Microsoft brain drain?

I just got a press release that Tjeerd Hoek, director or user experience design for Microsoft Windows, is now executive creative director of software and hardware convergence at Frog Design.

Tjeerd was well liked and well respected inside Microsoft.

Microsoft is seemingly in the middle of a full-bore executive cleanout. I’ve seen tons of executives leave, particularly in the MSN/Live division that’s struggling to compete with Google. Nearly every executive I knew inside that division is now gone.

Just a few days ago Mary Jo Foley reported that Dane Glasgow left, following Chris Payne. Mary Jo also has a report on Microsoft’s financial results, which were pretty darn good overall (they better be, a new copy of Windows and Office shipped). The question now is “will the sales of those sustain over several quarters?” Microsoft’s guideance says it will.

Comments

  1. did not not love this company when they paid your rent?
    exactly WHAT ADOBE tools do you (can you) use ?

  2. did not not love this company when they paid your rent?
    exactly WHAT ADOBE tools do you (can you) use ?

  3. Seems this could be spun either way. Either the old regime is clearing out which makes room for some new young and hungry crew to come in or the great giant is atrophying and these are the first signs of a complete system failure.

    I don’t know much about the crew inside MS but the lose of executives isn’t as worrying to me. The types of people I’d consider a major blow to lose would be people like J Allard, Brad Abrams and Scott Guthrie. I know I felt it was a huge lose when Anders left Borland yet I do think something good came of it for the industry as a whole.

    What’s interesting about Tjeerd is that I remember reading quite a few frog design blog entries about WPF (now Silverlight). Having someone outside of Microsoft developing great applications using WPF, er Silverlight (damn, I’m just not used to MS actually having a cool sounding product name instead of some horrible three-letter jumble) could be a huge boon for them. Frog Design cares a bit more cred than MS, which is what MS needs to help sell their next generation of frameworks and services.

    Time will tell.

  4. Seems this could be spun either way. Either the old regime is clearing out which makes room for some new young and hungry crew to come in or the great giant is atrophying and these are the first signs of a complete system failure.

    I don’t know much about the crew inside MS but the lose of executives isn’t as worrying to me. The types of people I’d consider a major blow to lose would be people like J Allard, Brad Abrams and Scott Guthrie. I know I felt it was a huge lose when Anders left Borland yet I do think something good came of it for the industry as a whole.

    What’s interesting about Tjeerd is that I remember reading quite a few frog design blog entries about WPF (now Silverlight). Having someone outside of Microsoft developing great applications using WPF, er Silverlight (damn, I’m just not used to MS actually having a cool sounding product name instead of some horrible three-letter jumble) could be a huge boon for them. Frog Design cares a bit more cred than MS, which is what MS needs to help sell their next generation of frameworks and services.

    Time will tell.

  5. Paul: they offered me some major incentives to stay. I knew that to do my job I’d need to fly to Redmond at least twice a month, which didn’t help my situation out. But the opportunities outside Microsoft were bigger.

    Assuck: I reported the most bugs on the Adobe Acrobat 1.0 product (back when I was a big WIndows 95 and NT beta tester). I also beta tested many Adobe products including Photoshop, Illustrator, Multiple Master fonts, and Type Manager. All probably before your time.

  6. Paul: they offered me some major incentives to stay. I knew that to do my job I’d need to fly to Redmond at least twice a month, which didn’t help my situation out. But the opportunities outside Microsoft were bigger.

    Assuck: I reported the most bugs on the Adobe Acrobat 1.0 product (back when I was a big WIndows 95 and NT beta tester). I also beta tested many Adobe products including Photoshop, Illustrator, Multiple Master fonts, and Type Manager. All probably before your time.

  7. Shawn: Google has hundreds of employees up in Kirkland now. A very large percentage came from Microsoft. Totally agree with you about Scott Guthrie and Brad Abrams, though. I know several employees who’ve told me “as long as Guthrie is here, I’m sticking around.”

  8. Shawn: Google has hundreds of employees up in Kirkland now. A very large percentage came from Microsoft. Totally agree with you about Scott Guthrie and Brad Abrams, though. I know several employees who’ve told me “as long as Guthrie is here, I’m sticking around.”

  9. “(they better be, a new copy of Windows and Office shipped).”

    The analysts new this all along. So beating the market is a ‘they better be’. It’s actually a WOW. The stock is up 4% in the after hours trading. Goog had a 2% increase when they announced their results but blogosphere said google is king of the market. AAPL had a 5% increase and you congratulated them. But when it comes to MSFT its a ‘better be’. Of all people i didn’t expect this kind of response from you. (A reaction like http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2007/04/26/microsofts_resu.html is totally on the expected lines)

  10. “(they better be, a new copy of Windows and Office shipped).”

    The analysts new this all along. So beating the market is a ‘they better be’. It’s actually a WOW. The stock is up 4% in the after hours trading. Goog had a 2% increase when they announced their results but blogosphere said google is king of the market. AAPL had a 5% increase and you congratulated them. But when it comes to MSFT its a ‘better be’. Of all people i didn’t expect this kind of response from you. (A reaction like http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2007/04/26/microsofts_resu.html is totally on the expected lines)

  11. “I’ve seen tons of executives leave, particularly in the MSN/Live division that’s struggling to compete with Google. Nearly every executive I knew inside that division is now gone.”

    The reason is within your statement itself. “Struggling to compete with Google.” Even you have many times trashed Live services. So its *good* to clean house. How is replacing execs whose plans failed with fresh faces to be ridiculed as “brain drain”?

  12. “I’ve seen tons of executives leave, particularly in the MSN/Live division that’s struggling to compete with Google. Nearly every executive I knew inside that division is now gone.”

    The reason is within your statement itself. “Struggling to compete with Google.” Even you have many times trashed Live services. So its *good* to clean house. How is replacing execs whose plans failed with fresh faces to be ridiculed as “brain drain”?

  13. The analysts new this all along. So beating the market is a ‘they better be’. It’s actually a WOW. The stock is up 4% in the after hours trading. Goog had a 2% increase when they announced their results but blogosphere said google is king of the market. AAPL had a 5% increase and you congratulated them. But when it comes to MSFT its a ‘better be’.

    It’s not crap news, but the fact that the two things Microsoft has been pushing bigger and harder than either Vista (The WoW commercials…seen one. once. At a movie. !W00t) or Office 2007, namely the live services and the Xbox 360 both lost money.

    When the thing you’re using to prove you can keep up with Google, and what is probably the best product you’ve released in years aren’t kicking ass, or even breaking even, THAT’S BAD.

    It also doesn’t say much for the Zune.

    It’s not out of line to say that Vista saved their ass this quarter, with some help from Office 2007. However, the corporate and large government sales of VIsta were pretty damned soft, so this was most likely due to OEM, which always gets softer between March and Sept.

    The March-June quarter may end up being pretty damned brutal, and the entertainment div. won’t have any big MacBU sales until late summer early fall to help out.

    The fact is, for this quarter, the only thing Microsoft executed well on are the things they’ve been doing for the last 20 years or so. On almost everything else, they tanked it.

  14. The analysts new this all along. So beating the market is a ‘they better be’. It’s actually a WOW. The stock is up 4% in the after hours trading. Goog had a 2% increase when they announced their results but blogosphere said google is king of the market. AAPL had a 5% increase and you congratulated them. But when it comes to MSFT its a ‘better be’.

    It’s not crap news, but the fact that the two things Microsoft has been pushing bigger and harder than either Vista (The WoW commercials…seen one. once. At a movie. !W00t) or Office 2007, namely the live services and the Xbox 360 both lost money.

    When the thing you’re using to prove you can keep up with Google, and what is probably the best product you’ve released in years aren’t kicking ass, or even breaking even, THAT’S BAD.

    It also doesn’t say much for the Zune.

    It’s not out of line to say that Vista saved their ass this quarter, with some help from Office 2007. However, the corporate and large government sales of VIsta were pretty damned soft, so this was most likely due to OEM, which always gets softer between March and Sept.

    The March-June quarter may end up being pretty damned brutal, and the entertainment div. won’t have any big MacBU sales until late summer early fall to help out.

    The fact is, for this quarter, the only thing Microsoft executed well on are the things they’ve been doing for the last 20 years or so. On almost everything else, they tanked it.

  15. @12, All things you list in your comment were already ‘known’. Wall st knew all these things when they setup estimates for this querter. The point here is that there was about half a billion more in profit than the estimates.

