back to article Microsoft in 2016: Is there any point asking SatNad what's coming?

Microsoft has never had to deal with a grumpy activist shareholder criticising the leadership – a grump activist who just happens to be its biggest shareholder ... and its former CEO. Steve Ballmer won't let go. He thinks the cloud KPIs Microsoft gives out are "bullshit", and its mobile strategy is fatally flawed. If Ballmer …

  1. agatum

    > Any point asking this SadNad what's coming?

    No point. They have been told gazillion times what should be coming but they don't seem to deliver.

    1. Preston Munchensonton
      Linux

      Of course there's no point looking forward with Microsoft. Based on what's here and now, MS seems unable to do the one thing that you absolutely have to do to succeed: meet (and better, exceed) the expectations of your customers. Virtually every product in the MS stable doesn't match the expectations of consumers, and MS is waning in its influence within the very core markets that built MS into the company it is today.

      Will MS continue to be profitable? For certain. But at some point (in what seems like the very near future), the gravy trains of desktop OS, server OS, and Office will come crashing around them. All because MS doesn't seem capable of listening (and hasn't for at least 13 years). It's a testament to the monster that Gates and Allen built that it's taken this long for things to start looking so bad.

      1. Big-nosed Pengie
        Linux

        MS have never failed to meet my expectations.

        I've always expected it to be absolute shite, and it always has been.

    2. veti Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Asking Microsoft "what's coming" has always been a mug's game.

      For 20 years, the company has been pursuing its strategy of "fire and motion". They invent and promote new 'technologies', most of which will be abandoned within five years, often much less. Remember ADO.NET? RDO? Heck, Silverlight?

      The primary purpose of these technologies is to distract its potential competitors from doing anything that might - well - compete with what Microsoft really cares about. All the time you spend learning and adapting to these new technologies, is time you're not spending developing features that your customers might actually give a rat's arse about.

      Asking Microsoft "what's coming?" is like asking a tiger "what's for dinner?"

      1. kmac499

        Couldn't agree more, who in their right mind would build a business on innovative microsoft software. i.e. the latest TLA named 'technology'. (aka an API or function library)

        It can take at least a year to become fluent in the new shiny, assuming you don't get suckered into spending a fortune on enterprise developer packs and seminars cum training courses. You've then got maybe two years before it becomes obvious your new shiny toy is being left to tarnish with no real development. Then you may well have staff retention problems as the savyy guys see the end is nigh and abandon ship.

        What other industry would accept a major raw material supplier, changing it's prime materials every few years?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Any point asking this SadNad what's coming?"

      No. You wouldn't get a straight answer. Ballmer could at least vaguely stick to a decision, albeit usually the wrong one and made far too late. SatNad tries to hide his fearful and uncontrolled flailing behind a flimsy barrier of corporate nonsense-speak.

      The head's been removed, the body's still twitching, but if you are still unlucky enough to be a customer of Microsoft, make 2016 your year to break away.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Multinationals

    Would Microsoft stay profitable if it became an Irish company like Pfitzer? They have the option to pull out of the US everything except sales and support. What will people do? Given the time it took Munich to change over to Linux, nothing in a hurry. Meanwhile there is time to rebuild on a lower cost base outside the US.

    I know this is extremely hypothetical but it seems to me that Microsoft has quite a lot of leverage.

    1. Michael Habel

      Re: Multinationals

      Microsoft has lost quite a lot of leverege...

      To Tablets be the Apple or Samsung. Plus the fact that unless you live in that PC Mustardrace minority you're still riding out that old Core2Duo rig from nearly 10 years ago now Because it still works, or at least enough. 'Cause your NOT in the Mustardrace to care about pidly feamerates in that new muder sim. Is it really any wonder why the Industry is now imploding?

