Are phones and pads the beginning of the end?

For Microsoft that is

By on August 17, 2010 12:21:30 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

terpfan1980

Join Date 08/2004
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On another site that I frequent someone made reference to a news article from Endgadget that was touting the idea of Xbox Live coming to Windows Mobile phones and the news and comments (negative comments about the idea of ever using a Windows Mobile phone or switching to one away from whatever phones someone currently has) inspired me to rant a litte, both at the other site and here at the circle of JoeUser.com communities.

I ask in the article title and sub-title whether phones and pad devices (iPad and others) are the beginning of the end for Microsoft and their dominance of the PC marketplace.  Please feel free to offer your own thoughts as I toss out a few of my own and perhaps put words into the mouths of others.

First up, I seem to recall that the gracious host of the JoeUser.com community had written some comments that perhaps echoed the same thoughts that I might be tossing out here... his thoughts were published soon after the release of the iPad.  He was, if I am recalling correctly and paraphrasing correctly, somewhat concerned about what the iPad meant to someone that made their living writing and selling software for PC's.

I'm sure other people have had other similar thoughts and my comments back in the discussion about the news of Xbox Live coming to Windows Mobile really isn't doing anything to change that situation, or so I believe.

I'm personally starting to think more and more that Microsoft may be in trouble here.  They've stumbled pretty badly in the phone marketplace.  Where they used to be one of the formidable competitors they are an also ran, falling further and further behind Apple (with the iOS and their iPhones) and Google (with the Android OS).  Not to mention a wealth of messaging phones and more bare bones phones, and oh yeah, those folks from Palm that are back there somewhere.  And then there's also the iPad devices and tablet market where Microsoft can't seem to do any better than vaporware.

A few years ago the European Union saw fit to smack Microsoft around pretty harshly for behaving in a monopolistic manner.  Personally I think rightfully so, and still wish that the U.S. Department of Justice had done a better job in their own case against Microsoft, and further wish that the original results had come to fruition -- Microsoft should have been split up.  They should have done it voluntarily, and if they had, perhaps they'd be in a much better place right now, rather than having people like me looking at them and wondering if we really are beginning to see the end for them.

I say this because if they had broken themselves up into somewhat logical business units they may have regained some of the drive and hunger that got them into trouble to begin with, and would, at least in theory, have also been more focused and streamlined in their goals.  Rather than being a big behemoth that has too many potential masters and drivers for what markets they need to or want to be in, they could have wound up as smaller units that easily saw where they should go and worked to get there.  For now they continue to dominate in the office productivity suite area and in the desktop operating system area, but with more virtualization and more movement to cloud based computing and web applications can they remain so dominant?  With more and more users working with portable and ultra portable devices (such as the iPad) and smart phones and such, are PC's as important as they once were?

Apple seems to be moving further and further ahead thanks to an extremely loyal fan base, while Google is also pushing ahead with customers that want a good smart phone but don't necessarily want an iPhone and/or can't get decent network coverage from AT&T.  If a Droid tablet hits the market running, Microsoft falls even further behind, while the market in general ho-hum's over their (Microsoft's) smart phones and waits for the vaporware tablets to maybe, someday, eventually, hopefully show-up.

So, is the end of Microsoft's dominance out there on the horizon, barely visible, or will they right the ship and get the consumers to again desire their products?

Before you answer, think about the Zune and what is has or hasn't done in the marketplace.  Think about Microsoft's tablet efforts, and think of their phone and PDA efforts.  Are they moving forward with the marketplace or are they treading water as best they can hoping to stay afloat while trying to learn how to swim (all with a big anchor around their neck).  You tell me.

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August 17, 2010 12:31:07 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

That's easy, no. 

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August 17, 2010 1:24:07 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

While bill Gates has stepped aside from the day to day operations, I still would not count them out.  MS has made plenty of boners, but they always seem to recover.  They are not Apple (And Gates is not Jobs), but they do one thing better than anyone else - marketing.

Success does not go to the guy who builds the better mousetrap.  It goes to the guy who does the better marketing.

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August 17, 2010 2:15:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

They can't win in every market They continue owning the PC market with Windows, the productivity apps with Office, they are doing great with all their server offering (Windows Server, Sharepoint, SQL Server, Biztalk, Exchange, ISA, and the other million things they have here), .NET is going strong, Xbox360 is a good contender in the console market,...

