Tag Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft’s First Quarterly Loss as a Public Company

According to the Associated Press, Microsoft may be posting their first quarterly loss in the 26 years since they’ve been traded as a public company.

Is this the beginning of the end? If so, the “end” of Microsoft as we know it still won’t come for many years. But, as many industry insiders have predicted, the string of bad decisions and lack of innovation had to catch up to the corporate behemoth at some point.

Unfortunately, the only emotion I can convey is one there is no English word for…but there is a German word…you may have heard it:  schadenfreude. It means to take pleasure in the misfortune of another. How can I possibly feel this way? What about potential jobs lost? I believe in the technology industry, as it still continues to grow at an outstanding rate, any lost jobs will be recovered in more successful sectors of tech. There will be minimal or no net loss in the end, as if you stop buying Microsoft Windows, you will start buying Mac OS (for example).

So why the deep feelings of joy and happiness? Microsoft has been profiting hugely off the misfortunes of others for many years. Including school systems (which they were ordered to pay reparations to for illegally overcharging them…schools?! Really?!). Also, the QuickTime video code stolen from Apple in the 1990’s. Microsoft was able to shield themselves legally from this by hiring a small firm called “Red Canyon Software” to develop its “Video for Windows” product. Why would a multi-billion dollar software giant with the largest R&D budget of any tech company in the known universe need to hire a 3-person company to develop such key technology? Deniability. Losing market share to Apple’s QuickTime video technology needed a “no holds barred” solution…Steal it, I imagine were the words between the lines in that RFP.

Finally, Bill Gates, sitting in front of US Lawmakers when defending Microsoft from findings that they abused their market dominating monopoly by unfairly “weaving” their Internet Explorer web browser deeply into the OS. Effectively locking out any competing web browser (e.g. Netscape). What did Mr. Gates tell them when they threatened split their browser business from the rest of Microsoft as a punishment? Bill Gates sat there with a straight face and explained that by decoupling Internet Explorer from the OS and making the browser technology modular, they would be “setting back” technology progress many many years.

Don’t we always like to believe what goes around comes around…

Welcome to the red zone guys.

Paramount to failure

Here we go again…another mis-informed industry giant making a mistake that will save them cash in the short term and cost ALL OF US money today. Paramount’s decision recently to drop support of the Blu-ray High-def format is one of the most backward business decisions I have seen in recent years.

I will not be buying any HD DVDs. Blu-ray is clearly superior technology. More studios back it (still) than HD DVD and counting Playstation 3’s there are more Blu-ray players by multitudes in American homes than there are HD DVD players.

Retailers count two-for-one sales figures of Blu-ray over HD DVD content purchases. Target stores announced they will only carry Blu-ray High-def products. Blockbuster video announced they will only carry Blu-ray High-def movies for rent.

Surely, this is a short-sighted move. It costs a bit more to produce a Blu-ray disc. And the players are a bit more expensive. Sounds like the big guy saves a buck at the expense of the consumer…sound familiar?

Have we not learned from betamax? Sorry, I am not ‘buying’ into this one. And I will not cave into owning both platforms, only so one can die out. Anyone reading this article should do the same. When will the consumer stand up, and show who knows better?

I am one of those PS3/Blu-ray owners. HD DVD proponents did their own research to find that most people who bought into high-def for video gaming were less likely to buy movies, than people who bought stand-alone players. Really???

Well, I own 6 Blu-ray movies and 1 PS3 game. I can’t be that rare a breed can I?

Well, Paramount, one giant leap backward for mankind…thank you. I really wanted to own Transformers when it came available…too bad for me and too bad for Paramount…lost sales for them, lost entertainment for me. Bummer.

C’mon everyone, let’s show them which platform is superior…don’t listen to me…do your own real research…once informed, you’ll know what to do.

Who needs tabbed browsing?

Well, Microsoft obviously didn’t care much for it…It’s been nearly 10 years since the first web browser offered organized, clean-desktop oriented, tabbed browsing. Yes! 10 years! (I couldn’t believe it myself) And many of us since have switched away to Netscape, Mozilla, and lately Firefox for this reason, amongst others.

Notice I referred to IE as the ‘most common’ browser, not necessarily the ‘most popular.’ The most popular browser would be the one that’s not laser-etched into every orifice of your operating system, one you may have had to download and install, and preferred over the ’embedded browser.’

Redmond’s tech and innovation leader had to lose another 10% of their browser share before seeing a business need to add a single feature that was clearly a powerful ‘move away’ factor.

However, I think they’re too late. Waiting almost 10 years before witnessing a noticeable trend in technology and user interface is too long, an eternity in this industry. This is enough of a message to your user base that you don’t really care what your users ACTUALLY want. You only care about what you think they _should_ want. Do I hear Marx turning in his grave?

Now we have Safari for Windows and Mac, yet another web browser that’s had tabs for years and even on the Mac, Safari is not etched into every crevasse of the OS.

I ditched “the people’s web browser” quite a few years ago…

Go Firefox and Safari!