      Seems kinda logical to me. Though I wish they hurry up on that tactile touchscreen tech to make typing on these things a bit more natural. Otherwise unless its only something that can be done on a PC like updating some Firmware for some IoT Device (or Phablet), I just really have no need for it or MicroSoft. So yeah if they aren't careful they will be history before long. Of couse I imagine that Mr. Gates will have a quite chuckle before sheading a tear, as he lets the last of his Stocks in MicroSoft go.

      1. Code For Broke Bronze badge

        Re: Multinationals

        @Habel: Your use of English feels strongly multinational.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Mustardrace

        What?

        1. PNGuinn
          Happy

          Re: Mustardrace

          As he said, but....

          +1 for mustardrace

  3. IGnatius T Foobar

    If you want to know what Microsoft is doing next year, just take a look at what Google and Apple are doing this year. Microsoft does not innovate. It copies.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      " Microsoft does not innovate. It copies."

      This may be the root of at least some of the problems - a failure to look at what the public want until they see that someone else is doing it.

      And the first part of that, seeing what the public wants may be at the root of all of it.

      I was close to being a Microsoft fan.

      But I've just about lost that.

      I had a Start menu in Win 7, that worked, though it needed improving to make it more manageable and to tame installations that were able to clog it by loading their own stuffed folders . They took it away in Win 8, instead of taming it.

      They brought it back in 8.1 because they had to, but left it a mess.

      And in Win 10 they made iteven more of a mess. with app folders that can't be directly organised unless you know where to find them by path, and fixed "apps" that can't be moved away from their alphabetic location - let alone got rid of or even just hide many them if they aren't what you want.

      Likewise the Control Panel, which also needed tidying up, so instead they decided, by Win 10, to spread the settings around a whole bunch of menus, some hidden so well you'd think it was a military secret secret ( create a restore point?).

      They had an Office suite that almost everyone used, With sets of logical menus that let users find what they wanted fairly easily out-of-the-box, but that could be customised to hide stuff you'd never use. It needed a bit of polishing, but it worked well. So they created a "Ribbon" that made it much harder to find what you wanted and stopped you customising the menus without immense effort. (You can hide and replace a menu, but not just change it).

      At the same time they decided to copy Google and try to use the OS as a way to gather user data, and yet choose to hide from the users ( and the world) what the are changing in their frequent updates.

    2. ZSn

      Fast followe

      But that's always been the case. It's a fast follower. For example: excel, internet explorer, visio, windows nt. If they can't copy it they buy it. They then integrate it well, not a bad thing to do, bleeding edge is all well and good, but you need the product to work.

      However they lost the 'working well' bit in the last few operating systems and the windows phone. Now it's just a follower.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fast followe

        Just, in the past, most acquisitions paid off - after all even Apple bought the multitouch technology, it wasn't developed in-house.

        Now, MS is able to fail acquisitions spectacularly - and multibillions ones. In the past products were integrated quickly into the offer - i.e. SQL Server, Access, Visio. Now products once acquired stay in some sort of limbo - for example Skype, Nokia was killed so fast there wasn't even enough time.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Indeed, 2016 will be another year of filling Google. I else expect them to continue to move their business to android (70 apps and counting), give up on mobile totally, ditch or sell the massively loss making and failing spectacularly Xbox and devices division.

      Microsoft will just be a cloud services company. Windows 10 1yr free will turn into forever free, as they realise nobody would pay for it. Office will be all but dead outside the office, again home users wake up to more suitable free offerings.

      Microsoft, the new IBM basically.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft == The new Blue

        Quote

        Microsoft, the new IBM basically.

        As everything of theirs is coloured blue (surface KB for example) I think that they should be labelled

        "The New Blue".

        Their form is just as erattic as Chelsea (Blue is the Colour) at the moment.

        Perhaps MS should sponsor them? A perfect fit (for relegation)

        Biased? Well I do support the team from up the road with a stadium next to the river. I look forward to playing them next year in the Championship.

        1. Fihart

          Re: Microsoft == The new Blue

          Blue Screen of Death.

          PS: why was previous post which used the common abbreviation for this "Rejected" ???