Seriously, MS makes a lot of money from companies, and companies aren't going to start running on iPads any time soon

In the mobile market they have lost share, but they have a good product in WP7, it will probably take them time, but I won't count them out there, just an uphill battle like the one they fight in search with Bing or in web with IE and Windows Live. Seriously, they continue full of clever people (just check Microsoft Research), full of good products and full of third party partners and companies around them making their products grow and supporting them.

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August 17, 2010 4:25:52 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

MS has made plenty of boners, but they always seem to recover.

(heheh... he said boner... heheh)

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August 17, 2010 4:30:26 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

nope, don't think so

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August 18, 2010 12:25:44 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

boner actually means "mistake" on the east-coast it's really only a west-coast slang that's been popularized on the internet. 

My pastor at church said it once, it was pretty hilarious. 

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August 18, 2010 12:56:32 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

[quote who="awuffleablehedgie" reply="6" id="2716148"]boner actually means "mistake" on the east-coast it's really only a west-coast slang that's been popularized on the internet

My pastor at church said it once, it was pretty hilarious. 
[/quote]

Easterners, what the hell are we supposed to do with them? They still think hills are mountains.   

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August 18, 2010 1:59:02 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Are phones and pads the beginning of the end?

Back on topic....[almost never really was on topic]....

Everyone sees Microsoft's success/fortune in the Computer market and thinks "I want a piece of that action" and tries ANYTHING to corner a share...get one toe in the water.

Apple's about the only one who has had more than one toe in....but there's a LONG WAY to go before they have a whole foot in.

Cornering the 'phone/pad' market is still just like seeing Mac's success in the burgers and fries.....and setting up a shop next door for icecream.  Close, but NQR...

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August 18, 2010 8:51:48 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting awuffleablehedgie,
boner actually means "mistake" on the east-coast it's really only a west-coast slang that's been popularized on the internet. 

My pastor at church said it once, it was pretty hilarious. 

I guess I am old as well, since that was the slang - east and west coast - for a mistake.  I was unaware the definition had changed.  So what is it supposed to mean (other than the obvious reference to the male anatomy and my understanding of it being a mistake).

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August 18, 2010 9:17:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So what is it supposed to mean (other than the obvious reference to the male anatomy

That is the current slang

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August 18, 2010 10:52:23 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting Annatar11,

So what is it supposed to mean (other than the obvious reference to the male anatomy
That is the current slang

So they dropped a meaning!  Such is life.

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August 18, 2010 11:47:47 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

[quote who="Phoon" reply="4" id="2715807"]
MS has made plenty of boners, but they always seem to recover.


(heheh... he said boner... heheh)
[/quote]

   

[quote who="awuffleablehedgie" reply="6" id="2716148"]boner actually means "mistake" on the east-coast it's really only a west-coast slang that's been popularized on the internet. 

My pastor at church said it once, it was pretty hilarious. 
[/quote]

I'm guessing everyone at church thought "mistake" all at once.

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August 18, 2010 11:48:36 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

So, boners aside, pads and smart phones are not the death knell for Microsoft... that thought is somewhat misguided.

There will always be people who prefer desktop PC's (and/or notebooks).  I do... as do many others I know

Furthermore, businesses and governments depend on desktop computers, sometimes notebooks with a full OS.

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August 18, 2010 4:47:27 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

boners aside, pads

you always have sex on your mind!

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August 18, 2010 7:53:11 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

you always have sex on your mind!

Well I have to... it's not happening too often on my watch.

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August 19, 2010 9:29:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

All these other markets don't threaten Microsoft in the PC area. The threat is that the PC area is going to shrink relative to everything else.

 

I mean, IBM is still a big player in mainframes, but aside from existing customers who is buying those anymore? That's the problem Microsoft faces.

But PCs aren't going away for a while. When you have to do work, an iPad just doesn't get it done. Ever tried typing a 20 page report on one of those?

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August 19, 2010 9:33:14 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Ever tried typing a 20 page report on one of those?

Good point.

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August 19, 2010 11:11:51 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

But PCs aren't going away for a while. When you have to do work, an iPad just doesn't get it done. Ever tried typing a 20 page report on one of those?

Which is why the PC market is likely to shrink very little, if at all.  Like I said above businesses depend on PC's, and probably always will because they contain a full OS and are more capable than pads/tablets.  Same goes for the home hobbyists, budding designers and the like, a PC is always going to serve their needs better because of its greater power and processing abilities.

