02.22.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft’s Gadgets/Hardware Business is Collapsing (Zune, Xbox, Mobile)

Posted in Boycott Novell, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 12:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Gates’s refusal to adopt Adobe’s technology had something to do with money—Gates was not feeling cash rich in 1984—but it had even more to do with Gates’s persistent delusion that Windows be like the Mac.”

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul

PCB

Summary: Microsoft’s money sinks continue to leak; present and foreseen future indicate that Zune, Xbox, and Windows Mobile are still going down the sewer

Zune

Modeling Microsoft’s mobile business based on the Zune is an atrocious mistake to make because the Zune was a disaster whose sales decline at an alarming rate. Some time earlier this month we wrote about how Zune deleted music and Microsoft is now acknowledging the problem by assigning a firm to deal with it.

Critics of subscription music have often to pointed to licensing as a major problem. Without guaranteed access, the services can often lose significant value if a licensing dispute takes certain music down or if technical issues prevent access for long stretches of time.

This is the (at least) third time Microsoft screws customers when it comes to music. Previously, there were PlaysForSure and MSN Music.

Xbox

Another area where Microsoft has failed quite miserably (although Microsoft tries to hide it) is Xbox. Sony is laughing at Microsoft’s expense and bashes its policies.

Sony’s PR strategy in the console war seems to be to point out that Microsoft is a devilish, top hat-wearing fat cat lording over the population with its giant dollar-sign labeled sacks of cash.

Back in April, Sony bashed Microsoft for purchasing most of its exclusive titles rather than creating them, and with the recent release of Mass Effect 2 has gone back to those same tactics. Rob Dyer, SCEA Senior Vice President of Publisher Relations, told IndustryGamers that Sony “counters” Xbox 360 exclusives with its own first-party games, which Microsoft simply has no answer to.

The English-speaking press is fixated on US-only market share, so the overall picture can be very deceiving. Microsoft has the only console not from Japan and the US military prefers to buy stock from a US company (even if it’s really made in Asia) only to be declined:

Microsoft restricting Xbox 360 units from Army because the sale wouldn’t give them enough money?

[...]

Argue if you want, but the Xbox 360 with it’s cheap hardware, massive online gameplay and options for scenarios, and rather robust library of war games means it’s a pretty good fit as a training tool for the fine men and women training our country. Common sense also makes a might appearance. It’s simple actually. Why should the Army spend upwards of $1,000 on training computers for each and ever soldier if an Xbox 360 can be had for significantly less and be used for multiple soldiers? It’s basic math.

Microsoft was selling the consoles at a loss for quite some time. And to make matters worse, the defective design cost it billions of dollars and annoyed a lot of customers.

Here is one example of “hard luck” with Microsoft’s Xbox 360. It’s from two weeks ago:

Many in the gaming community are familiar with a common pitfall of the Xbox 360. Gamers know the syndrome simply as “the red rings of death.” The issue is common and easily remedied, and is a problem that the newest generations of Xbox 360s are supposedly free of.

So I rested easy after purchasing my 360 Arcade and a 20-gigabyte hard drive last winter, knowing that the folks at Microsoft had eliminated this frustrating problem.

Much to my dismay, I recently powered-on my system and was greeted with a distressing noise. I waited and waited but the system never advanced past the logo screen. After 5 minutes of troubleshooting, the screen flashed to black with the words “error 67” emblazoned near the bottom.

Shit, I thought. Red rings of death I can deal with, but what is this ‘error 67?’ This experience would lead me to verify what I had long suspected: Microsoft isn’t as keen on satisfying their customers as they may appear to be.

Another such error is being reported:

Players face a lot of technical errors. Microsoft must offer some kind of substitutes for their products when they simply stop working. Red ring errors can be solved but technical errors like “error 67” is difficult to tackle.

Yes, Microsoft still has a defect problem in its hands and retailers react. Not good, not good at all.

Mobile

The Windows Mobile business is also a money sink and the latest version of Windows Mobile (Microsoft has attempted to rename/rebrand it) is rather disappointing for many reasons that we wrote about before. Could it be the end of the line? Here are some opinions:

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Series: Too little too late?