        2. Fihart

          Re: Microsoft == The new Blue

          BSOD ?

        3. Philip Lewis

          Re: Microsoft == The new Blue

          Lite Blue, surely?

      2. PNGuinn
        Devil

        ...filling Google

        I hadn't realised that Google had gotten emptied....

        Anyways, W10 free for 1 year might well become W10 free for 2 years ... until there are enough marks to turn it miraculously into... W10 service pack x SUBSCRIPTION edition.

        All your computerz and your firstbornz are now belong to uz.

  4. a_yank_lurker

    Direction?

    Slurp is at a cross roads. One direction leads to being a major enterprise vendor. The other leads to being in the consumer market. Slurp is best in the enterprise market, a rather lucrative if boring market. It is not sexy to the public but tends to more stable and long term. Businesses tend to want to use a limited number of reliable suppliers who are attuned to their needs. The consumer market is more fickle and in some ways more competitive and price sensitive. This market often will turn against a market leader if there is a shiny new toy grabbing attention. Ask Nokia or Crackberry about how they are doing with phones.

    Looking at Slurp's product line, to me it is best suited for businesses not consumers C#, a great language, only appeals to some geeks. The masses could careless about it. The masses may use their products more from inertia if anything else but the masses really do not need MS Office in all its fame and glory.or most of their major products.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The masses could careless about it.

      The mases couldn't care less about it.

      There, fixed it for you.

  5. NotBob

    Case could be interesting

    On one hand, you have Microsoft, who managed to pretty much get away with anything back in the day with the unfair competition claims. On the other hand, you have the "justice" department wanting to look powerful.

    Then there's everyone else. We just get screwed.

  6. regadpellagru

    mad, really mad

    "He (Ballmer) thinks the cloud KPIs Microsoft gives out are "bullshit", and its mobile strategy is fatally flawed."

    Is it ? Really, is it ? Remind me who decided to buy Nokia's mobile division back in 2014, that is, 5 years too late ???

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: mad, really mad

      Yup. My immediate reaction was that if Ballmer thinks they're wrong, they're almost certainly right.

      We can judge his record running MS with the 20/20 vision of hindsight and, let's face it, it stunk something awful.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: mad, really mad

        "My immediate reaction was that if Ballmer thinks they're wrong, they're almost certainly right."

        The trouble with that line of thinking is that there are more ways of being wrong than there are of being right. And over the years MS seem to have ventured into a good few of them.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: mad, really mad

      Ballmer would seem ideally qualified to question the figures given how much massaging of them happening under his (mis)rule.

  7. x 7

    "Steve Ballmer ......thinks the cloud KPIs Microsoft gives out are "bullshit",

    Any right-minded person thinks the utterances from Ballmer are bullshit. He's always had a reputation for speaking from his anus.......Given his past performances at MS events perhaps we should rebrand his comments as monkeypoo.

    Regarding Windows mobile.......maybe I move in strange circles but I see an increasing number of low-end Lumias in use. For housewifes, nurses, OAPs, people who don't need multiorgasmic fancy devices, but just a simple device which phones / texts / satnavs / takes photos /does farcebook, cheap Lumias are ideal and are being purchased in increasing numbers. For those kind of people the choice is a cheap Lumia or a landfill android..........and in that market the Lumia has the cutting edge.

    I'm convinced the sales analysts are missing the existence of the cheap end and are placing too much focus on the upper end of the market

    1. Dan Wilkie

      One of the places I work has just deployed thousands of them - the cheap low end ones because they do everything the company phone needs to do.

      The last update introduced some weird WiFi issues but on the whole they've been very well received (they replaced Blackberries which to the best of my knowledge were missed by 3 people).

  8. Gannettt

    Noble intentions, abysmal execution - sounds like Office 365 to me. We rolled it out at work recently, and what a dog's breakfast it is. People were really excited about the idea of being able to do work from anywhere, but utterly baffled by the clunky authentication process ("remember my credentials", there's a laugh!) and trying to figure out which SharePoint/OneCloud/OneCloud for Business they had stored that Word document in. In my opinion, they have lost.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    "he has a higher degree of tolerance for unfinished software than his customers"

    Sure, he's from India...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "he has a higher degree of tolerance for unfinished software than his customers"

      To the downvoter of that post.

