Inside M$

I cannot get my head around how anyone can run a business with tens of thousands of employees. Schools start to be difficult to run even at 500 students. However, as businesses go, M$, internally, is looking sick these days.

From the unofficial blog:

  • This year is one of those inflection points: Apple has been soaring with its excellent device results, blowing Microsoft away and cannibalizing our Windows powered device market. The Microsoft stock is horribly flat and there are calls all-around for Ballmer to be replaced.
  • While MSFT has plenty of other viable businesses, none is as profitable nor as core strategically as Windows. Windows was once an impenetrable fortress, but in the past year, AAPL has penetrated it with a single product launch. MSFT is destined to play catch-up in slates, and it sounds like nothing serious is coming out until Windows 8 in another 12 to 15 months (maybe)
  • MSFT is still very strong in the enterprise but to the consumer, MSFT seems completely dead. MSFT has no consumer mindshare any longer
  • When it comes to the Company Meeting, I personally am dreading anything that can be in the least bit tangled up with… sigh… THE CLOUD. Two things lost my respect to this force-fed-bubble-gum-on-my-shoe initiative: first, that using our cloud services is Alpha-Geek hostile… Second, that we started to slap THE CLOUD on crazy crap like home PC image editing.
  • It’s interesting that while Apple is on the radar of the author, the steam-roller overtaking Apple, Android/Linux on diverse smart thingies, is not. Picture, in your mind, a pedestrian on the sidewalk trying to dodge an out-of-control fuel tanker. The front bumper is the least of his worries even if it is the immediate threat. Thus, it seems to me that M$ is in crisis, with rats trying to escape just before it sinks.

    The blog does describe some upside like diverse segments with $billions in revenue. M$ can work like any other business. It is the core Wintel monopoly that is rotting. Eventually the OS segment will have to operate as a business rather than as a monopoly. Otherwise the low morale of the day will be just the beginning of a huge slide wherein everyone in the company will be negatively affected by the delirium of the sick old man running things. There is no right way to diversify a business if one unit is more blessed than all the others. No one likes to be a second-class citizen and no one likes the guy who gets paid for doing nothing.

    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.
    This entry was posted in technology. Bookmark the permalink.

    31 Responses to Inside M$

    1. twitter says:

      The problem with Microsoft is that they take the work of otherwise competent developers and turn it into crap because management was always malicious and is now insane. The failure is evident from using any of their software. Microsoft employees involved with the development process should be listened to when they tell us why things don’t work.
      The employee’s main revelation are of managerial ignorance, malice and aggression. Microsoft’s management was completely out of touch with users and proper practice. To even bother developing yet another framework like Silverlight was an act of NIH revenue grabbing that sought to use Microsoft desktop monopoly and TV network ownership as a force. That Silverlight failed, despite a rival platform sabotage advantage that Microsoft is not at all shy about using, shows just how poor Silverlight was in the first place. Microsoft was so self sure that they completely screwed up. Windows itself has suffered the same kinds of things, which is why Vista in all of it’s forms is a dismal failure. What started as arrogance and digital handcuffs has turned into an ever more obvious death spiral.

    2. Contrarian wrote, “Very few of them are competent developers.”


    3. Contrarian says:

      Microsoft has tens of thousands of developers, #pogson, and open source has far fewer, I think. Open source may have a lot more people fooling around, although I do not necessarily accept that. They are hobbyists and other forms of wannabes mainly, though. Very few of them are competent developers.

      Linux computers are not on retail shelves in any significant quantity, #pogson, that is why I cannot find them. You yourself are hard pressed to even find on-line references. Everything that you have submitted to date that has had a few Linux offerings shows ten times as many Windows packages when you go to the vendor’s home screen. They are always some Asian or similar location, too. Most of the Linux pages have to be accessed using a search control and are not even linked in the main site navigation.

      You can say that is some kind of success, but it results in very low rates of public acceptance or even awareness for Linux.

    4. The world is much larger than M$ and its partners. You should be willing to see the larger picture. M$ has a few thousand programmers. FLOSS has millions.

      Repeating the lie that GNU/Linux is some kind of a failure does not make it so. That is an attempt to bring M$’s “technological evangelism” to the point where people see competing technology as a failure. I could list dozens of GNU/Linux success stories including “desktops”. The fact that you cannot find GNU/Linux on retail shelves does not mean its not there and even if no retail units were never sold we can tell there are many millions of units out there updating from the popagating mirrors of software. Failures don’t grow like the fruit tree that FLOSS is.

    5. Contrarian says:

      “Leadership becomes tyranny all too often.”

      I think that is just your jaded point of view, likely brought about by frustration due to a lack of foresight and understanding. You have to be willing to see the larger picture. You focus on what you think is an optimal answer and reject what you think are lesser solutions to a problem. You have to understand that is not a practical approach to things.

      Rather you might consider that there are many ways to solve a problem and any one of them that gains the support and focused efforts of the people affected can be the “right” solution. For example, rather than railing against Microsoft and continually sneering at some perceived defect of Windows, why not work to correct that defect rather than trying to eliminate Windows entirely?

