent from Bradley’s list: that Android device that was supposed to arrive at market in the fourth quarter of 2010. As I reported in July that tablet has been tabled–at least for the time being.
“HP Officially Delays Tablet until 2011,” says this report, but at least it’s not cancelled [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Here is one take on it:
Hewlett-Packard confirmed its tablet plans in a conference call on Thursday.
From a product standpoint, company executives said that a “Microsoft product” would appear in the “near future,” with a “WebOS product in early 2011.” That appears to confirm both reports of HP’s Windows tablet as well as the company’s plans to feature WebOS after HP purchased Palm.
OpenAmplify, the Semantic Web platform, today announced that Sanjay Parthasarathy has joined its executive board. Parthasarathy brings over two decades of experience to the OpenAmplify team, most recently serving as corporate vice president of the Developer and Platform Evangelism Group (D&PE) and also the Microsoft Startup Business Accelerator.
Mark is Director of Strategic Relationships for Microsoft Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!msft/quotes/nls/msft (MSFT 24.23, -0.21, -0.86%) Media & Entertainment Group and has more than 13 years’ experience in developing innovative business and technology solutions for global media companies. He is based in Los Angeles.
Liarliarlist.com (http://liarliarlist.com), a brand new website that publishes members reviews of people who lie on their online dating profiles, has just appointed Microsoft Corporation alumni Adesh Desai as Chief Technology Officer and Deepak Sodhi as Chief Operating Officer.
Half of Microsoft’s (Anonymous) Employees Don’t Approve of Steve Ballmer
You’ve heard of this guy Mark Hurd, right? The Hewlett-Packard CEO forced to resign late last week because of a sexual harassment investigation? Lots of his employees apparently didn’t like him very much. At least according to his record-low approval rating of 34-percent on Glassdoor.com, a site that lets employees anonymously dish on their bosses.
It’s not impossible for Ballmer to replace Hurd, either. Earlier this year Ballmer was strutting HP’s gear (Slate) on stage. It did not really have a penguin on it; it had Vista 7. █
Summary: Microsoft loses its power struggle in the Free/open source community and the OEM channel; One of our readers opines that Microsoft may have been responsible for Hurd’s departure from HP
MICROSOFT is going through some tough times (unless one minds the PR). Fortunately, Microsoft is collapsing as even attempts to “embrace and extend” the free/libre competition bite the dust [1, 2, 3] and Microsoft Gavin spins it too weakly for Microsoft. “Microsoft has reportedly refused to comment officially on the changes,” he writes and “[r]eading between the lines, it would seem that Microsoft’s push for Microsoft-versions of dynamic languages has fallen victim to overall budget cuts and changing priorities.”
It’s kind of pathetic, really. Most of these arguments are premised on the notion that if you’ve already wasted most of your adult life using Windows, you’ll be more familiar with it than the Mac, so you might as well waste the rest of your adult life. Which is really the only reason why Microsoft continues to dominate desktop market share: It’s harder to switch than to stick with what you got, even if what you got sucks eggs.
“Yahoo was too independent company and they put Bartz. And SGI too. And HP of 90′.” –gnufreexnadege says: “Not sure Hurd was fired due to Microsoft Retaliation : HP & Microsoft are partners, and HP promote a lot the Microsoft products”
“HP does promote Microsoft, but Microsoft doesn’t forgive competition,” gnufreex tells nadege. “Palm is competition”
nadege responds with: “HP promotes Microsoft due to a special relationship. However, HP is still an independent company. So I don’t think Microsoft will put its own CEO at HP”
Someone who acts against the interests of the organization he’s with, often in favor of some other organization he may be secretly working for instead – a mole.
Those acts – along with the reward from Microsfot – got him the nickname “the microsoft mole” (google “microsoft mole Belluzzo”) in those companies, and occaionally the term “a belluzzo” is used to describe someone who seems to be acting in the interest of a different company than the one he works for.
For details about Yahoo! entryism, see our Wiki. Earlier today we showed that Newsweek‘s outgoing Managing Editor now works for Microsoft (MSN). Bartz could be just another Belluzzo.
