How Microsoft Will Die

by James R. Stoup Jul 01, 2005

Longhorn, by the features

WFS: Cut
.NET Framework: Cut
Integrated Search: Cut
Avalon: Who knows?
Indigo: Who knows?
IE7: You can repaint a Kia, lower it down, put rims on it and think you are cool, but at the end of the day it is still a Kia.

And so it goes, on and on. Feature after feature is cut, promise after promise is broken, and what do we have at the end of the day? XP SP3. If Microsoft fails to deliver something approaching decent with Longhorn then they will be in trouble. Big trouble. And most people haven’t even realized this yet. But they will soon enough.

Why are they in trouble?

Momentum. It all boils down to momentum. Google has it. Sony has it. Apple has it pouring out of its orifices, Microsoft though. . .not so much. 

You see momentum is what pushes that reluctant manager to go ahead and upgrade his system instead of waiting for something better or (very scary music plays in the background) switching to Linux. Momentum is what gets a word of mouth campaign going that convinces your everyday user to go out and buy the latest OS. Momentum is what keeps the media friendly, sort of. 

But lately MS has been getting all of the wrong types of momentum. They aren’t getting that “battering ram” momentum no, it’s more like at sinking ship momentum. You see the ram is going through, but the ship is going down. Big difference.

Right now Microsoft can’t even hold a press release about Longhorn without either saying its going to be delayed again or that they are cutting even more features. This really makes them look incompetent. I mean, I know they are incompetent but this really lets the rest of the world in on the joke as well.

And no matter how they spin it they have now reached the point where it’s impossible to make the situation sound any better than it is. Three years ago they could have made these announcements from a position of strength. Two years ago they could have made these announcements and then lied heavily in hopes of saving face. One year ago they made these announcements and it started looking really scary for anyone whose business depended on Longhorn. And now this year these announcements make them look like a company that is adrift, with no real vision, desperately trying not to drown. Congratulations Bill you have officially lost any momentum you thought you might have had. 

The 3 nails in the MS coffin

In order of importance:

1. Microsoft
They have always been their worst enemy. Shoddy software practices are forced on programmers due to incompetent managers which in turn produces the mess that is Longhorn. Even if the computing world was relatively quiet (which it isn’t, not by a long shot) then MS would still be in deep horse pucky over the gross stupidity that their leadership has shown. And to make matters even worse management has now realized that this time there isn’t going to be a “quick fix”. There are no more features left to cut. This time the deadline is real because their competitors are getting their act together in a way that hasn’t ever happened before.

2. Apple
Making matters worse is Steve Jobs. He has Apple humming like fine tuned violin. Tiger is everything Apple promised and its only been released for three months or so. And I imagine things are only going to improve.  And if that wasn’t enough Apple is going to squeeze out yet another OS before Microsoft can get Longhorn out the door. Ouch, yet another kick in the balls. Then you have this whole Macintel thing going on plus rumors about the iPod/ITMS/movie business all of which draw the attention of the media towards Apple’s successes.

3. Linux
Never forget Linux. They may be a disorganized, fragmented group who may not present a challenge on the desktop but they are chipping away slowly at MS’s dominance. Then on the server side Microsoft has finally realized that they are fighting a losing war. And this is evidenced by the growing number of MS backed “independent” research groups claiming Windows server is (pick one, cheaper, better, faster, more secure etc.). Those tactics speak of desperation. They are a smear campaign plain and simple.

This is a good indication of how bad the situation currently is and how much worse its going to get. Think about how much of a market share Apple has. Something like 3% of yearly sales with an install base of about 10-15%. Now, think about its mindshare. What is mindshare you ask? Well, its the extent to which people know about a phenomenon. The iPod has enormous mind share. You might not own one yourself but chances are you know someone who has does. The iPod alone has made Apple’s mindshare sky rocket. Now factor in the ITMS and how profitable it has been. Now think about the recent announcement of their switch to Intel. And then there is the ever present rumors about them starting a movie store much like the iTMS. People can’t stop talking about Apple and Jobs is just fanning the flames, trying his best to fuel the fires and feed the rumor mills.

And all the while the media focuses on Apple do you know who they aren’t talking about? Microsoft. Think about all of the buzz that MS has gotten in the past when they released a new operating system. And here they are about to release an item they claim is their most revolutionary product ever and . . . no one is listening. No one cares. Redmond is no longer where all of the news is coming from. If you are about to release a killer product, something that is going to save your company and allow you to ride its success for years to come, the last thing you want to hear are yawns.

News flash! Longhorn is going to be drastically overshadowed by Leopard and Macs running Intel. Make no mistake about it, Jobs is a master showman. As such, he will wait untill the best moment possible and then try and wow the world with all of Apple’s new toys. Who wants to cover a stripped down, bare bones, bug infested OS like Longhorn (which is already being called XP SP3 if that gives you any indication of how bad things are) when you can go look at Leopard running on a pumped up PowerMac with Intel’s latest and greatest chip inside?

Linux learns to game

More bad news for MS is called Cedega. And do you know why it is bad? Because it allows Windows only games to be played on a version of Linux called Linspire. Uh oh. Thats not good.

Gaming is the one area in which Microsoft can truly call their own. No one really even competes with them on the desktop as far as gaming goes. Anything else and Apple and Linux can put up a good fight but not when it comes to games. Until now. With the release of this product Half Life, GTA, Doom 3 and the rest can now be played in Linux. And if they can do it for Linux then they can do it for Mac.  And that simple fact should scare the heck out of Microsoft. Because if that program is ported to OS X then the top games in the industry can be played on a Mac, using Intel’s fastest chip, using NVidia’s best graphics card on a 30” aluminum display. Over night PowerMacs could become the best gaming rig in history.