    “The March-June quarter may end up being pretty damned brutal”

    You have to qualify what you mean by brutal here. Q performances are being based on how much the guidance/estimate is beaten. Are you saying the numbers will be much below the given guidances for the next Q?

  16. @12, All things you list in your comment were already ‘known’. Wall st knew all these things when they setup estimates for this querter. The point here is that there was about half a billion more in profit than the estimates.

    “The March-June quarter may end up being pretty damned brutal”

    You have to qualify what you mean by brutal here. Q performances are being based on how much the guidance/estimate is beaten. Are you saying the numbers will be much below the given guidances for the next Q?

  17. Welch,
    Vista and Office 2k7 were already baked into the expectations, and MS still beat those expectations. I know it’s very painful for you, but them’s the facts.

    And a 60 Billion dollar company increasing earnings by 12% is great.

    BTW, the official guidance is 180 degrees at odds with your prediction of “brutal” March-June quarter, and MSFT is always conservative with their guidance.

    “The fact is, for this quarter, the only thing Microsoft executed well on are the things they’ve been doing for the last 20 years or so. On almost everything else, they tanked it.”

    That’s one way of putting it.
    Here’s the facts, without the spin:
    According to the earnings report at http://www.microsoft.com/msft/earnings/FY07/earn_rel_q3_07.mspx , they made large profit in these divisions: “Client”; “Server and Tools”; “Microsoft Business Division”; and lost money in “Online Services Business” and “Entertainment and Devices”. The losses suffered by the unprofitable divisions were literally an order of magnitude smaller than the profit made in the profitable divisions.

    So, they made huge money in their core business, and lost relatively small money in newer adventures.

    Your spin, “They made money in what they’ve made money in for 20 years, everything else tanked” is arguably true, but extremely deceptive, as “everything else” sounds like the majority of the company, when that “everything else” is extremely small (employee-wise). But you already know that, yet you spun anyway. Your usual M.O.

    The fact is, NOBODY expected Xbox, Zune, or Live to make money this quarter, so please put away that strawman, it won’t fly with anyone except those who are predisposed to dismiss anything good MS does (i.e. those of your ilk).

    Your post is really reaching to try to spin these earnings as bad. Smacks of desperation, bitterness, sour grapes, etc.

  18. Welch,
    Vista and Office 2k7 were already baked into the expectations, and MS still beat those expectations. I know it’s very painful for you, but them’s the facts.

    And a 60 Billion dollar company increasing earnings by 12% is great.

    BTW, the official guidance is 180 degrees at odds with your prediction of “brutal” March-June quarter, and MSFT is always conservative with their guidance.

    “The fact is, for this quarter, the only thing Microsoft executed well on are the things they’ve been doing for the last 20 years or so. On almost everything else, they tanked it.”

    That’s one way of putting it.
    Here’s the facts, without the spin:
    According to the earnings report at http://www.microsoft.com/msft/earnings/FY07/earn_rel_q3_07.mspx , they made large profit in these divisions: “Client”; “Server and Tools”; “Microsoft Business Division”; and lost money in “Online Services Business” and “Entertainment and Devices”. The losses suffered by the unprofitable divisions were literally an order of magnitude smaller than the profit made in the profitable divisions.

    So, they made huge money in their core business, and lost relatively small money in newer adventures.

    Your spin, “They made money in what they’ve made money in for 20 years, everything else tanked” is arguably true, but extremely deceptive, as “everything else” sounds like the majority of the company, when that “everything else” is extremely small (employee-wise). But you already know that, yet you spun anyway. Your usual M.O.

    The fact is, NOBODY expected Xbox, Zune, or Live to make money this quarter, so please put away that strawman, it won’t fly with anyone except those who are predisposed to dismiss anything good MS does (i.e. those of your ilk).

    Your post is really reaching to try to spin these earnings as bad. Smacks of desperation, bitterness, sour grapes, etc.

  19. Kenneth: while I agree that it’s good to keep house if the execs are underperforming, the reasons for their underperformance are not irrelevant:

    If the executives are “underperforming” because they have outrageously unmanageable targets, letting them go doesn’t necessarily make sense. Given the repeated “beat Google in six months” claims, I’m wondering if these execs had the ability to keep expectations at reasonable levels. If not, no points for firing them…

    If the executives are underperforming because they’re being micromanaged by higher-ups to imitate something but deliver superior results, well, that’s not exactly their fault either.

    If, however, they’re not delivering on reasonable, uncoerced promises, then good riddance. If they’re not driving real innovation, good riddance.

    I like Ray Ozzie, and I think he has the big picture for Desktop and Enterprise customers, maybe even for XBox 360, too. From my brief time in Redmond, I’m not sure the troops are all lined up behind him, I’m not sure the company still remembers how to ship software, and I’m not sure that there are big ideas for competition in either the Internet or portable device space.

  20. Kenneth: while I agree that it’s good to keep house if the execs are underperforming, the reasons for their underperformance are not irrelevant:

    If the executives are “underperforming” because they have outrageously unmanageable targets, letting them go doesn’t necessarily make sense. Given the repeated “beat Google in six months” claims, I’m wondering if these execs had the ability to keep expectations at reasonable levels. If not, no points for firing them…

    If the executives are underperforming because they’re being micromanaged by higher-ups to imitate something but deliver superior results, well, that’s not exactly their fault either.

    If, however, they’re not delivering on reasonable, uncoerced promises, then good riddance. If they’re not driving real innovation, good riddance.

    I like Ray Ozzie, and I think he has the big picture for Desktop and Enterprise customers, maybe even for XBox 360, too. From my brief time in Redmond, I’m not sure the troops are all lined up behind him, I’m not sure the company still remembers how to ship software, and I’m not sure that there are big ideas for competition in either the Internet or portable device space.

  21. Smart people don’t want to work for number 3 or even number 4.

    Google is most likely number 1.
    Yahoo is probably number 2.
    Ask or MSN is number 3.

    Brain drain is to be expected when a company has talented people who are not seeing their ideas flower or the potential they could bring to bear not being used.

    I don’t blame these men for leaving. I blame MS for being so stodgy and old-fashioned.

    MS is already number three or even four in their Internet division. Why stay when you can go work for a mover and shaker?

  22. Smart people don’t want to work for number 3 or even number 4.

    Google is most likely number 1.
    Yahoo is probably number 2.
    Ask or MSN is number 3.

    Brain drain is to be expected when a company has talented people who are not seeing their ideas flower or the potential they could bring to bear not being used.

    I don’t blame these men for leaving. I blame MS for being so stodgy and old-fashioned.

    MS is already number three or even four in their Internet division. Why stay when you can go work for a mover and shaker?

  23. “Smart people don’t want to work for number 3 or even number 4″

    Either Redhat or Apple has no smart employees then?

  24. “Smart people don’t want to work for number 3 or even number 4″

    Either Redhat or Apple has no smart employees then?

  25. @14,

    MS has indeed forgotten how to ship software. Look at Vista. Not even remotely ready for the gold master.
    Vista is atrociously deficient on so many levels. It’s nothing special. It’s not even as good as XP. I think deep down, MS knows it has a loser on its hands. It has sold far less out of the gate than XP. It’s so unpopular that Dell is now shipping XP again and those requests are growing by the day.
    Vista is helping people switch to Ubuntu. This is good, though.
    I honestly think that MS is losing the OS game in a major way.

  26. @14,

    MS has indeed forgotten how to ship software. Look at Vista. Not even remotely ready for the gold master.
    Vista is atrociously deficient on so many levels. It’s nothing special. It’s not even as good as XP. I think deep down, MS knows it has a loser on its hands. It has sold far less out of the gate than XP. It’s so unpopular that Dell is now shipping XP again and those requests are growing by the day.
    Vista is helping people switch to Ubuntu. This is good, though.
    I honestly think that MS is losing the OS game in a major way.

  27. @16,

    Get a clue. Both Apple and Red Hat ARE the top at their respective games.

    Apple is king of consumer gadgets and has the most mature, plug and play desktop, best music device, and a host of other goodies.

    Red Hat is king of enterprise Linux.

    Nothing 2nd or 3rd about either company.

  28. @16,

    Get a clue. Both Apple and Red Hat ARE the top at their respective games.

    Apple is king of consumer gadgets and has the most mature, plug and play desktop, best music device, and a host of other goodies.

