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Eye on Microsoft: Failures Galore This Week

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Some quick picks from the past week’s news

Workforce Crisis

From the ‘Microsoft press’: Inside Microsoft’s Worst Hard Time

Inside Microsoft’s Worst Hard Time


There were two huge numbers in this quarter. Microsoft suffered a decline in client revenue of 8 percent, which the company attributed to PC market weakness and a continued shift to lower-cost netbooks.

More from the ‘Microsoft press’: Microsoft’s January layoffs took effect today

Microsoft’s January layoffs took effect today


Some individuals have reported being laid off since the initial announcement. It’s not clear whether the company will let people go in dribs and drabs or make another large layoff announcement. Microsoft wouldn’t comment on this today.

And some more from the ‘Microsoft press’: Iowa governor trolling for Microsoft facility

Microsoft announced in August that the $500 million data center was to be built in West Des Moines, Iowa. But a significant economic downturn followed, and in January, Microsoft cut 5,000 jobs and postponed the project.


West Des Moines City Manager Jeff Pomerantz got the news of the postponement from Microsoft in January. He said at the time that the company hadn’t given the city a timeline of when the project will resume.

For context, see:

Microsoft employee assaulted and robbed in West Seattle

A Microsoft employee was Maced and punched until he blacked out Sunday morning in West Seattle, and police are searching for his attackers.

The man told police he was walking home from the 7-Eleven on Delridge Way Southwest and Southwest Henderson Street about 2 a.m. when he noticed three men following him.

Products Setback

Microsoft again delays identity management server (mentioned the other day)

Microsoft is again delaying the release of the anticipated upgrade to its Identity Lifecycle Manager 2.0 software that has been years in development.

The software is now slated to ship between January and March 2010, a slip that has angered some partners and users.


Q&A: Rippy on sparking Bonfire, disbanding Ensemble

In September, Microsoft announced that it would be shutting down its wholly owned development house Ensemble Studios. The move coincided with the software giant’s announcement that it was shedding 5,000 jobs to help cope with the worldwide economic slowdown.

Are Xbox 360′s E74 Failure’s The New RRoD? (more comments in Slashdot)

According to polls conducted by Joystiq and Engagdet, E74 failures on Xbox 360′s is on the rise. Joystiq asked readers to send in emails with reports of the failure, and recieved an overwhelming number of responses to their call. For those that aren’t acquainted with the dreaded E74 failure, it’s a problem that occurs when there is an AV cable error. On the surface anyway, because if the cable is still in working order (which it usually is) then it’s a scaler chip problem, directly involving the ANA/HANA chip which is connected to the AV cable; or in some cases it’s the GPU.

New Xbox 360 Hardware Failures Being Reported in Significant Numbers

Xbox 360 failures are on the rise since the launch of the New Xbox Experience

A known Xbox 360 hardware issue is beginning to surface in significant numbers recently based on research conducted by video game site Joystiq. Tentatively called the Xbox 360 E74 error, one of the lights on the “Ring of Lights” on the front of your Xbox 360 console flashes red and you receive the error code and message: “E74. System Error. Contact Xbox Customer Support”. The symptoms involve the bottom right portion of the indicator ring repeatedly flashing on and off and lines or snow will become visible across the screen.

Microsoft sacked its employee who blew the whistle on such failures (i.e. fired for saying the truth about failures that put people’s lives at risk and may have caused deaths).

Microsoft Wants You to Pay for E74 Repairs on Xbox 360s over a year old

I had a misunderstanding in my pervious article on the Xbox 360 E74 error. It ends up that Microsoft is saying that it will repair an E74 error stricken Xbox 360 for free only in the first year since purchase since it is still covered under the basic one year warranty so the E74 is ONLY covered by the normal warranty. After that you have to pay to get it fixed. They will pay for shipping but E74 error victims will have to pay to get it fixed if their Xbox 360 is over a year old.


I am sure that the Xbox Red Ring of Death debacle has devalued the perception of Microsoft as a brand outside of videogames. The RROD and E74 runs the risk of turning an entire generation of future consumers away from seeing Microsoft favorably.

I am not even going to mention how much the Jerry Seinfeld Windows Vista ads sucked.

Xbox Live Cancels Year-Long Prepaid Account, Demands Another Year’s Subscription To Reactivate

Xbox Live has struck again, this time by screwing up the auto-renewal on a customer’s account and ruining the prepaid annual membership he activated just three months ago.

Xbox designer accuses Microsoft of homophobia

Jamie Durrant, 38, who is homosexual, is suing Microsoft for £45,000 for “hurt feelings” because he says he was called by nicknames including ‘Fag Boy Jim’.

Xbox designer sues Microsoft for harassment

The plaintiff has also said that the firm didn’t have policies for dealing with such complaints about homophobic harassment. He’d been employed by Lionhead Studios for 11 years, and the company was bought out by Microsoft two years ago. Durrant states the harassment began last January.

Lionhead Employee Sues Microsoft Over ‘Homophobic Abuse’

Microsoft also angered the lesbian population for banning a player last month.

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Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. JohnD said,

    March 30, 2009 at 10:16 am


    Haven’t had a chance to read all the stuff yet.
    I still think you should consider changing the name of this site to:
    Boycott Microsoft
    I think it’s a more accurate description of what you’re trying to accomplish with this site. And it would probably increase “readership”

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    One aspect we’ve always focused on (and still do) is Microsoft’s approach towards GNU/Linux with software patents. Novell symbolises the beginning of this strategy and it still embodies a lot of it.

  2. JohnD said,

    March 30, 2009 at 10:41 am


    I wasn’t suggesting that you abandon you coverage of the Novell/M$ deal etc.
    The things M$ does within the industry have an affect on more than just FOSS.
    I think your interests would be better served by examining all of the things going on (which you appear to do) as opposed to just Novell related items. I think that the site name fails to reflect everything you’re trying to discuss.

  3. David Gerard said,

    March 30, 2009 at 2:39 pm


    And another: http://encarta.msn.com/guide_page_FAQ/FAQ.html

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    They just couldn’t compete with Gerard and fellow Wikipedians.

    Teachers might tell their students not to cite Encarta because the content is bound to expire, not because of bias. [sarcasm /]

    To a greater or lesser degree this confirms that Microsoft is too poor to maintain spurious services. Microsoft may already be in debt.

What Else is New

  1. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  2. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  3. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)

  4. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  5. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  6. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  7. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions

  8. Gross Violation of Workers' Rights in EPO: Denial of Christmas Vacation/Leave for Slower Workers

    A look at an E-mail from within the EPO which shows how Christmas is used to squeeze staff, urging them to work even faster (despite speed gains) or lose their Christmas leave

  9. The Bogus Narrative Floated by EPO Management: Our Judges and Examiners Are Armed and Violent

    A look at the union-busting and protest-crushing moves from high-level EPO managers, who are trying to convince politicians that they do so in an effort to stop terrorists and neo-Nazis

  10. Support SUEPO or End Up Like They and Some of the Boards Did

    SUEPO, the fast-growing staff union of the EPO, increasingly needs the support and protection offered by action and participation from staff

  11. NRC Handelsblad (Dutch Evening Newspaper) Speaks About EPO's Refusal to Accept Court Orders From The Hague

    Article explains the depths of the issues inside the EPO and the unacceptable immunity that management at the EPO continues to exploit, shaming or discrediting the very notion of the rule of law in Europe

  12. HeBS Digital and Black Duck Press Releases Treated Like Articles, Used to Muddy the FOSS Waters

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is under attack again, and it's the proprietary software lobby that's responsible for that

  13. EPO President Battistelli Now Intimidates Even National Delegations

    Report about an embarrassing incident implicating Benoît Battistelli and some angry comments cast over the witch-hunting of a judge, using all sorts of questionable tactics

  14. A Look at the Latest Gross Deletionism at the EPO's 'Media Partner', French Newspaper Les Échos

    The EPO's bogus 'journal of record, which Team Battistelli likes to cite in order to bolster its warped version of events at the EPO while maintaining a close secret relationship with the publisher, keeps censoring its own reporters (spiked paragraphs, silently self-censored or censored after publications)

