"Steve Ballmer's Nightmare Is Coming True"

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Fresh Tendrils, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    #1
    Saw an interesting article on yahoo I thought I'd share. I don't think it's been posted on here yet.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/steve-ballmer-s-nightmare-is-coming-true-181558610.html

    I think it's perhaps a bit too pessimistic. I really can't see Office losing a significant market share in the next few years, but all of their new products since the Zune seem to fall short of expectations. What do you guys think? Is the writing on the wall for Microsoft? Will they still be a major player in 10-15 years? I hope so. Ultimately it's good for consumers to have options.
     
  2. macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #2
    I predicted that someone would leave a month ago before it happened, and on that day, I predicted that Ballmer wasn't going to last for another year. It's probably going to happen.

    The Surface is horrible, and I don't think people are going to be happy with it six months down the line. My dad and I have used Windows since the 3.1 days, and this is just worthless tech. Everything from the keyboard to screen is low quality, and it's like, I don't know, using the back of a Smart Cover to type on? I know my way around Windows 8 because I have it here on my Mac, but it's relearning how to type all over again. I get free machines all the time, but I'm being honest here and saying that I would probably throw out the Surface if one ever ended up in my hands.

    Office isn't dead, but it hasn't changed in the last 10+ years I've been using it. The interface has, but not the tools. I still have a copy of 2003 that I use.

    Xbox? It's poorly done. You load up your system, and your dashboard is full of ads for apps you can't use without a subscription, and music you can't listen to without additional money. You spent $200+ on a console that is basically a HUGE ad. That's not how it's supposed to work.
     
  3. macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #3
    I am curious....aside from the UI changes that they have most certainly done, what do you expect for a word processor or office suit in general in terms of change?
     
  4. macrumors 601

    ixodes

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    #4
    MS will benefit from it's current challenges, it has in the past.

    Just like the recent shake up at Apple, it's good to have change.
     
  5. macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    Location:
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    #5
    Agreed, Balmer will be gone. We'll one of two things.

    1: A new hotshot who is a visionary
    2: Despite him saying he won't, I think Bill Gates might return, he has the abilty to return the company to dominance, if he can beat Steve Jobs, he can beat anyone.

    Whats so horrible about it?

    The build quailty of the device is very good, comparable to the ipad, its actually made of superior materials, with tighter tolerances than the ipad.

    Have you used the type cover? Blows any other mobile keyboard out of the water.

    Yeah, because throwing it away rather than selling it on Ebay is an awesome idea. Your not very smart are you?

    Why would the tools need to change? They're still the best in the industry.

    And by " dead " you mean the most popular piece of non operating system software ever to exist?

    Almost 70 million sold? And a very loyal online and customer base? Its done better than that ****** Wii or PS3.

    So, you want everything for free? You want them to give away online service that costs them money for free?

    XBOX LIVE is the best online service for gaming consoles out right now.

    Ok, so buy a PS3 with terrible online, full of even more ads, that takes ours to update because of Sonys shoddy servers, with a terrible game libary, ****** hardware, and security issues out the wazzo.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    I'd like to believe that, because I don't think an Apple/Google Duopoly will be good for consumers. However, MS has been facing some of these challenges for 5 or 6 years now, and it doesn't really seem like they've made much ground. If anything it seems like they've lost ground. I agree with what G51989 said. They need a new visionary. But will they find one, and if they do will it be too late?

    If the current crop of products that they are rolling out don't make an impact, then its going to take another couple of years to bring their next attempt to the market, by which stage they will have lost more ground.
     
  7. Fresh Tendrils, Dec 4, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012

    thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Yeah, that's true. I'm on 2008 and I have no intention of updating to 2011 because for me personally there weren't enough improvements to justify the price. Whether I update to the next one will probably depend on how well 2008 runs on my mac when the next one is released. If they did like Apple and released each app individually on the App Store I'd definitely buy Word, but I doubt they'll do that.

    Also, I think they really missed out by not releasing office on iOS. It's one of the few apps that people would be willing to pay a premium price for. Apparently they're releasing one soon, but it sounds like it's going to be a free app with optional in-app subscription. Not sure how successful that will be.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Bug fixes?
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    robanga

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    Oregon
    #9
    It's less about customer expectations in a WP and more about the company's need to keep the revenue stream going. The have to keep innovating. To have businesses and individuals holding on to Office for 10 yrs is very bad for revenue.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    ixodes

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    #10
    I don't disagree with your points. However what many consumers tend to focus on is the retail side of the business. Many who may not be knowledgeable about who Microsoft is, and cannot imagine the depth and breadth of the company.