    Red Hat is king of enterprise Linux.

    Nothing 2nd or 3rd about either company.

  29. @19

    All of the companies mentioned above (Microsoft, Google, Apple, Red Hat), are #1 in something or other, so they can all claim to be #1 in “their respective games”. Each of them is also #2 or lower in other markets in which they compete.

    One can make lots of money being #2 or #3 anyway. The “everyone who is not #1 is a loser” philosophy is nonsense. A Pepsi exec is still rich even if Pepsi is #2 to Coke.

  30. @19

    All of the companies mentioned above (Microsoft, Google, Apple, Red Hat), are #1 in something or other, so they can all claim to be #1 in “their respective games”. Each of them is also #2 or lower in other markets in which they compete.

    One can make lots of money being #2 or #3 anyway. The “everyone who is not #1 is a loser” philosophy is nonsense. A Pepsi exec is still rich even if Pepsi is #2 to Coke.

  31. Can’t find broken numbers of MS figures.

    What I am particularly interested in :
    - Vista sales : sales that really occured in Q1 versus presales that occured 6 months ago when they started giving coupons. Double accounting anyone?
    - Vista sales : actual customer purchase, not OEM stocks.
    - Office 2007 sales : how much?
    - Office 2007 sales : comparison with Office 2003 sales in the same period.
    - Office 2007 sales : how much from SoftwareAssurance (i.e. from corporate clients who are locked in).

  32. Can’t find broken numbers of MS figures.

    What I am particularly interested in :
    - Vista sales : sales that really occured in Q1 versus presales that occured 6 months ago when they started giving coupons. Double accounting anyone?
    - Vista sales : actual customer purchase, not OEM stocks.
    - Office 2007 sales : how much?
    - Office 2007 sales : comparison with Office 2003 sales in the same period.
    - Office 2007 sales : how much from SoftwareAssurance (i.e. from corporate clients who are locked in).

  33. “The fact is, NOBODY expected Xbox, Zune, or Live to make money this quarter, so please put away that strawman…”

    Scoble has been saying XBox would be profitable this year for 2 years… Just because Bach pushed it off for another year yet again doesn’t mean that’s a good thing.

    I think the notion that these were expected are ridiculous: Google and Apple didn’t have baked in expectations.

    “Goog had a 2% increase when they announced their results but blogosphere said google is king of the market. AAPL had a 5% increase and you congratulated them.”

    4% is nice, but we aren’t judging based on stock price raise. Apple’s businesses expanded across the board with the Mac being the strongest segment. Profits were a blowout. Google’s profits were a blowout and this is on top of quarter after quarter of blowouts and competitors doing nowhere near the same business.

    Yes, MS did well, but we are still seeing the same picture: they can continue to squeeze profit growth from their core markets, they cannot achieve growth and profits in new markets.

    The fact that you will not be able to find any of the answers to any of Stephane’s questions is a concern. (Hell, it seems strange to me that not a single analyst had a proper estimate of the deferred revenues from Vista coupons: a figure that should have been 100% known.)

  34. “The fact is, NOBODY expected Xbox, Zune, or Live to make money this quarter, so please put away that strawman…”

    Scoble has been saying XBox would be profitable this year for 2 years… Just because Bach pushed it off for another year yet again doesn’t mean that’s a good thing.

    I think the notion that these were expected are ridiculous: Google and Apple didn’t have baked in expectations.

    “Goog had a 2% increase when they announced their results but blogosphere said google is king of the market. AAPL had a 5% increase and you congratulated them.”

    4% is nice, but we aren’t judging based on stock price raise. Apple’s businesses expanded across the board with the Mac being the strongest segment. Profits were a blowout. Google’s profits were a blowout and this is on top of quarter after quarter of blowouts and competitors doing nowhere near the same business.

    Yes, MS did well, but we are still seeing the same picture: they can continue to squeeze profit growth from their core markets, they cannot achieve growth and profits in new markets.

    The fact that you will not be able to find any of the answers to any of Stephane’s questions is a concern. (Hell, it seems strange to me that not a single analyst had a proper estimate of the deferred revenues from Vista coupons: a figure that should have been 100% known.)

  35. You know what Ted Tso, senior kernel developer at IBM told me when we were at dinner a couple months back? http://thunk.org/tytso Besides being slightly annoyed at my prodding questions about metronome, he said that for Microsoft, Bill Gates was up on a plateau by himself, and was the sole reason for the company’s success. Everybody else at MS were bottom feeders in the valley below. That’s what he said. I dunno if he wanted me to keep that private, but whatever. Now that Gates is no longer doing anything, or leading the company, MS is toast. Look at their leader, Mr. Ballmer. Does 3 plus 7 really equal 13? It does to him, and that’s why MS is going to sink the titanic.

  36. You know what Ted Tso, senior kernel developer at IBM told me when we were at dinner a couple months back? http://thunk.org/tytso Besides being slightly annoyed at my prodding questions about metronome, he said that for Microsoft, Bill Gates was up on a plateau by himself, and was the sole reason for the company’s success. Everybody else at MS were bottom feeders in the valley below. That’s what he said. I dunno if he wanted me to keep that private, but whatever. Now that Gates is no longer doing anything, or leading the company, MS is toast. Look at their leader, Mr. Ballmer. Does 3 plus 7 really equal 13? It does to him, and that’s why MS is going to sink the titanic.

  37. Microsoft used to be about product and technology and now it’s about marketing, hype, cloning the soup du jour, and keeping the status quo.

  38. Microsoft used to be about product and technology and now it’s about marketing, hype, cloning the soup du jour, and keeping the status quo.

  39. “Get a clue. Both Apple and Red Hat ARE the top at their respective games.”

    1) So Microsoft is not #1 in its respective game?
    2) So eployees who work in *the client OS* division of redhat or oracle are not smart? (Or are you going to claim that Mac and RHL are joint #1 in client OS too?)

  40. “Get a clue. Both Apple and Red Hat ARE the top at their respective games.”

    1) So Microsoft is not #1 in its respective game?
    2) So eployees who work in *the client OS* division of redhat or oracle are not smart? (Or are you going to claim that Mac and RHL are joint #1 in client OS too?)

  41. oh, and if you guys didn’t notice, the server and tools(Windows servers, sql server and visual studio) division had a profit of $980 million.

  42. oh, and if you guys didn’t notice, the server and tools(Windows servers, sql server and visual studio) division had a profit of $980 million.

  43. @seshadri

    It’s not about profit, it’s about growth, and MS has none. It’s cold outside and they just stepped out of the pool.

    Please digg our service if you get a chance.
    http://digg.com/tech_news/BeerCo_Software_offers_qualified_remote_employees_for_only_4_995_per_month

    Next week I am releasing a new service that supports IBM tomcat/websphere customers at half the cost per incident on both enterprise and community editions. I’ll repost a digg link when that is set up too.

    Microsoft execs?
    A dime a dozen. I heard the whole story behind Jim Alchin’s departure from insiders. I bet Scoble doesn’t dare publish that.

  44. @seshadri

    It’s not about profit, it’s about growth, and MS has none. It’s cold outside and they just stepped out of the pool.

    Please digg our service if you get a chance.
    http://digg.com/tech_news/BeerCo_Software_offers_qualified_remote_employees_for_only_4_995_per_month

    Next week I am releasing a new service that supports IBM tomcat/websphere customers at half the cost per incident on both enterprise and community editions. I’ll repost a digg link when that is set up too.

    Microsoft execs?
    A dime a dozen. I heard the whole story behind Jim Alchin’s departure from insiders. I bet Scoble doesn’t dare publish that.

  45. “It’s not about profit, it’s about growth, and MS has none. ”

    There has been a 8-11% growth pretty much every quarter. Specifically, this quarter except the online business all other have had growth (The revenue in the Home & Entertainment business has come down but so has the losses)

    “and they just stepped out of the pool”
    Yeah, it’s been just 30 years since they started doing business.

  46. “It’s not about profit, it’s about growth, and MS has none. ”

    There has been a 8-11% growth pretty much every quarter. Specifically, this quarter except the online business all other have had growth (The revenue in the Home & Entertainment business has come down but so has the losses)

    “and they just stepped out of the pool”
    Yeah, it’s been just 30 years since they started doing business.

