02.05.10

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Microsoft Lost Over $5,000,000,000 Trying to Dethrone Google (in Vain)

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Search, Servers at 7:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft admits losing money at a very rapid pace outside the area of cash cows

MICROSOFT’S poor results from last week [1, 2, 3, 4] included a decline in the online business. Microsoft’s latest attempts at search were an utter failure and the business unit as a whole relies on Windows and Office for its survival (Microsoft is already borrowing money). It’s forever declining and Microsoft CFO said some months ago that deeper losses ought to be expected; he finally quit the company in November. Now we find some actual numbers, courtesy of The Register:

He told Reuters on Tuesday that Microsoft hoped to see a reversal of fortune with its web ambitions. Especially seeing as the firm has lost over $5bn in the past four years in its efforts to become Google the internet kingpin.

It is worth adding that no matter what server software Google uses on top of GNU/Linux (even if it’s branded “Google”), the software is based on Apache and Google does contribute back to improve Apache for all of us. Here is a new confirmation of this over at The Register:

The Google Web Server – a custom server used only by Google itself – was originally built from open-source Apache code, according to a former Google employee.

Google is not without flaws, but it does help GNU/Linux remove its fiercest opponent and GNU/Linux helps Google in that regard, so it is reciprocal.

“Every time you use Google, you’re using a machine running the Linux kernel.”

Chris DiBona, Google

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4 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 5, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft always has lost money outside of its three cash cows: Office File Format Monopoly and Original Equipment Manufacturer Monopoly and Trading Its Own Stock.

    However, as many point out, Bill appears willing to lose money indefinitely in any given field just to make sure that no one else can make money there either. Larry Ellison knows that, we’ll see what happens with the Sun acquisition. Sparc hardware, solaris on the high end and mid-range, linux on the low end and mid-range, and a few gratuitous GPLv3 releases ought to boost Oracle and cause at the same time apoplexy in Bill’s gang.

    I have to wonder now if that Trading Their Own Stock has finally caught up with them, it could have been that last of the three keeping the Microsoft pyramid scheme afloat all these years. Now, without even the ability to even pretend to have money, worn out flunkies are being put out to pasture. It’d be kinder for them, and especially for the rest of us, if Microsoft would sell them to the knackers yard instead. As a bonus, it’d bring in a little, desperately needed cash.

    your_friend Reply:

    Oracle is already advertising Sun hardware on the front page of the printed Wall Street Journal. It targets IBM and sensibly ignores Microsoft because no one with a clue takes Microsoft seriously where a Sun box would be useful.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This is interesting because IBM relies on Oracle for Lotus Symphony.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 5, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Gravatar

    However, as many point out, Bill appears willing to lose money indefinitely in any given field just to make sure that no one else can make money there either.

    “The chief of malaria for the World Health Organization has complained that the growing dominance of malaria research by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation risks stifling a diversity of views among scientists and wiping out the world health agency’s policy-making function.

    “In a memorandum, the malaria chief, Dr. Arata Kochi, complained to his boss, Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of the W.H.O., that the foundation’s money, while crucial, could have “far-reaching, largely unintended consequences.”

    “Many of the world’s leading malaria scientists are now “locked up in a ‘cartel’ with their own research funding being linked to those of others within the group,” Dr. Kochi wrote. Because “each has a vested interest to safeguard the work of the others,” he wrote, getting independent reviews of research proposals “is becoming increasingly difficult.”

    “Also, he argued, the foundation’s determination to have its favored research used to guide the health organization’s recommendations “could have implicitly dangerous consequences on the policy-making process in world health.””

    New York Times, 2008

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