    Corporate business operations are a huge sector of the overall business at Microsoft. They support legacy systems of a multitude of businesses, that are decades old, built upon DOS, layered with Windows Server, Exchange, and the vast multitude of both vertical market and horizontal market apps. Some very unique to running their businesses within well established industries like manufacturing, healthcare, insurance, just to name a few.

    This is a huge segment that Apple has absolutely no part in at all. Therefore it's easily overlooked by the average iDevice person, or basic home user. It's this core sector of Microsoft's business that has been there, is there, and will always (save for some great catastrophe) always be one of the key revenue generators for Microsoft.

    Does Microsoft really need a new leader? Absolutely!

    Yet until they appoint one, until the day comes that they morph (and they will ) into a more relevant company in the consumer space, they still have the resources to survive. It may be ugly, but they will trundle along, then finally Gates will shake it up, reform and transform MS back into a viable force.

    It remains to be seen just how this will play out, and I seriously doubt they will ever climb high enough in retail to challenge Apple and Google, but who knows. Anything is possible, and those who point to failures of the past, as the predictor of the future are being terribly close minded.
     
  11. AppliedMicro, Dec 5, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 17, 2008
    #11
    1. The iPad eats the consumer PC market.

    Somewhat true. However, I still think the iPad is regarded as a "secondary" device by most. The majority of consumers still use PCs for serious word processing, personal/hobbyist photo/video editing and the like. iPads on the other hand are rather complementing than fully replacing PCs.

    I'd attribute the (relative) decline of the PC to it having an "identity crisis" of it's own: With today's PCs, even low-end ones, being more than capable of handling most people's (modest) needs, it currently lacks major drivers of growth on the PC platform:

    - With the advent of the mobile internet, performance requirements stagnated if not decreased lately. Current PCs don't really yield a better user experience on the internet than 5 year old ones. Same if true for word processing.

    - Gaming has largely shifted to mobile devices "on the go" or dedicated devices at home (Playstation, Wii, XBOX). Some years ago you'd usually get the best gaming experience in 3D games (like the popular shooters) on a PC rather than on Playstation or XBOX - on PCs with brand-new and expensive CPUs and video cards, that is. It was the age of 3D accelerators. Today PC gamers often sub-par/half-baked ports for most games, while game consoles usually receive top priority. The relative lack of piracy as opposed to rampant piracy on PC platforms surely has also played a factor in this.

    2. Employees gradually switch away from using Windows PCs for work.

    Less true. For mobile applications and field staff: to some degree - but on the desktop? Not really.

    3. Windows 8 fails to stop the iPad.

    To early to tell - we'll see how it pans out.
    Microsoft surely needs to play catch-up to Apple's dominant position.

    4. Loyal developers start to leave the Microsoft platform.

    Possibly true on mobile platforms - and Microsoft hasn't really responded well to that, IMO. I don't see this for the Desktop OS yet, though.

    5. Windows Phone gets no traction despite the Nokia deal and RIM's collapse.

    Same as no. 3. So again: we'll see. Taken by itself, Windows Phone 8 seems to be great product. Way more refined, simple, focused and, lest we forget, "user-friendly" than Android. This, of course, is more a consumer take. Things look bleaker on the business front, IMO.

    6. Office loses relevance.

    I don't really see it. I mean: what alternatives are there, really? "Cloud services" is the only one I can think of right now. While somewhat true for consumers, I still don't really see it on the business and enterprise side, where I still see many companies wanting to keep a grasp on their data. The problem with this could be: Cloud services seem to be exactly where Microsoft is trying to steer its business towards.

    Bottom line to me: Competitors have been trying for years if not decades to create a serious contender against Office - and ultimately largely failed. And while collaboration (think: Google Docs) might have been a weak point of Microsoft's offerings in recent years, they now seem quite well-positioned.

    7. Microsoft's other business applications start to erode &
    8. The platform business collapses.

    False. Especially for Exchange. Apple has got nothing enterprise-worthy there, neither do others. My company has migrated to some non-Microsoft Exchange replacement and is has created some headaches.