      If you think about it, that is why Firefox has a large measure of success and desktop Linux is an abject failure in terms of popular adoption. Firefox is an easy to acquire and use improvement for many users and so there is little opposition to its adoption. Whereas Linux doesn’t really achieve much, if anything, that is better than Windows and it has a terrible cost in terms of learning curve and replacement of prior investments in applications and data files.

      Fix things rather than demand replacement.

    6. Contrarian says:

      “According to this inside account of the Silverlight failure…”

      You spend too much time listening to anti-MS whack jobs such as the blogger you cite, #twitter. I think that it has ruined your sense of balance.

      Silverlight as a development platform continues unabated for WP7 apps. There is no “death of Silverlight” per se, simply the recognition of the value of HTML5 and an initiative to support it in the future. Time marches on and Microsoft continues to adapt to change. That is not a bad thing.

    7. I believe it is true that some aspects of any organization become less effective as the organization grows. I see that particularly in schools. I love small schools where everyone can know everyone personally, communicate directly and solve problems with some immediacy. Once a school gets to about 500 students, a vice-principal is probably in play and cliques show up with favouritism and complete ignorance of what’s happening elsewhere in the organization develop. Instead of meeting in one room and solving a problem on the spot, it starts being necessary to have a steering committee and top-down stuff that can really go off the rails. Leadership becomes tyranny all too often.

      On top of that scalability, M$ is handicapped by the compulsion of its leadership to do evil, something unnatural for most people. Evil really does not scale. It breaks things.

    8. twitter says:

      According to this inside account of the Silverlight failure, both management and development are seriously broken at Microsoft. Not even I thought the domination of marketing types was as bad as it is. The bottom line is that they think they can cram anything down people’s throats by convincing a few key “decision makers” that Microsoft is the only option. I extensively quoted the source article in comments because the original was rambling, disorganized and at risk of vanishing. The company is imploding and is completely incapable of developing new tech or bringing it to market.

      Their reputation is also shot from having ignored people in the field so long. Everyone has noticed that Microsoft use is something shoved down from above by people without clue.

    9. ch says:


      I love it when you announce what you will be delivering next 😉

      “PDF is an open standard.”

      So what ? What does that have to do with anything ?

      Have you really not heard about MS being sued for “illegal bundling” WRT IE and MP ? Wether the supported file formats (like HTML or MP3) were open or not was completely besides the point: If MS – and only MS – includes any function that required a separate program before, they can – and are, see above – sued by the maker(s) of said program(s).

      (Besides: A non-trivial document that is converted to PDF and re-converted into an editable document loses so much that it’s really only a last resort. And for trivial documents C&P from Acrobat Reader to Word solves the problem quite nicely.)

    10. Contrarian says:

      “PDF was originally a proprietary format controlled by Adobe, and was officially released as an open standard on July 1, 2008”

      Microsoft did the same thing for Word documents with the OOXML standard prior to that. PDF is used by just about everybody for sending documents in some fixed display format. DOCX is better if you want people to be able to edit the document and send it back.

    11. FUD. PDF is an open standard. That is one of the talking points M$ came up with to continue the lock-in.

    12. ch says:

      “Try this, “right-click – save image as” then “insert picture from file”. No problem.”

      No problem, right. But not a working clipboard, either. (And I won’t even go into the things you can do with ActiveX – or, once again, with DBUS in KDE/Gnome but only with KDE/Gnome applications.)

      For PFD into Word, I use Nuance PDF Converter – no problem 😉
      Yes, you need a separate programm – but b) it is available and a) if MSO included more PDF support it would be “illegal bundling” or something, at least for some EU bureaucrats.

    13. Try this, “right-click – save image as” then “insert picture from file”. No problem.

      Now, try importing a PDF in M$’s office suite…

      “You cannot. PDFs need Adobe Reader (AR) or similar application. Word doesn’t read PDF files. You may be able to open it in AR and then copy paste into Word but it depends on the level of protection applied to the PDF.”

    14. ch says:

      “The reason Lose ’98 had a larger installed base than GNU/Linux is because M$ insisted on it.”

      In a way, that’s actually true: MS insisted on producing a successful OS for the masses (and getting “developers, developers, developers, developers” working on the applications). Too many in the Linux “community” insisted on building an OS for geeks. Hint: “Masses” outnumber “geeks”.

    15. ch says:

      “a second-class desktop OS”
      “That surely describes many Windows versions if you are talking about performance.”

      Care to explain what performance you are talking about ? Here’s my meterstick for “desktop performance”:

      – In Linux, open Firefox.
      – Go to a website that has at least one graphic and some text.
      – Highlight graphic and text.
      – “Copy”
      – Close FF since we are done here.
      – Open LO/OOo Write.
      – Try to “Paste”
      Oops !

