Not Even Bill Gates Could Save Microsoft

salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff thinks Bill Gates should return to Microsoft  (NASDAQ: MSFT  )  as CEO. He's not alone. With Steve Ballmer set to retire, the Windows-maker is in need of a new CEO. Who better to fill the spot than the man who started the company in the first place?

Unfortunately, Microsoft is in a tough spot, and based on Bill Gates' recent comments, not even he could turn the company around. Microsoft's management, including chairman Gates, just doesn't seem to understand the nature of the PC market.

Two different theories of the PC
Fundamentally, it goes back to the definition of the PC. At the AllThingsD conference back in 2010, Microsoft's Ballmer and Apple CEO  (NASDAQ: AAPL  )  Steve Jobs offered very different theories about the future of the PC market.

Jobs:

When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks, because that's what you needed on the farm. But as vehicles started to be used in the urban centers...cars got more popular... now... maybe one out of every 25 vehicles, 30 vehicles is a truck, where it used to be 100%. PCs are gonna be like trucks. They're still gonna be around, they're still gonna have a lot of value, but they're gonna be used by one out of X people.

Ballmer:

I think PCs are gonna continue to shift in form factor... real question is what's a PC? ... There may be a reason why they call them "Mack" trucks, but Windows PCs are not gonna be trucks -- they're not -- they will continue to be the mass popularizer of a variety of things people want to do with information. 

In short, Jobs offered a view of the market that was highly fragmented. One with different devices satisfying different niches. Tablets would never fully replace traditional PCs, but for many users, they would be enough. In contrast, Ballmer appeared to predict the emergence of a single unified device, one that combined the benefits of a tablet (portability) with the benefits of a traditional PC (content creation, power).

More recently, in an interview with CNBC, Gates echoed Ballmer's comments, arguing that Microsoft's Surface was that ideal, hybrid device:

In terms of the devices themselves, Windows 8 really is revolutionary in that it takes the benefits of a tablet and the benefits of a PC, and it's able to support both of those... Surface, Surface Pro, you've got that portability of a tablet, but... the richness of the PC... iPad... users are frustrated, they can't type, they can't create documents... We're providing them with the benefits...without giving up what they expect in a PC.

The Surface RT bombs and Windows 8 fails
But Microsoft's vision of a unified product is clearly wrong -- the market has spoken.

Last quarter, Microsoft took a $900 million writedown on the Surface. Microsoft admitted that its tablet had not sold as well as expected, and that it was forced to cut the price by 30% in order to boost demand. It also noted that among consumers, demand for traditional PCs had fallen roughly 20%.

Consumers just don't seem to want what Microsoft is selling. Evidently, people are not as frustrated with the iPad as Gates believes. Last quarter, Apple sold 14.6 million iPads; in comparison, Microsoft sold just 1.7 million Surface devices from its debut last October through the end of June.

Throwing good money after bad
Microsoft's recent reorganization intends to shift the company to one focused around "devices and services" -- a strategy it said it will stick with even after it brings in a new CEO. This is why I find Microsoft's situation so alarming -- management just doesn't get it.

Even after the Surface RT's price cut, Apple's iPad is still a better buy than the Surface RT, and will probably continue to be for the foreseeable future. With its far better selection of apps, the iPad offers a much better tablet experience.

Sure, you might not be able to edit Excel documents on your iPad, or type a paper in Word, but how many people really want to do that on their tablet? A 10-inch screen just isn't ideal for work, regardless of how powerful the device may be.

Meanwhile, Apple continues to give consumers what they want. The King of Cupertino is expected to unveil a refreshed lineup of tablets this fall, including an iPad Mini with a Retina display, and a full-size iPad that's both thinner and lighter. Both devices are ideal for the sort of quick, on-the-go computing tablet users demand.

Microsoft commits to devices with Nokia buy
Microsoft's announcement that it was buying Nokia's (NYSE: NOK  )  handset business only strengthened its commitment to being a devices company. By adding Nokia's workforce, Microsoft will be able to produce its Windows Phones in-house, just as Apple has done with the iPhone since 2007.

