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35 comments

Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

Posted November 26, 2010 7:33 AM

About a decade ago, Bill Gates predicted tablet computers would displace laptops. Unfortunately, Microsoft's insistence on adapting new technologies to Windows, rather than the other way around, has hastened its decline. Since then, Apple's vision of mobile technology and Google's prominence on the Web has create a new world order. But Microsoft is fighting back with the Windows 7 operating system and its Bing search engine. Is it too late for a comeback? Does Microsoft have the vision to see what's next?

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#1

Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/26/2010 10:37 PM

Microsoft never learns. Upper management for years has succumbed to the idea that they are a monopoly and people need to be told what they want.

Now their new windows 7 for phones is a real dud. Will they ever learn?

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#2

Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 1:16 AM

Throughout history, with all major powers, there is a rise, a hey day, and a fall. Why should this be any different?

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#3

Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 1:35 AM

there is still a poopload of affordable business applications that microsoft or anyone, could develop.

Microsoft got its start with BASIC. Microsoft could develop the next generation programming languages. Todays phones are far more powerful than the original personal computers.

Software these days is object oriented and event driven. It isn't what is needed for robotics...

Chris

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#4

Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 12:45 PM

Let's hope that it is too late for a comeback. Microsoft has been one of the greatest impediments to the progress of personal computing with such defining positions as "64k of RAM is all that will ever be needed" and "the internet will never be popular" May they rest in peace ASAP.

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#5

Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 12:51 PM

Bill is Gray and MS has expired. Do we need to mourn? Nothing goes on for ever.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 1:20 PM

that is just wishful thinking. Microsoft is not gone and is not dead.

I personally am thankful to Bill Gates for his contribution to computing, and this industry would be tiny without him. He may be a despised and controversial business person, but he is (was) a fierce competitor, and drove others to compete fiercly also, which gave a huge focus to the industry.

I look forward to the next phases of computing, especially as it gets more creative. I don't think that the question is "Can MS make a comeback?", but what is the next dimension to computing that is underdeveloped?

As much as computers and cell phones have changed the ability to communicate, they haven't really changed human's ability to think and communicate, and that is a huge field. By asking the right questions, entire new industries can be created that make the current industry look small.

the computing industry attracts the best and the brightest, and subsequently, the largest egos... it is inherent that there will be a great deal of competition and yes, bitterness involved.

Chris

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#7
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 1:55 PM

Microsoft make no new money. It lives off the profit from the OS opoly and the applications it uses.

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#35
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

12/09/2010 9:54 PM

hey... somebody was listening to me...

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#8

Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 5:31 PM

Microsoft have never been pioneers in software, only good at marketing what they have and what they can either buy in or copy from others. Their latest systems are designed to encourage (force??) buyers to upgrade all their systems, and keep buying the upgrades. Others are following in the belief that these ties will guarantee business, but eventually the people get wise and go for what is better, even if it means a steep learning curve to escape the marketing nightmare.

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#9
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 6:33 PM

"Microsoft have never been pioneers in software."

Thats not really true, based on what I have read. They were total pioneers in adapting BASIC to personal computing, starting with the Altair. Basic existed, but on mainframes. The Altair didn't even have an output system when they wrote basic for it. There were dozens of different personal computers back then, before IBM, and Microsoft wrote a version of basic for each one, and that was the largest driving force in the development of all personal computers.. the fact that you could do something with it when it had basic on it. Without that, there would never have been the industry there is.

Without Windows, the GUI systems of computing would have been much much smaller. Sure it came from Xerox PARC, and was also used by Apple intermingled with Microsoft (codeveloping) but Microsoft, regardless of opinion, is the company that had sold millions more copies than anyone else. If business stats are relevant here... (where the rubber meets the road)

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#10
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 6:58 PM

Well, there was CP/M, and it was ahead in the race for the IBM OS, but the guy was difficult to deal with.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CP/M

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#12
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 7:15 PM

yes. I'm not the biggest microsoft fan, but I want to give credit where it is due. It is a repeating theme in history that there is always a big fish who comes along and forges large strides in particular technologies. Alexander the Great is a hero today, but maybe there were a lot of poeple that didn't really want to be conquered by him. History pivots on such characters.

Chris

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#22
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/28/2010 3:19 AM

A little more....

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#11
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 7:14 PM

Windows was Microsofts catch up effort, with the GUI, after it was introduced on the Apple Lisa then the Macintosh and its adoption by Atari and Commodore, on the Amiga. Innovation has never been one of Microsofts strong points.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 7:26 PM

again, I don't really think you have captured the story. here is a very condensed version. It is much more entangled than you have suggested, and certainly it was not all Apple doing the innovating. They (apple) borrowed just as much from Xerox as microsoft did.

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#14
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 7:32 PM

Then why didn't Microsoft introduce innovative products, like the mouse (another Apple introduction to consumer computing)? Was it because they were only into the business of making money and not advancing the technology?

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#16
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 7:52 PM

yes, just the money... making microsoft absolutely unique in the business world.

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#18
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 8:02 PM

I wish they was unique, but concentration on profits over products is one of the reasons that US manufacturing is in the state it's in.