“Also note what they did to IBM’s OS/2, IBM was special partner too,” gnufreex adds. “When you are Microsoft competitor, you are on their hit list [...] That is exactly why they are firing him [...] I mean, not they are not firing him, they are setting the harassment case”
“HP has to be close to Microsoft,” nadege confesses, “otherwise Microsoft will favour Acer or Dell, and HP will lose its leadership. It’s tough to be a Microsoft Partner [...] And believe me : Customers (Companies and end users) want Microsoft products. They won’t accept any huge replacement of Windows.”
Chips B Malroy says: “they will on tablets [...] just look at the iPad”
nadege responds with: “Tablets, OK. Android will perform well” and gnufreex adds: “Yeah, and that is why Microsoft’s want Palm dead, and they need CEO who will kill it. [...] When I said they need CEO to kill Palm, I mean new HP CEO. Hurd didn’t want to kill his product just to please Microsoft, and now has to go. But then again, he is maybe just a rapist and deserves to be fired, and Microsoft has nothing to do with it”
IDG has a new article titled “Did HP Board Have Hidden Agenda in Removing Hurd?”
Demi-disgraced HP chief exec Mark Hurd may have been the most-recent high-level exec to exit that company’s Palo Alto headquarters, but he’s not alone in his good-bye drive down US Highway 101.
Thanks to TechCrunch, we now learn that Peter Skillman, Palm’s now-former vice president of design — and the man who shepherded the design of the Palm Prē — has also bailed. An HP spokeswoman tells The Reg that his resignation came “about a month ago.”
Skillman’s departure is no small loss to HP. As the company expands beyond the security of the staid PC ‘n’ server ‘n’ printer markets and dips its toe into the turbulent ‘n’ trendy consumer products free-for-all, it’s going to need all the vision and design expertise it can get.
That cannot be good, can it? Hurd’s ‘Delilah’ says she is sorry and gnufreex writes: “I think Microsoft set him up [...] Because of his Linux related acquisitions [...] I think Microsoft want HP to kill Palm [...] some new Beluzzo might replace him [...] HP Enterpirse Software division (HP-UX and VMS) already got Microsoftie at helm”
The full IRC logs are available to see these claims in sequence. This theory says that they ‘pull a Bartz’ on HP, but evidence is not sufficient.
As the many questions around Mark Hurd’s departure continue to go unanswered, a key aide to the former CEO has also abruptly resigned this week.
The mystery deepens. Caprice Fimbres McIlvaine, formerly head of internal communications at Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and a top aide to ex-CEO Mark Hurd, has left the company, following her boss out the door three days after his departure. Her exit is significant because, according to two people with knowledge of her former role, McIlvaine was the key conduit in hiring Jodie Fisher, the actress-turned-corporate hostess/”marketing contractor” who later filed a sexual harassment suit against Hurd, setting in motion the chain of events that resulted in the CEO’s resignation on Aug. 6. McIlvaine resigned effective Aug. 9, HP confirmed Wednesday.
Why HP was wise to put director Marc Andreessen forward as the board’s spokesman on the Mark Hurd crisis.
The delightfully jarring aspect to Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) bombshell news and investor conference calls last Friday was the board member the venerable company put forward as its public face: Marc Andreessen, not so very long ago the enfant terrible of Silicon Valley.
Mark Hurd’s silly exit has little to do with HP’s real problems. As an executive there about a decade ago, I saw a company that was giving up its differentiating value in the name of operational savings, not realizing that by now the Golden Goose of creativity would find greener pastures. But surprisingly, the classic HP tradition of building a great place to do engineering that results in a flood of excellent creative products is being followed…
Back we go to Cringely (the original one) who wrote about “Stupid CEO Tricks” — a post wherein he mentioned Intel for showing that “to a certain extent crime does pay. ”
This week brought two other news events worthy of comment — Intel’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and Mark Hurd’s sudden departure as CEO from giant Hewlett-Packard.
The Intel story is almost as it is being presented in the trade and general press. Yes, Intel has promised in very specific ways to no longer be evil. No, Intel isn’t being made to give back the money it made as a result of being evil, so to a certain extent crime does pay. Of course some will say the money damages were in part covered by Intel’s recent $1.25 billion settlement with AMD, but the FTC also doesn’t generally impose fines. So if you happen to be guilty of anti-trust I guess it is better to be sued by the FTC than by the DoJ, which does impose fines.
Either way, Intel got away with something and the graphics chip makers in particular should be pissed.