  47. @29
    http://investors.redhat.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=67156&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=909412&highlight= # 52% revenue growth, # 6th consecutive quarter adding more than 10,000 new customers, # 18th consecutive quarter of sequential growth in total revenue, If you think RHAT is something check out google.
    Yawn. Besides their market of new users has been practically depleted. They are desperately turning to piracy curbing to generate new revenue. WGN ect… wouldn’t have entered their thoughts when all was good and Leno was announcing the Win95 release. It’s all down hill from here baby.

  48. @29
    http://investors.redhat.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=67156&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=909412&highlight= # 52% revenue growth, # 6th consecutive quarter adding more than 10,000 new customers, # 18th consecutive quarter of sequential growth in total revenue, If you think RHAT is something check out google.
    Yawn. Besides their market of new users has been practically depleted. They are desperately turning to piracy curbing to generate new revenue. WGN ect… wouldn’t have entered their thoughts when all was good and Leno was announcing the Win95 release. It’s all down hill from here baby.

  49. Zune, oragami, big top, ect…
    It’s like they hit the other side of the mountain, and it’s pam coated teflon. They’re trying to hook in, but nothing’s anchoring. Hell, I would leave MS too if I was an exec there.

  50. Zune, oragami, big top, ect…
    It’s like they hit the other side of the mountain, and it’s pam coated teflon. They’re trying to hook in, but nothing’s anchoring. Hell, I would leave MS too if I was an exec there.

  51. “It’s all down hill from here baby.”
    YAWN. iS this ‘down hill’ the same as the one that’s been predicted for about 20 years now?

    “10,000 new customers”
    Hey, Isn’t oracle one of these? Wait, no..they aren’t..they decided to do their own stuff. That’s uphill, i’ve to admit…

  52. “It’s all down hill from here baby.”
    YAWN. iS this ‘down hill’ the same as the one that’s been predicted for about 20 years now?

    “10,000 new customers”
    Hey, Isn’t oracle one of these? Wait, no..they aren’t..they decided to do their own stuff. That’s uphill, i’ve to admit…

  53. MS is out of steam. They’re deeply invested in projects that will not return any income, and they’ve lost a lot of investor confidence.

    I know that MS can survive for YEARs on their liquid assets alone, on life support. That’s not going to attract very good people though.

    With Gates gone, and from what I’ve seen of the company, I would bet against them in the next 10 years. The same way some bet against Commodore, despite the success of their machines in the 80s.

  54. MS is out of steam. They’re deeply invested in projects that will not return any income, and they’ve lost a lot of investor confidence.

    I know that MS can survive for YEARs on their liquid assets alone, on life support. That’s not going to attract very good people though.

    With Gates gone, and from what I’ve seen of the company, I would bet against them in the next 10 years. The same way some bet against Commodore, despite the success of their machines in the 80s.

  55. BTW, those sales numbers from MS are complete voodoo. Deferred sales ect…. They are using different accounting schemes to boost earnings reports, similarly to what we saw with Enron.

    The infrastructure at the company is so huge, that a slight decrease in sales, even if they are not reported to the public because of accounts shifting could start to eat away at the pot of gold. And it will.

  56. BTW, those sales numbers from MS are complete voodoo. Deferred sales ect…. They are using different accounting schemes to boost earnings reports, similarly to what we saw with Enron.

    The infrastructure at the company is so huge, that a slight decrease in sales, even if they are not reported to the public because of accounts shifting could start to eat away at the pot of gold. And it will.

  57. Robert – I’m curious. What would Microsoft have to do to show that Windows Vista was successful? As in – a year from now, what number would we have to show for you to say Windows Vista (and Microsoft) are in great shape?

    I have a feeling that Windows Vista could sell some insanely high number of copies and we would still see blogposts from Paul Graham saying how he doesn’t see anyone using Windows and therefore Microsoft is dead.

    I’m annoyed because we’ve just shown a ‘knock the ball out of the park’ quarter and you still have a negative post !

  58. Robert – I’m curious. What would Microsoft have to do to show that Windows Vista was successful? As in – a year from now, what number would we have to show for you to say Windows Vista (and Microsoft) are in great shape?

    I have a feeling that Windows Vista could sell some insanely high number of copies and we would still see blogposts from Paul Graham saying how he doesn’t see anyone using Windows and therefore Microsoft is dead.

    I’m annoyed because we’ve just shown a ‘knock the ball out of the park’ quarter and you still have a negative post !

  59. lol @ “double accounting”. Interesting how random Scoble commenters seem to know more about eranings reports than the experts.

    Bottom line, the guys had a great quarter. Shrug it off, deal with it. Don’t worry though, MS will die some day, just not this quarter…maybe next quarter. Keep hope alive though!

  60. lol @ “double accounting”. Interesting how random Scoble commenters seem to know more about eranings reports than the experts.

    Bottom line, the guys had a great quarter. Shrug it off, deal with it. Don’t worry though, MS will die some day, just not this quarter…maybe next quarter. Keep hope alive though!

  61. Vista and Office 2k7 were already baked into the expectations, and MS still beat those expectations. I know it’s very painful for you, but them’s the facts.

    And a 60 Billion dollar company increasing earnings by 12% is great.

    However, they didn’t do it on anything even remotely new. They did it on their core products. Which isn’t bad, and perhaps a sign that they should seriously consider sharpening their focus. But Live and the entire entertainment division lost rather a lot of money. In fact, Microsoft seriously reduced marketing of the Xbox so the loss would be less. I have for a long time advocated that Microsoft stop trying to compete in every possible market, and focus on the things they do best.

    What did they make money on?

    Windows and Office.

    What are the only two things they consistently execute on?

    Windows and Office.

    Just because online advertising is big, that doesn’t mean you have to be in it. Sometimes, in fact, it IS smarter to leave money on the table. Apple and Google both leave money on the table regularly. They say “There’s a lot of money there, but those are not segments we are going to get into, because they don’t make sense for us.”

    Microsoft can’t even figure out what to NAME Live or whatever it is today. The entire thing reeks of “Ozzie likes intarweb stuff, so now we do more intarweb stuff” But Microsoft cannot comprehend working with someone else, they have to own everything. So Google dominates search. Big deal.

    Just because you theoretically COULD make a ton of money from something doesn’t mean you will, or even you should. But Microsoft Sr. Leadership is trying to win every battle in every theater. They are now up to, with the latest hiring push, what 70K employees?

    Yet the only thing they did well were the two things they always do well in.

    Hmm.

    Your spin, “They made money in what they’ve made money in for 20 years, everything else tanked” is arguably true, but extremely deceptive, as “everything else” sounds like the majority of the company, when that “everything else” is extremely small (employee-wise). But you already know that, yet you spun anyway. Your usual M.O.

    Consider the HUGE push Microsoft has been making behind online and the Xbox, and at least initially, the Zune. Now tell me how the fact that none of those are making money is good. I await how you spin that.

    The fact is, NOBODY expected Xbox, Zune, or Live to make money this quarter, so please put away that strawman, it won’t fly with anyone except those who are predisposed to dismiss anything good MS does (i.e. those of your ilk).

    Yet if the iPhone isn’t instantly profitable from day one, I’m sure you’ll be crowing how Apple is TEHSUCK!!! Please. There’s no excuse for Live losing money, or the Zune. Considering Xbox Live has been around for a few years, and the fact that the Xbox 360 has been around for a year, they should have, at the very least, come far closer to breaking even, if not a small profit.

    But outside of Windows and Office, Microsoft tanked it on their big PR items. That’s not good, and shows a real execution problem.

    Your post is really reaching to try to spin these earnings as bad. Smacks of desperation, bitterness, sour grapes, etc.

    Making money is always good. That’s a company’s job. But when your “new exciting” pushes tank, and you would have been in serious trouble had you not had new products in both, then that’s a sign of problems.

    Robert – I’m curious. What would Microsoft have to do to show that Windows Vista was successful? As in – a year from now, what number would we have to show for you to say Windows Vista (and Microsoft) are in great shape?

    Dunno about Robert, but Vista is going to be a success on a few levels, even if most of it is playing catch-up. If you use Windows, for whatever reason, it’s better enough than XP, even if it is MORE annoying than XP, to seriously consider upgrading.

    I’m annoyed because we’ve just shown a ‘knock the ball out of the park’ quarter and you still have a negative post !

    No, you had a “our core business did really well and our new core business releases saved our ass” quarter. Had Live and Entertainment shown a solid profit, then you would have had an out of the ballpark quarter. When a rather, (according to Microsoft Execs) important part of your business is still losing money, then you did not in fact, knock it out of the ballpark. But it was a solid triple.

