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More Dead (or Dying) Microsoft Products

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft at 4:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stop sign

Summary: Alan Wake, Zune, and Nortel problems

REMEMBER Alan Wake? Microsoft has just canceled the Windows version of the game and there is a petition protesting it — one which is endorsed even by Microsoft’s very own partner in development. What is this all about?

An online petition (endorsed by Remedy) has been started asking Microsoft to explain why it suddenly decided to halt the PC development, and strongly urges them to reconsider.

Not so long ago, Halo took the blow and Microsoft also shut down Ensemble Studios and Flight Simulator. Is Microsoft sending the gaming business up the attic now that times are rough?

Another product which falls under the same unit is Zune, which is part of Entertainment (under Robert Bach’s leadership). It is failing so badly that the Guardian starts asking whether Microsoft will just kill this product too.

Will the Zune ever arrive in the UK, or will Microsoft kill it first?


Zune sales are badly down in the US, and nothing suggests it’s going to improve any time soon. What’s Microsoft trying to prove with it?


So do you expect to see the Zune land in the UK before it’s taken out the back of the Microsoft campus and shot, along with the Spot data wristwatch, the Smart Display and those other “good ideas” that weren’t?

Without any turnaround on this front, the Zune is doomed to continue to fail. Lacking vision, Microsoft is stuck.

Another problematic area for Microsoft is associated with servers for unified communication. Now that Nortel is going out of business, Microsoft’s plans are in the gutter, leaving more room in this market for Avaya and Free software to inherit and gain.

What will happen to Nortel-Microsoft UC alliance


While Microsoft does work with Cisco, Thomas said that relationship is “Cisco-controlled, it’s very much add-on extensions to keep your enemy close to you sort of thing.”

Cisco has had bad experiences with Microsoft, so it seems to be moving towards GNU/Linux. Either way, the company under a lot of pressure right now is Microsoft (because of Nortel’s bankruptcy).

About a year ago, Steve Ballmer said that if you are not growing, then you’re falling behind. Microsoft has failed to grow in almost every area.

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  1. David Gerard said,

    August 10, 2009 at 5:06 am


    It’s interesting to note how badly Microsoft missed the boat with Zune. Wifi in the first version? WHY DIDN’T THEY PUT IN A WEB BROWSER? They could actually have beaten the iPod Touch with a unique value proposition and they completely missed it!

    (The iPod Touch really is an incredibly handy thing: a usable web browser on wifi that plays music. Even without a phone, it’s a winner of a product.)

    As I’ve noted before, there are Zunes in the UK – CEX has a pile second-hand. Wonder where they got those.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s interesting to note how badly Microsoft missed the boat with Zune. Wifi in the first version? WHY DIDN’T THEY PUT IN A WEB BROWSER? They could actually have beaten the iPod Touch with a unique value proposition and they completely missed it!

    Yes, Microsoft essentially took a Toshiba PDA, put some DRM ‘feature’ (which they called “squirting”) on top on it, and removed all the other benefits of Wi-Fi.

    David Gerard Reply:

    I can only attribute it to Microsoft’s paranoia about cannibalising their own markets, in apparent ignorance of the fact that tech innovation revolves around cannibalising someone else’s market, and that Microsoft has done this to others enough times. See the hilarious saga of the Smart Display and how internal licensing rows made it a completely useless object in practice: that they feared cannibalising the nonexistent Tablet PC market and couldn’t bear the prospect of two people controlling the same XP box at a time.

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