    And speaking of servers and Exchange: These can be adapted to various clients. And they are. Exchange works really well (and increasingly so) with iOS devices, for instance. Of course, Apple has an incentive to do that well: They've largely given up their own server platform (OS X server) for enterprise use, while at the same time making inroads into enterprise with their iPhones and iPads (and later perhaps with Macs).

    9. The Xbox was never going to make up the slack, and Microsoft can no longer afford to keep investing in it

    As I'm not a gamer, I can't really comment on that. Seems to be a popular console but I'm not sure if it's really making money for them.
     
  12. macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    CT
    #12
    This sounds more like something Steve Jobs would say at a MacWorld event. I see a lot of Apple bias here.
     
  13. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #13
    It just seems like Microsoft is stuck behind the times. Surface should have come out 3 years ago if they actually wanted to compete with iPad/Kindle/Android tablets. These products are already at a mature stage with many fully-developed apps. Surface was just too late to the party.

    that's pretty funny.
     
  14. macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #14
    We have an Xbox 360, and we still use Office 2003 in this house on our Windows machines (we don't have very many left though). :eek: I'm not being biased, I'm just stating that as a Windows user in the past (and for technically still being one), I don't like the way things are going. And I did not like using the Surface, and neither did my dad, who does use a combination of iOS, Android, and Windows.

    There is no reason to have a desktop interface in the back of Windows 8 on the Surface, no reason.
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #15
    This absolutely true. I don't see professionals getting completely away from the desktop or laptop PC, whether it is a Mac or a Windows OS. But as far as using the iPad or iPhone in addition? That's eating up the market like a bulldog on a pork chop.

    I'm seeing this happening more often that you tend to believe. For the sales/marketing professional, absolutely. For the deep IT professional (sysadmin, DBA, etc.), not so much. Developers would have both, but not completely replacing a PC with a mac.

    I agree. Too early to tell, but for right now, it isn't looking good for Windows 8.

    I think Microsoft waited too long. They waited to see how far the iPod would go, and when it took off, they were way too far behind to catch up. There was no way the Zune was going to compete. And from there, it was all downhill.

    It's starting there, especially if there was a recent poll taken that stated that nearly 42% of PC upgraders plan to buy a Mac or iPad instead of upgrade to Windows 8. Not a good sign at all if you are Microsoft.

    Again, they started way too far behind. Though, in their defense, they were ahead of apple on this, as they did have Windows CE out on phones long before the iPhone was created. Apple just took the phone, made it simple and elegant. That's how it caught on, instead of a huge brick with a stylus that made work and productivity on it seem a nightmare. My worst phone purchase was a windows phone with CE on it. I would have rather stayed with my Nokia 7210i than have purchased that phone.

    Agreed. This is not going to happen. Office is too ingrained in the corporate world to not lose relevance. For that matter, nothing in the Server world is going to lose relevance, and that's where Microsoft should still concentrate things on. Windows Server OS, Office (and its components), SQL server, Exchange.. That's where their money lies; especially as Apple recognizes with discontinuing their MacServe line.

    Agreed, especially with Google's announcement today that they are pulling the Free version of Google Apps for Businesses.

    Agreed Not going to happen for a long while. When you get down to it, the bulk of the world's backend software is Microsoft.

    Agreed.

    I don't know here either. But Microsoft has made some major mistakes in this platform too. MS was making some nice money in a niche market for a very long time, with that market being with Flight Simulator. It made them money for nearly 20 years. Their decision to drop it, sack the studio making for them, turn it into a game, then because of poor design they had poor enough sales to sack the line altogether, when if they had kept the studio in-house or contract them to keep the line going, they would be in good shape there. But again, poor business decision as the code for Flight Simulator was owned by that studio, who took some of it to Lockheed-Martin.

    MS had their chances, and blew a lot of it. I don't think Gates is happy about it, but then again, he has his hands too full of the Bill/Melinda Gates Foundation and the philanthropy from that to be able to juggle both. He'll come back at some point like Jobs did to save Apple, but how long it will take and how far MS has to sink before that happens is a good question.

    For those with the capital, now may be a time to do the math on some trends for MS' stock, especially when it would be a good time to buy.

    BL.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    #16
    Microsoft is like IBM in he mid-80's. They are at a transition point, but well-poised to be successful. IBM had competition, but had long-term corporate clients to take it through and extended transition. They made it. MS will as well. They have a built-in revenue stream in Windows and Office. They can ride that and their cash cushion through a lot of challenges. In short, they can buy their way to success. They did it when they missed the Internet bus for two years. No one says they're behind there now. Will they be a huge growth engine? I doubt it, but they will be a solid, profitable, normal business.
     