      OK, let’s try again:
      – “Copy” in FF as above.
      – Do NOT close FF.
      – In Write “Paste”.
      Where’s the graphic ?

      Try that with Windows, with Mac OS – hell, even with Gnome/KDE it works as long as your apps are Gnome/KDE. But FF and OOo/LO are neither, so you’re back to the sorry excuse of a clipboard that X offers.

    16. Sanders says:

      People do not use windows because they like windows.

      They use programs that run on windows.

      Windows 98 (ms cheats aside) had by the time it was released a shelload of commercial applications people need for their day to day jobs and business.

      Linux was almost on its infancy at that time.

      And yes Ballmer the ‘old man’ knows everything else but windows anyone can do better.

      But windows ecosystem empire of commercial applications and OEM cohercion my friend that can not be built without years and years and investing billions.

      Ballmer knows this, it is perhaps the only thing he knows.

    17. The reason Lose ’98 had a larger installed base than GNU/Linux is because M$ insisted on it. They punished any partners who produced other systems. Read US DOJ v M$.

    18. revdjenk says:

      “a second-class desktop OS”

      Here is my experience with Win7 and LinuxMint, a ten year old Epson scanner and latest HP all-in-one.

      Win7: had to install driver for the HP, and couldn’t find any driver, anywhere for the scanner that would allow it to operate with win7.

      LinuxMint: plugged in each one, and they worked…

    19. the guyver says:

      “a second-class desktop OS”
      That surely describes many Windows versions if you are talking about performance. Apple’s OS’s and Linux would be 1st class while Microsoft OS’s make it to 2nd…The argument that “market share explains anything” is as pedestrian as saying that cheaper cars are better than a Mercedes because more people drive them.

    20. ch says:


      Let me guess: Because you have choosen to use a second-class desktop OS, you are smarter than everybody else ? Yeah, makes sense …

    21. Arup says:

      Market share=sheeple……..thats all folks.

    22. RealIT says:

      @oiaohm “Wonder if we need to add a policy of delete all posts of those who use insanely made up facts repeatedly.”

      Then this would be an empty blog and Pogson would have nothing to say. But nice try.

      Oh and the point I was making is that Windows 98 had a larger user base than Linux had at the time. And evey other Windows version too. But since you still wont get it and this forum does not accept crayons:

      If Windows 98 came out in 1998, then in 1998, 1999 and probably 2000 it had a larger user base than Linux. You can substitute any version and year in there and the fact would still remain.

      The best case in point was when Windows 7 RC1 surpassed Linux in userbase. Not bad for beta software.

      Oh and Poggy, trying to throw in Android as a comparative stat to boost your numbers is just childish.

    23. oldman says:

      “oldman remember one of the first things I said here to Robert Pogson. If my information is false or I have made a major mistake. He is free to delete my posts without me taking any offence.”

      I could care less what you said, mr. oiaohm. My comment stands.

    24. oiaohm says:

      oldman remember one of the first things I said here to Robert Pogson. If my information is false or I have made a major mistake. He is free to delete my posts without me taking any offence.

      Saying that window 98 is larger than Linux is kinda insane made up facts. My worst fact error was due to different interpret due to country.

    25. oldman says:

      “My toleration for dissent is stretched near the limit these days.”

      Then my suggestion would be that it is time to lay down rules for what is in the end your blog.

    26. Ray says:

      It’s worth saying again: They have dividends, which means that it’s not growing.

    27. My toleration for dissent is stretched near the limit these days.

    28. oldman says:

      “Wonder if we need to add a policy of delete all posts of those who use insanely made up facts repeatedly.”

      Fortunately, what you wonder doesnt count Mr. oiaohm. I am however impressed how quickly you FOSS types move to censor the speech that you dont like.

      Pog’s blog is actually unique in that he will tolerate dissent. Something you have a very hard time doing being the bully that you are.

    29. oiaohm says:

      Wonder if we need to add a policy of delete all posts of those who use insanely made up facts repeatedly.

    30. Nope. See

      Windows 98 2,304 0.06% || Linux .91%||Linux Android 1.76%

      Similarly Linux bests Lose 2K and other stuff pre-XP. Even the great “7” doesn’t beat XP.

    31. RealIT says:

      Wow, thrilling stuff from an unofficial blog. Good sources you have there. Meanwhile in the real world, Microsoft could release Windows 95 all over again, call it Windows for Morons, deny Jews access to it, make the catch phrase a racist slur and have 666 on it and you know it would outsell and out strip anything Linux has done in 20 years. An I can use your own skewed statistics to prove it too.

      Windows 3.1 > Linux market share
      Windows 95 > Linux market share
      Windows 98 > Linux market share
      Windows ME > Linux market share
      Windows 2000 > Linux market share
      Windows XP > Linux market share (even today)
      Windows Vista > Linux market share (even today)
      Windows 7 > Linux market share
      Windows 8 > Linux market share (probably more people have the dev preview than linux in toto).

      Nice stats hey? Freshly baked and server to you. Enjoy.

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