If you assume Microsoft’s mobile platform share further erodes the Windows Phone 7 launch will have to be big to compete. That’s why you hear the stray rumors about Microsoft buying Research in Motion.

Windows Mobile 7: Too Late to Save Microsoft?

Microsoft is not too big to fail, and it has done so spectacularly in the past. While we have high hopes that whatever Steve Ballmer shows off on Monday can revive the Windows Mobile name, Microsoft will need a hell of a product and brutish PR to overcome the barriers it has already laid out for itself by sauntering into the marketplace years after the game leaders.

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series Is Programmed To Fail

The two bullets that Microsoft shot at its feet are:

1) Windows Phone 7 Series is a non-free or Slaveware* operating system. That means OEMs don’t get to see the code. OEMs can not customize or tweak the software to meet their customer’s needs.

2) Licence Fee. Microsoft’s deep pockets owe a lot to the heavy license fee Microsoft charges for its Operating Systems and Office Suites. Windows Phone 7 Series continues to follow the same pattern. OEMs will have to pay a license fee to Microsoft to use the operating system, along with the conditions that they can’t change the code.

The gainers at the moment are UNIX and Linux, so Microsoft seems to be copying them:

Microsoft Mimics Apple

Microsoft Lags Behind Apple, Again…

IPhone, Android Gain Market-Share at Microsoft and Palm’s Expense

Here is an interesting observation from the IRC channel. Microsoft is already up to vapourware tricks on the face of it (and Microsoft Windows Phone 7 won’t actually be out before the end of the year or one year from now).

oiaohm http://blogs.zdnet.com/gadgetreviews/?p=12325&tag=content;col1  Boy idiots and MS press releases. Feb 20 20:32
phIRCe-BNc Title: Report: Microsoft, Asus partner on mobile phone | The Toybox | ZDNet.com .::. Size~: 101.25 KB Feb 20 20:32
oiaohm http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2010/feb10/02-15MWC10PR.mspx Feb 20 20:32
phIRCe-BNc Title: Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Series: New phones designed for life in motion to debut at holiday 2010. .::. Size~: 49.47 KB Feb 20 20:32
schestowitz *LOL* http://techdirt.com/articles/20100219/0353358240.shtml Feb 20 20:32
phIRCe-BNc Title: Could Looking At London’s 2012 Olympics Logo Land People In Prison? | Techdirt .::. Size~: 49.56 KB Feb 20 20:32
oiaohm Until the phones are made just because someone has partnered does not mean they will make phone. Feb 20 20:33
oiaohm They have to partner to get access to all MS specs. Feb 20 20:33
schestowitz oiaohm: yes, seen it Feb 20 20:33
schestowitz The Vista phone is nothing Feb 20 20:33
oiaohm Ie its FUD.  schestowitz Feb 20 20:33
schestowitz It won’t have any effect Feb 20 20:33
schestowitz oiaohm: it’s  vapourware Feb 20 20:34
oiaohm MS FUD we have all these unwilling supporters so its going to take off. Feb 20 20:34
oiaohm This is way different to android. Feb 20 20:34
oiaohm Android they makers could look at almost the full device before deciding if they would partner. Feb 20 20:35
oiaohm Even then after companies did partner places like zdnet said nothing about it. Feb 20 20:35
oiaohm What you call double standards in reporting. Feb 20 20:35

It was interesting to find that Microsoft and its bad ally AT&T [1, 2, 3] are also collaborating here [1, 2], which makes one wonder about Apple’s AT&T exclusivity.

Microsoft booster Joseph Tartakoff shut his eye in the face of criticism and pretended that “[a]lmost without exception, reviewers have praised Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7″. What does he read? Just Microsoft blogs? As we stressed last week, Android/Linux dominated this event in many ways and Microsoft’s phone received its share of criticisms. Why can’t Microsoft boosters ever be objective? In context there is more being said though:

Has Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) upstaged Google (NSDQ: GOOG) at this year’s Mobile World Congress? Almost without exception, reviewers have praised Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 series—but on Tuesday Google got its own chance in the spotlight as CEO Eric Schmidt took the keynote stage. Schmidt’s speech was thinky; holding a piece of paper with his notes, he referred to the rise of cloud computing and faster connectivity speeds as driving mobile adoption. “A device that is not connected is not interesting, it is literally lonely. An application that does not leverage the cloud isn’t going to wow anybody,” he said. “It’s like magic. All of a sudden there are things you can do that we’ve never even (thought of) because of this convergence.”

