M$’s House Is Afire

  1. The leader of the CEO hopefuls wants to port M$’s office suite to other platforms to sell more. There goes lock-in for the client OS.
  2. He also wants to shutdown/sell Xbox and Bing to get back to core businesses and shed employees.
  3. Two zero-day flaws are being exploited in the wild and M$ can’t do anything about it…
  4. M$ can’t add and doesn’t even try (more on this).
  5. M$ is still losing share in client OS even on legacy PCs.

So, the M$-juggernaut, once thought invincible, is rolling into mud and rocks at the bottom of a ravine while the rest of us soar on small cheap computers and FLOSS. If M$ continues to ignore serious flaws, business will desert them as consumers already have over stupid user-interfaces and high prices. Good.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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25 Responses to M$’s House Is Afire

  1. Phenom says:

    Ohio, come on. That’s bad even for you. Let’s go through the case again. I type down a model of Nokia. A sensible search engine would take my location into consideration, and focus on results, relevant to my location. Then, it would include some central source of info (official web site, worldwide-oriented). Then, there would be results to local shops where I could purchase the thing.

    Yandex gave me none of these.

    Any other bright remarks?

  2. oiaohm says:

    http://www.nokia.com/global/about-nokia/about-us/production-facilities/production-facilities/

    Phenom some of the russia search engine responses are interesting. Like the biggest production house of Nokia that is Nokia Chennai india. So yes its listed before the central one a reason.

    Phenom really be a little more careful before you say obscure. You are aware Nokia Chennai India does ship globally?? I guess not. Also india patent enforcement is different.

    Phenom so bad example. Try again.

  3. Phenom says:

    Mr. Pogson, I believe you did not make quite a common test. Most people, i.e. those 95% of world’s search engine users, would never search for Linux, apps, or stuff. They are likely to search for mundane things. Should you have tried this, you’d have seen that most results are heavily tilted towards Russia, and information tends to be a bit outdated. Further, information from outside Russia is not ranked properly, as often obscure local sites are listed first (for instance, the Indian branch of Nokia is listed before the central one; and I do not live in India, hell, I am not even in Asia).

    Dr. Loser prompted it for those who would listen. To search successfully, you need Big Data. Now, when it comes to Google, Bing, and Yandex, I give you three guesses who has worst data, and I mean worse by leaps and bounds.

  4. Phenom wrote, “Why don’t you try Yandex to search for a local deal in your vicinity, Mr. Pogson?”

    Sure. Searching on Yandex.com for “linux” finds an SSD that’s compatible with GNU/Linux…

    Interestingly, Yandex thinks I am a bot…
    “Unfortunately, it looks like the search requests sent from your IP address are automated. Therefore, we’ve had to temporarily block your access to Yandex Search”

    I did play around with Yandex a bit and found some interesting .ru sites:
    * application equivalencies between that other OS and GNU/Linux
    * Hey! Yandex has a mirror of GNU/Linux distros! That’s my kind of search-engine!

    About Yandex: “Yandex is one of the largest internet companies in Europe, operating Russia’s most popular search engine and its most visited website. According to LiveInternet, as of July 2013, we generated 62.0% of all search traffic in Russia. We also operate in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Turkey. Yandex is in the world’s top five search engines by number of searches.”

    Sounds like they are doing well. I may visit them more often.

    Yandex pointed me to Clicky.com for some GNU/Linux stats. mmm… Good!

  5. Phenom says:

    Why don’t you try Yandex to search for a local deal in your vicinity, Mr. Pogson?

  6. Yonah says:

    QQ.com is just a portal for the QQ instant messaging service, itself a verbatim copy of ICQ’s protocol. Well, you also get a MySpace style homepage and an email account too. Few outside China even know what it is or would even use it, nor does it have multi-lingual support.

  7. Phenom wrote, “There is only one competitor to Google in searching. And this is Bing. The rest are just dust on the chessboard.”

    Nope. Check out Baidu in China and Yandex in Russia.

    Just about every large organization can and will have some kind of search function. It may be Google but it could also be any of a bunch of FLOSS and other search engines. Google’s global share is actually declining because, while Google has a major share, it has no global monopoly or lock-in.

  8. oiaohm says:

    Phenom there is a third search provider who is not dust on the board. qq.com. Mostly targeted at china. Due to qq being inside china it does not suffer from the china firewall problem as bing and google does.

    Phenom also not all android devices default to google search either. So bing is not the only reason google is being a prick with Windows Mobile. Lot of the API’s were pulled from Windows Mobile due to Microsoft blocking Goggle advertising.

  9. Phenom says:

    Ohio, everything in a corporation is about costs and profit. Simple economics.
    For a company like MS, a data center is never redundant. Just think of their online services, where Bing is just another one. Azure alone is enough to swallow Bing’s data center.

    There is only one competitor to Google in searching. And this is Bing. The rest are just dust on the chessboard.

    That is the reason why Google is so edgy about Windows 8 (tablets) and Windows Phone. Because they default to Bing, and users don’t see a tangible difference in the search quality. Google tries now to play mean and hit below the waist by stopping official support for otherwise available APIs like YouTube, and Google Mail. The same way Google blacklist developers, who do not use their ad services on Android. Problem is, this is making them really infamous, and they start irritating both the public, and developers.

