Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Falls Further Behind in Mobiles, Consoles (Hardware), Thus Resorts to Patents

"Client software felt the slump in PC sales, and was further harmed by the shift to netbooks; many of these run Linux, which helps Microsoft not at all."

--Ars Technica, January 2009



Summary: Evidence of the failures in Windows Mobile and XBox leading to a consequential new strategy

THOSE WHO are unable to see Microsoft's relevance to Linux need look no further than the TomTom lawsuit (and probably SCO as well). The more badly Microsoft fails, the sooner it will go out of business and leave GNU/Linux alone. It is therefore quite sensible to keep track of and inform about Microsoft's business, which fortunately enough is on a steady decline.

In what seems like good news for Linux on mobiles, Microsoft's CEO is now publicly acknowledging that Windows Mobile has fallen behind.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was told today that the appeal of the iPhone and other consumer devices has made it more difficult for chief information officers at large public agencies to continue justifying the use of Windows Mobile phones in their organizations.


A few weeks ago we wrote about the serious trouble Windows Mobile is in and the preemptive TomTom lawsuit is intended to injure embedded Linux using fear, uncertainty and doubt. What if Microsoft was prepared to compete based on technical merits, not based on software patents?

In other news, Microsoft has already sacked an XBox employee for saying the truth about red rings of death (a symbol of Microsoft's failure in hardware, Zune being another [1, 2, 3, 4]). Things have not significantly improved since the sacking, with the following reports appearing in recent days:



The XBox business has lost Microsoft over $5 billion so far. Unless Microsoft can restore and revive its cash cows (mostly Windows and Office), it will fall into deep debt [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Microsoft investors grow impatient as the price of Windows declines close to $0 and Microsoft ponders similar pricing schemes for Office, with advertising dreadfully seen as an alternative. If Office plummets, Microsoft will be left with losing products.

The inherent lack of sustainability in Microsoft's current strategy is a sound explanation for the new business model that it forms. It's betting on patents (i.e. imaginary products or taxation of competitors in a leech-like fashion).

XBox
Game over?

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