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simon collis

musings of an omnivorous biped

21 Reasons Why Microsoft Might Be Dying

Posted by simon on 2013/04/08
Posted in Technology  | Tagged With: , , , | 1 Comment

As someone who develops with the Microsoft tool chain – particularly with .Net – the signs from Microsoft recently haven’t been overly encouraging recently. And that worries me – I’ve been developing using the Microsoft stack for 18 years and if they disappear, so does my career. But the writing’s looking to be on the wall:

  1. Some people at IBM think Windows 8 might be Microsoft’s OS/2. Ouch.
  2. Windows Phone is only 4.7% of the market, and while it’s growing, the top 2 players take 94.7% of the market – up from 92.4% last year
  3. In China, the world’s largest mobile phone market, the news is worse – Nokia sales are crashing, while Samsung is tops
  4. Another revenue stream dries up as Google stops licensing Exchange ActiveSync for its GMail product
  5. Facebook Home might be a clone of Windows Phone’s ‘people-centric’ UI, but it just brought Windows Phone’s consumer USP to their biggest rival. Ooops.
  6. Despite rumours since September and a petition on change.org, the Facebook (and therefore indirectly-part-Microsoft-owned) Instagram still isn’t available on Windows Phone
  7. As of January, Nokia were still selling twice as many Linux-based phones as Windows Phone ones
  8. Indy game developers prefer Sony to Microsoft these days, removing one of the Xbox’s key selling points.
  9. Microsoft have slashed Windows 8 OEM prices to try and revive the market, knocking 75% off the price of their biggest profit centre.
  10. Gartner predicts a fall of 7.6% in PC sales in 2013, while Apple Mac sales rose 31% overall last year, despite a weak start to 2013.
  11. Google are now a hardware player, and their Chromebook starts at about the full price of a retail Windows 8 licence
  12. You couldn’t make this up: Thieves broke into Microsoft. And just stole the iPads.
  13. Microsoft’s smartphone market share dropped after the launch of Windows Phone 8.
  14. The Surface tablets have sold about a third the number Microsoft ordered
  15. Actually the news for Internet Information Server isn’t all bad – it’s back to 20% market share, its highest since October 2010 – but still lower than every survey since 1996.
  16. Dell told the SEC that slow sales of Windows 8 and Windows 7 are a prime factor in its recent troubles that might lead to a takeover.
  17. The EU fined Microsoft $731 million for breaching their antitrust agreement over the browser choice screen – presumably one of the costliest oversights of all time.
  18. Apple’s App Store takes 74% of app store spend, while Google Play is 51% of all downloads. Even the BlackBerry store is over 100,000 apps now.
  19. SharePoint is being replaced by third party apps at multinationals on an almost daily basis
  20. 40% of PCs are still running Windows XP, despite this being three versions out of date (I wonder how many are still running Windows 2000?)
  21. Microsoft just sold their IPTV business, just as the consumer-savvy Apple might be going into the IPTV business.

This is depressing.

You know I could go on and on with these, and I haven’t really found any good news. As someone who relies on Microsoft for a living, this is really really depressing – and a bit scary.

Please, Microsoft, get your act together – I need some good news!

All Surface, No Feeling?

Posted by simon on 2012/07/16
Posted in NewsTechnology  | Tagged With: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Microsoft just took a huge gamble. A mega big one. And I’m not sure if they’ve already lost.

Let me start with the background. A few months ago, they announced Microsoft Surface, a shiny Lumia blue tablet thing (apparently it’s hit production problems already – who’dathunkit?)

Today, they announced that Windows on ARM – you know, WinRT – would “include” Microsoft Office. What does “include” mean? Is it included in the price, is it ad supported, like Office 2010 Starter? Or will it require an Office 365 subscription in order to use it? Read more