11.14.10

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Microsoft Starts Treating Vista Phony 7 (WP7) like “KIN” and Ballmer Said to be Possibly Preparing to Elope

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 10:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Reader’s research and some thoughts about Microsoft’s futuristic products (or rather lack thereof)

“Hello everyone,” wrote Chips B. Malroy a day or so ago. “Remember what happened to Microsoft’s Kin when it did not sell? That’s right, they cut the selling price. Here is WP7 having the same treatment.”

“In efforts to flog off what probably turned out to be the wrong products to stock,” quotes Malroy from TechEye, “Amazon has slashed the prices of two of its Windows Phone 7 smartphones, the HTC Surround and LG Quantum, to a dirt cheap $0.01.”

“Also,” adds Malroy, “the Microsoft strategy of saying WP7 is sold out because of high demand is false. As many shops only had 5 phones of various manufacturers at launch. This can be proven by various first hand comments on the web. So MS is trying to pertend that WP7 is selling out due to high demand when the truth is in many cases some manufacturers simply did not want to get stuck with high levels of stock they thought could not sell.”

Onward goes and quotes Malroy: “The deal is also only available for this weekend, but at that price they may be out of stock long before the weekend is over.”

Malroy then asks, “So why would you dump a product that is supposedly selling well?

“Is this just another case of Microsoft fudging the numbers and trying to create a bandwagon effect for sales of WP7?”

Malroy has found two more items in the news [1, 2] (“Will Ballmer bail after banking big bucks?”) from which he quotes: “All of this selling has triggered wide-eyed speculation that SteveB may be getting ready to jump ship.

“I thought this all sounded vaguely familiar, so I took a trip back down memory lane and discovered that Bill Gates went through much the same process when he was preparing to leave Microsoft. Bill’s exit strategy extended over a period of years, but he officially handed over the titular role of CEO to SteveB in January 2000, stepping out of the limelight to become the newly christened Chief Software Architect. He gradually cut back his direct involvement, transferred the Chief Software Architect mantle to Ray Ozzie in 2006, and definitively left in 2008.”

Malroy also quotes: “In 1999, the year before SteveB became CEO, Bill sold $2.5 billion in Microsoft stock. There were assurances all around that Bill was still firmly in control and would run Microsoft forever. Microsoft stock had soared and, the story went, Bill was pulling out funds to diversify his portfolio.”

And finally: “While that’s certainly true, it’s also obvious that Gates launched his departure strategy with a significant sell-off of Microsoft stock.”

Please bear in mind that Techrights no longer tracks Microsoft quite as closely as it used to for reasons that were given last month and it’s news like the above which convinces us that Microsoft’s time is running out, just like Novell’s. Patent bulling is Microsoft’s bet for the future and this is definitely a topic Techrights will cover thoroughly.

We rely on people such as Malroy accumulating links and compiling summaries which we will happily publish, so please consider getting involved. Come and join us at the IRC channels for example. Personally I’m always there paying attention unless I’m at work or asleep. Others are also willing to help and provide feedback.

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A Single Comment

  1. twitter said,

    November 14, 2010 at 11:59 am

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    Dumping and hype did not work so well for Zune and it probably won’t work so well for their new Phoney handhelds.

    Microsoft is now using dumping and hype with netbooks. Having successfully crushed the One Laptop per Child initiative along with crushed Asus, Xandros and other netbook success stories, Microsoft looks ready to kill off the whole category by a reviving Windows CE! With Microsoft retail partners stuffed full of $400 Windows 7 netbooks, CVS and other drug stores are hyping really horrible WinCE devices. [2]. The cheap-0 device blog author mentions 15 minute battery life, “YouTube through a tube”, browsing that’s truly miserable and has gotten all sorts of networking complaints but insists the device is a good deal. This blog was picked up by the Microsoft press with yet more hype about high demand and sell outs. Technical details of the device are scarce but the hype blog claims 128MB RAM and 2GB flash drive. I ran into a similar model last year that had an ARM processor but which was also crippled by WinCE and no apparent alternate boot or means of liberating the thing. At the time, it was easy enough to find $150 Asus model 701 EEE PCs on the market which are easy enough to run debian on and come with 512 MB of RAM, 8GB flash drives, a good quality built in camera and decent sound hardware. Microsoft’s dumping of these devices on the market is sure to harm the reputation of netbooks and represents a massive betrayal of partners like Dell, Best Buy, HP and others who colluded to exclude GNU/Linux in an effort to put a floor under the price of laptop computers. Reasonably priced portable computers have been delayed for half a decade. The strategy resembles what happened to Palm computing almost a decade ago – Microsoft was able to destroy the front runners but is still unable to offer anything people want in that market.

    Microsoft efforts to infiltrate automotive computing may have better results because a lot of mobile phone use and music listening happen when people are trapped in their cars. Success there is as likely to harm car sales as it is to promote Microsoft gadgets. Ford is an example of their success but Ford tries to keep the relationship quiet. Perhaps their is justice in the world and people remember that Microsoft is the problem, not hardware and other software.

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