Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft is Dying Quickly, Desperately Trying to Turn Into Surveillance Behemoth

The 'new Microsoft' is smaller and more malicious


Summary: Microsoft is dying a lot more quickly than most people ever imagined and there are numerous data points that demonstrate this

SEVERAL years ago, back when Android was in the process of becoming the dominant platform (based on Linux and liberally licensed), we gradually reduced the level of Microsoft coverage. Microsoft was already -- quite inevitably -- in a state of decline and on its way out. Losses too were being reported.

Microsoft has just pretty much given up on phones/mobile, despite it being the undisputed growth market (even desktop/laptop OEMs are reportedly reinventing themselves to cater for that). Microsoft is now trying the infamous "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy against Android/Linux and against BSD. Swapnil Bhartiya, remarking on the OpenBSD news, says that "Microsoft's contribution to OpenBSD comes at an interesting time because Microsoft recently announced it is planning to cut up to 7,800 jobs and the reports are rife that their own Windows Phone platform is dead."

"Perhaps Microsoft bets on mass surveillance -- not operating systems -- as its future business model."It has been dead for quite some time. They just didn't manage to ever resurrect anything, even after they had injected billions of dollars (in losses) into it. "Windows Phone likely dead as Microsoft sacks 7,800 employees," says the headline from The Independent. Microsoft has basically given up on the future. The Independent claims that "Microsoft might have killed its plans to make its own phone after it sacked 7,800 staff and said it would take huge charges."

Well, Microsoft never made its own phone. It's just a branding exercise. Google makes no phones, either, it just has hardware partners.

The core market of Microsoft Windows is declining, still (based on the Microsoft-friendly Gartner Group) and the phone business (growth market) is ever more elusive for Microsoft because "Windows Phone" (or whatever Microsoft chooses to rename it to) is basically dead.

Worry not, however, as Microsoft is trying to tell us that it reinvents itself as a 'cloud' company, giving yet more data (as well as proprietary software) to its big ally, the NSA. Skype is back in the news because it's a special target of the NSA, based on additional leaks [1,2] and over at IDG we find just Skype ads by Microsoft MVP J. Peter Bruzzese. Perhaps Microsoft bets on mass surveillance -- not operating systems -- as its future business model. Are any fools willing to let Microsoft host services for them? Does anyone actually believe that "Microsoft loves Linux"? Not even the company's CEO believe this lie (told publicly by himself).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. NSA's XKeyscore may be collecting your Skype, webcam and router data
    The service utilizes more than 700 servers located in multiple nations, and apparently the US is not the only one using it.
  2. NSA's XKeyscore collects router data, Skype conversations, webcam images
    That includes pictures, documents, voice calls, webcam photos, web searches, advertising analytics traffic, social media traffic, botnet traffic, logged keystrokes, computer network exploitation (CNE) targeting, intercepted username and password pairs, file uploads to online services, VOIP streams taken from Skype sessions, and more.

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