      You obviously have no experience of having to fix all the issues in software delivered from S. Asia. The culture there (being general) is that is just not done to ask questions of your peers. If you do, you lose face and that would never do your chances of promotion any good. So we get crap release after crap release.

      The last one, they ignored all the fixes we put into GIT to correct their code and developed the next buggy release on top of an already bug ridden one. I had to go to Bangalore to read them the riot act because it too us another 3 months to get somethingt workable out the door.

      Then all these CMMI etc Code wizzards get jobs in the west (mainly the USA) with very bogus CV's. Just because a product was used somewhere on a project does not make them an expert. Good luck to those poor companies who employ them.

      There are some Indian Devs who are really, really good. most of these have been educated in the west. They get how to develop complex systems. Sadly these people are in the minority.

      Most Indian developers don't have a clue about how to solve problems.

      Rant over, I have an 07:00 conference call with my team in India. What tale of woe will they spin today? How long? etc etc

      1. Donchik

        Re: "he has a higher degree of tolerance for unfinished software than his customers"

        Same problem with outsourced CAD to India.

        Turn round of the job good... Content of the job abysmal!

        Usually takes our local CAD team another 150% in effort to rectify the mess!

        Strangely enough our management never notices this task as their bonuses are entirely linked to the amount of outsourcing, not the departmental efficiency.

        OK, rant over, back to Microsoft.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "he has a higher degree of tolerance for unfinished software than his customers"

          Ditto here. The board of this multi-billion financial services decided all Dev must be offshore. Fired 40% IT staff. Guess who sits on the board? IBM. Guess who is the premiere off-shoring contractor? IBM. Dev and design of the batch database app was off-shored. The India solution? Java: one row at a time to the Oracle server. Estimated completion time for the day 1 load of 100M rows? 300 days. I sure hope that was a good golf tournament the BoG were treated to. IBM has become a 5th rate off-shoring consultancy.

          1. Philip Lewis

            Re: "he has a higher degree of tolerance for unfinished software than his customers"

            hahahah - "one row at a time". Perhaps they should have loaded the entire load data set into memory first, because you know, memory is cheap and fast, right?

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "he has a higher degree of tolerance for unfinished software than his customers"

        "The culture there (being general) is that is just not done to ask questions of your peers. If you do, you lose face and that would never do your chances of promotion any good."

        I think this has much to do with more than software development. It could explain a lot of the way Indian customer service centres work - or don't work.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "he has a higher degree of tolerance for unfinished software than his customers"

        It's not just India, for more than a year we've had to guess which changes and fixes we'd pushed to the repo mainline the USA client bothered copying into their release branch. How their copy works at all is a mystery, as is why they think we can even reproduce their bug reports.

        To add to the fun the other outsourced teams seem even worse at taking updates. At least it keeps the money flowing in as we try to fix the mess.

  10. John 104

    Screw Em

    While I'll continue to make a living off of their server and desktop products, I'm finished with them for my personal use.

    Last week their awesome windows 10 desktop decided to do a major update on my laptop. During the day. While I was in a paid SCCM class. Right at lab time. 30 minutes later I finally had my desktop back.

    Next day, logged into my wife's computer and it threw up a nag about updating to the latest version of Office for 50% off. Like I fucking care.

    When I buy an operating system or software I expect to be left alone.This isn't freeware. This is paid software. If MS makes deals with manufacturers and are giving their shit away, that's their problem. Don't try to upsell your end users and don't fucking upgrade my OS without my permission you ass hats.

    Installed Mint with Cinnamon and am so far loving it. I've kept my W10 install for netflix. Microsoft can kiss my ass.