Unlike tablets and PCs, there doesn't appear to be much of a difference in Microsoft and Apple's phone philosophies, outside of Nokia's long-standing commitment to produce phones at multiple price points (a strategy Microsoft is unlikely to abandon). 

But despite copying Apple's proven strategy, Microsoft is unlikely to find success. Apple has a six-year head start -- and far more developer support.

Investing in Microsoft
Given that Microsoft's management is clearly out of touch when it comes to understanding the PC market, the company's decision to embrace a strategy centered around "devices and services" -- as emphasized by its recent purchase of Nokia's handset business -- is distressing.

Even Gates appears to believe that the market wants these sort of hybrid devices -- Surface tablets that can double as a laptop, a Windows 8 operating system that works as well on a tablet as it does on traditional PC.

As long as Microsoft sticks to this flawed philosophy, alternative operating systems are going to slowly chip away at its Windows empire. For that reason, investors should consider avoiding Microsoft.

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Read/Post Comments (31) | Recommend This Article (4)

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  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 10:49 AM, Justice007 wrote:

    Thus says one of Apple mouth pieces.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 10:49 AM, techy46 wrote:

    Job;s loved to redefine the world to fit it into his new definition of words. Ballmer and Gates are realistic and know that despite consumers arogance and hubris all personal computers including smart phones and tablets are just different forms and sizes of the same basic device. Analysts and commentators love to fed the PC's Dead machine so they can pump and dump their Apple and ARM holdings but Intel is about to level the PC playing field next week with Bay Trail 22nm 3D chips. Stay tined and how fun with your overpriced iToys and plastic Droids.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 11:11 AM, Petronilus wrote:

    There is a good rule in the world of consumer electronics: People do not want to go backwards on any primary use case.

    For example, if you have an excellent performance of retina display browsing, high quality keyboard word processing, big screen e-mails etc. on your Macbook in your home, why would you want a Surface to replace it that is inferior on these use cases with a crappy keyboard, small screen and mediocre apps?

    Convergence is great ONLY when you ensure that the primary use cases are not compromised. For example, Apple's first iPhone was a clearly successful convergence of the iPhone + iPod (MP3 player) because it was the best phone and the best MP3 player in one device.

    The Surface is neither the best tablet or the best laptop. Actually it's very far from either of those.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 11:14 AM, wgcross2 wrote:

    First of all, PC's are NOT dead. They will be required by businesses and corporations for years to come. Power users and gamers, who build there own rigs, will continue to support the PC. All we're seeing is the buying wave has hit the shore. Remember, PC's can be easily upgraded and expanded garnering additional life out of them. I'm sure the components industry is doing quite well. Next, we really don't talk about today's laptops. They can be a real power house for a very reasonable price. The laptop provides true mobility by not having to be connected 24/7 to the internet. Laptops can come with 500 GB to 1 TB hard drives, Universal DVD/CD RW including Blue Ray, 6-8 GB of DDR3 ram, a quad-processor (I5 or I7) and an internal graphics card (Radeon for instance). Thumb drives can be had all the way up to 1 TB. All of which makes the tablet and the cloud unnecessary. To generate real work, a keyboard is necessary. To be using a keyboard through most of the day, it must be large enough, robust and ergonomic. The touch screen is simply a non-starter for most workers/professionals. MS is making so many bad assumptions about the future, you've got to really wonder.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 11:25 AM, shimpainai wrote:

    I MISS STEVE JOBS!

    Why can't intelligent, enthusiastic people run the world instead of the egomaniacs and the greedy? It would be so good for our country and our businesses if we could do that.

    So many computer businesses are going to go under because of the loss of pure, unadulterated genius.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 11:26 AM, mkepalmer wrote:

    As an IT professional I find this article laughable. Just take a look at Dell's new Lattitude 10. Is it an tablet or a PC? It's both and with Windows 8 loaded on it there is no need for an Ipad to take home with you and hope you can download apps to help you with work. This tablet is your work machine and is docked at your desk. Add a 20 hour battery life and you now have no need for anything Apple produces.

    How is it again that MS is committed to clunky desktops ???

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 11:33 AM, Spock69 wrote:

    A CEO " out of touch" That's not even news! These over-priced, self- serving guys killed GM, Merrill, and countless others. Only when they quit insulating themselves with layers of yes-men and salaries they clearly don't "earn", will they guide their companies properly. The whole system needs help not just Microsoft.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 11:34 AM, MPA2000 wrote:

    Microsoft was doomed after XP. It should have stopped with XP and just worked on fixing the kinks there. But nope, they had to come up with the clumsy and bug ridden Vista. Almost no third party software was compatible. It just stood there sucking all of your available memory.

    Then came Windows 7, which was really Vista Redux. I won't even discuss Windows 8.

    XP as sucky a system it was, is still the best PC OS for business or home, IMO.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 11:57 AM, Rustman80 wrote:

    Surface's failure was the use of the ARM architecture. I was interested in buying one... completely intrigued with the idea... until I found it was running on ARM. Nothing against the architecture... I'm sure, fundamentally, it works fine... but if you are a PC user, which are the only people that would buy that, everything you already own runs on x86 or x86_64. I can't install any of the software that I already have onto it. That is a deal breaker for me and a lot of other people. I'm not rebuying software that I already have through their app store just so it'll run on that one device. Had the surface been x86_64, I think it would have been a totally different story... but Microsoft was looking to capitalize on the "app" trend by limiting choice to only using their app store to buy software, and that has NEVER been a good business decision.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 12:01 PM, jjoensuu wrote:

    @wgcross2 wrote:

    ---

    First of all, PC's are NOT dead. They will be required by businesses and corporations for years to come.

    ---

    Try to tell that to Motley Fools - they wont get it. I am guessing their idea is to peddle their point of view to increase the stock market value of some companies that they get paid from - companies that do not have a presence in corporate server rooms and who knows perhaps depend more on the tablet PC industry...

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 12:07 PM, wizarddrummer wrote:

    Microsoft's Management has been out of touch from the get go. Starting with PC-DOS 1.0 in 1981!

    Seriously, I could write a complete novel on how much I really hate this company because it has always been the lowest common denominator for Software excellence on this planet.

    To clarify that point with a question analogy...

    "Can you make a better tasting hamburger than McDonald's?" (yes/no)

    "Can you sell as many hamburgers as McDonald's?" (yes/no)

    While the analogy is inaccurate with respect to most people going into their kitchens and cooking up an Operating System it does account for the fact that 90% of the people in the Industry that make third party applications to run under Microsoft Operating Systems (defragers, disk cleaners, registry editors, video editors, photo editors, video players, and on and on make better products that are less bug free and easier to use.

    The fact that Steve Ballmer has to jump up and down like a Circus Monkey to get people 'excited' about their products speaks volumes.

    Microsoft is and always has been all about hype with very little substance.

    There are still artifacts from CP/M in their idiotic operating systems. They just keep putting pretty wrappers on top of the tarnished clothes that they are covering up. Think Joey (Friends) when he wore all of Chandler's clothes. "Could I be wearing any more clothes?"

    My health is bad, my finances are diminished because of a terminal illness otherwise I would use a different set up. I use a PC because I hate laptop keyboards and I don't like tablets because of the things I like to do. The applications I like to use (Games, Video Editors, 3D Editors, 2D Drawing etc.) are not suited for tablets.

    I still use XP with Service Pack (Bug Fix) 2. because I still have a few clients I service on line and I don't have the money to buy a machine that can run Linux effectively with XP as a process.

    Microsoft's products are tedious and non intuitive to use, the development environments are even more horrible and they pay even less attention to work flow. Work flow, in computer applications, is 'remembering' what parameters were used when we last performed an operation. I hate large icons and small icons when it comes to files. Every time I use the Search function I have to go to the menu and switch it to the detail listing. I have done more than 25,000 searches in XP since 2001. When you add that to 10,000 other things that are similar to that then you have a level of TEDIOUS that resembles a Chinese water torture over time.

    ID software tried to use the PC but it couldn't do the job, so they used a machine called the NeXT computer to create the original version of DOOM. The NeXT computer is the same computer that Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, used to create the worlds first Internet Browser with web pages that you are all now familiar with ... not so familiar back in November, 1991.

    This picture says it all;

    http://www.musclecarranch.com/nextstep.png

    The year is 1993! Two competing OS's from the same period. The inferior OS (Windows 3.1) is running

    INSIDE the Superior OS (NeXTSTEP) as a sub process on the left side of the screen; yet, the INFERIOR OS got the most market share and became the dominant OS on the planet.

    This is a case where brute force, underhanded business tactics wins over Elegance.

    Those lucky enough to have used NeXTSTEP on a daily basis are sad at the turn of events because it is, for many of us, the best OS and Development environment we have ever used to this day! We wonder what the OS of today would look like if NeXTSTEP had had 20 years of improvements.

    Bill's crap is just now catching up to where NeXTSTEP was 20 years ago! - And it still is deficient.

    It's a testament to Steve Jobs and his genius for creating an incredible, consistent, robust, elegant Operating System and a testament to Bill Gates and his genius for being able to sell what is simply a bundle of inconsistent crap to the largest percentage of the market.

    It was ported to Intel Machines in 1994.

    http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1022/811273230_77fa6dd06b.jpg

    I was running it on a 486 DX 100!

    The author of this website has painted a clear picture of what I believe.

    http://www.kmfms.com/whatsbad.html

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 12:19 PM, emceenugget wrote:

    You seem to know so much about how Microsoft and the PC market work. I don't understand how you're not the CEO of a rival company.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 12:30 PM, MichaelOFaolain wrote:

    Because your iPhone, iPod, and/or iPad (or an Android version or a Windows version) is in your hands doesn't make what your doing important to the future of mankind. That it might make you pleased with yourself is irrelevant.

    The mass-market, consumer-oriented Apple of Steve Jobs eye was about "I". The products are about "I" - or "me." Constant texting is a reflection of the internalized Steve Jobs form. "I" am important because "I" am all about "me" and you people who look at the world around you can see "me" walking off a subway platform while being self-important.

    The PC form still is used to get work done - at work - in economic institutions and in an organized way not yet fully attainable with any portable device. When you use it, it's all about the business - the institution, no matter how small.

    In the political arena we have seen the result of the Jobs form - Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. At best, a bunch of "me's" held an "event." At worst, the institutions reacted in a predictable way resulting in the death of many "me's."

    The irony is that Jobs was effective at manipulating Apple workers at work using the institutional form to sell toys to the next generation of masses. Those Apple workers have been effective in the consumer economy, effective at making customers think the customers, not Apple, were innovative because they used the Jobs form of computing mostly for entertainment and personal convenience.

    Technology is important because of how it will improve the lives of the next one billion people born, not because you can post on Facebook a picture of you and two friends or family members from the restaurant you're having lunch. The question is, what did you do to improve the world economy last Wednesday afternoon. Did you design the next cancer treatment device on your smart phone? Or did you on company time text someone you'll meet them for dinner.

    The truck versus car analogy used by Jobs is appropriate, but he failed to note the truth as he always did in his self-centric world. In his "urban centers" cars waste resources to cater to the individual ego. That some of us in the world are rich enough to do that doesn't make us good or better than someone in a third world country who uses a bicycle to get to work. Trucks get the real work of the world done.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 12:54 PM, Asmodeus1971 wrote:

    Sorry to say MS was dead after XP is a total joke. Vista was for the most part Windows 7 but not finished yet. After they did the service pack on Vista it was a very functional OS, 7 got smaller and more functional, also more attractive in looks. 8 as much as people want to bash it is 7 even with a smaller footprint. It has a new GUI which if you learn to use it actually is way better than any other windows. 8.1 takes it even farther. With 8.1 a company setup where most people just need a hybrid tablet/ultra book with x86_64 processor it will smoke any one product that Apple makes. The only thing Apple has over these machines is battery life.

    In a enterprise setup using cloud storage and standardized software on all the companies computers, you sign into your MS account on any company machine where it is desktop, laptop, ultra book, or tablet and your desktop is there, your files are there with full functionality. You can't do that with an iPad.

    The big deal most Apple fan boys always jump to is the Retina display, problem with this is on iPads, iPhones and even most Mac books the screens are so small that resolution is meaningless to most users because of eyesight limitations. Maybe a lot full of 19 year olds can see the difference but as you become 25, 30, 35,40, 45 years old and on you see little difference to no difference and honestly in most business applications the resolution has little to no advantage. The resolution only makes a difference if you do graphic editing, video picture, etc... or play games. Not part of most enterprise customers needs so that Apple bragging point is useless in the real world for most users. Plus everything they do as far as screens is off the shelf from their suppliers who for the most part are Samsung, and LG who are also their competitors. They don't beat Apple on most devices because for practicality the money is better spent elsewhere.Every once in a while ASUS, LG or Samsung will beat Apple on screen resolution just to show they can but they understand for most users it has no practical use.

    Proof of this is can be seen in HD TVs a large segment of the population can not tell the difference between 4k and 1080p on TVs smaller than 50" let alone on TVs smaller than 40" or 1080p vs 720p on TVs under 40" so they definitely aren't going to see a difference on a 2k display and a 720p or 1080p display that is only 12, 10, 8, 7, 4 or 3 inches. That is reality. People buy it for bragging rights just like audio equipment. The numbers look impressive on paper but on audio most people's ears can't tell the difference on these machines most people's eyes can't tell the difference. They are numbers just for the sake of numbers, just for the sake to brag. USELESS...

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 1:03 PM, Speedracer69 wrote:

    All good things eventually come to an end and that is exactly what is happening to Microsoft. Apple is another example of a good product gone bad.

    The problem is they do not listen to the consumer's on developing a product that is both user friendly and well thought out eliminating bugs that continue to plague the products we buy.

    Bad PR will get you not where and that is exactly what happen with Microsoft's Xbox1. The NSA has forced itself into the latest products violating our privacy and we are tired of it.

    I would so much loved to see Mozilla come out with their version of a PC OS because I trust them and they listen to consumers. That being said unless they companies step up and listen to consumers, they can be assured of a quick demise.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 1:04 PM, joebatch wrote:

    @MAPA2000.Good post and tho I have to say I never had any problems with XP. What I resent is having a program (XP) on my computer that still works quite well and next April I will be forced by Microsoft to buy a product of their's that I cannot afford at this time or risk having hackers all over the world hijack my computer because they won't supply safty updates for XP. I thought there would be a bit more outrage about being exploited by a company like this.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 1:16 PM, RMengineer wrote:

    It's amazing how so many people have such simplistic false dichotomy views on PC versus tablets/smartphones? Why does it have to be an either/or proposition?

    While I generally don't like the word as it is typically used to sound like saying something while saying nothing, I think a good word is "holistic". The thing is not PC -or- tablets, it's how they fit together in the larger world view - and how they are _complementary_. It's a question of the _right_ tool for the job, not thinking one tool is going to do all the jobs of all other tools.

    People try to argue how tablet are "toys" or how PC are obsolete. For one thing, it would be wise to remember that there was a time when PCs were dismissed as "toys".

    To turn a phrase, its as if people think the only problem is a nail, then they think the only tool you need is a hammer. So if someone invents a different hammer, then it either obsoletes the previous hammer, or it is just a "toy" in comparison to the original hammer.

    I build all my own PCs and I have a number of them, customized for particular applications. Some for work, some for personal use. I have some set up with different OS's - different versions of Windows, different versions of Linux. They are all networked together and share information. I have a systems from my workhorse multi-core, multi-display, multi-terabyte, system that is used for my CAD tools down to media platers and assorted widgets. I also have not one but two tablets (each for different primary purposes) and a smartphone. So I really don't get this false dichotomy mentality.

    But what it comes down at a high level, is content/information creation and content/information consumption. PC are still going to be the principle tool for creation. And before tablets and such, they were also the principle means of content consumption. The laptop made PC content consumption portable. But if you don't need all the power and hardware to consume/access that content/information, then why carry it around? That's where tablets and smartphones come in - they enable/expand the ability to consume/access content/information -anywhere- by providing highly portable tools to do so.

    Are tablets going to replace PCs for content/information creation? Not likely. But when the task at hand is consumption/access of that content/information, what do you gain from a PC? So it's not that tablets are going to replace PCs for creation, they simply aren't. But what they do bring to the tablet is a better tool that a PC for ubiquitous content/information access/consumption - and that the PC "function" that tablets will replace PCs - to a large degree but of course not entirely.

    Its in the role of content consumption that tablets are "hurting" PCs. When tablets offer a highly capable tool for consumption, that lessens the demand for PC to serve that role. And what is the bulk of computer usage by the bulk of the public? Creation or consumption?

    And in a past is prologue - before the PC, the principle computing platform was mainframes and minis. But as PC power advanced, they became powerful enough to take of many of the roles where mainframes and minis were used. Which is what killed those markets and seriously set back many of the companies that served those markets such as Sun, DEC, IBM. Once the power of a PC got to a certain point, why would you buy a mainframe or a mini? So, similarly, how much more "PC power" does the average user really need? At some point it's no longer about increasingly more power, but about _distributed_ compute power. That is, at some point, you don't really need _more_ PC power and any more is just "surplus" power. So then you start thinking about distributing that power. Is it better to be tethered to a Goliath PC, or to have access to compute power anywhere _you_ are? As more past is prologue - that's what PCs did - they untethered computer power from the centralized mainframe or mini and distributed that power to everyone's desktop and home. Tablets and smartphones are the next step in further distributing that power to everyone's pocket.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 1:32 PM, fredfarcle wrote:

    Are there no FORWARD GROUPS (or is MS too centrally controlled) ?? Are there no FOCUS GROUPS (or is that a waste of time and money) ?? It never occurred to anybody that a Windows 7 emulator interface would be a good thing for Window 8 PC releases ??? We are not talking about the 20/30 something smart set. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT the 40/50 office worker set and BUSINESS MANAGER / PURCHASING AGENT !!! Especially user interfaces, its NOT what you want to give them, it is WHAT THEY WANT !!! Instead of spending 50M on advertising, how about a traveling FREE seminar to help the consumer manage change. LASTLY MS CANNOT COMPETE ON TECH FASHION, SO COMPETE ON RELIABILITY, CONSUMER CONFIDENCE, VALUE, AND EASE OF USE OR LAYERED OPERATION. Why do I always have to buy a book for each OP Sys edition !!!

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 2:45 PM, roguesisland wrote:

    The clowns writing these articles are exactly that. Microsoft continues to reinvent itself with the continuous evolution in IT.

    It is not and will not be an all Apple world for the minor percentage of fanboys [in the tech world] who wish that it were so.

    PC's are not going away, neither are laptops. Mobile is just a new way to do something old, and the tech leaders e.g., Microsoft, Apple, HP, Dell, Intel, AMD and a host of additional new leaders, Qualcomm, ARMH, etc. are making it happen.

    There will not be a hegemony in the mobile world, and there will be plenty of spoils for ALL the leaders.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 3:43 PM, harbor1223 wrote:

    I quit Microsoft when they came out with Vista. I bought a Mac and still have it today, I am typing this on it actually. What defines a company is, and always will be forward thinking. A flash in the pan lights up the room for a second, but a candle can lead you through the dark. I never bought an Ipad. I almost did on numerous occasions but I hated apps. I still have my Macbook Pro 17 and it has endured countless fist poundings, slams, tosses and yes one time even a bit of coffee. I love it, it has been in my lap for 6 years. You can't help but trust a company that can deliver that level of reliability. I liked my Sony Vaios f390 as well but I HATED Vista. I also have an Iphone 5 it has 2 apps on it. Flashlight and Translate language Peace

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 4:21 PM, boldog03 wrote:

    Windows lost the public when they put a touch OS on our desktop. All Metro is, is launch pad in Mac and people that don't like apple are not going to like it. CRT + C to look at program files while leaving the home page wastes my time. Most people are like me after being burned with Windows 8 sealskin top we don't want anything else windows 8 just on principal.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 5:54 PM, jackgxx wrote:

    When all you have is a hammer (read Windows) all problems look like a nail. Windows can't be everything to everyone and not only is it now a legacy product, but it's expensive (it's price model was conceived in a $2k+ desktop/laptop world) by any definition in a world with Android, Linux and even IOS given away free

    Gates and company lost their best chance when they waited out the Clinton JD for the Bush JD and cut a "we'll behave" deal that let them stay intact.

    When the US broke up the old Standard Oil in 1911, Rockefeller became even wealthier, as the 34 entities created pursued their markets and opportunities. A Microsoft breakup at that time might have unleashed that same power of initiative and creativity, making an already wealthy Gates even wealthier (as did Rockefeller)

    The myopic Gates crowned himself chief software architect for himself. In June 2006 and MS has been anything but a hotbed of innovation and creativity.

    During his early years his father encouraged him to do more with his new found wealth, but being the personality he is could not be bothered or distracted by what else he might do.

    Since he's become Mr. International Charity, the chief software architect for MS can't be bothered with business.

    Change will come and of course their cash hoard still makes them a significant player .. as for Mr Gates he as already cashed out most of his MS stock and i'm sure he'll find better returns in Buffet's shadow with the remainder of his MS stock.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 6:01 PM, techy46 wrote:

    Intel CFO Stacy Smith Says ‘PC Has Died Half a Dozen Times’

    I think Mr. Smith knows more then a bunch of fools.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 6:10 PM, thenightwatch wrote:

    I don't understand the Apple "fanboy" insults. I've been using Macs since the 80s and used Apple IIs before that. I was an IT Supervisor for a few very large corporations and one university that had a mixed environment of Mac OS and Windows. That being said....

    I use Apple products because I really like OSX (and previously System 6,7,8,9, NeXTStep) Had a BeBox running BeOS for a while when I though Apple was going to use the BeOS. It had a lot of potential! Would have been great for video and audio applications. Maybe better than NeXTStep. But I'm glad Apple chose Jobs and NeXt.

    My small business uses MacPros, iPads, iPhones and MacMini servers. And you know what's excellent about that? The ecosystem. Having an all Apple network is magical. I know UNIX, and I have a MacBook set aside for UNIX administration, but that's just me. Most consumers just want plug and play. What's wrong with that? Nothing! And Apple gives the consumer the choice to keep it simple or to dive down deep into the OS. What's wrong with that? Nothing.

    Face it. Apple was smart to use OSX for iOS. And they were lucky that Jobs was available in 1997 to bring UNIX to them. Apple's great move was to bring UNIX to the masses AND build an entire ecosystem around their OS and devices (and make them cool for people who need that kind of thing)

    Someone could have done this with Linux, but it didn't quite happen for both the PC and the portable devices. Microsoft could have started from scratch and built an OS that was portable across any device. But they didn't.

    Apple's other smart move was to retire System 7 (Classic OS), and use the modern NeXTStep with the classic Finder GUI. Another was to abandon CPU architecture when the change was needed. And they did it painlessly. Part of this is due to Apple's market share being so low in the 90s which helped a lot. But MS could have done this if they had really wanted too. What were they afraid of? No one else at the time could have given them any completion at all.

    The bottom line is that Apple had always had a good OS. And that's why the "faithful" love Apple.

    People accuse Apple of having a closed system. But it's really Microsoft that has the closed system. Windows is proprietary. Linux is open. OSX is semi-open. And that was the key to success for Apple. Apple embraced open standards in the 90s along with Sun, Netscape and others. MS did not. That, and not rebuilding Windows from scratch was Microsoft's nail in the coffin.

    Jobs truck metaphor is dead on. I use the truck (MacPro) for audio and video editing, some Internet tasks like purchasing software and exchanging large files. But I use the car (iPhone, iPad) for everything else (like this, typed on an iPhone). And I use an Apple TV for the big screen experience (which also works in the ecosystem).

    I understand Windows power users. They know their OS and their workflow very well. And I respect that. But just because Apple made some products that are, on the surface, easier to use, does not make them any less capable or rudimentary. DOS heritage vs UNIX heritage?

    To each his own. If you're a Windows power user, that's great. But don't call us OSX power users "fanboys". For 25 years I've been told by DOS/Window's users that I don't really know computing because I can't "tinker" around with my OS, or my Apple hardware. That's just plain ignorance. I got deep into Classic Mac OS and now I run a UNIX OS on some very customized MacPros. What's wrong with that? Nothing!

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 9:15 PM, GregZD wrote:

    I couldn't disagree more. Who wants ten devices with ten interfaces. We are becoming more computer centric not less. The interface needs to be refined that's all, the first cars if you could even call them that were not very useful they probably seemed like a gimmick for people with more money than brains. MS does need to future proof it's business model with the transition to the cloud, but they have to go to an integrated interface within certain parameters due to changing form factor . MS may have to spin off divisions to avoid a corporate-wide mistake from taking down all of MS and allow more business strategies and innovation, hard to take risks if all your eggs are in one basket, and playing it safe in a competitive industry with short product cycles is surely a death sentence.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 10:40 PM, bobdabuilder0 wrote:

    first windows is an OS go look up the term, i will wait for you.back? a pc can run several os's at the same time,or just run the one that works for your needs.death of pc? so all office pc will be replaced with ipads that can not multi task? good luck with selling me that.and we all know that M$ loss leader is Server systems.my win 7 laptop controls 3 workstations for a total of 26 cores on 7 cpus,9 hard drives 52 gig of ram. yes i can use old school unix i like clean interfaces and the ability to run most program i want.learning curve is a load of hooey, here is a book on ASP i want you up to speed by monday.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 11:03 PM, ctyank99 wrote:

    I do not own MS, nor do I intend to anytime soon. I do think they are a great company and I don't even think the need "saving"... I just don't understand the MS bashing.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 6:38 AM, Skiman1980 wrote:

    I can tell you right now, the surface rt blows the iPad way, especially with outlook rt. Only people that love kids games on there iPad prefer it. It's way better for business and just about everything else. Maybe the author should have done his research rather than just being a noob and a sheep

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 6:44 AM, Skiman1980 wrote:

    If your smart, you would feel like your intelligence is insulted every time you use an apple product. Lets be honest, it's an bominatin

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 3:51 PM, nunu4 wrote:

    I dont see how windows8 its a failure, because of apps count??? Fool are silly n a real fool. First off, download chrome browser and there you go, all gogle apps in your browser. Second, no other OS execute x86 programs from full office to like diablo3 or COD perhaps need for speed. Can ipad do that? I leave that answer to ya guys, but for me, no!!!

  • Report this Comment On September 13, 2013, at 2:15 PM, tylee100 wrote:

    In 20113 50% of new vehicles sold were cars and 50% were trucks. Jobs was living in a dreamland in Silicon Valley where everyone drives cars. He should really have checked his facts. Drive through Texas sometime and you would think they don't even make cars anymore!

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