  15. Rumour About Efforts to Dismiss a Board Judge by Intimidating Boards of Appeal

    Comment found online accuses the Administrative Council of pressuring, by threats, Directorate-General 3 to dismiss a judge who is silently accused (with selective 'leaks' to the media, reportedly orchestrated by EPO managers) but not even proven guilty

  16. President Battistelli Now Pressures/Threatens Politicians Who 'Dare' to Complain About Abuses and Unacceptable Conditions at the EPO

    Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, a French politician, unleashes an angry letter from Benoît Battistelli and reveals just to what lengths the EPO's Team Battistelli is willing to go in order to crush political backlash

  17. EPO: It's Like a Family Business - Part IV

    Some more background information about Elodie Bergot and Gilles Requena, who are married whilst also sharing positions of power at the EPO (and also strong connections/ties with the EPO's President, Mr. Battistelli); Rumours afloat at the EPO -- some with ever-increasing circulation too -- are worth noting

  18. Translation of Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann's Article in the German Media, Urging European Politicians to Intervene in EPO Chaos and Lawlessness

    Frankfurt-based media presents an opinion piece written by a Munich-based economic correspondent, Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann

  19. German Press Says Broken EPO Lets President Severely Punish Staff Not Even Guilty of Any Wrongdoing

    Juve publishes an article which attempts to be 'balanced' (meaning it believes everything that EPO officials say) but at the same time reveals unacceptable practices that go in inside the EPO

  20. German Media Reveals That Out-of-Control EPO Management is Even Threatening and Abusing Lawyers Now

    The EPO's longstanding fight against justice escalates to an unprecedented war on lawyers themselves; “After this latest move,” says a German newspaper, “even lawyers are starting to feel threatened by the Office.”

  21. Washington Post Only Entertains Debate About Patent Trolls (But Not Patent Scope) Whilst US Lawyers Trick the System to Patent Software

    The Bezos-owned Washington Post continues to help those who wish to eliminate patent trolls (which bother Amazon amongst other large conglomerates) but remains void of any coverage about patent scope, including software patents that patent lawyers work so hard to defend

  22. It Pays (Off) to 'Bribe' the Media: Watch How Les Échos Covers EPO Matters and Self-Censors

    French newspaper Les Échos is self-censoring yet again and it is framing the EPO scandals as the fault of employees, not the fault of abusive managers who are working with Les Échos as a so-called 'media partner' (the EPO management is French-dominated)

  23. 'Leaked' PDF Shows How EPO Management Tried to Crush Judge Who 'Dared' to Criticise EPO Management

    The EPO's management continues to chill potential critics and is now making an example of a board's judge, despite having no such authority over him

  24. Links 21/11/2015: Community Appreciation Day, Jolla's Problems

    Links for the day

  25. EPO: It's Like a Family Business - Part III

    A look at how the EPO's management (Željko Topić in particular) defended the unprecedented promotion of Ms Bergot (wife of the president's close assistant), even in the face of outcry from EPO staffwarning

  26. In an Effort to Counter EPO Staff Narrative (After ~2,000 of Staff Protest) EPO Management Portrays Staff as Violent But Provides No Evidence

    The EPO's management has a poor record on accuracy and truth and the latest staff-shaming tactics serve to reinforce that track record

  27. Gross Aggression by EPO Management Shows the Urgent Need to Remove Immunity From EPO

    The increasingly militant approach of EPO management (with counterterrorism staff added to interrogate EPO staff) serves to show an organisation gone truly bonkers

  28. Patents Roundup: Alice Decision Still Upsets Patent Lawyers, Microsoft AstroTurf Group Lobbies on FRAND, Google and Red Hat Recalled

    The reaction of patent profiteers to scope/boundary restrictions, the FRAND lobby by Microsoft's longtime front group, FRAND matters in Korea (affecting Android), Google's response to patent threats, and Red Hat still keeping quiet about its patent agreement with Microsoft

  29. Links 20/11/2015: DockerCon EU, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2

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  30. Patent Lawyers Want to Bring Software Patents (Hence Patent Trolls Too) to Europe, Piggyback Battistelli's Habitual UPC Promotion

    Analysis of the views of academics (profiting from solid research), contrasted with patent lawyers (profiting from feuds and conflicts), and the latter group's exploitation of Benoît Battistelli's misguided policies


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