    1. frank ly

      Re: Screw Em

      A fresh installation of Mint is faster than some Windows updates. (I've recently gone back to using Win 7 now and then for something 'special' and it is amazingly, frustratingly slow with updates and mandatory reboots.)

    2. Francis Irving

      Re: Screw Em

      As an aside - if you install Chrome on Linux, then Netflix works fine on that.

    3. PNGuinn
      Facepalm

      Re: Screw Em

      @ John 104

      If you're prepared to let ms that close to ... make sure you have the lube handy.

  11. Howard Long

    Cloud cookoo land

    And, as some of us have been stating for a decade, cloud services provided by any company with a US presence will have us.gov in a position to demand access to offshore data on little more than a whim.

    Ten years ago we were told we were scaremongering. Apparently not.

    1. Howard Long

      Re: Cloud cookoo land

      And yes, I can't spell cuckoo. Doh!

  12. Mikel

    No point to it

    >you can see why Microsoft needs it, more than you can imagine why you'd want it.

    The most insightful part of the article and, frankly, an apt summary of every Microsoft product since Windows XP.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: No point to it

      "you can see why Microsoft needs it, more than you can imagine why you'd want it."

      I think the reason is that the verbs should be swapped round. Microsoft (or IBM in the old days) want it more than the user needs it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft don't seem to know where they are going...

    It seems that Microsoft keep changing everything and it makes them look like a company that doesn't know what they are trying to achieve. Nothing ever gets finished - and the average consumer gets confused.

    Examples: Outlook Express, Windows Mail, WLM, Mail 8, Mail 10...

    Internet Explorer, Edge

    Various versions of Skype

    Windows Live Mesh, Skydrive, Onedrive

    Windows Media Player, the Windows 10 app

    Various iterations of Start Menus, menus and ribbons, drastically changing Windows themes...

  14. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    FAIL

    Imagine this

    All the under the hood improvements of win8/win 10 with the desktop of win7

    Stir in optional stuff like your cloud drive and other gizmos related to data slurping

    Chuck on a browser that complies with standards , yet runs faster and is more secure than the rivals

    A decent e.mail / instand messaging client that can stand alone or be part of a company network

    And m$ might just have a chance of removing money from my wallet and transfering it to their bank account.(which to the shareholders is THE name of the game)

    But linux mint is the way to go for me, and even if I get a new PC next year, I'll ask for a win7 install.. or at a pinch, grab the code from this box and stick it on the new box.

    $5 says give it a year or 2 and win10 will suddenly be available with 'classic desktop' and no data slurping......

    1. Chika
      Coat

      Re: Imagine this

      $5 says give it a year or 2 and win10 will suddenly be available with 'classic desktop' and no data slurping......

      I really hope that you're right but consider that the "Classic desktop" has been a legacy item since they stopped distributing W7 and two whole versions have passed since then.

      They might just do it but I suspect that whatever they produce will be a panic measure and may not work right even then, especially considering that the W7 menu didn't include a "Windows App" section which is what they really wanted to have there, hence the W10 layout.

      I'll be staying with my W7/openSUSE Linux/occasional RISC OS setup for a few years yet, I suspect.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Imagine this

      The first person to figure out and execute a Win7 "skinning" of W10 will get rich.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reality...

    My company is accelerating adoption of Azure and 365 and working on a Windows 10 plan.

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: The reality...

      I work for a huge multi national big enough to have direct contact with Microsoft.

      We also are in the process of moving to Win 10, expecting an install image end of Q1 2016.

      We also had Vista which is before my time, but I am assured was a total nightmare, so I might be shining up my CV come Q2 2016.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The reality...

        Likewise, though I think we're looking at Q2.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The reality...

      "My company is accelerating adoption of Azure and 365 and working on a Windows 10 plan."

      I can never be sure whether your posts represent an alternative reality or are simply good satire.

  16. Big-nosed Pengie

    "Possibly more noble intentions, but awful execution"

    So - no change then.

    Except noble intentions. That's new.

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: "Possibly more noble intentions, but awful execution"

      Like a popular wisecrack in Russia: wanted the best, but achieved the usual.

      (хотели как лучше, но получилось как всегда...)

      1. Chika
        Holmes

        Re: "Possibly more noble intentions, but awful execution"

        In English, the wartime phrase was "SNAFU" (Situation Normal All Fouled Up).

        Mind you, the "F" sometimes got changed to something a bit earthier!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows XP and Office 2003, the pinnacle of MS

    I could see it, Office 2007 ribbon bar, millions of users having to go thru training, the knee jerk OS GUI redesign in Vista. Yep, 100% lost.

    IBM = Legacy old cruft for businesses

    Microsoft = Legacy old cruft for businesses

    Most untethered creative people or security experts have moved to the Mac or Linux. Home users that are clueless consumers have moved to iPad or Android tablets.

    Who are left? Gamers stuck on PC games and corporate America. PC gaming is a dead end. Corporate America will slit your throat in a heartbeat and steal your wife and kids to sell to a brothel. The FEW reason corporate America stays on windows, win32 apps, users know it because they have the same kit at home, it is cheap. When users at home are more comfortable with iPad and Android, use OpenOffice and there is a cheap Linux distro that runs the ERP system I would say MS is done. All users will walk away.

    When you look at MS you are looking at a dead carcass, if you hang around too long it starts to stink and it will make you vomit as you see all the maggots eating what is left...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows XP and Office 2003, the pinnacle of MS

      I wish I could give to 1,000,000 upvotes rather than just the one.

      Spot on Mr AC, spot on.

      The MS Fanbois must be ZZZZZZZZing in bed. I'm sure the downvotes will be out in force later.

      1. Arctic fox
        Windows

        @AC "The MS Fanbois must be ZZZZZZZZing in bed"

        Have you just come through the looking glass Alice? It is a matter of trivial observation that you will get far more downvotes by praising MS here at El Reg than you will ever get by attacking them.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Windows XP and Office 2003, the pinnacle of MS

      "users know it"

      No, PHBs know it.

    3. Captain Queeg

      Re: Windows XP and Office 2003, the pinnacle of MS

      I know it's deeply unscientific but a quick trawl of eBay this afternoon presents for a single Pro COA licence of each OS:

      XP - £14.49

      Vista - £ 8.50

      7 - £27.50

      8 - £25.00

      8.1 - £23.00

      10 - £24.99

      That should make stark reading for MS and illustrates AC's post well.

      Map the market perception value of each OS generation, factor in age and support status and it's hard not to argue that perceived value (and therefore appetite to invest) is sliding away. Little wonder Win 10 is a "free" upgrade.

      Combine this with pretty much all hardware under 3-4 yrs old being good enough and there's a perfect storm of meh hardware and meh OS improvement, which means a new machine for Joe public has become a distress purchase..

      Windows 10 might be the best thing since apple pie (no, wait, don't down vote yet :-), but even if it was/is, in the end, perception is reality.

      1. De Facto

        Paradox of multi-billion company fate?

        Think about it. It would take very little efforts from Microsoft leadership to save their business and market, if they would revert to desktop GUI that everyone knows. It all comes down to backward compatibility, since time of people is what matters most today. nobody wants to learn new Windows 8, 10, Nth GUI complexity, if Windows 7 was close to perfect at office productivity to get the job done. Same about MS Office classic GUI, Outlook and other tools. Microsoft's shortsightedness is astounding, in particular, when they have spent tens of bilions to educate two generations of people in schools, universities and training classes worldwide to use Windows 7 and Office 2007 style GUI that became de facto standard on nearly a billion of computers, and basic computer literacy knowledge perhaps few billion of people. What a disaster from a business point of view to write off all of this corporate investment with incompatible, confusing and people scaring GUIs of Win 8,10 etc. Add personal data slurping, unwanted updates ... You got it what you deserve. Balmer was right about the leadership problem. From business point of view, he was the last CEO who at least did it right with Windows 7, by far the best Windows OS, learning his painful lesson after Vista failure.

