Bonum Certa Men Certa

Windows is Dying, Long Live Vapourware

Vista 7



Microsoft buried the "Vista" brand and started banging on some drum which refers to an imaginary O/S that they can always claim "is still in beta!"



As we noted several times before, the press says almost nothing about "Vista" and a lot about "Windows 7". This is not a coincidence. It has been a recognisable pattern for a while and it gets more apparent every week.

As a small test, earlier today we obtained a set of Microsoft headlines from the past week. Assemblage of news matching "Microsoft" in Yahoo! News and Google News produced 450 items. Search/slice on the term "Vista" and 3 results will be returned; search/slice on "Windows 7" and 34 results will be returned. Yes, vapourware tactics indeed:

"In the face of strong competition, Evangelism's focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X."

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]



Among the headlines that we find about Vista 7[sic]:

i. Economy Could Slow Enterprise Adoption of Windows 7

The turbulent economy could hinder enterprise adoption of Windows 7, even though many companies opted to skip Windows Vista and are still running the outdated Windows XP OS, analysts said.

Although the beta of Windows 7 released in January is getting good reviews, that may not be enough to inspire businesses to upgrade, given their tight IT budgets and the fact that many are cutting costs in any way they can.


ii. Microsoft’s Plan to Upsell Windows 7

To many people, the Starter restriction will be, if you’ll pardon the expression, a non-starter. Between browsers, email programs, iTunes and other software, it won’t take long for the average user to bump into the three-application limit. What’s more, this is the first time Microsoft will be imposing such a restriction on an operating system sold in the U.S. and other developing markets (there’s a three-application limit on the starter edition of Windows Vista, Microsoft’s current installment of Windows, but that product is only sold in emerging markets).


iii. Intel employee warns on Windows 7 netbook pricing, SSDs

In the blog, Bancroft says that Microsoft's margins on XP netbooks are not strong, and the company will feel pressure to increase revenue from Windows 7 netbooks -- a move that he suggests could lead to netbooks that are too expensive. Bancroft also expressed doubt that netbooks with small solid state disks (also known as flash drives) would be able to handle Windows 7.


Sounds like a plan.

Windows Mobile



Windows Mobile has a sad story to tell and we have tracked this story for several months. Some of Microsoft's most ardent supporters believe that Windows Mobile will not survive. The eulogies continue to rush in because several individuals keep suggesting that Windows Mobile is on its death throes. From Information Week:

i. Motorola, Microsoft In Suicide Pact

Instead, it's cutting back even further. After announcing last year that it would support just two operating systems, Windows Mobile and Android, it is laying off Windows Mobile engineers, indicating that Motorola is going to focus exclusively on Android.

This is not only another sign that Microsoft's decline is accelerating; Microsoft is behaving like an animal in its death throes, showing little interest in pursuing new prey.


ii. Is Window Mobile On Its Last Legs?

Fabrizio Capobianco, CEO of the mobile open source company Funambol, has all but declared Windows Mobile dead in a recent blog entry. Is he right, or is there still life left in the mobile platform from Microsoft?


Windows revenue has been declining for a while and not even 'massaged' reports are able to hide it. Very interesting times lie ahead.

Eric Lai provides some early evidence of the 'IBM-isation' of Microsoft. His article states in its summary: "Under program, [Microsoft] customers will get credits if no support response within 30 minutes." This sounds very much like the successful business model adopted and championed by Red Hat and to an extent Oracle and IBM as well. Is Microsoft realising that giving Windows (almost) for free and offering support is one reasonable way forward? Some things inevitably become a commodity (like drugs going generic) but not human labour and skills.

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