    Microsoft’s non-office, non-windows initiatives are not doing well at all, and that is not a good sign.

    Personally, i’d love to see Microsoft refocus on the things they DO well, and perhaps start firing all the NIH addicts running the company. I think a Microsoft that had focus, and didn’t view the entire world as the enemy would be a hell of a company on every level. But they still aren’t done making the IBM mistake yet.

  62. Vista and Office 2k7 were already baked into the expectations, and MS still beat those expectations. I know it’s very painful for you, but them’s the facts.

    And a 60 Billion dollar company increasing earnings by 12% is great.

    However, they didn’t do it on anything even remotely new. They did it on their core products. Which isn’t bad, and perhaps a sign that they should seriously consider sharpening their focus. But Live and the entire entertainment division lost rather a lot of money. In fact, Microsoft seriously reduced marketing of the Xbox so the loss would be less. I have for a long time advocated that Microsoft stop trying to compete in every possible market, and focus on the things they do best.

    What did they make money on?

    Windows and Office.

    What are the only two things they consistently execute on?

    Windows and Office.

    Just because online advertising is big, that doesn’t mean you have to be in it. Sometimes, in fact, it IS smarter to leave money on the table. Apple and Google both leave money on the table regularly. They say “There’s a lot of money there, but those are not segments we are going to get into, because they don’t make sense for us.”

    Microsoft can’t even figure out what to NAME Live or whatever it is today. The entire thing reeks of “Ozzie likes intarweb stuff, so now we do more intarweb stuff” But Microsoft cannot comprehend working with someone else, they have to own everything. So Google dominates search. Big deal.

    Just because you theoretically COULD make a ton of money from something doesn’t mean you will, or even you should. But Microsoft Sr. Leadership is trying to win every battle in every theater. They are now up to, with the latest hiring push, what 70K employees?

    Yet the only thing they did well were the two things they always do well in.

    Hmm.

    Your spin, “They made money in what they’ve made money in for 20 years, everything else tanked” is arguably true, but extremely deceptive, as “everything else” sounds like the majority of the company, when that “everything else” is extremely small (employee-wise). But you already know that, yet you spun anyway. Your usual M.O.

    Consider the HUGE push Microsoft has been making behind online and the Xbox, and at least initially, the Zune. Now tell me how the fact that none of those are making money is good. I await how you spin that.

    The fact is, NOBODY expected Xbox, Zune, or Live to make money this quarter, so please put away that strawman, it won’t fly with anyone except those who are predisposed to dismiss anything good MS does (i.e. those of your ilk).

    Yet if the iPhone isn’t instantly profitable from day one, I’m sure you’ll be crowing how Apple is TEHSUCK!!! Please. There’s no excuse for Live losing money, or the Zune. Considering Xbox Live has been around for a few years, and the fact that the Xbox 360 has been around for a year, they should have, at the very least, come far closer to breaking even, if not a small profit.

    But outside of Windows and Office, Microsoft tanked it on their big PR items. That’s not good, and shows a real execution problem.

    Your post is really reaching to try to spin these earnings as bad. Smacks of desperation, bitterness, sour grapes, etc.

    Making money is always good. That’s a company’s job. But when your “new exciting” pushes tank, and you would have been in serious trouble had you not had new products in both, then that’s a sign of problems.

    Robert – I’m curious. What would Microsoft have to do to show that Windows Vista was successful? As in – a year from now, what number would we have to show for you to say Windows Vista (and Microsoft) are in great shape?

    Dunno about Robert, but Vista is going to be a success on a few levels, even if most of it is playing catch-up. If you use Windows, for whatever reason, it’s better enough than XP, even if it is MORE annoying than XP, to seriously consider upgrading.

    I’m annoyed because we’ve just shown a ‘knock the ball out of the park’ quarter and you still have a negative post !

    No, you had a “our core business did really well and our new core business releases saved our ass” quarter. Had Live and Entertainment shown a solid profit, then you would have had an out of the ballpark quarter. When a rather, (according to Microsoft Execs) important part of your business is still losing money, then you did not in fact, knock it out of the ballpark. But it was a solid triple.

    Microsoft’s non-office, non-windows initiatives are not doing well at all, and that is not a good sign.

    Personally, i’d love to see Microsoft refocus on the things they DO well, and perhaps start firing all the NIH addicts running the company. I think a Microsoft that had focus, and didn’t view the entire world as the enemy would be a hell of a company on every level. But they still aren’t done making the IBM mistake yet.

  63. @John C Welch “What did they make money on?

    Windows and Office

    Err, not to nitpick, but server and tools seems to be coming along rather nicely…at nearly a billion in pure profit for the quarter, we can probably stop saying they only have two cash cows. I’d say they’ve now grown to three.

  64. @John C Welch “What did they make money on?

    Windows and Office

    Err, not to nitpick, but server and tools seems to be coming along rather nicely…at nearly a billion in pure profit for the quarter, we can probably stop saying they only have two cash cows. I’d say they’ve now grown to three.

  65. @40, I was about to say that.

    Note that Server and Tools haven’t had major releases for about 2 years now – VS,SQL 2005 and Win2K3 were the last ones.

  66. @40, I was about to say that.

    Note that Server and Tools haven’t had major releases for about 2 years now – VS,SQL 2005 and Win2K3 were the last ones.

  67. Beer, it’s alot easier for Red Hat to have 52% growth (or whatever) than Microsoft. Microsoft is a 5 billion per quarter company; such a company having 10-12% growth if GOOD. No way in hell Red Hat would have 52% growth were they a 5 billion per quarter company.

    Welch, here’s a clue for you: the longer your post is, the less likely one will bother to slog through it. BTW, Microsoft is making huge money in servers and tools (i.e. not just Windows and Office), despite your refusal to acknowledge it.

  68. Beer, it’s alot easier for Red Hat to have 52% growth (or whatever) than Microsoft. Microsoft is a 5 billion per quarter company; such a company having 10-12% growth if GOOD. No way in hell Red Hat would have 52% growth were they a 5 billion per quarter company.

    Welch, here’s a clue for you: the longer your post is, the less likely one will bother to slog through it. BTW, Microsoft is making huge money in servers and tools (i.e. not just Windows and Office), despite your refusal to acknowledge it.

  69. @29,

    Chris,

    I would be interested to know why Jim Allchin left MS. Could you post a little here? I’m sure many people would be interested to know.

    Scoble was right when he stated that MS isn’t dead, they are just not living up to their potential. I agree.

    MS needs to do what Apple did; a complete rewrite of their OS from the kernel up. MS worries about legacy, legacy, legacy. Legacy will not get you more and more users. Innovation does. Love it or hate it, Mac OS X is the best thing to happen to personal computers. While I prefer Linux on my own computers, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a Mac and seeing what all the hype is about. If I don’t like it for some reason, I can give it to my kid.

    I used to like MS, but not any more. They are not innovators. They embrace DRM, they embrace and extend other people’s technologies. They are a declared monopoly. They are stagnant and the only thing that keeps them alive is their enterprise sales of Windows server, Office, and their database.

    Active directory, for example, is really just a horrible implementation of LDAP. Novell did it so much better. *nix does LDAP so much better as well.

    MS is king because it is easy to use and ships with almost every computer sold. We are seeing this change slowly, but as we all learned as kids watching/reading The Tortoise and the Hare, “slow and steady wins the race”, and Linux is slowly and steadily eroding MS not only on the desktop, but very much so in the server space. You can quote to me all you want about people buying Windows software for the enterprise, but for everyone MS sells, there are an equal number (and climbing) installing open source equivalents.

    MS needs to spend the money on a complete rewrite of it OS and make sure that vendors and products have drivers for the new OS. I don’t ever really recall my kool-aid-drinking Apple friends having much trouble with device drivers when OS X hit the market. Vista, on the other hand, is a nightmare. Not everyone has the money to drop on new printers and scanners, and whatever.

    Rewrite, MS. It’s not like you don’t have the money.

  70. @29,

    Chris,

    I would be interested to know why Jim Allchin left MS. Could you post a little here? I’m sure many people would be interested to know.

    Scoble was right when he stated that MS isn’t dead, they are just not living up to their potential. I agree.