And remember, its gamers who drive companies to produce the best product possible. Normal people don’t go out and buy the latest and greatest stuff just because it’s out, gamers do. When you are playing Doom 3 you want it to be as realistic as possible and if that means buying a $300 video card then they will do it. If that means buying the fastest processor they will do it. And if that means upgrading to the newest OS then they will do it. Say, we don’t know anyone coming out with a new OS any time do we?

Realistically how long do you think gamers will stick with Windows if it turns out that the best gaming experience can be had on a Mac? And if the rumors are true and Apple does bring AltiVec to the Intel side of things then it is quite possible that Apple may be the ones who very soon are producing the fastest computers anywhere. And remember, gamers always want more power.

Women and children first

Here is my best shot at what Microsoft could do to try and turn things around:

1. Admit defeat
If only to themselves MS has to admit that Longhorn is a complete and utter failure. To have come this far, spent this much money and wasted this much time to ultimately produce an OS which barely has any of the features that was to make it great, is a beyond pathetic. Time to own up to the fact that everybody screwed up.

2. Thin the herd
First one out the door needs to be Ballmer. He is an idiot on a good day and he has just reinforced that image with his bungling of the Longhorn situation. After he goes then its time to go down the line trimming the fat and doing some serious house cleaning. Once that is done then look outside the company for a few decent managers.

3. Do your best
Since Longhorn is the only thing you got at the moment that is what they are going to have to sell. Try to make the best out of a bad situation. This is the point at which you should be treading water while you work on something else.

4. Dump it
Throw all of the current Windows code away. All of it. Everything from 9x to XP to Longhorn, everything has to go. It’s all crap and its time to jettison those reeking piles of poorly written, buggy code.

5. Start over
This may be the hardest pill of all to swallow but the way I see it they have two choices. Plan A, try and make a new OS from the ground up. Just like the people who designed Unix, security and stability have to be your main goals. But that approach is going to take time, a lot of time in fact. And time is something that MS doesn’t have much of right now. So, they might want to look at plan B. Plan B involves doing pretty much what Apple did. Use BSD as the core of your OS then build around it. Now, I realize that doing this would be a major embarrassment and would require the biggest software company on earth to swallow its pride, but ultimately they would see that it’s the best choice.

6. Decouple
There is no need to make IE so deeply attached to your kernel. Bad things happen when you do stuff like that. Same thing with Media Player, uncouple it. Strive to make the system as small as possible. You build the basic system and then offer pieces that can be attached as needed.

7. Move on
It’s time to tell the public that if they want to use the newest applications for then they need to upgrade. Everyone who still uses 98 has to get real. All of you still using 95 need your head examined. And any of you using ME, God help you. Microsoft needs to stand up and inform people that they will no longer bend over backwards to accommodate their old, clunky, piece of crap software. Its time to update all of your applications. 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP and Longhorn are dead, move on. That step alone would make the OS much smaller, faster and more secure.

8. Accept the losses
Microsoft is going to lose market share no matter what they do. If they followed this strategy then they would lose market share faster than if they stuck it out with Longhorn but in a few years they would be in a much better position to come back and reclaim what they had lost.

Wrapping it up

So, there you have it. The current state of the Longhorn, a prediction of things to come and a few hints for the folks in Redmond. It will be fun to watch what happens in the industry in the next few years. We will see if I am right. What do you think? What did I miss?

Since I have received so many comments that seem to dwell on the same point let me clarify my position.  I don’t think Microsoft is going to go anywhere soon.  However, I do think that they are on the downturn.  They have reached their peak and now they are in decline.  It will take a long time for their influence to fade (a decade at least) and for a good part of that time they will still be a force to be reconded with.  But that still doesn’t change the fact that, as a company, they are falling instead of rising.

Check out my views on all of Microsoft’s business endeavors (present and future) here:
Microsoft’s Future Prospects


  • My God- That was THE BEST thing I ever read!!!

    Microsoft has been going downhill since last year at least, and they weren’t that great to begin with. There will be parties all over earth (and probably beyond) when the disgusting monster that is Microsoft dies.

    Over the past few years, they have been really losing it. Their restricting bind over the computer world is being loosened and I think it’s only a matter of time before they hit rock bottom.

    Of course, Gates and the other Microsoft supporters that just won’t face the truth will throw everything into MS, desprately trying to ensure the stability of the company, but they will not get so far. Everything that Apple has released to us (news and product wise wise) has been overwhealming. Think- the fastest desktop and notebook computers in the world? iTMS becoming more and more popular, with a possible movie store on the horizon? New OS annually? There is no stopping them. If Apple stays as good as they are right now, then I think that they have gained the good momentum that they so rightly deserve!

    As for MS, it’s only a matter of time before we can finally say goodbye….unless Longhorn blows us away (haha).

    OzzysCross101 had this to say on Jul 21, 2005 Posts: 2
  • Global Shake Up of Mega Proportions!!!

    What is all this?  “Computers Gone Wild”, “Trading Places” or “Techno Mixed Up”?  What is going on here?  We will now have “Apple Mac Intels” and although there has not been an anouncement most likely Dell PowerPC’s!

