02.21.10

Microsoft Contracts Telemarketers, Accused of “Phone SPAM”

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft at 7:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Public phones

Summary: Indian telemarketing staff promotes Microsoft’s software by phoning up more than once a day

A BUNCH of marketing folks have apparently been hired by Microsoft and here is what happens:

Microsoft cloud services: Phone scam or hard sell?

Remember reader Bob’s recent Grip about a possible service-invoice con that turned out to be an error? Here’s another dubious practice — repeated phone calls about Microsoft cloud computing — that proved worthy of investigation.

“Am I the only one getting multiple phone calls from Microsoft Cloud Computing every day?” asks Gripe Line reader Jim. “I’ve received no less than 10 calls this week alone from a call center in India claiming to be from Microsoft with questions about my cloud computing use. One fella named Mario has called four times already. Do you know if this is something Microsoft is doing, or is it some form of phone SPAM?”

[...]

As it turns out, the calls are in fact coming from an overzealous contractor hired by Microsoft to promote its cloud services.

Microsoft is also contracting external firms from next door in order to do its AstroTurfing, so the above is very noteworthy. Microsoft tries to distance itself from unethical or illegal behaviour that it chooses and endorses (sometimes sending it overseas where the laws are differently regulated or scarcely enforced). Why develop something decent when marketing and AstroTurfing can perform better?

‘”Boy, do I ever hate this job,” [Microsoft's] Eller thought. “God, just let me finish this miserable code.”

‘Eller wasn’t the only one on the team hating his job. Almost all the key developers on the project thought of quitting or even tried to resign at least once. But not many actually did. Back then, the attrition rate was very low because people believed in the Windows vision. They believed that the software they were writing would revolutionize the world.’

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul

Microsoft ‘Discontinues’ (Kills) SCCP Product, Cancels Yet Another

Posted in Microsoft, Servers, Windows at 7:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft System Center Capacity Planner (SCCP) is history and so is Alan Wake for Windows

THE LIST of dead products from Microsoft continues to grow. Microsoft announced very quietly what Mary Jo Foley only mentioned briefly in a collective post titled “In other non-phone related Microsoft news…”

Microsoft phases out System Center Capacity Planner from its management line-up: I’d assume most enterprises running Microsoft’s System Center Capacity Planner (SCPP) have gotten fair warning on this, but just in case… Microsoft is discontinuing its Capacity Planner product family. “Microsoft System Center Capacity Planner (SCCP) is formally being discontinued, effective immediately, as it no longer supports the current versions of Microsoft applications it was designed for,” according to the Softies. There are no new versions of SCPP coming and no new or updated app capacity planning models in development. Free, mainstream support for SCPP 2007 is \available until 4/9/2013, according to the company. Microsoft has a list of other applications it suggests users employ for capacity planning in place of SCPP on TechNet. Thanks to Directions on Microsoft for a heads-up on this.)

This firm called “Directions on Microsoft” (Microsoft boosters) maintains a list of deceased Microsoft products and here is another new example:

Microsoft Cancels PC Game Version of Alan Wake – 4 Year Wait For Nothing

When I first saw the DirectX 10 demo for the game Alan Wake back in 2006 it was impressive and the title quickly became one of the most anticipated PC games for that time period. Advertisements for the game were seen all over the place and anyone that has run 3DMark in recent years has likely seen the ad in the benchmark application. It was previously thought that the PC version of Alan Wake would be worked on after the release of its Xbox 360 version in May 2010, but Microsoft has shattered hopes by confirming to Strategy Informer that Alan Wake will no longer be coming to PC.

The project/product was canceled rather than “discontinued” or “killed”, but still, given Microsoft’s closure of some game studios, this bodes badly for Microsoft in general. It’s just mildly amusing that some people believe that Microsoft is recovering even though its business constantly declines [1, 2, 3, 4].

Vista 7 is Still Trying to Catch up With GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Kernel, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 7:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Archos 605 with WiFi

Summary: Vista 7 proves to be too heavy for devices and it adds features that Linux has had for a very long time

Archos makes some fine gadgets that I’ve had the pleasure of trying. Archos has always been a great example of Linux being put to good use and recently Archos moved to Android and even liberated (made Free software) its customised, self-tailored platform. In more recent months (maybe about a year ago), Archos began ‘experimenting’ with Windows for whatever reason. But based on the following new review from the Canadian press, Archos should stick with Linux/Android. Vista 7 is just too bloated [1, 2, 3] to handle simple tasks on a mobile device*. Here are portions of this review:

Review: Sluggish Archos 9 demonstrates pitfalls of tablet PCs, need for new tack by Microsoft

[..]

Windows just doesn’t seem at home when squeezed into this 1.8-pound (0.8 kilogram) slab, with a touch-sensitive screen that is 8.9 inches (22 centimeters) on the diagonal. It’s sluggish, and the controls aren’t adapted to the size of the screen or the fact that there’s no real keyboard or mouse.

[...]

It’s a little disconcerting that the Windows tablet experience is so poor, nine years after Microsoft made a big push for its Tablet PC version of Windows XP. Clearly, Microsoft hasn’t really adapted Windows properly for this type of device.

On the Android side, the Archos 5 has just gotten a firmware update:

Recently, I turned on my Archos 5 tablet for my nightly reading and found notification for the firmware update (1.7.77). Alas it’s still Android 1.6. The update went without a glitch but if you are wondering what was includes here’s rundown from the Archos support site:

* Extended Bluetooth™ support for cellphone tethering (DUN and PAN)

[...]

Features are being added on the fly. Can Windows do that? Does it ever do that? And if not, then why not? Let’s face it, the development model of Free software is simply superior as it allows larger disparate groups of developers to handle larger projects.

According to another new article, Vista 7 has a ‘dangerous’ ‘new’ feature:

Microsoft Windows 7, for example, contains software that allows a user’s laptop to do double-duty as a rogue Wi-Fi access point that masks the entry of unauthorized users onto the corporate network.

GNU/Linux has been able to do that for ages, as Slashdot correctly points out:

While this means a bit more policing for networks meant to be locked down, it sounds like a good thing overall. Linux users, meanwhile, have had kernel support (since 2.6.26) for 802.11s mesh networking, as well as Host AP support for certain chipsets.

GNU/Linux is about control by the user, Windows is about taking control away from the user. Microsoft is still catching up with Linux (technically) and drifting further away when it comes to respecting the user.
____
* One of these sources suggests that Vista 7 is sometimes slower than Vista. Our reader Ryan, a former MVP of Microsoft, says that Vista 7 has more bugs than Vista, which is why he prefers the latter and he is not alone based on the news. But marketing lies from Microsoft made a real “Mojave” out of Vista. They called it “Windows 7″.

“Well the initial impression is how much it [Windows 7] looks like Vista. Which I think is…uh…the thing I’m not supposed to say.”

Microsoft Jack Schofield

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