What is this case teaching our children? That a slap on the wrist is all one gets for abusing the market? Earlier today we showed that Apple too had been caught using kickbacks, so an Apple manager goes to jail (which is rare, they are usually just fined).
Everything about the Intel/FTC settlement screams of one thing — Microsoft. Redmond’s multi-year nightmare with the FTC, DoJ, and the attorneys-general of several dozen states wasn’t lost on Intel, which is a more rational company and doesn’t want a Microsoft-like anti-trust experience. Both companies are guilty and both are paying something for that guilt, but Intel clearly wants to avoid the decade of pain and distraction suffered by Microsoft.
Microsoft was paralyzed with the FTC breathing down its neck. Intel is not paralyzed.
Roughly $2 billion in payouts and Intel is a free bird — a rich free bird at that — having proved that crime does pay.
These settlements will effectively pay for themselves in two months at current Intel profit levels.
Had Microsoft been “paralyzed”, then its abuses would not carry on; but they do. █
“Fuck! It took you a year to figure that out!”
“That’s the dumbest fucking idea I’ve heard since I’ve been at Microsoft.”
Summary: HP’s CEO leaves amidst a new fraud scandal; Microsoft’s executives named among possible replacements and Microsoft’s own frauds are revisited
Microsoft’s financial situation is a matter of insincerity, for many reasons that we covered before. Adding to Microsoft’s problems we recently saw a downgrade, which we mentioned in [1, 2]. Here is the AP coverage of that:
Shares of Microsoft Corp. ( MSFT – news – people ) edged lower after Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry downgraded the software giant in part due to increased competition from Apple ( AAPL – news – people )’s Macs to its Windows operating system.
Apple has managed to grab a lucrative niche of the rich people’s market. It hardly means that Apple can ever attain dominance. As for Microsoft, it is being sandwiched by GNU/Linux and Apple while its shares are 10% within 52-week low, according to this financial news site:
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares closed the day at $25.37, which means they are now just 10.41% away from its 52-week low, is this finally the bottom for MSFT?
“Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Stock Flounders,” says another report and one last report bears the headline “Crash In Hindsight: Microsoft Currently 8.50% Below its May 6th Crash Low of $27.91 (MSFT)”; Based on this report, there are Microsoft layoffs/cuts in support and consulting.
Going some years into the past, a Macs-oriented Web site (which recently started praising GNU/Linux at Apple’s expense) speaks about “Microsoft the Ultimate Pyramid Scheme” (thanks to Tobin for the pointer).
According to an article at the Register, MS Website Trumpets ‘Pyramid’ Company, Microsoft has been featuring a case study about GoldQuest, a pyramid scheme company!
This, of course, is not Microsoft’s fault. Companies that use Windows to generate funds through pyramid schemes do not have to tell Redmond what they are up to any more than purveyors of spyware, adware, viruses, Trojan horses, networks of zombie computers belching up personal information to Mafia lords, spammers, or anyone else has to. These things manifestly do not have anything to do with Microsoft per se, any more than . . . some other analogy that I was thinking of but forgot.
Any way, the point of this article (and I do have a point) is that Microsoft itself is a kind of pyramid scheme.
In your classic pyramid scheme, you sell something of limited value and tell the seller that they can make money by selling the same valueless thing to friends for the same price less a minor finder’s fee. The “mark” is told that as more people join the pyramid, more money trickles down the pyramid to him through the finder’s fees, eventually making him rich with very little effort.
In the Microsoft version, the “mark” (an IT guy) is told that if they use Windows, they’ll be more compatible and more productive. Further, if they convince 10 users in their company to use Windows, then all the additional savings will be passed on to the IT department, which can hire more people to take care of the additional computers.
A case study on Microsoft.com is unwittingly promoting a company which has been accused of operating a pyramid scheme targetting people in south-east Asia and Africa.
This page on Microsoft’s website explains how Hong Kong-based GoldQuest International Ltd made big savings by moving to Windows Server 2003. The page proudly trumpets GoldQuest’s achievements and “500,000 active customers in 120 countries”.
“GoldQuest has grown into a ecommerce powerhouse, generating 70 per cent of its $200m annual turnover online,” the page gushes. Microsoft claims it has saved the company $82,000 a year in IT costs and helped it increase revenue by $10m a year.