  18. kryptylomese

    What is coming in 2016? More crap like this

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/12/29/skype_messages_workaround/

    Microsoft's business model is to make poor quality software and sell it to gullible people so this is what we will see more of in 2016

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think Steve Ballmer should shut up

    And focus on managing his mediocre basketball team.

    I don't know about you guys, but if I were a CEO, I would be highly annoyed at a former CEO making disparaging remarks about my leadership.

    Don't forget many of the problems faced by Microsoft now were caused by Steve Ballmer. Microsoft was in a good position to dominate mobile, and he threw it all away.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think Steve Ballmer should shut up

      When the ex-CEO is one of the bigger shareholders, you can only swallow it...

      Sure, Ballmer is not in the position to criticise much, given its "success" at the helm - but Nadella doesn't look better, and in some aspect - like the data gathering capabilities of Win 10, and its almost forced upgrade, even worse. You can still sell average products even if they are not regarded "oustanding" bug just good enough - but if you stat to annoy customers heavily, you can find your products no longer sell.

      Does he believe he can play head to head against Google? Google has been able to build a fake reputation while "stealing" user data - Microsoft has a far worse one, and trying acting like Google will just make it worse - in the wrong time when its consumer OS are already in trouble.

      The time spent on "telemetry" should have been used to deliver a better 10.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: I think Steve Ballmer should shut up

      MS were never in a believable position to dominate mobile because at the time they needed to act they already had a successful smart mobile product with WinCE (albeit just a big fish in a tiny pond). They were incapable of reacting quickly enough, too much invested in CE and an ongoing unwillingness to break with Windows limiting their choices.

      All these years on MS remain hobbled by their fixation on building devices that support Windows and it's ecosystem before making devices that support their customers needs.

    3. PNGuinn
      Holmes

      Re: I think Steve Ballmer should shut up

      " I think Steve Ballmer should shut up

      And focus on managing his mediocre basketball team."

      And what should sadnads focus on managing?

  20. TeacherMARK

    Dear Santa Microsoft,

    Please give me the ability to easily decide whether or not (and when) I want to update MY computer.

    And please assign some humans to redesign the start menu. The monkeys aren't really doing it properly.

    Ta...

    1. Chika
      Happy

      Ho ho ho!

      The GWX Control Panel can be found at http://ultimateoutsider.com/downloads/

      Classic Shell is available from http://www.classicshell.net/

      Meeeeeery... oh, sorry. Missed it, did I? Bah, humbug.

  21. Franco

    Ballmer could get away with such statements if his time in power was an unqualified success: it was not.

    Whilst Outlook on Android isn't great by any means, it is (IME) much better than using the Gmail app with an outlook.com account. I found the old Android email app to be much better, but despite the fact it still shows up as an app it just redirects to the Gmail app

  22. Sproggit

    2016: Microsoft FootGun Release 1.1 [new, improved]

    Just rebooted one of my Win7 machines this morning, only to see another nag screen for Windows 10. since W10 release I have been *paranoid* about avoiding anything update related, going so far as to cross-check every single "update" MS have shipped. So I'd like to know how MS have just "pushed" this latest bit of nagware onto my systems despite my going out of my way to stop them.

    If there is *Anything* that will prompt me to reformat these systems and go 100% to Mint Linux, this is it.

    These are *MY* computers and they get to run the way *I* want them to. By all means give me a choice to upgrade, but if I decline, then respect my decision. A failure to do that, the arrogant attitude of "Microsoft Knows Best", will be the end of MS products on all these systems.

    1. Chemist

      Re: 2016: Microsoft FootGun Release 1.1 [new, improved]

      "A failure to do that, the arrogant attitude of "Microsoft Knows Best", will be the end of MS products on all these systems."

      No point just talking about it - you need to do it !

