There are two reasons why Nadella (seen above with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer) will find it difficult to guide the ship. One is bald, ebullient and named Steve Ballmer. The other still has hair, a whiny voice, and is named Bill Gates.
Given the fact that Gates co-founded the company and Ballmer has been there practically from day two, it will be extremely difficult for Nadella to take any decision without first thinking: "What would Bill say? What would Steve say?" The shadows of these two men will hang over Microsoft; 13 years of Ballmer as CEO have done little good for the company and whatever years he continues to spend on the board will not do any good either. Gates seems to be unable to cut the umbilical cord that ties him to Microsoft, despite all the public utterances that he is now only focused on his foundation and its alleged philanthropic activities.
"Bill Gates’ first day at work in the newly created role of technology adviser got off to a rocky start yesterday as the Microsoft founder struggled for hours to install the Windows 8.1 upgrade.
The installation hit a snag early on, sources said, when Mr. Gates repeatedly received an error message informing him that his PC ran into a problem that it could not handle and needed to restart.
After failing to install the upgrade by lunchtime, Mr. Gates summoned the new Microsoft C.E.O. Satya Nadella, who attempted to help him with the installation, but with no success.
But the old certainties are being swept away. PCs are no longer the automatic choice for business, thanks to the rise of the tablet. Neither is Windows, with Android desktops and Chromebooks also on an upward trajectory. And, thanks to BYOD, most firms are already used to staff turning up with iPads and Kindle Fire tablets; Microsoft's desktop dominance is already fraying around the edges.
Windows 8 is officially a flop. Despite attempts to force people to use the operating system by shipping restricted boot on new Windows 8 tablets and phones (not to mention a record smashing advertising budget), sales have been sluggish. What we have here is our best opportunity yet to help people give up Windows in favor of an operating system that respects our freedoms to choose, share, change, and view the code we use to conduct our digital lives.
Further, Wintel cannot even compete on price/performance at the low end because M$ charges way too much for licensing and restricting the freedom of users to use the hardware they buy to fullest potential. That just won’t fly any longer. There are OEMs who want to compete selling small cheap computers of every kind and they will ship Android/Linux, Chrome OS/Linux and GNU/Linux in 2014. You can bet on that. Margins are too small in this segment to pay the Wintel tax.
Microsoft is reportedly paying billions of dollars (negative pricing) for unfair competition against Free (as in freedom) software that it is extorting using patents to induce fees
At that time, the last thing we worried about was spending a couple of hundred dollars on software. I probably had $200 in the spare change jar in the library. We lived in a big house, with a comfortable six figure income. Life was good. A purchase like this wasn’t anything to worry about. It wasn’t the cash outlay that bothered me. It was the fact that a public school was requesting we purchase a specific brand of software.
Having been a Linux user for a number of years, I knew there were other options and I made it a point to talk with someone at the school. How many people with minimal incomes were being asked to shell out this kind of money when other options were available? How many of our tax dollars were being spent on software that was completely unnecessary?
I am no stranger to the Austin Independent School District. Unfortunately, my claim to fame and the events that led to said infamy are well known. It’s a shame that it had to happen the way it did but again…split second decisions and all that…
Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed that it had been going into users computers and removing outdated Tor clients. At first glance, this might seem like a crazed, misplaced attack on the Tor network, not unlike a campaign by a certain Irish politician, but the issue runs deeper than first thought.
1984 is Here: Microsoft Remotely Deletes Free/Open Source Software From Windows, Sells Malware Under Pretense of ‘Openness’ (Newspeak)Submitted by Roy Schestowitz on Saturday 18th of January 2014 04:50:31 PM Filed under
Microsoft is not about openness. It makes and maintained (with new back doors) insecure-by-design software for the NSA. This includes Skype. Watch the new article titled “Skype ready to share users’ data with Russian police” .
It's also another data point that suggests 2014 could be a big year for virtual reality. Developers have put out games and demos that operate in virtual reality since the release of the Oculus Rift development kit, but there are few tools available to launch each game without taking off the headset and interacting with a standard screen. User interface, the place you spend your time between games, is an unsolved problem.
In late December, rumors were going around to the effect that PCs running both Android and Windows would debut at the Consumer Electronics Show, as I covered in a post. Actually, OStatic covered the basic concept of Android being married with other platforms at the very beginning of last year, in a post called "Should Microsoft Embrace Both Android and Firefox OS?"
Once upon a time there was a browser called Netscape…
Back in the days before the release of Windows 95, just as the public was discovering the Internet as an alternative to private networks such as Prodigy and CompuServe, Netscape was the bomb. In those days, Microsoft didn’t supply any method for surfing the Internet, so people visited their local Egghead store, or other software outlets, to buy a shrink wrapped version of Netscape on floppy disks, which opened up a whole new world to computer users.
Linux's open source price tag may be attractive, and there are other benefits besides cost. For a start, Linux is less of a resource hog than other platforms, and it works well on older hardware, especially compared to Windows.
Linux is also highly customizable, and users can choose from a multitude of desktop environments, such as KDE and GNOME. Going down the Linux route is however likely to involve a steep learning curve for non-techie users, who'll also have to sort out apps and drivers for legacy peripherals (or replace them with Linux-compatible equivalents).
Then there's support. It may be a non-issue if you manage to find replacement apps and drivers for peripherals. This said, almost that everything you're ever likely to need to know about whatever flavour of Linux you decide on can be found online, but once again isn't a terribly user friendly experience for Linux novices.
Another alternative is Chrome OS. Developed by Google, Chrome OS is web-centric operating system, which means that the browser becomes the operating system. Because of this there's far fewer security issues than with Windows as Chrome OS doesn't run locally installed software so there's little to exploit.
Early sales figures were far more than disappointing for the folks at Redmond. So disappointing in fact, that the company made public at least some intentions of making amends to their customers.
Despite being strong advocates of competition, European institutions are bound to the US software giant through murky contracts. Any transition to "open source" software, which in theory they encourage, would be too complicated and too expensive, they claim. Excerpts.
This is the main reason why Windows barely gets a look-in in today's cloud world. When I ask FOSS devops-type colleagues about it, their responses range from incredulity to hilarity. Why on Earth would they want to deploy on Windows? What possible advantage would it give them? These guys wield Puppet and Chef to deploy vast swarms of headless virtual Linux systems. Microsoft and proprietary software doesn't feature in their world; some weirdos run Mac laptops but that's about it.