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How Did Microsoft Manage To Screw Up Their Tablet Os So Badly?

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I mean, how?

They could have gone for a Microsoft office skin for android that incorporated Microsoft cloud functionality to beat evernote and dropbox, but had a minimum reqd hardware spec so could have a nice implementation of the office suiteon android, surely that would have been better and easier? Could have had deals with the major tablet manufacturers to bundle it with their higher end tablets, and maybe cut down functionality apps for slower tablets, then still compelling people to stick with the Microsoft ecosystem ie PCs for productivity work, instead they have lost badly heh

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I mean, how?

Shortly of they just went for a Microsoft office skin for android that incorporated Microsoft cloud functionality to beat evernote and dropbox, but had a minimum reqd hardware spec so could have a nice implementation of the office suiteon android, surely that would have between better and easier? Could have had deals with the major tablet manufacturers tip bundle it with their higher end tablets, and maybe cure down functionality apps for slower tablets, then still compelling petiole to stick with the Microsoft ecosystem ie PCs for productivity work, instead they have lost badly heh

RT flopped because without backwards compatibility with the thousands of existing Windows applications, there is no compelling reason to go with a Windows machine. Back compatibility is Windows main selling point.

I reckon Win8 will meet with much less success than Win7 because they've decided to force everyone, including the core desktop market, to use elements of their touch/tablet interface irrespective of whether or not it makes sense. Why? To try to leverage their desktop dominance into the tablet market. Utterly deluded strategy from Monkeyboy Ballmer.

I've had hands on some hybrid Win8 Pro (the full version that runs on x86) 'transforming tablet' type portables. Impressive at first, in a geeky sort of way. However it soon becomes obvious that they are rubbish as a tablet (too bulky, too heavy, run too hot, short battery life) and rubbish as a laptop (compromised form factor). All at a premium price - you could buy a much better Android tablet and a much better laptop for the same money and have more flexibility to boot.

Now, with the disclosures of MS being involved with the US spying programme, there is less reason than ever for businesses to go with Windows.

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The core Windows OS, together with Office, on the desktop is still a massive cash cow for them. I suspect every time someone suggests something radical like you have done - someone points to the desktop OS/Office sales numbers and says it'll cannibalise those sales.

Microsoft know they need to be in the tablet/phone game - but they can't bear the idea of sacrificing the cash cow in order to do so. Trouble is demand for desktops is also slowing (the average Joe at home only needs something to check Facebook on, play games and watch stuff - tablets/phones do that just fine). Hence crippleware like Windows RT - which doesn't actually run normal Windows apps (never mind DOS ones) and still costs as much as premium Apple or Android device. This is the key differentiator for Windows and they screwed it up.

Google were no-where a few years ago, and have other forms of income, so could afford to give away the OS - and it turns it out it runs just fine on phone, tablet, desktop (less frequently) and now TV. Ditto the office suite.

Apple have used their phones and tablets as a Trojan horse initially to sell the laptops - and I think are realising that the phone/tablet OS will always be more popular so are capitalising on that. They too don't see their core business in selling the OS/office suite - the app store and iTunes together with high margin hardware works just nice for them.

Microsoft is slowly dying. It'll take a very long time though.

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Now, with the disclosures of MS being involved with the US spying programme, there is less reason than ever for businesses to go with Windows.

You don't think Google, Apple, Sony, and Yahoo are not involved? I find Windows 8 on my smartphone to be surprisingly good, but a bit awkward and shoddy on my HP laptop (but I've gotten the hang of it and its one bright spot is the Skydrive).

Microsoft has gone into comparative decline and heading into a similar position that Apple was in in the early to mid 1990s, but I find it hard to believe they will die out.

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You don't think Google, Apple, Sony, and Yahoo are not involved? I find Windows 8 on my smartphone to be surprisingly good, but a bit awkward and shoddy on my HP laptop (but I've gotten the hang of it and its one bright spot is the Skydrive).

Microsoft has gone into comparative decline and heading into a similar position that Apple was in in the early to mid 1990s, but I find it hard to believe they will die out.

I'd have to agree. I think Win phones are rather fab. Win 8 on the desktop is a bit clumsy but you can knock it into shape easily enough. Anyway, haven't MS OS's always been a bit funky when set against Apple's?

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You could buy a much better Android tablet and a much better laptop for the same money and have more flexibility to boot.

This - for the price of a Windows 8 Pro combo laptop/tablet device I can buy a Google Nexus 7 and a Samsung laptop. They do two different jobs.

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http://seekingalpha.com/article/1633752-microsoft-windows-8-fail-dooms-nokia

PC Market Collapse And Nokia

According to May 2013 Net Market Share data, Windows 8 sales have lagged significantly behind the much-maligned Vista, at similar points throughout the first eight months of both product life cycles. At the time of the Net Market Share report, Windows 7 and Windows XP remained the most dominant operating systems, as they combined to run an 82% share of all personal computers. Taken together, the statistics and commentary may indicate that consumers and institutions have preferred to maintain Windows 7 machines, instead of upgrading to Windows 8. On August 7, 2013, research firm Gartner issued a statement indicating that the Western European PC market suffered through 20% year-over-year unit sales declines during the second quarter of 2013. Western European consumers, who represent leading indicators for the industrialized world, curtailed PC unit purchases by roughly 26% during the same period. Prior to the release of these numbers, Steven Sinofsky, 23-year head of Microsoft Windows, had already stepped down. Going forward, the catcalls to replace CEO Steve Ballmer will only intensify in volume.

The inevitable Windows 8.1 update and its associated re-entry of the Start Menu will change nothing. Unfortunately for Nokia, Microsoft's inability to energize the PC market will have dire consequences for Lumia Windows phone sales.

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Unfortunately for Nokia, Microsoft's inability to energize the PC market will have dire consequences for Lumia Windows phone sales.

Which is a shame, since Nokia Lumia and the HTC equivalents are pretty decent (hamstrung by the dramatic head start by Apple and Android, and the lukewarm reaction to the Windows 8 OS on the desktop in particular).

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The fundamental problem is that it's Windows.

Microsoft have been trying to get Windows on tablets since the 20th century; I believe the earliest attempt was in the Apple Newton era of the mid-90s. They've always been a dismal flop because almost no-one wanted desktop Windows on a tablet. Now they're trying to push tablet Windows on the desktop, which is an even worse idea.

What they needed was to just say 'screw it', build a tablet OS from scratch and forget tying it to Windows. But then no-one would buy it unless it was massively better than Android; any Microsoft OS was always going to end up as the bargain basement option, just as Windows was against Apple, IBM and Unix workstations, but they have a hard time competing with free.

Unfortunately, when the only money-makers you have are Windows and Office, any computing device looks like it needs to run Windows and Office. So now they're basically irrelevant in the tablet market, and the real question is how they're going to salvage the traditional desktop market they just tossed under a bus.

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People associate Windows with work these days and associate tablets with fun.

I think Ballmer will just continue to do what he does and get away with it because MS is currently so rich. Hecan stay CEO for another decade at this rate and then let someone else come in and resolve the mess 10 or 20 years from now.

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People associate Windows with work these days and associate tablets with fun.

I think Ballmer will just continue to do what he does and get away with it because MS is currently so rich. Hecan stay CEO for another decade at this rate and then let someone else come in and resolve the mess 10 or 20 years from now.

Ballmer just isn't in the same league as British tech leaders like Lord Alan Sugar.

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Ballmer just isn't in the same league as British tech leaders like Lord Alan Sugar.

A lot of these guys running tech companies - some of whom are billionaires and some who have hundreds of millions - simply got lucky. They were of the right age in the right place at the right time.

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Simple answer, they were 2-3 years late to the party, nothing more than that. When it did arrive it was massively over priced and offered nothing over and above the established and cheaper competition. It comes to something when you bring a competing product to Apple at the same price point.

RT is a really nice experience, perfect for a tablet or phone. Windows 8 is a total disaster and while I like it I can fully understand why others don't.

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Simple answer, they were 2-3 years late to the party, nothing more than that.

Microsoft have been making tablets since the 90s. They've always sucked, because they've always run Windows.

The latest incarnation is even worse, because instead of trying to push the traditional Windows interface onto tablets, they're trying to push a tablet interface onto traditional Windows users. I'm not surprised they've kicked Ballmer out, now maybe Windows 9 will revert to some kind of sanity.

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Microsoft have been making tablets since the 90s. They've always sucked, because they've always run Windows.

The latest incarnation is even worse, because instead of trying to push the traditional Windows interface onto tablets, they're trying to push a tablet interface onto traditional Windows users. I'm not surprised they've kicked Ballmer out, now maybe Windows 9 will revert to some kind of sanity.

I doubt Balls will go.

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A lot of these guys running tech companies - some of whom are billionaires and some who have hundreds of millions - simply got lucky. They were of the right age in the right place at the right time.

Yes. Microsoft never had a good product, but they had one ripe for running on IBM clones and grabbed huge market share laying waste to all manner of technically superior competitors.

The fact that they can no longer use the one-time 'Windows monopoly' to guarantee the success of new products mean they now have to compete on quality and innovation, something they've never had to do.

Microsoft is in dire straits. Yes, they still dominate the desktop space but the desktop space is in terminal decline. I think it's the fact that a generation of IT pros know nothing but Windows has stemmed any drift to alternatives like Linux. The kids these days much more into into UNIX-derrived OSes.

They still have some gems. If you are an office suite power user MS Office is the best (although 95% of people would be fine with LibreOffice). Xbox is a huge success.

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The fact that they can no longer use the one-time 'Windows monopoly' to guarantee the success of new products mean they now have to compete on quality and innovation, something they've never had to do.

Microsoft is in dire straits. Yes, they still dominate the desktop space but the desktop space is in terminal decline. I think it's the fact that a generation of IT pros know nothing but Windows has stemmed any drift to alternatives like Linux. The kids these days much more into into UNIX-derrived OSes.

They still have some gems. If you are an office suite power user MS Office is the best (although 95% of people would be fine with LibreOffice). Xbox is a huge success.

I agree with each of the above statements

The point about IT pros is particularly well made. Over the decades MS did a very good job of seducing a large chunk of this community over to their side. This gave them a a body of 'product champions' (to use that awful phrase) in most businesses. Recently MS have made an equally good job of pissing off a lot of this group by changing the nature of the Technet licenses. Many of them also clearly loathe Windows 8. This is in part because of the awful interface but also because they know it is going to be very hard to sell it to the managers of their businesses when it comes to upgrade time. I notice in some of the postings of some Windows pros on various sites the same mixture of frustration, denial and fear that you used to see among mainframe programmers in the late 1980s and early 1990 as client server systems started to make their skills redundant. As you rightly say the Windows programming community is starting to show its age and it is not necessarily the default starting position for most young developers as it used to be. If the pool of MS developers shrinks then so inevitably will MS influence in the workplace

MS certainly has some successful and very profitable products in its portfolio. However, I think this may pose a risk to the company's overall integrity now that Ballmer is going. The bean counters and the institutional shareholders are clearly looking to enhance short term profits and they may be tempted to achieve that aim by floating off sections of the business that are not directly tied into the main Windows business such as the Xbox and other entertainment and hardware subsidiaries. That poses a threat to some other less profitable product lines which now may be axed or flogged off to competitors. Hiving off bits of the enterprise may guarantee that MS makes the numbers short term but long term it is likely to have a damping effect on the willingness of staff in the company to innovate and take risks particularly since the cross product subsidies that exist in the current MS set up are likely to be disappearing.

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I think those pointing to M$'s demise might be getting ahead of themselves a bit. Ask yourself the following.

Do you work in an office, and/or do you know people who work in offices?

Do you/they use Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office at work?

Do the companies they work for pay to license use of the software?

I doubt anyone can answer anything but yes to all the above, and that remains the key to the MS strategy. It's not about selling to private individuals, many people pirate their Windows/Office installs or pirate Windows and use Open Office, but a company will always choose the safe and legal route.

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I think those pointing to M$'s demise might be getting ahead of themselves a bit. Ask yourself the following.

Do you work in an office, and/or do you know people who work in offices?

Do you/they use Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office at work?

Do the companies they work for pay to license use of the software?

I doubt anyone can answer anything but yes to all the above, and that remains the key to the MS strategy. It's not about selling to private individuals, many people pirate their Windows/Office installs or pirate Windows and use Open Office, but a company will always choose the safe and legal route.

There's nothing unsafe or illegal about using Linux and Open Office which, while not as polished as Microsoft Office, is perfectly adequate for most purposes. In fact, given the suspicions raised about Microsoft's cooperation with the NSA, sensitive data is almost certainly more secure in an open source environment. In particular, I would imagine that many foreign (non-US) government agencies around the world may be considering a move away from Microsoft products.

For the record, I use OpenSuse Linux for my own home office; I do, however, also use a licensed copy of Windows XP in VirtualBox to run some specialist software that is only available for Windows.

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Yes. Microsoft never had a good product, but they had one ripe for running on IBM clones and grabbed huge market share laying waste to all manner of technically superior competitors.

The fact that they can no longer use the one-time 'Windows monopoly' to guarantee the success of new products mean they now have to compete on quality and innovation, something they've never had to do.

Microsoft is in dire straits. Yes, they still dominate the desktop space but the desktop space is in terminal decline. I think it's the fact that a generation of IT pros know nothing but Windows has stemmed any drift to alternatives like Linux. The kids these days much more into into UNIX-derrived OSes.

They still have some gems. If you are an office suite power user MS Office is the best (although 95% of people would be fine with LibreOffice). Xbox is a huge success.

the desktop space is in terminal decline?

lets see, paperwork creation and flow, business presentations, marketing workouts, accounting, DTP, CAD, serious document production...all cant be done on a tablet or phone efficiently.

tablets are good for picture presentations and casual home users.

phones are good for keeping in touch and other niknaks.

What you dont need is necessarily a laptop for the kids and wives, certainly not a PC, but for productivity and business, there is nothing to touch a good keyboard, mouse and monitor.

this is MSs current mistake....

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I think those pointing to M$'s demise might be getting ahead of themselves a bit. Ask yourself the following.

Do you work in an office, and/or do you know people who work in offices?

Do you/they use Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office at work?

Do the companies they work for pay to license use of the software?

I doubt anyone can answer anything but yes to all the above, and that remains the key to the MS strategy. It's not about selling to private individuals, many people pirate their Windows/Office installs or pirate Windows and use Open Office, but a company will always choose the safe and legal route.

The answer to all those question is going to be yes.

The next question is does your workplace Desktop run the latest version of Windows, Office etc

The answer to that question in many cases is going to be no.

In fact quite a lot of businesses are nowhere near current version -1.

The question now starting to be asked is what happens at upgrade time and how much of this stuff are you going to keep on the Desktop and how much can you hive off to the Data Centre. If it goes to the latter then the role of the PC and its Windows OS is going to shrink. Even MS themselves realise this risk which is why they have put such effort recently into things such as Hyper-V, SharePoint and Office 365.

MS is definitely a player in the Data Centre but it is not the key to its business dominance which is still very much tied up with the PC. It can be traced right back to the day Gates flogged his purchased version of of DOS to IBM and suckered them into letting him retaining the rights to license it on all the IBM PC clones that were manufactured in the world. Moreover, Gates & Co mantra in the 1990s was very much a PC in every home as well as on every work desk so to suggest that MS are not interested in private individual purchases is simply not true. They realised that domestic consumption could fuel business demand as people including managers, would want to use the same software at work as they were familiar with at home and vise versa. Moreover there was an added benefit that there was very little training overhead for companies to get people up to speed with windows product as many workers used them in the domestic environment. The problem for MS now is that not every home may have a PC in the future as many people, due to personal choice or cost, may decide to live without them. Tablets and smart phones may be 'unproductive' in business terms but they are good enough to allow most punters to run their personal affairs online without needing any interface with MS products. This means that we are now starting to see a generation whose first experience of IT and software is not a Windows product

In fact that rather complacent argument that MS do not need to worry about domestic consumers because they still are dominant in business was exactly the same thing that people heavily vested in IBM products used to trot out on a regular basis in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was wrong then and it is still wrong now. I am old enough to have seen the world of IT turned on its head back then and if I am not mistaken exactly the same process is happening now. MS will probably survive the process but things are never going to be the same for them

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I don't think MS think of themselves as having a 'table OS', they have tried to create an OS (with x86 and ARM variants) that will work on a variety of form factors but:

The 'tablet UI' (Metro) works great on a tablet (IMO) but Windows 8 also forces tablet users onto the desktop (for file management, some settings and office) which is an awful experience on a tablet.

Similarly the desktop is great on a desktop/laptop but Windows 8 also forces desktop/laptop users onto Metro (Login, Start, Search) which is an awful experience on a desktop/laptop.

Maybe Windows 8.1 (and later Metro Office) will fix the former problem (reduce the need for tablet users to enter the desktop) but I believe 8.1 only includes a half hearted attempt to shield desktop users from Metro (Start button re-added but just takes you to the Metro start screen).

The other problem is pricing for RT. I can see a purpose for a Windows variant with long battery life, good touch experience, greater simplicity and protection from malware at the cost of x86 backward compatibility (only have to look at some of my relative's Windows laptops to see what a state people get themselves in with accidentally downloading toolbars and background apps that constantly claim they can speed up their PC for a fee). Unfortunately RT devices have been priced way too high - RT is only good for tablets because Metro is such a poor experience with keyboard and mouse/track-pad but when consumers look at RT devices they are comparing against cheap (classic Windows) laptops and understandably opting for the more flexible/capable platform (even though that laptop will likely become a malware riddled sloth in a very short time).

A device similar in size to a Nexus 7 at a similar price running an improved version of RT where you never had to use the desktop (but was there with Office if you wanted it) would be compelling but I don't know if/when we will see one.

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