Reply to post: @Doctor

Microsoft in 2015: Mobile disasters, Windows 10 and heads in the clouds

Anonymous Coward


The urge for 'indefinite grow' is most certainly part of the problem, but it's not something exclusive to Microsoft. Microsoft's real problem is their outdated and plain out dangerous business model. They still operate as if they can dominate the market, just look at the way they're trying to push Windows 10 down our throats. But instead of dominating they're fracturing. And they do this on all levels. With fracturing I'm referring to actually pushing people away.

XBox One? The pre-launch was a disaster, maybe spared a bit by some smart advertising and propaganda about reversed decisions, but damage has been done. Not just that: it also showed us just how desperate Microsoft seems to be with securing revenue (now referring to their initial attempts at blocking any way for players to sell used games).

Visual Studio? 2012 just showed us how much Microsoft cares about its developers: not that much. Basically they introduced dozens of problems (stripping color away and creating an awkward interface) which the community partly solved themselves. Of course Microsoft's official solution was presenting us with an offer to buy into VS2013. And right now it's plain out obvious what the real idea is: a service model. You don't pay for your license anymore: you rent a license.

Windows Phone? Just how exactly are you going to appeal to the geeks and fans (those are the players you need; those will advocate your product!) if you require them to cough up E 100,- / $ 100,- for merely getting the right to hack their own phone (just so we're clear: hacking as in coding: controlling your phone straight from within Visual Studio or even cooler: PowerShell).

And that is happening all over the place. Visual Studio (though there is an opt-out, and you can also pick up the free Community version), XBox (you need a subscription before you can play online games), Office (the main focus sits on 365; the subscription model) and we even see this slowly surfacing in Windows. Windows Phone? Yeah, eventually Microsoft realized the obvious and allowed anyone to apply for a phone unlock free of charge. Just too bad that it happened 3 - 4 years later, when most geeks (your's truly included) had already moved on.

The real problem? Given Microsoft's history and it's inability to listen to its customers, how feasible do you think it is for people to buy into this? Because although it may sound appealing: only pay for what you use, there is a dark downside. The risk with most online contents and services: the moment they pull the plug (even if unintended) then it's hasta la vista, baby. Now you're paying for something which doesn't work anymore.

We've seen this happening several times in 2015 with Office 365 and Azure. Small outages, maybe, but an outage still. And although we may think it's small because some "only" lasted a few hours: those hours can be crucial for someone who needs to get some work done ASAP. It's always easy to relativate things if they don't directly affect you.

Instead of trying to squeeze money out of everything they can think of Microsoft should try to get their act together. In my opinion Microsoft has a huge potential when it comes to software, they have some state of the art technology which can be plain out impressive. But if they don't make sure that it actually appeals to their customers then all of that potential is useless.

Use the best tool for the job, instead of trying to group it all together in some weird hybrid form. A subscription model can work; but not with everything they sell. A touch based environment can work, but not if you force it down the desktops, etc, etc.

Microsoft needs to get their act together in 2016, otherwise I fear that we may see some very strange developments happen.

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