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#31
In reply to #16

Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

12/05/2010 12:57 AM

How about some statistics?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems

a couple of questions:

what happens to the 50% of the market made up of machines running XP, when these machines are replaced or xp support ends?

will MS be able to capture any significant part of the mobile market?

desktop is a stagnant market, the growth is in mobile computing

businesses typically use secure servers to store important information. Linux is the dominant OS for servers

MS will remain a large company in the near term, but much like IBM, they have let their nearly total dominance of the information technology market slip.

can they compete with Google?

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#32
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

12/05/2010 10:42 AM

In a forest, where one tree grows fast and strong for a long time, and then later, other trees spring up around it, eventually, the forces of nature equalize the situation. But what you end up with is like a redwood forest. If left to run, the original tree may die off, but it may share equally with other trees, the water, the minerals, the co2, the sunshine.

Many times big trees exhibit core rot, and the oldest and central parts of the tree die, but the peripheral shell continues to live, and can live for a very long time.

My point is, that Microsoft isn't dead. I agree they aren't the only tree in the forest anymore. Both the other trees are growing fast, and Microsoft is shrinking back some.

I don't see horizontal cracks in the microsft tree... and computing is such a rich field, that I think any dedicated group with resources can stay in the game for a while yet, if not a long time. There is lots of people with chainsaws trying to cut MS down to size though. always has been.

I don't know much else...

Chris

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#33
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

12/05/2010 12:00 PM

you would know about cutting down now wouldn't you?

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#34
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

12/05/2010 12:49 PM

I don't understand your question?

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#27
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/30/2010 3:35 AM

Unfortunatelly mouse was not invented by Apple too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse_(computing).

If you meant only introduction to consumer product as innovation - then I think Microsoft made them quite a few...

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#15
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 7:42 PM

The Xerox GUI had overlapping windows which were produced by superimposing one over the next, and was thus very power-hungry.

The Apple version cut out the overlaps, and just screen printed the visible parts, making it quicker.

Windows followed the Xerox version closer - and 7 still uses more processing power for the GUI than OSX.

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#17
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 7:52 PM

I read that too, but didn't realize there was a power component. why is that?

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#19
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 8:07 PM

Profit margin (cheaper development).

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#20
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 9:16 PM

no I meant why is there an extra power consumption?

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#23
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/28/2010 4:31 AM

Not necessarily electrical power, but the processor is used for more extensive work in producing on-screen 'fluff' within the windows environment than with any other OS.

Look at minimum requirements for the various OSs and then compare that with the agility of the system.

When I move the active window on my Mac (even a G3 iMac will cope with 10.3), the desktop is instantly there in the exposed areas... on a PC it needs to reload before it is seen - and there's no way I could put Vista or 7 on my P4ht.

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#24
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/28/2010 2:52 PM

okay thanks

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#25
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/29/2010 7:49 AM

Hackers- Heroes of the Computer Revolution, by Steven Levy, is a great book, detailing the people and events in personal computing.

Gates is more of a marketing genius than a computer genius. The computing world would be a much different, (and more user friendly), if Apple would have licensed their OS.

Microsoft isn't dead, they still dominate the OS market and most software is still written to run on Microsoft.

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#21

Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/27/2010 11:13 PM

I just got curious about how often MS has 'innovated' rater than 'fiddled'.

Say you call Windows 3.1 a biggie, so 1992

Next, successful go, IMHO, would be '98 in 99 which is like the culmination of the 3.1 "art"

Next, XP, so 2001, and I think we are still waiting.

I think this fits the "life of a corporate" profile quite well. 6 years of 'product improvement' (read; cumbersome patch work), a little flash of 'a good one', which gets the "hey styling works!" treatment, for two years - and flunks - so in panic, they 'fall back' on NT, which being "industrial software" has been done around 'stability' and functionality.

Having that 'success' (read salvation) the 'styling thinkers' re-emerge to make a 9x version that looks like Apple.

So I'd say, unless they sack the clowns and promote the thinkers - they have had it. Rats and Ship so to speak.

But "next hope of XP like salvation" might be "something better than" Google?

What would you like, or not like, in XPoogle?

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#26

Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/29/2010 8:09 AM

If Standard Oil got busted, why not microsoft ?

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#28

Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/30/2010 4:51 AM

I think this is a good place to write my old question I ask my colleagues when we talk about Microsoft: Why there was no real competitor for this company for so long?

There are so many big companies which could see business opportunity in this OS field (because Microsoft made billions right?). It is theoretically so easy - you don't need a big factories, expensive machines... - just a relatively cheap computers and... smart heads which could write a new good operating system...

So, why there was no competitor for this company for so long? This is very intriguing question for me.

Hopefully Linux came out, and I think now it looks better for phones, tablets business – there are more competitors now.

But maybe again eventually only one will stay?

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#29
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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

11/30/2010 5:17 AM

Start here

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Re: Can Microsoft Make a Comeback?

12/03/2010 2:26 PM

I certainly hope not! MicroSh*t, the monopolistic behemoth, is dying a slow death and deserves to die. Companies that are more nimble and provide more appealing, flexible, secure and reliable products with will dominate the future. MicroSh*t only got so big due, largely, to the shrewdness and greed of one man. Balmer, chosen by Gates, is repulsive. He follows the same domineering principles of his predecessor.

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