    MS needs to do what Apple did; a complete rewrite of their OS from the kernel up. MS worries about legacy, legacy, legacy. Legacy will not get you more and more users. Innovation does. Love it or hate it, Mac OS X is the best thing to happen to personal computers. While I prefer Linux on my own computers, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a Mac and seeing what all the hype is about. If I don’t like it for some reason, I can give it to my kid.

    I used to like MS, but not any more. They are not innovators. They embrace DRM, they embrace and extend other people’s technologies. They are a declared monopoly. They are stagnant and the only thing that keeps them alive is their enterprise sales of Windows server, Office, and their database.

    Active directory, for example, is really just a horrible implementation of LDAP. Novell did it so much better. *nix does LDAP so much better as well.

    MS is king because it is easy to use and ships with almost every computer sold. We are seeing this change slowly, but as we all learned as kids watching/reading The Tortoise and the Hare, “slow and steady wins the race”, and Linux is slowly and steadily eroding MS not only on the desktop, but very much so in the server space. You can quote to me all you want about people buying Windows software for the enterprise, but for everyone MS sells, there are an equal number (and climbing) installing open source equivalents.

    MS needs to spend the money on a complete rewrite of it OS and make sure that vendors and products have drivers for the new OS. I don’t ever really recall my kool-aid-drinking Apple friends having much trouble with device drivers when OS X hit the market. Vista, on the other hand, is a nightmare. Not everyone has the money to drop on new printers and scanners, and whatever.

    Rewrite, MS. It’s not like you don’t have the money.

  71. “a complete rewrite of their OS from the kernel up”
    This was the exact reason for the VISTA delay. It’s so easy to under estimate the complexity of writing software…

    “Linux is slowly and steadily eroding MS not only on the desktop, but very much so in the server space”
    At the rate of .1% per year it will be an all Linux game in about 900 years

  72. “a complete rewrite of their OS from the kernel up”
    This was the exact reason for the VISTA delay. It’s so easy to under estimate the complexity of writing software…

    “Linux is slowly and steadily eroding MS not only on the desktop, but very much so in the server space”
    At the rate of .1% per year it will be an all Linux game in about 900 years

  73. @45,

    You really have no clue, do you?

    You’re obviously a MS fanboy, and that’s fine, but you need to grasp reality before you spout off percentages and non-truths.

    Let me address your arguments…

    I fully understand the complexity of software. I’m in the industry. MS has the money and the resources to pull it off within a couple of years — and easily, too. They just have to want to do the right thing. Vista is a horrible excuse for an OS.

    You are a typical person looking out from the MS camp at Linux. You really have no clue just how big the Linux server market is or how large the existing deployments are in actuality. They are huge and numerous. Just because Linux has not broken that much ground on the desktop is not an accurate barometer.

    You need to understand that most of the Internet infrastructure is *nix based in one way or another. Yes, MS has a large chunk of the server market, but nowhere near what *nix has and is getting.

    Let’s see…

    - Over 95% of all DNS/BIND servers are *nix based.
    - Over 80% of all Web servers run Apache on *nix.
    - Cisco routers run IOS, loosely based on *nix.
    - Juniper routers run a variant of FreeBSD.
    - Over 95% of all mail servers are Sendmail, Exim, or Postfix.

    Europe, Africa, and South America are embracing Linux in major ways. City after city, school system after school system, government after government — all switching over to Linux.

    Like I stated earlier, MS is still king of the desktop, but people are tired of the DRM, the rip-off license costs, the limitations of those licenses, and the money for initial deployments.

    The US is still largely MS friendly. The rest of the world is seeing the light. You need to understand that freedom is more important than innovation at first. There is not way developing countries and poor cities/areas can afford what MS is charging for their software. No way. MS, in response, is now going to sell Windows in some markets for as little as $e dollars (China/India). You know why? They are trying to compete with Linux. It will get a few buyers, but it will fail. The world is slowly sliding socialist in it’s political leanings. As the years roll along, more and more countries are opposed to capitalism as the US sees it and pushes it. This is good. I’m all for socialism. South America only has a couple of non-socialist governments. Brazil is Linux only in all governments and schools now. Argentina is going that way. Cuba is switching over to Linux in a major way.

    It’s OK to like MS, but they are no longer in control of the way people use computers. People are demanding Linux now from OEMs. You stated 900 years. What bunk. Within 10 years, MS will be just another computer company in a sea of *nix companies in a largely socialist world. You cannot just look at the geek aspect, you also have to look at politics and the reaons people are switching.

  74. @45,

    You really have no clue, do you?

    You’re obviously a MS fanboy, and that’s fine, but you need to grasp reality before you spout off percentages and non-truths.

    Let me address your arguments…

    I fully understand the complexity of software. I’m in the industry. MS has the money and the resources to pull it off within a couple of years — and easily, too. They just have to want to do the right thing. Vista is a horrible excuse for an OS.

    You are a typical person looking out from the MS camp at Linux. You really have no clue just how big the Linux server market is or how large the existing deployments are in actuality. They are huge and numerous. Just because Linux has not broken that much ground on the desktop is not an accurate barometer.

    You need to understand that most of the Internet infrastructure is *nix based in one way or another. Yes, MS has a large chunk of the server market, but nowhere near what *nix has and is getting.

    Let’s see…

    - Over 95% of all DNS/BIND servers are *nix based.
    - Over 80% of all Web servers run Apache on *nix.
    - Cisco routers run IOS, loosely based on *nix.
    - Juniper routers run a variant of FreeBSD.
    - Over 95% of all mail servers are Sendmail, Exim, or Postfix.

    Europe, Africa, and South America are embracing Linux in major ways. City after city, school system after school system, government after government — all switching over to Linux.

    Like I stated earlier, MS is still king of the desktop, but people are tired of the DRM, the rip-off license costs, the limitations of those licenses, and the money for initial deployments.

    The US is still largely MS friendly. The rest of the world is seeing the light. You need to understand that freedom is more important than innovation at first. There is not way developing countries and poor cities/areas can afford what MS is charging for their software. No way. MS, in response, is now going to sell Windows in some markets for as little as $e dollars (China/India). You know why? They are trying to compete with Linux. It will get a few buyers, but it will fail. The world is slowly sliding socialist in it’s political leanings. As the years roll along, more and more countries are opposed to capitalism as the US sees it and pushes it. This is good. I’m all for socialism. South America only has a couple of non-socialist governments. Brazil is Linux only in all governments and schools now. Argentina is going that way. Cuba is switching over to Linux in a major way.

    It’s OK to like MS, but they are no longer in control of the way people use computers. People are demanding Linux now from OEMs. You stated 900 years. What bunk. Within 10 years, MS will be just another computer company in a sea of *nix companies in a largely socialist world. You cannot just look at the geek aspect, you also have to look at politics and the reaons people are switching.

  75. @47, My point is – what you are saying is not new. The anti-MS camp has been saying this for atleast 7-8 years now. Yet, there is no visible change in the OS market share one way or the other. If anything, Windows has gotten a bigger chunk in the server space.

    What facts/arguments you have to prove that it *really is time up* for windows now? Particularly on the desktop? (It’s getting like an earthquake prediction. If i say that “there will be an earthquake in 3 months” you will not be able to prove me wrong. But if i kept saying that for 10 years nobody is gonna believe me.)

    Besides, what has Linux(Linux not Unix) contributed to the common man so far? Apart from being free and Anti-MS what other selling points does linux has?

    The other player in the space -Mac- has set standards for UI, elegance and design.

  76. @47, My point is – what you are saying is not new. The anti-MS camp has been saying this for atleast 7-8 years now. Yet, there is no visible change in the OS market share one way or the other. If anything, Windows has gotten a bigger chunk in the server space.

    What facts/arguments you have to prove that it *really is time up* for windows now? Particularly on the desktop? (It’s getting like an earthquake prediction. If i say that “there will be an earthquake in 3 months” you will not be able to prove me wrong. But if i kept saying that for 10 years nobody is gonna believe me.)

    Besides, what has Linux(Linux not Unix) contributed to the common man so far? Apart from being free and Anti-MS what other selling points does linux has?

    The other player in the space -Mac- has set standards for UI, elegance and design.

  77. @49,

    You are right about a couple of things. The free software crowd has been making predictions that have not come to fruition in the past, but as you can plainly see, things are changing. Even if I’m wrong about Linux gaining in popularity, which I am not, since I read news from around the world daily, MS is still in trouble.

    The problem, you state, is that *nix has not offered the average man anything to write home about. This is not true. You are looking specifically at an innovation data point, not the big picture.

    *nix set the standards for many things. Windows is in no way near as stable an OS as FreeBSD, for example. Windows is in no way as secure as, say, OpenBSD. Linux offers the common man a free (as in freedom and in beer) OS platform from which to access and control data. Ubuntu, for example, has largely come out of nowhere, is stable, attractive, easy to use, and best of all, free. It supports all of the software the average joe will use. Again, please remember that 99% of the people out there are not geeks. All they need is a browser, Flash, printer support, and an office suite.

    What you fail to grasp is this… the free software movement values freedom over innovation. Yes, we copy ideas, but we remain free. As Ricahrd Stallman has so eloquently put it, freedom first, innovation second.

    MS cannot compete with free (price) or the attractiveness of freedom. I notice you conveniently avoided discussing the political ramifications of the world and where it is heading.

    Look at our own government. Vista has been banned from almost all government networks, and not only here. The UK, Israel, you name it.

    All of these countries are moving to Linux. The UK is in the process of moving several dozen cities’ police forces to Linux with OpenOffice. It just makes more sense because the cost of Windows is astronomical what with licenses, virus/worm/spyware, etc. Linux is far easier to lock down and make secure than Windows. Again, the average business does not even use most of what MS has to offer. Most office suite users use less than 10% of that Office offers.

    It may take awhile, but free software is on the rise, whether you or anyone else likes it or not.

    Your name sounds Indian. Look at your own country. India has the second largest population in the world. Those people need to be online and learning. They deserve freedom to innovate and join the 21st century. Windows doesn’t allow this freedom. China is moving to Linux in record numbers.

  78. @49,

    You are right about a couple of things. The free software crowd has been making predictions that have not come to fruition in the past, but as you can plainly see, things are changing. Even if I’m wrong about Linux gaining in popularity, which I am not, since I read news from around the world daily, MS is still in trouble.

    The problem, you state, is that *nix has not offered the average man anything to write home about. This is not true. You are looking specifically at an innovation data point, not the big picture.

    *nix set the standards for many things. Windows is in no way near as stable an OS as FreeBSD, for example. Windows is in no way as secure as, say, OpenBSD. Linux offers the common man a free (as in freedom and in beer) OS platform from which to access and control data. Ubuntu, for example, has largely come out of nowhere, is stable, attractive, easy to use, and best of all, free. It supports all of the software the average joe will use. Again, please remember that 99% of the people out there are not geeks. All they need is a browser, Flash, printer support, and an office suite.

    What you fail to grasp is this… the free software movement values freedom over innovation. Yes, we copy ideas, but we remain free. As Ricahrd Stallman has so eloquently put it, freedom first, innovation second.

    MS cannot compete with free (price) or the attractiveness of freedom. I notice you conveniently avoided discussing the political ramifications of the world and where it is heading.

    Look at our own government. Vista has been banned from almost all government networks, and not only here. The UK, Israel, you name it.

    All of these countries are moving to Linux. The UK is in the process of moving several dozen cities’ police forces to Linux with OpenOffice. It just makes more sense because the cost of Windows is astronomical what with licenses, virus/worm/spyware, etc. Linux is far easier to lock down and make secure than Windows. Again, the average business does not even use most of what MS has to offer. Most office suite users use less than 10% of that Office offers.

    It may take awhile, but free software is on the rise, whether you or anyone else likes it or not.

    Your name sounds Indian. Look at your own country. India has the second largest population in the world. Those people need to be online and learning. They deserve freedom to innovate and join the 21st century. Windows doesn’t allow this freedom. China is moving to Linux in record numbers.

  79. @39 “here’s no excuse for Live losing money, or the Zune. Considering Xbox Live has been around for a few years, and the fact that the Xbox 360 has been around for a year, they should have, at the very least, come far closer to breaking even, if not a small profit.”

    Someone remind me how long Amazon went before they turned a profit?

  80. @39 “here’s no excuse for Live losing money, or the Zune. Considering Xbox Live has been around for a few years, and the fact that the Xbox 360 has been around for a year, they should have, at the very least, come far closer to breaking even, if not a small profit.”

    Someone remind me how long Amazon went before they turned a profit?

  81. @43 “I would be interested to know why Jim Allchin left MS. Could you post a little here? I’m sure many people would be interested to know.”

    Could it be nothing more than the fact that he had more money than he knew what to do with and the fact that he had some personal health issues he was dealing with and simply wanted to enjoy life a little. Perhaps devote more of his time to the Prostate Cancer Foundation?> You think that could be even REMOTELY possible?

  82. @43 “I would be interested to know why Jim Allchin left MS. Could you post a little here? I’m sure many people would be interested to know.”

    Could it be nothing more than the fact that he had more money than he knew what to do with and the fact that he had some personal health issues he was dealing with and simply wanted to enjoy life a little. Perhaps devote more of his time to the Prostate Cancer Foundation?> You think that could be even REMOTELY possible?

  83. @50 “Even if I’m wrong about Linux gaining in popularity, which I am not, since I read news from around the world daily, MS is still in trouble.”

    BZZZZZ! Sorry! Not good enough. Please provide actual data.

  84. @50 “Even if I’m wrong about Linux gaining in popularity, which I am not, since I read news from around the world daily, MS is still in trouble.”

    BZZZZZ! Sorry! Not good enough. Please provide actual data.

  85. “I notice you conveniently avoided discussing the political ramifications of the world and where it is heading”
    Yes, Noway i am getting in to a political argument…

    “Again, please remember that 99% of the people out there are not geeks”
    Exactly, all they need is something that will just run, easy to use and learn. This is where i feel Linux has let down users

    “Look at our own government. Vista has been banned from almost all government networks, and not only here”
    Untrue. LOT of gov agencies have said vista upgrades have ben put on hold for the time being and they also said this is very much a normal practice that happened with XP also. See this – http://news.com.com/2008-1016_3-6169494.html

  86. “I notice you conveniently avoided discussing the political ramifications of the world and where it is heading”
    Yes, Noway i am getting in to a political argument…

    “Again, please remember that 99% of the people out there are not geeks”
    Exactly, all they need is something that will just run, easy to use and learn. This is where i feel Linux has let down users

    “Look at our own government. Vista has been banned from almost all government networks, and not only here”
    Untrue. LOT of gov agencies have said vista upgrades have ben put on hold for the time being and they also said this is very much a normal practice that happened with XP also. See this – http://news.com.com/2008-1016_3-6169494.html

  87. “They deserve freedom to innovate and join the 21st century. Windows doesn’t allow this freedom”

    I don’t get why a closed OS automatically implies lack of freedom. Personally, MS technologies helped *a lot* during college days. In fact for a country like India with low tech awareness windows is a better option to start learning tech.

    The first ever OS i was exposed was SCO. I was ‘learning’ C using ‘vi’ and ‘cc’. In thos pre-internet days the product documentation was everything. I had a really really tough time figuring out even simple APIs like printf and scanf using ‘man’. Then came MSDN and Visual Studio 4. It was like paradise…This was not an isolated experience, almost everyone in the my batch went through this.

    On the job, my first GUI programming was with GTK and RHL 6 (maybe 7). It was so hard that i had to spend 90% of my time trying to fight with these tools than do the job i was paid for. That was the last time i used Linux….

  88. “They deserve freedom to innovate and join the 21st century. Windows doesn’t allow this freedom”

    I don’t get why a closed OS automatically implies lack of freedom. Personally, MS technologies helped *a lot* during college days. In fact for a country like India with low tech awareness windows is a better option to start learning tech.

    The first ever OS i was exposed was SCO. I was ‘learning’ C using ‘vi’ and ‘cc’. In thos pre-internet days the product documentation was everything. I had a really really tough time figuring out even simple APIs like printf and scanf using ‘man’. Then came MSDN and Visual Studio 4. It was like paradise…This was not an isolated experience, almost everyone in the my batch went through this.

    On the job, my first GUI programming was with GTK and RHL 6 (maybe 7). It was so hard that i had to spend 90% of my time trying to fight with these tools than do the job i was paid for. That was the last time i used Linux….

  89. Things have changed dramatically since then.

    One of the greatest strengths of Linux now is its documentation. Some areas are still shaky, but remember, most open source software is written by people like me and you, not corporate interests with bankfuls of money.

    Let me explain the problem to you. Not all Indians speak English. The ones I’m concerned about probably don’t even speak Hindi, Tamil, or Telagu. They speak some ancient dialect that has absolutely no software written for it.

    The closed source Windows environment prevents them from extending the program to suit their languages and needs. It’s also not at a price point that matters to people like these — free.

    You could make the analogy of the man and the fish here very easily.

    Give these people MS and they compute for a while.
    Gove these people Linux and they can change their whole life by altering the software to meet their specific needs of language, other nuances.

  90. Things have changed dramatically since then.

    One of the greatest strengths of Linux now is its documentation. Some areas are still shaky, but remember, most open source software is written by people like me and you, not corporate interests with bankfuls of money.

    Let me explain the problem to you. Not all Indians speak English. The ones I’m concerned about probably don’t even speak Hindi, Tamil, or Telagu. They speak some ancient dialect that has absolutely no software written for it.

    The closed source Windows environment prevents them from extending the program to suit their languages and needs. It’s also not at a price point that matters to people like these — free.

    You could make the analogy of the man and the fish here very easily.

    Give these people MS and they compute for a while.
    Gove these people Linux and they can change their whole life by altering the software to meet their specific needs of language, other nuances.

  91. The problem with Linux( and opens source to some extent) is that all the for-arguments are theoretically flawless. But the practical aspect is nowhere as good as the ‘vision’.

    Theroetically, Linux can be recomipled to support native langugaes, modified to fit the social life of a country like India, available for free…But note that this hasn’t happened. Why?

    In India, the OEMs hold a much smaller pie in the PC market. A lot of local vendors thrive on assembling and selling a PC. I would guess about 50% of the PC market is handled by these guys. The long arm of MSFT marketing doesn’t reach these vendors. In theory, this is a great opportunity for Linux to come in and take a big chunk. But this never happened. There are a huge number of educational institutions that would rather run pirated copies of windows than install Linux.

    May be the problem is the absence of a commercial entity thats willing to push Linux. But then, for that entity to make money he needs to do something un-GPL so he is not going to dive in at all…

  92. The problem with Linux( and opens source to some extent) is that all the for-arguments are theoretically flawless. But the practical aspect is nowhere as good as the ‘vision’.

    Theroetically, Linux can be recomipled to support native langugaes, modified to fit the social life of a country like India, available for free…But note that this hasn’t happened. Why?

    In India, the OEMs hold a much smaller pie in the PC market. A lot of local vendors thrive on assembling and selling a PC. I would guess about 50% of the PC market is handled by these guys. The long arm of MSFT marketing doesn’t reach these vendors. In theory, this is a great opportunity for Linux to come in and take a big chunk. But this never happened. There are a huge number of educational institutions that would rather run pirated copies of windows than install Linux.

    May be the problem is the absence of a commercial entity thats willing to push Linux. But then, for that entity to make money he needs to do something un-GPL so he is not going to dive in at all…

  93. Tjeerd: meh. Jenny: big deal. I know who they are, and I’ve never been snowed by Flash demos of an operating system, unlike some people I know.

    Congrats to Maryam, btw.

    I’ll say hi tomorrow in Vegas. You’re right about them bolting when Sinofsky came in, but I don’t think you have the full story.

  94. Tjeerd: meh. Jenny: big deal. I know who they are, and I’ve never been snowed by Flash demos of an operating system, unlike some people I know.

    Congrats to Maryam, btw.

    I’ll say hi tomorrow in Vegas. You’re right about them bolting when Sinofsky came in, but I don’t think you have the full story.

  95. MSFT is an enormous tree that’s severed at the roots, and is just starting to topple. The brain drain has been going on for a decade now, the share price has been flat since the monkey-boy got the big chair, and any recruit who gets the choice between Google, Apple, and the Evil Empire would be nuts to move up to that intellectual desert in Washington state. The big payout days are gone, and all that MSFT shareholders and employees have to look forward to is a long decline,

    UNLESS

    The shareholders revolt right now, and fire Ballmer and at least his top six layers of cronies. For god’s sake, any company that lets a poseur like Allard ever speak to the press, that can actually imagine that the zune could make a dent in the music-player market, that can take SIX BLOODY YEARS before realizing that longhorn was a total loss, is in big, big trouble.

    MSFT doesn’t matter anymore. It’s nothing but the vendor of the second-rate legacy crap that we’ll all be helping our clients move off of for the next decade. The customers who care whether their systems actually work will go to Linux and Mac OS X, with Linux grabbing most of the servers, and Mac OS X grabbing most of the desktops.

  96. MSFT is an enormous tree that’s severed at the roots, and is just starting to topple. The brain drain has been going on for a decade now, the share price has been flat since the monkey-boy got the big chair, and any recruit who gets the choice between Google, Apple, and the Evil Empire would be nuts to move up to that intellectual desert in Washington state. The big payout days are gone, and all that MSFT shareholders and employees have to look forward to is a long decline,

    UNLESS

    The shareholders revolt right now, and fire Ballmer and at least his top six layers of cronies. For god’s sake, any company that lets a poseur like Allard ever speak to the press, that can actually imagine that the zune could make a dent in the music-player market, that can take SIX BLOODY YEARS before realizing that longhorn was a total loss, is in big, big trouble.

    MSFT doesn’t matter anymore. It’s nothing but the vendor of the second-rate legacy crap that we’ll all be helping our clients move off of for the next decade. The customers who care whether their systems actually work will go to Linux and Mac OS X, with Linux grabbing most of the servers, and Mac OS X grabbing most of the desktops.

  97. #63: Oh, I’m sure I don’t have the inside scoop. I know a few people who worked for Hillel and they liked him, though.

    But seems that Microsoft doesn’t listen to people who try to take UX further than what it already is. I’m actually shocked that Julie Larsen Green’s team pushed Office to a new UI. I think that’s really the biggest story I saw develop at Microsoft.

    It’ll be interesting if she can do something similar with Windows.

  98. #63: Oh, I’m sure I don’t have the inside scoop. I know a few people who worked for Hillel and they liked him, though.

    But seems that Microsoft doesn’t listen to people who try to take UX further than what it already is. I’m actually shocked that Julie Larsen Green’s team pushed Office to a new UI. I think that’s really the biggest story I saw develop at Microsoft.

    It’ll be interesting if she can do something similar with Windows.

  99. I agree with several post here, but let’s be honest with ourselves; MS is sliding. Full stop.

    Their leadership is stagnant and focused on the wrong things. So what if they have tons of money. They are still losing relevancy every year.

    Look at IBM. They, too, have billions in the bank, but they have lost so much power in the last ten years. They were once in the catbird seat as well, much like MS has been, but all things come to an end. The problem with most people’s thinking is that people assume there has to be a #1, an obvious market king. There doesn’t. The problem with MS is they care more about the money than their reputation. Look at Apple. Much, much smaller than MS, but they rewrote Mac OS and actually made it 100% better. If Apple can do it, MS can do it if they wanted to. People say it’s impossible. Not true. MS could focus on rewriting its OS and making it much better. MS’s problem is that they suffer from the “NIH syndrome” (not invented here). In other words, if they didn’t invent it, they won’t use it, but that’s a crap outlook. If MS really wanted to make their OS tops, they should take the FreeBSD kernel as a base and write their own GUI on top of it. This would give them a rock solid base to start with. They could do this in a couple of years with no problem if their leadership just wanted to actually make something good for a change.

  100. I agree with several post here, but let’s be honest with ourselves; MS is sliding. Full stop.

    Their leadership is stagnant and focused on the wrong things. So what if they have tons of money. They are still losing relevancy every year.

    Look at IBM. They, too, have billions in the bank, but they have lost so much power in the last ten years. They were once in the catbird seat as well, much like MS has been, but all things come to an end. The problem with most people’s thinking is that people assume there has to be a #1, an obvious market king. There doesn’t. The problem with MS is they care more about the money than their reputation. Look at Apple. Much, much smaller than MS, but they rewrote Mac OS and actually made it 100% better. If Apple can do it, MS can do it if they wanted to. People say it’s impossible. Not true. MS could focus on rewriting its OS and making it much better. MS’s problem is that they suffer from the “NIH syndrome” (not invented here). In other words, if they didn’t invent it, they won’t use it, but that’s a crap outlook. If MS really wanted to make their OS tops, they should take the FreeBSD kernel as a base and write their own GUI on top of it. This would give them a rock solid base to start with. They could do this in a couple of years with no problem if their leadership just wanted to actually make something good for a change.