Bonum Certa Men Certa

Eye on Microsoft: MSFT SInks ~7%, Some Products Declared “Dead”

Phew! Talk about a tough day.

Financial Crisis Also in Microsoft



We'll kick off with the most factual of news, stating that Microsoft was "losing 90 Billion Dollars [in value] in the first half of the year, then another 24 Billion - in just 2 weeks - recently. Let's not even get started about their 40 Billion dollar stock buyback."

This has not been working out so well because, along with the Dow Jones, down go MSFT shares.

Investors sent the Redmond, Wash.-based company's stock down $1.23, or 4.7 percent, to $25.09 in midday trading. The stock is still above its 52-week low of $23.50 set Sept. 19.


At times of crisis, Bill Gates says the darnest things, which beg for reaction.

Bill Gates: Offshoring Prevents Depression.



[...]

Well, it is true that there will be no depression for the richest man in America. The rest of us, who have lost factory jobs to Chinese slave labor and white collar jobs to people abused on the H1B visa plan can take comfort in Gate's continued optimism. Perhaps strong IP laws will save us! Everyone's going to get a fair deal on their songs with 100 year copyrights or their inventions with business method patents, right, or will those things just benefit big publishers and people like Mr. Gates?


Gates' bald-faced lies about those visas is something we previously mentioned in [1, 2]. There were scientific studies that contradicted Microsoft's wishful thinking.

MSBBC Strikes Again



The other day, we very briefly complained about the BBC-Ballmer 'fawning'. It was mentioned in this post and in the IRC channel. Now there is a whole new article in The Guardian and it's gently complaining about that BBC coverage, too.

This hooey was conscientiously relayed by [BBC's] Cellan-Jones, who was too polite to ask why, if Vista is such a success, Ballmer is to unveil its successor, Windows 7, to the Microsoft developers' conference at the end of this month.


For those who are unaware of the Microsoft-BBC problem, here are some external links:



We covered a lot more of this before, so a search through Boycott Novell's archive will net a lot more information, which is put in context.

Google Strikes Again



Yesterday we were contacted by a concerned reader. He believes that former Microsoft employees inside Google are causing some harm. He has warned about this for over a year, but it's a broader problem that needs to be explained.

This reader writes: "As you mentioned, Google seems to have gone over to the dark side a while back. It could be due to all the parasites from Microsoft coming directly over to Google without even a short detox period at another company. The toxic corporate culture then spreads to Google and manifests in Windows-only applications like Picasa, which become innocent looking vectors to spread proprietary, Windows-only technologies like DirectX. Let's not be stupid and hand over graphics rendering to Microsofters.

"OpenGL is now fully open source and is currently the way 2D and 3D graphics are done.

"Polished, improved, and rewritten since 1992, we're now on OpenGL 3.x."

Announcements of Deaths



According to SJVN, Windows Vista is now dead. it's an exaggeration, but the article is worth a read.

Vista R.I.P.



Vista is awful. Everyone knows it, including Microsoft, and now Microsoft's actions have made it clear that Vista is on its way to the Microsoft junkyard with such similar failures as Windows ME and Microsoft Bob....

Microsoft won't sell XP Pro to you, the end-user, but it will sell it to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and system builders. They, in turn, will sell you systems with XP. The deal is, if you buy a PC "with" Windows Vista Ultimate and Business editions, you can have it 'downgraded' to XP Pro until July 31, 2009....

Microsoft has been telling us for months that even they thought Vista was heading for the trash. Back in April, Steve Ballmer himself told Microsoft's MVPs that Vista was "a work in progress" and needed improvements in system performance, software and hardware compatibility and battery life. Wow, Vista is a work in progress after having shipped for over a year and after more than five-years of development. Boy, that's the kind of operating system I want to spend my money on. Oh yeah. You betcha.

Why not, instead of waiting for 7, which may or may not be any good, try desktop Linux or Mac OS X? After all, they're actually available today and works as advertised unlike, oh, say, Vista.


Live Search is being called a "dying dog" in iTWire.

Microsoft Live Search a dying dog while Google soars



Microsoft appears to be having some measure of success bribing web surfers to use its online search service Live Search but they're the wrong users. Unfortunately, Microsoft is singing to its own choir.


iTWire also questions the Xbox 360's ability to survive.

Will the Xbox 360 survive past Christmas?



The red rings of death issue simply refuses to go away for Microsoft, and no matter how much it reduces the cost and extends the warranty one simple question remains: will the Xbox 360 ever be fit for purpose?


The recent whistleblowing story was truly appalling and it's still haunting Microsoft.

Poor Design



There are several more rants out there, one of which comes from 'Murphy', who explains the "Windows Mindset" is relation to the Nintendo Wii.

Since you can have up to four players in a game, simply shutting down and saving player stats can take 17 separate steps - all of which could be bypassed through a single “Save and Quit” choice.

All of this block and prompt nonsense became the one right way to do programming soon after Microsoft Windows 3.0 came out - and has been obsolete pretty much since Windows 2000. What happened then was that Microsoft leveraged a human perceptual bug in its Windows 3.0 design: putting up sharply delineated window frames quickly and in primary colors while taking considerable time to fill those in with pastels and text made people think their computers were much faster than they really were.

As a result programmers quickly learned that popping up small boxes asking for user input made their applications seem “snappy” to reviewers and other deeply committed PC people who wouldn’t regularly use them -and so today we have an otherwise fun Nintendo game that takes five steps to start and either four or five to save a character before shutdown.

It’s terribly wasteful of the user’s time, it’s wasteful of system resources, and it’s completely alien to the underlying Wii technology -but it’s so perfectly consistent with the Windows mindset that most people don’t


Jun Auza wrote this good summary of highly-popular applications that only work in Windows.

12 Most Devastating PC Viruses and Worms of All Time



[...]

12. Nimda Nimda is a computer worm, isolated in September 2001. It is also a file infector. It quickly spread, eclipsing the economic damage caused by past outbreaks such as Code Red. Multiple propagation vectors allowed Nimda to become the Internet’s most widespread virus/worm within 22 minutes. Due to the release date, some media quickly began speculating a link between the virus and Al Qaeda, though this relationship ended up being untrue. Nimda affected both user workstations (clients) running Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, or 2000 and servers running Windows NT and 2000. The worm's name spelled backwards is "admin".


Another Microsoft Web site falls into the hands of crackers.

Microsoft programming contest hacked, defaced



Microsoft followed their annual major Tech-Ed event in Australia with a week-long programming contest called "DevSta," to find "star developers." While the quantity and quality of submissions suggest a poor turnout it certainly caught the attention of at least two hackers who left their mark.


This isn't the only recent crack of this kind.

Microsoft.com was cracked some months ago (here is a screenshot and Microsoft UK was defaced too, so for those thinking that Microsoft keeps things 'clean' in its own back yard by patching its own 'dogfood' frequently enough, well... they ought to think again.

Microsoft British site hacked



[...]

A hacker has successfully attacked a web page within Microsoft UK domain, resulting in the display of a photograph of a child waving the flag of Saudi Arabia.


Not even Microsoft can secure its Windows-powered Web sites, some of which are/were already sheltered behind Akamai, which is GNU/Linux-based. Microsoft is too shy and afraid to say that it uses a lot of Free software internally [1, 2, 3].

"Linux is a very complete and sophisticated operating system. And there is a lot of work being done to improve it in and of itself, particularly to make it easier to use and easier for people to set up on their personal computers."

--Paul Maritz, senior vice-president (at the time), Microsoft

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