    This all started some years ago when little Stevie came back home and had supposedly rescued Apple from a halocust of sorts.  Stevie’s ego pissed off more than a few people including IBM.  Stevie chose to close out a clone market that could have helped IBM and Apple get some market share.  In so doing Jobs condemmed the best technology to taking a back seat to Intel’s.  Apple and Jobs made the classic Sony Betamax mistake.  We all know what happened to Beta(who?)max!  Is it any wonder Apple is still able to hang onto their puny 3% of the market.  No wonder IBM chose selling their (Best Technology) chips to 3 game console manufacturers rather than Apple’s stagnant market. Now the real challenge is on Apple’s back, in making a change to an inferior chipset.  At this point they could have made their stock holders very happy by continuing to offer the O.S. licensing to the other computer manufacturers who will surely annouce Power PC models (including Sony, Toshiba, HP, Dell, etc.).  But will that happen?  Now Jobs has left the door wide open for Miscrosoft, IBM, NEC and others to form partnerships to fill that OS gap, which I believe Microsoft is been working on this very moment.  The one where Apple appears at this point to be the Ultimate winner of, if they are smart enough to take advantage of it.  The one where Microsoft dies and is basicly left with only their old faithful diehards to make OS’es for on soon to be trashed “WinBoxes”.  But don’t forget Microsoft’s future includes some millions of “Power PC” game consoles (entertainment appliances but computers just the same) that will undoubtly overcome in numbers Apple computer sales in a very short time.  If you believe Microsoft is rolling over barring their neck for Apple to take a chunk out of, your either very infantile in thinking or severely senile, and don’t forget brainless to boot.  The future will prove us right or wrong on this matter.

    But Jobs actions provided the catalyst for a Major Revolution where hopefully neither Apple or Microsoft will “Die”! The decisions made behind closed doors can only be guessed at and they are unfolding as we speak in this forum.  After that fateful moment, of IBM telling Apple to take a hike, it is no surprise, that Apple is making a switch to Intel (will this prove to be another Apple blooper).  Apple has in it’s illustrious past made some diffinite “Giant Blooper” (boners hopefully this doesn’t add to that list) mistakes including the firing of Steven Jobs but most of all in what it did with it’s “Best in Field” R&D department.  At the time the most talented group of designers in the computer universe were wrecked havoc on by Apple’s ignorant big wigs!  Apple shut em down and they went elsewhere, some with Steven Jobs to Next Computer and some formed their own company “BeOS”.  The result of of this disastrous break up in great minds, is that with the return of Steven Jobs was the developing of OS 10 (very good for Apple), and the terrible dimize of perhaps the only true ground up developed 64 bit OS in “BeOS”.  It ran on either platform, designed as a media OS, it was a superlative answer for our computing future and it had come from the minds of Apple people.  OS 10 although being a good system does not have true ground up built roots.  It’s a Unix style 32 bit clone, converted old world kernel, not too different from “Linux”!  Jobs, when he took back over, knew full well that “BeOS” (which was being offered to him) was superior to “Next Step” (even in just the kernel alone) but chose to line his pockets further with the purchase of his dyfunct company over buying “BeOS”.  Capable of running on multiple processor (like in many not just two) units.  The entire world lost a great step that had been taken in OS developement in a totally new 64bit kernel that has become just a footnote in computer history.  Apple’s refusal to license out it’s OS for other computer manufacturers could posibly be it’s own death.  After all Apple is just another computer manufacturer and that although big n famous in name has not proved so in numbers. This could have been the opportunity to spread the word and use of Apple products.  Betamax has already proven that Jobs choice on this front will be a failure.

    Back to the gap and who will fill it!

    So Apple’s challenge right now is in converting their OS to Intel Architecture and at the same time begin to market and convert that OS for use on present Intel boxes.  Will Jobs allow this?  Most likely he evenually will.  As these so called “Windows” machines will continue to be made using Intel chipsets, but the gap is sure to close with new “Power PC” computers coming out with “Cell” technology and beyond.  Great opportunities ly ahead for Apple, but will Jobs pull his head out of his arse long enough to take that market share from already established “Windows” fans and devotees?  Will he eventually change his sick n sad business mind into permiting licensing of it’s now fabulous OS for universal release on all market fronts?  Envy, revenge, gloating egos, and reputations are on the line here, along with billions of dollars and millions of jobs and our future needs being met.  Microsoft is not rolling over any time soon and will evenually reveal what they have been working on besides Longhorn (and believe me they have).  Longhorn being just a front for an all new ground up developed 64 bit OS, release date to be announced.  Yes Longhorn is scheduled to be released just a few months off and it will be.  But you can count on it being stripped of many of it’s most inovative features that won’t be released until their multi chipset (Cell Tecnology) capable, (ground up for real) 64 bit OS (in developement for past 3 to 4 years) is released one to two years from now. 

    Where could Microsoft come up with such an inovative ground breaking basis for an OS.  We only have to look back a few years to the sale of “BeOS” to Palm and wonder.  What has Palm been doing with a 64 bit OS meant for computers?  Are we to believe these developers labor is for nought?  Will real reason “BeOS” was bought out finally be revealed?  Could they be just a front for Microsoft being smarter than Jobs and Apple?  Could this be the kernel Microsoft is secretly engineering into the real new “Windows”?  It absolutely may very well be and to that end I wish them well.  If that indeed is true.  Somethings up for sure at Microsoft!  Only Steven Jobs ego and licensing stand in the way of Apple really being a global market player in these Revolutionary times!  This time Stevie won’t have the “Next Step OS”  rabbit to pull out of his hat and save the day with IBM’s (failed OS attempt) kernel.  Sure he’s cried alot about IBM and company beating him to the punch, and throwing the first sweet swing of revenge in telling him no!  No, to what even he has claimed as the best computer chip technology available today and in the future.  IBM is on a long road back to a larger piece of the market puzzle.  Making sure concrete steps toward an enlightened, more competitive, open market in the future.  But this tactic of avoidance and deception in Apple’s marketing will rear up and bite Stevey and all of us that have used some sort of Apple( all of us) technology and know that in that realm, Apple will always be superior even if they become just a footnote.  Apple was born of the realization of the fact,  that in the world of ideas there is always another one waiting to be born.  Apple can ill afford to allow Microsoft to beat them on this ground with a better idea.  Everything we know about computers is now being turned up side down, leaving hundreds of questions yet unanswered.  Will Microsoft prove you right, despite it’s octopus like hold on the computing world and die?  Can Apple really clean up on these latest developements and announcements?  After all we’re talking almost instant converting of an OS to steal away millions of today’s windows users.  Or will they ultimately make the “Sony Betamax Syndrome” a reality once again and will it be they that becomes just a footnote in technology history not Microsoft.

    My hope is for a better world in that there are no more monopolies.  Where finally all of these companies see the benefit in helping each other to survive, because ultimately we all are the winners and the losers in their wars and battles for ego supremacy.  We lose if any of today’s tech players bow out and are condemmed to losing the big game, for our market dollars.  Best scenario in my book is an Apple OS 10 version capable of running on both architectures and licensed to run on a Dell as well as a Toshiba or Sony “Cell” run PC.  My vision is of global participation in partnerships fostering new inovation to a cleaner, brighter, faster, better future computing world.  Nobody loses then except for a few inflated egos in Gates and Jobs.  As it should be though, “WE” no matter what, will be the Winners and they will be the Whinners!

    PowerPC had this to say on Aug 22, 2005 Posts: 1
  • As PowerPC said, yes licensing of the MacOS would of been good…heck it was good at the time when they did do it. Shame Apple got all jittery and effectively killed them all off by not supplying. They were nice machines, faster, better built, and way cheaper than those from Apple…one slight snag though. The market share never changed, all that happened was Apples users dropped Apple for the better equipment.

    As for killing off MS…can’t really see anything other that inane governmental aggro. Which is to be utterly honest just a bunch of Mac and Linux zealots with a I want to beat up MS fascination.

    A good example being how the EU fined and got MS to release Windows Media Reduced edition because it wasn’t fair that Windows came with Media Player…sheesh, get fair they should of removed Quicktime from the MacOS as well. What governments don’t understand is we are in a competitive market, and that users buy what they want to buy. Not what they get told by the Gov. In the EU case they are now whining because no one buys the reduced media version of Windows. DUH! who in there right minds would buy it? its useless.

    People can whine about security all they like on Windows. In reality if the user actually doesn’t install utter tat, and go trawling for god knows what hooky stuff, then they are fine if they keep up to date with patchs and virus defs. That’s the same on any platform including the MacOS and Linux no matter how many people claim otherwise.

    Linux is an interesting beast though. Its got a huge installed user base, not really as a desktop OS although that is growing. But as a server and specialist OS it is very good to work with. Just look at the number of routers and firewalls using it for example…don’t see many running the MacOS do we? In the end though Its probably will become the big competitor to Windows and the end result will more than likely be great compatibility between the two. Its already not such a big deal using Linux on a Windows network.

    The big thing is that you use the correct tool for the job at hand. If you want a machine for people to use which they are familiar with, happy using, with the software they are accustomed too than they will continue to use Windows. If they have a specific task at hand, running a NAS, router, or a server or anything else, than they again will pick the OS that fits the job best. Its part of why so many studies these days are seeing that people are going for mixed environments of Windows and Linux. The two together are the best tools for the job at hand for most companies. The Mac has its niche also for certain things. But in reality there is nothing really that is stopping users using the best tool for the job, other than zealot behaviour from the users themselves. Windows is a valuable too, and as such I can’t see it disappearing unless of inane gov nutbags again.

    Nyadach had this to say on Sep 13, 2005 Posts: 29
  • Seems I wasn’t the only one who thought Microsoft needed to tear down its Windows codebase and rebuild it from scratch after all - take a look at,,SB112743680328349448,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

    Serenak had this to say on Sep 24, 2005 Posts: 26
  • (Sigh)

    Here we go again…
    Allthough It was an interesting read, I am afraid I have to correct a few misconceptions, and probably burst some bubbles.

    Apple’s or Linux’s marketshare will NOT increase substantially, and the majority of computers will be running Windows for a good time to come. Why?

    Whether you like it or not, Windows is a pretty decent operating system, but what’s more important, most people are satisfied with it, know it well, and will stick to it.
    What about the poor hordes of Windows users that are stuck in virus-hell? You might ask? Those are the people that you refer to as “switchers”. Do you hear the giant sucking-sound of people anxiously waiting to switch to Macs at the Apple store? No? That’s what I thought.

    Just a reality check. Mind you, I like Macs, and don’t have anything against Apple, but last year Apple sold around 1 million or 1.5 million computers (The correct number escapes me, but I am sure someone here will help me out) That’s around the same number of Windows Media Center computers sold. And the numbers for WMC computers sold were regarded as very disappointing. That’s how small Apple is in the market.

    Why aren’t people switching?

    First of all: It’s a matter of habit. People know Windows, that’s what they’re used to using, and the benefits of switching are, for most users, smaller than the drawbacks. (OSX takes some getting used to, and of course Mac’s are pretty expensive)

    I don’t know how much exposure you had to Windows, I assume it’s not much. Expecially not on WIndows XP.
    I’ve used both Windows XP and OSX, and must admit that even though I like the razzle-dazzle of OSX, it also has some drawbacks of its own, especially the tedium of getting into some completely new routines.
    I experienced plenty of crashes on my schools G4 Macs. But unlike Windows, where you can get away with just closing the application, because the rest of Windows is working fine, Macs crashed HARD. I’m talking about yank the power-cable hard.
    And speaking of crashes, OSX takes forever to boot, compared to Windows.
    Most Apple users always bring up Spyware and Viruses as a huge disadvantage. Would the world be a better place if there wasn’t any viruses or spyware? Sure, but is it a big hassle in everyday computing? No. Set a firewall and an Anti-virus program, get automatic updates, and you’ll likely never have to deal with them. Especially if you stay away from icky sites with lot’s of cracks and pornography.

    Longhorn is going to arrive soon, and even though it won’t have all the features we were promised, it’ll be a huge success. I’m sure Apple zealots will sit and whine about how superior OS-X is, but they don’t get it. The vast majority of PC users DON’T GIVE A RATS ASS.
    90% percent of PCusers will give you a blank stare if you ask them what Win-FS is, they don’t care, they’re happy about their Windows as it is.

    And don’t get me started on Linux. It has it’s place on servers etc. but as far as the desktop and office goes, it’s dead in the water. The reasons are too many to mention here.

    Somebody mentioned licensing OSX, forget about it. As long as Jobs is in charge of Apple, it’ll never happen.
    And you should probably all be happy that Apple won’t grow significantly higher that it’s current marketshare. Why? To avoid that virus-spyware hell that you are all convinced is the second horseman of the apocalypse. With a higher marketshare, OSX would be just as vulnerable as Windows. It’s not an issue of engineering, but economics.

    vszulc had this to say on Oct 24, 2005 Posts: 1
  • A very simple, illustrative comparison: At press releases, Microsoft talks and Apple shows.

    Maybe it’s just my distrust of them, but it seems that when MS talks, they ooze of ‘competitive corporate agenda’ and future-oriented strategy. Any good corporation thinks this way, but publicly you always want to be about real services and products that provide solutions NOW, and come across as having people truly first and foremost in your mind. Future strategy should become fully apparent only when that time comes. They shoot themselves in the foot by looking desperate, which is hard to look like when they have the market share they do. They clearly don’t have the talent and innovation share, nor the ‘it factor’, and ultimately they know it—emperor has no clothes syndrome.

    eyehop had this to say on Nov 03, 2005 Posts: 19
  • I know this is a pretty old “article” (I use the term loosely), but I stumbled upon it and had to respond.  First, the short post…

    Do you think your unsubstantiated comments still hold true after almost 6 months?

    gameprix1 had this to say on Dec 03, 2005 Posts: 3
  • gameprix1,

    First, the short response. . .


    Second, the long response. . .

    WFS is still cut
    And thus the truly integrated search feature (like Spotlight) is cut too
    Monad is still cut
    It is unclear as yet if .net 2.0 is really going to function as I have seen several things online that suggest compatibility problems
    Avalon and Indigo seem to be working, sort of
    IE 7 is a go, it is still crap, but it will be crap that can be downloaded before Vista ships. That is something I suppose. . .

    What else? Oh yes, I also talked about momentum and how MS seems to only have some of the negative variety. And they promptly proved me right by failing spectacularly with their “live software” demo. That was a sweet move right there if you read anything about it.

    Then of course when you look at Apple you see sales of music going up, sales of iPods skyrocketing, sales of Macs going up in fact, sales of just about everything are going up. And their market share is increasing as well.

    And before I forget let me talk about Vista one last time. Since in my article above I mentioned that they should scrap it and start over I was rather surprised when Gates announced that the code had become to unmanageable and thus they were taking the last 6 months of code and going to scrap it and start over. Of course they didn’t remove the inherent problem but rather just went back to an older, more stable build. But you probably didn’t hear about that either.

    And just for fun why don’t we recap that little list I made at the end?

    1. Admit Defeat
    Gates admits that Longhorn is to complex to ever work and must be drastically revamped -

    2. Thin the herd
    Microsoft restructures entire business -

    Now if they would just switch to a Unix-like core the rest of my list would be dead on.

    So, gameprix1, I guess you were right. My unsubstantiated comments were way off base and had no germ of truth to them. I hope I can do better next time.

    James R. Stoup had this to say on Dec 03, 2005 Posts: 122
  • I’m glad you can admit when you’re wrong.  Not many people would do that and I commend you for it. When you can only substantiate 2 out of your 8 bullet points (focusing only on those points alone), I didn’t think you really believed that being only 25% right is anything to brag about.
    But, I’m not really being fair here because I actually think that, for the most part, those points were pretty valid! 

    First, I will agree with you 100% that MS should swallow their losses on Vista and switch to plan B.  I don’t think your Plan B is the best option, but you have a very loyal Windows user base that has been bitching for a new OS ASAP, then bitch when MS rushes it out the door and it has bugs.  You can’t win when you have the amount of users that MS does.

    I also enjoyed that link you provided about Microsoft’s shake-up.  Now, I was suprised to find that it was more of a positive assessment rather than a negative one, but it is about time they did this.  Again, going with a Unix-type shell might please you, but how will it make every Windows user better?

    And lastly, I couldn’t have said it better than you did with #6 and #7.  As an IT Consultant, I CRINGE when I see ME or any 9x/NT 4 box!  They really do need to upgrade.  The technology is outdated.

    I would disagree with scraping it (Why throw out something that has earned you BILLIONS of dollars a year?) and going the Apple route of, how would you put it, borrowing the Unix-like core for their new Windows OS.  When Coke deceided to change their formula to New Coke just because they were losing their market share to Pepsi, it was a complete disaster.  I think they should either rebuild Windows from the ground up or try to fix Vista and be honest about another delay.  I will tell you that when Longhorn was first announced, the only thing I cared about was WinFS.  Once it was removed, my interest was lost as well.

    My biggest problem with your article was the first part, though. You came up with this nonsense about momentum and Steve Jobs and the iPod crap…  C’mon…  Once the iPod is out of the public’s mind, you think that the Mac computer will be able to make up for it?  I can name quite a few “flash-in-the-pan” products Apple has released over the years, and went right back into obscurity.  The iMac comes to mind.  I remember in 1997 how MS bailed out Apple with $150 million dollars.  Linux is still a wait-and-see right now.  Once again, all the companies in the world can have Linux installed on all their PC’s, but if there is no software for it, what’s it good for?  That brings me to this… contrary to popular belief, it is NOT Windows nor Office that has kept MS at the top for many, many years and will keep them there for many more…  It’s application developers.  Microsoft EMBRACES DEVELOPERS.  Period.  If you think you have ANY way of disproving me on this point, save it.  Because if you do find something to rebuke it, I will counter ten-fold to debunk you.  In 1985,  Microsoft was #2 on the Top Ten Software Companies list.  20 years later, they were #1.  Know what the funny thing is?  Not one of the other 9 companies were on the list 20 years later.  Almost every one of them is out of business.  What did MS do differently?  They embraced developers.  How many Macintosh application developers do you know?  Why doesn’t the mass population buy a Mac?  Why is there such a lack of apps for the Mac?  Not even the Master Steve Jobs could grasp this concept of working with programmers.

    Now, why do I think Microsoft is going to have record earnings either Q1 or Q2 2006?  It isn’t something so vague or intangable as “momentum”... It’s Visual Studio .NET 2005.  Microsoft has always listened to their customers and have more or less based their companies products on the input of DEVELOPERS, which is why they have focused extensively on migrating old VB6 apps to the .NET Framework.  They make a mistake, learn from it, and correct it the next time.  I know you’re itching to prove me wrong on this point, but as long as you provide links of how MS either blatantly disregarded user demands or how they repeatedly continued to make the same mistake (NOT a perceived mistake, but a real and acknowledged one), I will humble myself to you.  Cause I’ve got a million ways to back up my claims…

    Lastly, just want to say that you were on the right track when you spoke of the facts or based your opinions off of the facts.  I had a problem with the Mac-slant portions. 

    You know what…  Maybe I was too harsh with my comment.  I apologize for that…

    gameprix1 had this to say on Dec 04, 2005 Posts: 3
  • Since gameprix1 challenged anyone to contradict his opinion on MS Embracing Developers, I guess I’ll have to chime in.

    You see I once was a developer, a Foxpro developer. Fox Software was one of those companies you mention, and one that went out of existence because Microsoft bought it. What did Microsoft do with it? You might suggest that Microsoft made it better by intergrating it into the whole development platform. Unfortunately that theory can’t be proven since almost all US based Foxpro “developers” and software companies who used it, are now out of a job. Sad since it was such a powerful tool, only to be destroyed by a unthought-out development cycle that had to embrace intergration and OOP without any real thought for progressing existing work (doesn’t VB sound like Deja-vu?). Nobody wanted to re-work everything, and there were no good class libraries to start from.

    We all know Microsoft’s bread and butter is from Office and Windows.

    Their development platforms make negligable or NO PROFIT. So it’s understandable that most other remaining companies have no way of making any inroads when you account for this fact. But wait, Microsoft charges a decent price for these applications right? Well when you account for R&D, and the MSDN distribution, and the support, then no Microsoft does this because it supports WINDOWS, and the intergration into OFFICE. So Balmer’s sweat dancing is a facade to keep their remaining developers, and if you’re still in that boat then I bid you good luck. Unfortunately, if you don’t keep up with Balmer’s tool-of-the-day, then the door will hit you on the way out just like many others amongst us.

    And from my view of the development landscape, I see more cross platform compatibility requirements from businesses I support, so don’t think .NET will be your saving grace either. These mistakes that developers catch, that you mention, are chalkmarks on the wall that CTO’s remember when they think about how they’ll deploy their next product. Since IE has lost marketshare every month for a year so far, the “works on IE only” model is falling apart, and most companies are scrambling to catchup. So backup your claims all you want, Microsoft is obviously scrambling (take the Live demo as an indicator of that), and alternate cross-platform coding is starting to eat Microsoft-only developers up. Just read the job classified if you don’t believe me.