  10. oiaohm says:

    Phenom Data centres are mostly about how much income you can make per area. With the least operating costs. This is why high density arm is being considered at moment. Also the open compute project to get data centres cheaper price hardware.

    Data centres are very much about costs and profit.

    Phenom please note I said hopefully free of NSA. I am not expecting end users to care. Its just like end users not caring about google tracking them either.

    There are many existing competitors. Most without the market share. But we don’t have a crystal ball.

  11. Phenom says:

    Oiaohm, while you have a certain point with 1 and 3 (hell, you are right that MS can do what they want to), points 2 and 4 are a bit stupid even for your. I won’t even comment the price of floors, that would be too derogatory.
    Point 4 at least deserves a remark. Don’t fool yourself that many people care about NSA, or being watch, or whatever. There are people who do, and they are very vocal about it. Most of the people simply don’t care.

  12. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser you missed the big on.

    1) we cannot stop Microsoft from shutdown bing if they choose to.

    2) Income vs Floor space. Data centres bing is in might be more profitable being sold out for cloud services or something else. So that they are breaking even who cares.

    3) the billions on research are already paid and Microsoft has axed projects they have spent billions on before.

    4) competition in the market if bing goes we will just have to hope others take bings place hopefully someone free of USA NSA.

    Please note I said shutdown down bing could make sense. Not that it was 100 percent sure to make sense. You would have some major number crunching.

  13. oiaohm says:

    –1) Does anybody (even in FLOSS) want to see Google get a total monopoly on search funded by advertising? I would hope not.–

    This is not a factor in deciding if closing down bing is a good idea or not. Even that we don’t want this we have to accept business has to make selections based on profit.

    There are other open source options other than Google or bing. Like YaCy.

    –2) Following on from that, what’s the possible competition in Search? It’s not Duck-Duck-Go, I’m afraid. And it’s not Yahoo, whose search engine is at this point an appendage to Bing.–
    You missed qq from inside china and YaCy and other attempts.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_search_engine
    Just note how many are active. Bing disappearing would create a hole for one of the others to possibly grow into.

    –3) Just to throw this in here, but that narsty Proprietary Corp (M$) spends an awful lot of money in the research department, including stuff that filters in to Bing. No idea how they adjust that in the financials, but still. Want to know why they do that? Because Search is a Big Thing. You don’t have to sell out to advertisers, a la Google. You can actually use it for moral purposes. (You can also use it inside an OS. Ubuntu is bravely trying to do this and failing.)–

    You are still selling out to NSA. Supporting bing or google. YaCy and other country neutral solutions do have to be looked at.

    Again not a money reason. It would not be the first or the last time Microsoft has axed a project they have spend billion on.

    –4) And here’s the most important thing, oiaohm. Bing, on its own, is close to breaking even. All that research money has been spent. All those data centers are paid for. In about two or three years, it’ll start to make serious money, as in billions.–

    Why would anyone want to be receiving peanuts for those data centres. I said shutting down bing could make sense. Yes as you state the bing data-centres could be reaching paid off point. The data centres host bing don’t only have to be used for bing. They could be rented out for cloud services if bing was not using them.

    If you like it or not it could be more profitable to shut down bing and use the bing investment in hardware for something else could be the right move at this point.

    Dr Loser in 2 to 3 years you have to revamp most of the server hardware anyhow. It would not be the first or last time Microsoft had shut down there search product for 12 months or so.

    So shutdown down bing might be a right move for now.

    Note I said shutdown bing not sell off bing. Selling off bing with all its assets would most likely be foolish. Shut it down to use it assets elsewhere to make more profit could make sense. Its all about how much dollars per cubic meter of floor space in server farms. The question is can bing pay it way vs other items that could be using the hardware it needs to live.

    I will leave if or if not to shut down bing to Microsoft number crunches. Its not like we could do anything to stop Microsoft shutting down bing if they want to.

    So Dr Loser why are we so dependant on companies like Microsoft and Google who could shut us out of access to search results in the first place.

  14. Yonah says:

    I hope Bing stays. I actually use it as my primary search engine after I moved to China due to interference from the GFW (Great FireWall). Sometimes search queries time out completely, image searching only shows the first few rows of results, or clicking on a link in the results dumps me to a “Connection closed by remote server” message because the links on Google’s result pages point to a Google address that then redirects you to the page you wanted. I realize they do this to keep track of which links are being clicked, but this still makes using Google more difficult in China because of the GFW’s behavior.

    Most of all, I hope they keep Microsoft Translator working, which people tell me is easier to understand than the output of Google or Baidu.

  15. ram says:

    Microsoft has never been a “real” company. It is a “company” the same way SAIC is a “company” — a corporate front for US intelligence agencies engaged in economic espionage. These entities are heavily subsidized by the government and don’t actually need private customers (except to maintain the image that they might be a real commercial company). They do enormous economic damage over the long term.