    2. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: 2016: Microsoft FootGun Release 1.1 [new, improved]

      Couldn’t agree more. 3 weeks in on Mint-mate and terminal sessions aplenty. cant remember when I last dipped into the command line on windows, not that im resorting to a terminal, just it really is easier sometimes. Oh and 'everything' on this x220 works perfectly in 'Rosa' 17.3 :-) right out of install.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We know what's coming in 2015, the same old shit we saw from Microsoft in 2015.

    1. x 7

      "We know what's coming in 2015"

      considering 2015 has only a day and a half left to run, thats not difficult to predict

      1. PNGuinn
        Thumb Up

        We know what's coming in 2015...

        Not sure whether to call it sarcasm or satire, but this is ms we're talking about. The OP probably had it right in the first place

  24. BobChip
    Big Brother

    The one really useful thing MS could do for all of us

    The one really useful thing MS could do for all of us is to win the "access to Irish data" battle, thereby killing the US Government claim that their legislative writ runs world wide - which it assuredly does not.

    Sadly, while MS have always had plenty to spend on lawyers, the US Government have vastly more, and almost certainly a much greater willingness to spend it. I suspect that MS will be compelled to retreat, which is a shame.

    I have no interest in the future of MS, their products, or the Company, because I left them behind years ago, but this is one battle in which they can genuinely claim to be acting in the best interests of all of us. I wish them luck.

    1. Queasy Rider

      Re: The one really useful thing MS could do for all of us

      Either way, Ireland loses. If MS succeeds in their lawsuit, the US Gov. won't take it lying down. All this talk about clamping down on Irish style tax avoidance will then focus attention on Ireland like a laser, and with the stroke of a pen, Ireland will become a pariah to US firms looking for tax breaks. They will abandon Ireland completely and permanently. Which is why Ireland hasn't ended the MS case with a stroke of their own pen, refusing MS the right to open those contested files. Because if Ireland did that, then the US would kill Ireland's Golden Goose by mercilessly going after Ireland every way possible, making it too hot for any American company and most other companies wanting to do business in the US to remain in Ireland. Sadly, the bully will win, one way or another.

      1. x 7

        Re: The one really useful thing MS could do for all of us

        the big threat the USA has over Ireland is if the CIA/FBI records of IRA gun running - and the links to Irish politicians - were released. Releasing those records would throw the Irish government into turmoil.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: The one really useful thing MS could do for all of us

          "if the CIA/FBI records of IRA gun running - and the links to Irish politicians - were released."

          I doubt that would make much difference to Irish politicians. Most if not all from those days who are still alive are retired. And it would only confirm what most believe anyway. What it would reveal is the extent to which the US - and especially the CIA/FBI - let it happen. Are they really going to tarnish their own reputations, such as they are?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not enough new shiny

    There are two markets - the new and shiny (dominated by Apple) and the new and cheap (dominated by Android). All else is business - and only those who were stupid enough to tie their apps/software into some godawful version of IE (e.g. 6) are trapped there, others can and will move away. Too many are sticking with what they have because "it works", the upgrade treadmill has stopped and Microsoft either haven't noticed yet, or they have and think that forcing unwanted upgrades (W10) will trap people into loyalty.

    W7 marks the end of decent Windows, everything after that (with the possible exception of 8.1 on a touchscreen combo device) is a clusterfuck of the first order.

    I run an agnostic house, Apple, Android, Blackberry, Winphone either have or had a home here, Winphone was even quite good and easy to use, but Linux Mint has impressed me by working straight out of the box on more than one older laptop, why buy a new one that costs £££ and does no more whilst needing 4 or 8x the hardware?

    Microsoft aren't alone by the way, there are others chasing an endless upgrade path that for most people just isn't necessary (HTC, for one)

  26. PNGuinn
    Boffin

    Re picture caption

    "Erm, Satya. That crystal ball you were holding has dropped on the floor"

    "Erm, Satya. That shiny new OS you were holding...."

    There - free update - fixed it for you.

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