    And no 95/98/NT technology doesn’t need to upgrade unless/until it fails to do it’s intended purpose anymore. You may be surprised just how many people still use NT 3.51 just because it was the only version of Windows that was US Government Security certified! How ironic is that.

    Oh and one last thing, the “bailout” money was a good guesture call on Microsofts part, mainly because (in 1997) without Apple, MS would have been considered a monopoly, and where would that leave them?

    saurus had this to say on Dec 07, 2005 Posts: 1
  • The same thing happens with me on my Mac mini when I try to open FCP and do ANYTHING else.  Obviously my one experience means that OSX is inferior and crappy and doesn’t work like a “normal” computer is supposed to.

    As a professional in the film industry, running FCP on a mac mini is not considered “normal”.  For that matter, neither is the mac mini.

    Bottom line (to the original article), being one of the chosen few (aka; a Mac user) is heavenly for me.

    dascribe had this to say on Dec 08, 2005 Posts: 5
  • I love tacking on comments a year too late!

    First, excuse my English—I’m American. Second, I definitely don’t wrangle 40,000,000,000 networked computers. I herd three, one a PC.
    Third, endless comments by “IT’ people should be banned! I have Macs and keep the PC as much as possible off the Net to avoid all of you! Fourth, this is a Mac site. Take the PC excuses, please, to PC sites, where your choir sings the same song.
    You see, I’m a consumer; I don’t manage business networks. I don’t want to! I hate to tell some of the posters here, you are geeks! I hate a car that doesn’t run, and a computer for the same reason. Hey, basic maintainance is expected.
    But some manufacturers (read software/hardware) put out crappy products. If Windows WERE a car line, they’d all be recalled. I did the Windows thing, I’m done with the Windows thing.

    IF YOU think it’s fun to apply endless Microsoft updates, critical or not, clap your hands! And move on. It was a pain in the hard drive, really. Now I don’t apply MS updates; I ignore them (both updates and company); I only use the PC for one program (AutoCAD), and as long as it works, I’m updating _nothing_. Don’t want it. Of course, I keep the PC_off-line_ I use it for the ugly hunk of iron it is, for that bad arse hunk of iron application.

    My life has been better since the conversion. I mean “Switch.” I actually enjoy using a computer. Why, it’s actually a nexus of entertainment, whoda thunk? It can be productive!

    I can’t wait to get an Intel Mac (If I can dual-boot XP Pro-what a waste of disk space)!
    I’m gonna take that PC and smash it into 40,000,000,000 pieces with my Andre Dawson autographed baseball bat!

    (Nah—I’ll eBay it on some sucker, I mean buyer.)

    Trust had this to say on Dec 12, 2005 Posts: 2
  • I had to add this because it is the perfect add-on to this article. This was exactly my experience with vaunted Windows, the hopeless OS.

    This article and comment from

    says it all. I quote it all here:

    “Just Another Lousy PC - Part 2
    by Tim (Surfbits) @ 5:24 pm.

    I didn’t jump into the new Dell Inspiron 9300 without a plan. I was going to boot up the computer, get online and do a Windows update ASAP. There are viruses out there that can infect your Windows PC without even opening an email or going to a website, just being online with an unprotected PC means you may get infected. When my Windows update screen ran through the initial diagnosis of what updates and patches I needed, it showed that there were 26 critical updates and patches to be installed on my system. I chose to install them all and it started the downloads and installs. It took three re-boots and three Windows updates to get them all installed, over an hour just for the critical downloads.

    Then I started on the anti-virus program, I downloaded all the latest patches and definitions and got them running. I then started deleting the crap files that are shipped with the Dell, all of our favorites like, AOL, Earthlink, Netzero and demos of games, Office suites and then the programs that make spyware and adware look like amateurs, Real Network player and jukebox, and several mp3 players. After I cleared gigs of useless software off the hard drive, I then took out all the PC software I owned from my last Windows desktop. They were mostly utilities, but important ones such as Disk Image, Partition Magic, Macromedia Suite 8, and some smaller programs and freeware I used. I would install each program, download any updates and install them too, then reboot and try to run it. Twice I received the dreaded BSOD, blue screen of death. I deleted the offending program, and tried again. All but one of the programs re-installed fine and avoided the BSOD. I forgot how much I hated this stuff… but it had to be done.

    Every few hours I had to get up from the kitchen table where I was performing this ballet of BS and walk into my office, sit down in front of the iMac and just look at the beautiful design, open a few applications to see what solid programming can produce. It was the only thing that kept me from physically assaulting that poor Dell laptop. The morning turned into night and I decided to call it a day. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to actually use my new Dell, maybe.

    After a few more hours of downloading and tweaking, I finally had the Dell where I wanted it, or at least close. I was then ready to use Drive Image to take a snapshot of the setup and save it on an external drive. The imaging went smooth and I felt like I had bonded with my Dell, at least a little. That lasted for about half a day. After I kept running into applications that were missing buttons, or links, and there was no way to expand the windows to see these buttons and links, a tech support person told me that my video drivers for the Dell were probably outdated and I should check with Dell’s support center to find out if new drivers existed. Suffice it to say, there were several drivers that were outdated. That pretty much shot the afternoon and when the new video driver didn’t want to install properly, I surrendered to the fact that day two was in the books, and I have not seen the first hour of productivity on my Windows laptop.