  16. dougman says:

    M$ could just sign BING over to Google as a gesture of good will, think of the positive publicity in doing so or hand it off to Yahoo., but then again this is the SAME company that is DEADSET on attempting to sue Android out of assistance, so I see that NOT happening

    Also, Windows XP is still powering ~37 percent of computers worldwide and due to end being supported by M$ April 8th, 2014. So that’s 740M users that arguably would migrate to Linux, or possibly Apple. No one wants Windows 8.

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/nobody-wants-to-touch-windows-8-laptop-sales-suffer/

    So sometime next year, we should see a huge drop in Windows usage and a large uptick in Linux.

  17. DrLoser says:

    As always, a well-considered riposte, Dougie.

    Just out of mild interest, what would somebody like you, with absolutely no experience in Big Data and yet a burning desire to make money out of today’s tech, do with Bing?

    Feel free to inspire us all with your inspirational genius, untainted as it is with that nasty expensive thing called “education.”

    Clue: see my point (1). If there’s anything better than “free, non-monopolistic” search, then I’d have to think that “very expensive, M$ loses billions but the option is still there” search is a passable candidate.

  18. dougman says:

    To YOU it makes no sense, but alas, your not the future CEO of M$. Of course it does not make any sense, it would be upsetting to know that you wasted 2.5 years of your life on a search engine that never made the grade and gets tossed aside to be heaped along with the rest of M$ failed products to the tune of $11B, with little to show for it.

    No one BING’s it, not even people in M$: http://www.fastcompany.com/3001164/even-inside-microsoft-users-rarely-bing-it

    Welcome to M$, sucks doesn’t it? Now you know why people hate it so.

  19. DrLoser says:

    I don’t think that “shutting down Bing” makes any sense whatsoever, oiaohm. To start with: it’s not even on the table here. The question is whether or not Elop (as the heir apparent) or his equivalent will sell the damn thing.

    Just for once, I think I’m ahead of you on this issue. After all, I did spend two and a half years working for Bing.

    There are four separate issues here, I think.

    1) Does anybody (even in FLOSS) want to see Google get a total monopoly on search funded by advertising? I would hope not.

    2) Following on from that, what’s the possible competition in Search? It’s not Duck-Duck-Go, I’m afraid. And it’s not Yahoo, whose search engine is at this point an appendage to Bing.

    3) Just to throw this in here, but that narsty Proprietary Corp (M$) spends an awful lot of money in the research department, including stuff that filters in to Bing. No idea how they adjust that in the financials, but still. Want to know why they do that? Because Search is a Big Thing. You don’t have to sell out to advertisers, a la Google. You can actually use it for moral purposes. (You can also use it inside an OS. Ubuntu is bravely trying to do this and failing.)

    4) And here’s the most important thing, oiaohm. Bing, on its own, is close to breaking even. All that research money has been spent. All those data centers are paid for. In about two or three years, it’ll start to make serious money, as in billions.

    Why would anybody want to sell that for peanuts?

  20. oiaohm says:

    Really shutting down bing could make sense. Selling Xbox not going to work.

    Xbox has a NT style kernel at the core. If anyone acquiring it from Microsoft they would be stuck either buying licenses from Microsoft or stuck without the experienced developers.

    Microsoft closed core methods has its down sides.

    dougman valve is not foolish. There is no way Valve would by Xbox unless Microsoft does something insanely good.

  21. dougman wrote, “by buying Xbox it would migrate 5 – 6M users to SteamOS.”

    So would the death of Xbox. M$ has a long history of killing things after telling the world how wonderful they are.

  22. dougman says:

    Your both missing the big idea, by buying Xbox it would migrate 5 – 6M users to SteamOS.

  23. lpbbear says:

    “I doubt Valve would find the price acceptable since they are well on their way with more open technology.”

    I seriously doubt Valve would have any interest in the Xbox. The Xbox is no where close to the performance levels and openness that Valve has in mind for the Steambox and SteamOS. Microsoft badly damaged the PC gaming market by introducing the Xbox, which lost money for Microsoft for years and badly damaged the PC gaming market. The Xbox was also a very poorly implemented piece of equipment with huge failure rates.
    I recently watched an interview with Gabe Newell and when he was asked about the 20% slump in the gaming market he replied with something like “No slump here, our sales have been up 50% in the last year.”

    Microsoft coerced many game developers into supporting the Xbox. Those that did are likely the ones experiencing the 20% slump.

    Anyway, I think the Xbox will take a huge beating from whatever ends up being the Steambox. Gamers will prefer the approach Valve is taking. At that point the Xbox will have no more worth that the old Atari or a ColecoVision or any number of obsolete platforms. Any sale of the Xbox will be a “fire sale” and Microsoft will be lucky to make anything on the results.

  24. dougman wrote, “If Elop sells Xbox, I am willing to bet Valve would buy it.”

    I doubt Valve would find the price acceptable since they are well on their way with more open technology. Valve is undercutting M$’s profitability. Valve could make the purchase as a way of cutting out competition but do they have that much money?

  25. dougman says:

    M$ Office for Linux and Android here we come.

    If Elop sells Xbox, I am willing to bet Valve would buy it.

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