Wow. That’s quite an embarrassment, more so than LSE as a “case study” (LSE eventually dumped Windows and went with GNU/Linux instead [1, 2, 3, 4]).
This whole discussion came about in IRC last night. Tobin sought information about Microsoft as a pyramid scheme (like many in the stock market) and Chips B Malroy wondered “what the resignation of the HP CEO will mean with WebOS? Will the next CEO go back to windows?”
For those who have not heard yet, there is fraud claimed at HP, not just Microsoft. Here are some articles from the news:
Mark Hurd, the man credited with reinvigorating Hewlett-Packard Co., resigned as chief executive of the technology giant after an investigation of his relationship with a female contractor found he violated the company’s business standards.
H-P said Friday that Mr. Hurd, 53 years old, didn’t violate the company’s policy regarding sexual-harassment but submitted inaccurate expense reports that were intended to conceal what the company said was a “close personal relationship” with the woman.
Mark Hurd, CEO of HP is resigning on the heels of sexual harassment charges by a former HP contractor. The company’s investigation concluded that there was no sexual harassment violation, however it did find that Hurd violated HP’s “Standards of Business Conduct.” Hurd said it was a “painful decision” and vaguely acknowledged that he displayed a lack of character.
As per the latest disclosure made by the largest computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ), the tech major has agreed to settle a lawsuit in principle imposed against it by the Department Of Justice (DOJ).
This lawsuit dates back to the year 2007, when Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) first initiated this lawsuit, and the Government agency with others to form a combined lawsuit against the three tech majors namely, HP, Sun Microsystems and Accenture.
Steve Elop, chief of Microsoft’s business division, which handles MS Office. He was formerly chief operating officer of No. 2 networking company Juniper Networks. Known as a no-nonsense taskmaster, Elop is a veteran in the technology industry, having served in senior positions at Adobe Systems and Macromedia.
Summary: “Red Hat’s Adam Williamson discusses the troubling epidemic of Vista 7 Crippleware Edition taking hold of netbooks,” as our reader Ryan put it last night
LAST night we had a long discussion (warning: 1 MB page) about this new post written by Adam from Fedora. As he put it, “Only Dell of the major-tier manufacturers has shipped netbooks with Ubuntu pre-installed; the other major tier vendor we’ve discussed, HP, ships/shipped SUSE). But really, what I’m interested in with this post is the question of how Linux is doing.”
In order to understand what Microsoft has done in the area of sub-notebooks, people must first look at confirmed stories where Microsoft was coercing OEMs, dumping, and allegedly sometimes bribing and using Intel-type tactics to exclude GNU/Linux. We covered the subject in posts such as:
“Both Michael Dell and [whoever's in charge of Intel nowadays] need to be removed from their positions and thrown in prison.” –Tony O’BryanAs Tony O’Bryan put it in the Linux Today discussion: “Both Michael Dell and [whoever's in charge of Intel nowadays] need to be removed from their positions and thrown in prison. They are both economic criminals who have no business being in business.
“As someone pointed out on Slashdot, our justice system is hopelessly corrupt since the rich can buy their way out of prison sentences that the rest of us would have to serve for lack of ability to pay off prosecutors, judges, and Congress.
Following the recent brouhaha about Dell’s public claims that Ubuntu is safer than Windows and its subsequent change of stance, I hopped onto the Dell Ubuntu site this morning just to see what has changed since and to my amusement, the site tells me it recommends IE8.
There’s nothing wrong with that until you realize I am on the Ubuntu site, which invariably means I want to use Linux! Now you are recommending IE8 for me when I am shopping for a Linux machine? Oh and I visited the site via Google Chrome, is that not a good browser too?
Dell has all but bowed to pressure from Microsoft to torpedo its Ubuntu line of computers. Add that to the relative success of Windows 7 among Redmond’s user base and you get a clearer picture of what is going on.
HP — unlike Dell in this case — seems to be increasing its use of Linux (in the form of webOS, which it very recently acquired). From this weekend’s news:
No big surprise here, but HP Personal Systems Group VP Todd Bradley just flat-out confirmed to CNBC that HP will not be making any Windows Phone 7 devices, preferring instead to focus on the newly-acquired webOS for its line of smartphones.
We shall see if Linux proponents at HP can fight the enemy within. Dell seems to have surrendered to Microsoft (and to Intel) far too often, as we demonstrated in the past. █
“The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference”