Microsoft's Costly Search for Its Identity Takes a Wrong Turn



+ Add a Comment


When Microsoft went Xbox and killed off their PC gaming devision they shot themselves in the foot. Many PC gamers are also in IT and do influence what is purchased at work. If PC gaming ever truely died I'd go Linux or some other free OS.  PC gaming is the only thing that keeps me using a Microsoft OS.




Good or bad, if there talking about you it's good!

Microsoft is a monopoly! Even if they had a comercial with Michael Jackson molesting a kid and Bill Gates clubing a baby seal... What? nextime you go buy a computer (or the 99% basic users) You wont have a choice but to kiss MS ass



Microsoft wants the loyalty that Apple enjoys from their crowd.  But they're not going to get it overnight with a new advertising campaign.  That kind of respect is not won in a deathmatch with Apple.  It's earned over an extended period of time.  Microsoft continually screws over the people it depends on in various forms.  It comes with the territory.  When you haved your hand in everything, you're more likely to anger a broader range of people.  Microsoft makes software from 1000 different flavors of Windows to Office to SQL Server to Sharepoint to Visual Studio.  They make hardware from the Xbox to computer peripherals like Mice and Keyboards and Cameras.  They design programming languages.  They are into web search and advertising and maps and email and gaming.  Everything!  I have only touched on like 20%.

So, take that small list of examples and I can give you something that has pissed people off in every one.  The xbox is a classic example.  Great system, but, in brief: RRoD and proprietary peripherals.  Combine that with a less than stellar support system and you have some angry consumers. And strangely enough, the xbox gaming community is probably Microsoft's most loyal fanbase.  Many Xbox fanboys are zealots like Apple fanboys.

Now as far as everything else goes, Microsoft has to make their own version of everything.  IE doesn't follow web standards.  They have their own version of every major programming language and API it seems.  Java vs .NET (J#, C#, whatever).  PHP vs ASP.  STL vs ATL or MFC.  OpenGL vs Direct X.  There are simply too many to name.  And then on top of that, Microsoft has long been an opponent of open source software.

So, it's not the advertising that's the problem.  It's the long standing practices and principles of the company itself.  Until they actually try to embrace the consumer, they are never going to appear as friendly as they want to be.  With all that being said, it seems that profits and consumer friendliness for large corporatations are mutually exclusive.  People seem to like Apple, but they must not being paying attention.  Apple has some very Microsoft-esque practices of their own.

Now, I obviously recognize Microsoft for who they are.  But I must say that I do enjoy their products.  I am a lifelong windows user, an xbox owner (and lover) and a visual studio programmer. 


@ghot: Microsoft may have a lot of corporate contracts, but I'm not sure that's where their most profit comes from.  Often companies buy volume contracts so the profit margin on each license is not as high as it would be in the consumer market where they pay top dollar.  In addition to that, there's really not much training required for someone to go from XP to Vista or 7.  It's basically the same thing.  And the UI is not the reason companies should upgrade.  It's the productivity improvements and security enhancements.  You can drop it down to classic windows UI if you want.  But UAC and the departure of GDI are what make Windows 7 appealing from a security perspective.

And companies can be smart about training for Office.  You can provide change tutorials in the form of a YouTube video if you want.  The ribbon bar is really not that big of a change.  It's all the same functionality, but in different spots.  Big deal.

Now, sure this doesn't change the fact that companies DO spend all this extra money on training.  But what are you going to do?  That's just the way of things.  Operating systems and software evolves with productivity and usability in mind.



...Microsoft is having troouble with brand-loyalty, because they aren't listening to consumers.  When i say consumers, I mean those that buy 1000's of copies of an Fortune 500 companies.  They don't seem to WANT a pile of bells and whistles, nor do they seem to want a mostly....completely different GUI with every release.

THESE consumers have to consider the huge amount of training involved when they switch over to a new and different GUI.  Even at a companies BEST....they still make 100's of 1000's of mistakes via simple human error.  This is MY major reason for my gripes with MS.  Sure improve the OS all you want...just leave the GUI alone.  There is truly NO reason to change the GUI from the XP GUI.  After all, it's JUST a front end for the OS.  Nowadays, in this age of.....almost everyone has a computer of some sort,  why oh why try to force a new GUI down someones throat.  It has NOTHING to do with how the OS itself operates.

Sure Win 7 has load of OS improvements....but will an IT dept. want to not only have to buy the OS, but then have to retrain their entire workforce.....simple answer....NO, it'll cost too much.  It's the same old saying as heard ad infinitum in the construction world.......materials are cheap, labor is expensive !

ALL....MS had to do was wrap their new OS in the XP Pro GUI and they wouldn't have even HAD to advertise !!  Sure maybe out on the West Coast in shiny GUI's and new ways to do the same old tasks is desirable, but the business worlddoesn't seem to feel that way, and in the long run....they will provide most of MS's income.

It's not like they haven't made their desires COMPLETELY clear  :/  Sure I can see maybe a few upper management types with gorgeous touch top displays built into their 100 year old mahogany tables/desks....but for your average cubicle type....the XP GUI is a better sell.



Take an OS, and edit out all the efficiency, and what you have left is a post-XP Microsoft operating system :)



My firm does not train on the GUI, we provide trainin gon Applications only, and we have a high qualification ceiling to begin with. To get hired you need to be proficient in Word, Excel and Powerpoint, at least an intermediate user. As far as the GUI goes we feel that you have a computer a thome, you should know how to get around the OS, to bad if you own a Mac as we use Windows, and we will not train you how to navigate Windows as you should already know it's ins and outs, if not you will not get hired here. I work for a major law firm BTW with nine regional offices plus three international offices with more planned to open within the next year. Recession, what recession?

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.