Business Insider made its “JOKE OF THE WEEK” the fact that Microsoft — unlike its free/open source competition which is technically better in many ways — intends to charge for its proprietary operating system.

Microsoft will charge carriers for its OS, while Google is giving Android away for free. (The other big competitors, Apple and RIM, don’t license their operating systems to third parties.)

Not everyone is impressed by this decision given Microsoft’s weak position (it has less than 10% of the market). Windows Mobile does not have the advantage of compatibility with many third-party applications.

Business Insider has also put up this “CHART OF THE DAY” which it titled “The Collapse Of Microsoft’s Mobile Business”. The page says:

In any event, for Microsoft, the new product can’t come soon enough. After an early lead in the U.S. smartphone war, Microsoft has lost much of its market share and almost all of its relevance, as BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Apple’s iPhone have taken over.

The market share shown there is for the US alone, it’s not global (almost double the real market share for familiar reasons). Microsoft-loving publications seem to be more fascinated by the latest Linux phones and this analysis from Reuters indicates that Microsoft may end up just buying a rival platform to replace Windows Mobile.

The new Windows phone software is a big improvement on its predecessor but may not be enough to reverse market share losses, and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) may have to eventually buy a Nokia or BlackBerry maker RIM to get back into the game.

That would require borrowing of even more money. Can Microsoft afford it? Can it get the required loans? Microsoft Nick has this to say:

Microsoft Acquiring RIM May Be Bad Idea, Says Analyst

Microsoft is reportedly interested in purchasing BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, but such an acquisition could have negative consequences for Microsoft, an analyst says.

Also in the news:

So, in conclusion, Microsoft has just introduced a new version of its mobile platform and sources suggest that it might have to be thrown away and replaced. Microsoft has already failed with Danger/Sidekick as the links below show.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 08, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 08, 2022



  2. Links 08/12/2022: Deepin 20.8 and CERN, Fermilab Move to AlmaLinux

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] Sirius Corporation Run by Dummies

    At Sirius ‘Open Source’, the fish rots from the head down



  4. Code of Conduct-Like Culture at Sirius ‘Open Source’ (Managers Never Held Accountable for Anything, Other Staff Blamed for Management's Failures)

    Sirius was abandoned a week ago (my wife and I resigned with immediate effect), leaving a skeleton crew that’s about 50% ‘management’ (barely qualified or not qualified at all) and 50% 'low-paid' geeks (what’s left of them); guess who’s blaming who and who always gets punished



  5. Virtually (i.e. Online) and for Only One Hour the EPO's Staff Representation Was Allowed to Discuss Many Lingering Concerns

    “Report on the LSCMN meeting with VP4 of 9 November 2022″ (i.e. one month ago) is being circulated this week; “On 9 November 2022,” says the union or the local officials (Staff Union of the EPO, or SUEPO for short, has overlaps), “the Local Staff Committee Munich (LSCMN) met with VP4, Ms Nellie Simon, to discuss a number of prevailing local matters in a virtual meeting which had been scheduled, as had the previous one, for one hour only.” (the usual; they intentionally don’t allocate sufficient time)



  6. [Meme] António Campinos-Controlled (EPO-Commissioned) Surveys Are Just for Show (to Help 'Validate' Lies)

    The real EPO survey is not that one conducted by (and for) António Campinos



  7. European Patent Office (EPO) on the Decline, According to the Fifth Edition of the Technologia Staff Survey

    Today we share some documents that circulated amongst EPO staff yesterday; it's about this year's staff survey that was not conducted by the EPO itself (to serve EPO management and its twisted agenda



  8. Free Software is So Robust That Its Opponents Need to Travel 12 Months Back in Time in Order to Find Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) Material