    Day three started and I thought I’d try something. I had three anti-spyware programs installed. Adaware, Microsoft Anti-spyware, and the Micro Trend anti-spyware program that came with the Dell. I ran each program, one after the other. Keep in mind that the only websites I’ve been to in the first three days of PC purgatory have been the sites of programs I needed to update or download. There were no sports, porn, warez, or game sites in the history folder, honest! Each program found it’s own list of spyware or adware. I had a total of 19 hits between the three utilities. What a sad statement.

    The Dell is packed up in my Booqbag, along with the software CD’s I may need and a few manuals, very few since it seems that actual paper manuals for PC’s are a thing of the past, along with actual install CD’s and DVD’s. If all goes as planned, I’ll not have to use the Dell until I start my new job. If life was perfect, I’d not have to use the Dell at all.”

    This is the WINDOWS life. Die, Microsoft, die.

    Trust had this to say on Dec 16, 2005 Posts: 2
  • Another late comment…

    Awhile back, I took a walk through the computer section of my local Border’s Books.

    I found that almost half of the Windows volumes were either troubleshooting or “crash prevention” books. NEARLY HALF.

    The Mac stuff? Software tutorials and guides for doing creative work, mostly.

    Nobody’s claiming that Macs are bulletproof, but I find it very telling that the assumption of the Mac section is that your Mac WORKS and you’ve come to purchase books to learn how to do cool or useful things with it.

    BrainFromArous had this to say on Dec 16, 2005 Posts: 1
  • Heh, very late post, but I only just found the link since I rarely look at Mac sites.  Anyways…

    ““And MS-DOS, DOS, whatever, is still there.  I could care less about 16, 32 or 64 bit…it is there.  The back door is there and the crackers are still going through it.  End of story.”
    1. The hacker would need to get through the firewall first. This is practically impossible.”

    There’s still people out there that have no idea what a firewall is.  There are still people running XP SP1 because they heard SP2 will keep their programs from working.  A solution is only a solution if the person can implement it, or even realize it exists.

    “2. The hacker would need administrator privileges to do anything harmful with MS-DOS. Assuming that you are even remotely computer-literate, you will not be running Windows with the administrator account and will have a strong password applied to it. Not only is getting access to the computer near impossible, but even if they get that far it is near impossible to gain administrator privileges.”

    What’s your definition of “computer-literate”?  Mine is someone who can go online, check e-mail, web-surf and play games.  My grandparents can do these things (to my amazement, since they have trouble doing anything else).  They don’t know what a firewall is.  They’re still stuck on dial-up.  They run it with admin-like settings, and I wouldn’t dare try to get them to do otherwise because I’d get nothing but bitching that they’d have to input a password every time the comp went on standby ‘n blah blah blah…anyways, they’re computer-literate to me, and yet they don’t use strong passwords or use a non-admin account.  Please define your definition of “computer-literate” next time.

    “Bull. Windows XP does NOT have BSODs, they restart themselves. Anything similar to a BSOD is from the computer’s BIOS which means that it is a hardware problem and can occur on any computer regardless of operating system.”

    All I can say is…“The Hell?!”  XP DOES still have the dreaded BSOD.  It’s happened twice on two different laptops (once on each to be clear).  Once on the older laptop after installing SP2.  It installed, rebooted, then came to the BSOD, then rebooted, BSOD, reboot…you understand.  The second time came on the new laptop, and I believe it to be a conflict between CA’s eTrust Internet Security Suite and Webroot’s Spy Sweeper.  Obviously the second time isn’t the fault of Windows, but the fact remains that the BSOD still exists…hell, I can never go into my school labs without seeing at least one computer stuck on the BSOD or constantly rebooting to it (the students break those things WAY too much…and all the comps ARE XP, in case you were wondering).  Anyways…I believe I’ve made the point.

    ” My computer never freezes. Nor does my parents or sister’s. The only “lock ups” I experience are when I explicitly lock the computer using the Windows+L keyboard combination.”

    Now, I’ve actually had more Macs lock up on me than Windows, but this was happening back in high-school where we were still using OS 8.  Now in the present, Windows has completely frozen on me 3 times (still counting times from Windows 98), Linux has yet to do it, and I couldn’t tell you how stable a Mac is since I’ve never used any version of OS X.  Anyways, the point…Windows crashes, but isn’t as crash-happy to me as it is to some people.

    ““Directory/Registry failures”
    Never experienced this either”

    If the person is talking about registry problems so bad the OS can’t function anymore, yeah, I’ve never had that happen.  However, uninstalling a program almost always leaves me with now-invalid registry entries.  That kind of “failure” happens all the time.

    ““besides installing bad hardware drivers”—and that only requires an upgrade installation, not a clean one. There is absolutely no reason to perform a clean installation of XP.”

    Uhhhh…outside of spyware and virus infestations so horrid that it would take less time and effort to rebuild the hard drive.  And I’ve seen this while simply working in retail.  That’s what back-ups are for.  Just make sure to back-up BEFORE the problem >_>.

    So there you have it.  I hate Microsoft as a dishonest company (And for all those complaining about the FUD being directed at Microsoft, Microsoft spends quite a bit of time spreading FUD about Linux, so stop the whining), I hate Microsoft software (Windows included) for their crappy security (IE had 70 holes from 2003 till now, nearly 30% remain unpatched), although I’m stuck with it until I can play my games on my Linux box, I enjoy learning Linux, and I’ll probably never willing touch a Mac because of the crap that happened in high school.  That’s my opinion, no matter how wrong I am.  Don’t like it, tough.

    Kokujo had this to say on Jan 10, 2006 Posts: 1
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