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August 22, 2010 10:19:17 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Windows Phone 7 looks to have a strong Xbox 360 relation from what I read.  WinCE7 may or may not be related to the WP7 OS, though I'd sure hope so.  ASUS will soon have tablets based on Win7, Android, and WinCE7.

Microsoft might be late to the party but I would never count them out.  IE9 is completely unexpected from MS too, so they may finally be in a position to turn heads on all their product lines instead of embarrassing themselves in a good half of them.

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November 26, 2012 8:34:35 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Seeing Draginol's article (Why Kindle will fail as a device, succeed as a format) bumped and brought back to life, it sent me into looking for this old article to see how well my own predictions had (been) perhaps coming true.

Was my original article on the mark?  You tell me folks.  I know I wasn't as early in my predictions as was Draginol with his older article, but it has been a while since these original words were written here and in the tech world, time moves quickly.  The question remains whether or not it has moved too quickly for Microsoft and will they be able to succeed in a world dominated by tablets and phones rather than personal computers in the more traditional sense.

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November 26, 2012 9:24:15 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting awuffleablehedgie,
boner actually means "mistake" on the east-coast it's really only a west-coast slang that's been popularized on the internet. 

My pastor at church said it once, it was pretty hilarious. 

As a pastor on the west coast, I found this pretty funny! 

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November 27, 2012 6:38:32 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting heft,

Quoting awuffleablehedgie, reply 7boner actually means "mistake" on the east-coast it's really only a west-coast slang that's been popularized on the internet. 

My pastor at church said it once, it was pretty hilarious. 

As a pastor on the west coast, I found this pretty funny! 

Um, funny because that pastor was you?

And if so, in which context, a mistake, or the other widely used one?  Or was it a reference to a mistake regarding the other widely used one during a sermon about the pitfalls of immoral behaviour?

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November 27, 2012 8:48:54 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Tablets and phones may be a rich new feeding ground (if we're comparing these guys to the Wraith) but that's about it.  Eventually the world will once again reach a saturation point where you can't bring in any new customers without making the devices smaller and even simpler and at an even lower price mark.  So you have to encourage the existing customers to upgrade to a newer and better and more sophisticated and more expensive product.

Microsoft have been selling upgrades for years now.  Not everything they've tried to foist on us has been met with open arms, but they've probably made a killing by allowing you to upgrade your existing operating system for cheaper than buying it new.  Arguably, Windows isn't as popular as it once was, but the upgrade model is still a good way to ensure that people keep buying your product and not someone else's.

Having a marketplace where desktop PCs are no longer the most prevalent or common user of operating systems (and where Microsoft is not able to monopolise the market) means that things will be more competitive, but you don't always have to compete at the lowest price mark.

If you have the right features then you can sell a more expensive product, you just won't be able to sell it to as many people.

If you offer an upgrade plan, you can sell a less expensive product now, and sell an upgrade later.  But not everyone will want or need to upgrade.  There are still Windows XP users out there.  Shock, gasp.

However, selling an upgrade, as doubtful as the possibility may be sometimes, is still better than not getting that initial sale at all.

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November 27, 2012 11:03:53 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting MarvinKosh,
Not everything they've tried to foist on us has been met with open arms,

So true!  Vista was a good OS but it wasn't met with open arms and failed.  For mine, too many commentators and so-called experts sabotaged it because it wasn't XP and they didn't like change.  Win 7 was better received by the press and the so-called experts, but that's only because they realised MS wasn't ever going back to XP and knew they were beatenby change.

The same scenario applies with Win 8. The majority of press personalities and industry experts have slammed the changes again, and because the purchasing public is often more behaves like mindless sheep than educated, discerning buyers, sales have suffered.  Thing is, Win 9 won't be a lot different, just a few improvements, perhaps, and some GUI enhancements, but the press and so-called experts will have to concede defeat yet again, the change remains and they'll praise Win 9 in the same fashion as Win 7.

Microsoft is far from being a spent force and the desktop PC will remain a major work for corporations and anyone in content creation.  Tablets are still new and remain a novelty item, so they will maintain attractive as portable devices for a while, but they are unlikely to ever be powerful enough to compete with a multi-core desktop PC with 16gb of RAM and high-end GPU.

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November 27, 2012 11:21:05 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Are phones and pads the beginning of the end?

Probably not, but they may be the end of the beginning. 

Large, power hungry desk bound towers won't be around forever.

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