    Microsoft- and Linux Foundation-connected sites help smear or stigmatise Free software (citing hostile 'experts'); this week they borrow news from 12 months ago to make a point



  9. IDG Has Resorted to Microsoft Marketing SPAM Instead of Actual Journalism

    Microsoft puff pieces are published as "opinions", disguised as "news" while in fact serving no purpose other than marketing



  10. Open Invention Network (OIN) Protects Amazon and AWS From Activists Like Us Who Want to Abolish Software Patents Through Reforms of the Patent Systems

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) does not exist to serve the Free software community but to work against it; the latest joining (AWS) proves this



  11. Sirius ‘Open Source’ and the Money Missing From the Pension

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is unable to cope with basic legal requirements such as sending payslips to staff (this hasn’t been done for months already!) and such issues have gone on for almost 4 years already



  12. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 07, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 07, 2022



  13. Links 07/12/2022: ArcoLinux Beta 23.01 and Cryostat 2.2

    Links for the day



  14. [Meme] Where Did the Money Go?

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ became a company that cannot even do accounting right; pertinent technical employees had to do a lot of chasing for years just to get the basics rectified



  15. Evidence of Sirius ‘Open Source’ (or Sirius Corporation) Failing to Pay Pensions, Failing to Inform Staff, Not Responding to Staff

    The job my wife and I left this past Friday (after about 21 years combined) had turned sour years ago; hoping that this serves as a cautionary tale to others, we've decided to show pension lapses, lack of payslips, and excuses that accompanied that for years



  16. Links 07/12/2022: Blender 3.4 and Apple GPU Drivers Now in Asahi Linux

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 06, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 06, 2022



  18. Links 07/12/2022: Kali Linux 2022.4, GNUnet 0.19.0, and Pgpool-II 4.4.0

    Links for the day



  19. Subsidising the Likes of Rupert Murdoch is Not Supporting Journalism

    There are yet more attempts to tax citations; not only does that make no practical or moral sense, it's being lumped in or joined together with a must-pass "defence" (military) bill in order to suppress opposition



  20. Microsoft Layoffs Again

    The company behind Windows is in a bad state, but it is being propped up by the taxpayers; if rumours are true, Microsoft might get a lot smaller next year



  21. Microsoft is Killing Hospital Patients With Its Insecure-by-design Windows Operating System

    Many people continue to needlessly die because many hospitals still foolishly deploy Windows on mission-critical life-saving machines



  22. Sirius ‘Open Source’ Failing at the Most Basic Employment Regulations

    The company we left behind last week was a repeat violator of employment laws; to make matters worse, it led to its long-term or long(time)-serving staff becoming very baffled, having to contact the pension provider for clarifications



  23. Sirius ‘Open Source’: When the Company Stops Paying Your Pension and You Don't Know Until the Pension Provider Keeps Sending Physical Post to Alert You

    Today we turn our attention to pension blunders at Sirius ‘Open Source’; in recent years even something basic like pension contributions wasn’t smooth sailing



  24. [Meme] Sirius Open Source, Closed-Minded Bossing

    At Sirius ‘Open Source’, decisions are made in the dark without consultation with staff and many things go wrong as a result; of course the culprits never hold themselves accountable



  25. Links 06/12/2022: LibreOffice 7.5 Alpha and digiKam 7.9.0

    Links for the day



  26. Rumour: Very Large Microsoft Layoffs (Another Round) Next Month, Lists Already Being Prepared





  27. Benoît Battistelli in 2015: EPO is Ready to Start Unified Patent Court (UPC), Expect UPC in 2016

    We’re almost in 2023 and UPC is being delayed again; this is what EPO President Benoît Battistelli said way back in 2015 (official video from the EPO; 3:45-4:34 cropped apart)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 05, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, December 05, 2022



  29. Links 06/12/2022: FreeBSD 12.4 and Inkscape 1.2.2

    Links for the day



  30. Sirius Not-So-‘Open Source’: Cannot Talk to Colleagues, Cannot Speak About Work

    Cover-up and lies became a corporate pattern at the company where I had worked since 2011; it was time to go in order to avoid cooperation in unethical activities


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts