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Why Windows Phone 7 Shows That Windows in General is Collapsing

Summary: Vista 7 is unsuitable for form factors that customers increasingly adopt

WINDOWS is not doing well. Don't believe the spinners. When it comes to profit, the numbers not only declined over the years; these turn out to be faked figures, too (the rest of the revenue comes from squeezing the goose, inflation, forced 'upgrades' and so on). Even Microsoft is now admitting that Windows has an innovator's dilemma-type crisis. It just doesn't scale, not even Vista 7 which Microsoft claims to be lighter than Vista (how inappropriate a basis for comparison).



According to this Microsoft booster, Vista 7 is too heavy for tablets. It's implicit and subtle. By saying that Vista Phony 7 [sic] might be needed for tablets, Microsoft inadvertently admits that Vista 7 is too fat.

If Vista Phony 7 [sic] is Microsoft's plan for the future, then no wonder we saw more and more people saying that Ballmer is already on the exit chair, awaiting ejection (and it won't be Ballmer setting off this chair). As my colleague and friend Tim puts it, what Microsoft says is not reality and even its PR is suffering a lot this month. Examples are being given, including some from the overly-hyped KINect:

Today I thought that I would present a list of articles/links which hardly put Microsoft in the same light as its PR agents and boosters would want you to know.

[...]

Can Microsoft compete with the Nintendo with Kinect? - On the basis of this and other reports around the net, I wouldn’t think so.

[...]

It also seems Microsoft advocates/boosters will tell you that demand has it sold out. This doesn’t appear to be the case and at time of writing HMV had these in stock. Maybe Microsoft is trying to generate some interest? Maybe Kinect sales are suffering with the same type of lag that the device reports to have (as per the BBC Click review) . Maybe the people who part with cash for this contraption can let us all know.


"Will Microsoft ride Kinect tiger or go Wii Wii Wii all the way home," asks one of ZDNet's FOSS-leaning bloggers, who adds:

As I noted Friday, Microsoft has backed down from earlier legal and technological threats against the programmers who turned Kinect into a general computer interface. But now Google’s Matt Cutts has tweaked the Green Monster with his own contest for the best Linux and open source applications using the device.

Note that this is not a Google contest. It’s a Matt Cutts contest. He just happens to work at Google.

As our Adrian Kingsley-Hughes notes, the Kinect’s parts cost just $56. Even at $149, that’s a healthy profit margin, but he also notes that Microsoft’s research costs mean it must sell “a lot of Kinect devices to turn this one into a serious money spinner.”


Based on the billions (in losses) which Xbox cost Microsoft, one should not be too optimistic here. KINect will definitely sell better than KIN, but again, this is not a proper basis for comparison. Any Wii sold already contains the equivalent of KINect. Microsoft is playing catch-up here and allegedly spends half a billion dollars just marketing this thing. The same goes for Vista Phony 7 [sic] marketing, which -- as we predicted -- will be money down the toilet. The Register ponders: "So did Windows Phone 7 'bomb in US'?"

40,000 devices is still embarrassing, even if it's just the USA and leaves out the 90,000 or so Microsoft employees who'll be getting one, and even if figures elsewhere are rather better. But before drawing any conclusions it's worth thinking about the numbers.


Charles Arthur, who is working for a Bill Gates-funded publication (where the sponsorship helps inject bias sometimes [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]), looks back at the early days of Windows and suggests that we are seeing the end of this era. His headline states: "Has Microsoft's Windows had its day?"

The bald man in the ill-fitting check jacket doesn't pause as he stands beside the beige 1980s-vintage PC. The words pour out of his mouth like the sharpest huckster you've ever seen. "How much do YOU think this advanced operating environment is worth? WAIT just ONE minute before you answer," he instructs eagerly. "WATCH as Windows integrates Lotus 1-2-3 with" – he clutches his lapels – "MIAMI VICE!"

The screen shows picture of a Ferrari pasted into a document. "NOW we can take THIS Ferrari and paste it RIGHT INTO Windows Write," the man gabbles. "NOW how much do you think Microsoft Windows is worth?... DON'T ANSWER. WAIT until you see Windows Write and Windows Paint and LISTEN to what else you get at NO EXTRA CHARGE!"

We're only 15 seconds in but already you feel buffeted. "The MS-DOS executive, an appointment calendar, a cardfile, a notepad, a clock, a control panel, a terminal, printer, a RAM driver, AND CAN YOU BELIEVE IT, REVERSI, yes that's right, ALL these features and Reversi, for just – HOOOOW much did you guess?"

Guess? We had to guess? " FIVE HUNDRED? A THOUSAND? EVEN MORE? NOOOO it's just 99 dollars, that's right, it's 99 dollars, it's an incredible value but it's true, it's Windows from Microsoft, order TODAY! PO BOX 286-DOS," he concludes as the address flashes on the screen, before adding weirdly, and without explanation, "…. Except in Nebraska."


Arthur refers to the viral video below. Tim (of TechBytes and OpenBytes) does not expect Ballmer to survive next year at Microsoft. Vista Phony 7 [sic] is just one of his many recent failures.

Ballmer money
Steve Ballmer in Windows 1.0 advertisement

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