  17. macrumors demi-god

    ChristianJapan

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    日本
    #17
    Have yet to see a Surface in person. Win8 on desktop is a bit strange to use; I like Win7 though and LOVE Excel (in the company).

    MS is still doing well in Enterprise environment. Even if my company bought 20'000 iPad we still have several 10'000th more MS licenses and PC's. Even on the iPad we use Exchange as eMail backend and SharePoint (don't ask me if this is a good idea). But that keeps Money in the pocket for MS even if the hardware is iPad.
    I also think that Steve B. will be gone in 2013; just stomach feeling. Bill G. will not replace him; I believe he will not be the right person these days anymore. He together with his wife doing charity is better.

    Maybe Scott F. is looking for a new job ... :D
     
  18. macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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    #18
    Microsoft will be fine. Far as computing goes

    Microsoft = software company that commoditizes hardware
    Apple = hardware company that commoditizes software

    They both fill in each others' weaknesses.
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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    #19
    I'm a gamer and yeah it's a popular and well-engineered console. It also has the Kinect which is probably one of the most innovative technologies of the past few years. Far as making money, the console business model is to take a loss on the console itself and make it up by selling games. The exception is Nintendo, which tries to make a profit on both.

    With general computing, Microsoft is not going anywhere unless Apple can duplicate what it's good at and replace it. Apple's biggest weakness is its software ecosystem, in particular third party software. That's also Windows's biggest strength. On desktop, Apple had to let users Bootcamp Windows to fix this. On mobile, they've gotten a lot of iOS develoeprs, but their software commoditization strategy has turned mobile into a budget market.

    Microsoft can still leverage Office and third party software to compete. Apple can't take this away from them
     
  20. macrumors member

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    LA
    #20
    Sincerly. I don't hope so. :p
     
  21. macrumors 68020

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    #21

    Maybe a bit off topic but...

    PS3 has great online and its FREE. No ads. Updates don't take hours. Terrible game library? Really? PS3 has the best exclusives. Hardware? Xbox has much worse defect ratios and cant even play blu rays, you can change the harddrive with any 2.5 inch HD in PS3, controllers come with built in battery standard...

    i can only give you the "security issues", but even that wasn't nearly as big of a deal as the media portrayed it.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
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    #22
    All true. Also Microsoft has done nothing but lose money on XBox 360 for years despite its popularity. Supposedly they are breaking even now but nobody really knows because Microsoft won't say.
    Besides, the guy you are replying to not only knows nothing but is obnoxious as well. Not a good combination
    The Surface is already dead with very low sales and massive returns. Terrible interface and performance. The keyboard is a joke. Minimal apps. Really a terrible product and makes it very clear that Microsoft is run by layers of out of touch management.
    The thing about Office is a lot of people have learned over the years that they don't really need it.
    The thing about the iPad is a lot of people are happily using it as their only computer. Most people browse the web, write e-mails, do a little word processing, and view photos. The iPad is fine for this and more. I am surprised at how quickly this happened but it has happened. It's impacting Mac sales as well.
    Lets remember people on forums like this are not generally representative of the mass user base.




    ----------

    What do you mean by back end software? The presentation layer (web servers) is owned by Apache. OS used in most large companies is Linux. Middleware is J2EE on anything serious and database is Oracle. I only see Exchange and Sharepoint in most large companies these days. Exchange and Outlook have always sucked but became the de facto standard anyway. Sharepoint is also a mess but is widely used because its cheap and close enough compared to the competition that's costs more.
    I design extremely high transaction volume financial systems with a global user base. Microsoft is a joke in that sort of environment.

     
  23. macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #23
    You mean it's just like a $99 Apple TV which would do nothing except you buy something from the iTunes Store? Or videos you can't watch without having subscription to NetFlix or MLB.tv.
    You spent $99 on a black plastic box that is basically a bunch of ad squares. Mostly Apple's own ads.

    Microsoft might not be the best tech-company out there. But it's not the only evil either.
     
  24. macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #24
    At least I don't have to pay additional money to HAVE that access though. I mean, I HAVE to pay that Xbox Live fee to GET Netflix in the first place. On the Wii and most other things I don't.

    And you know... The funny thing is that we just did start paying for stupid Xbox Live yesterday. That thing is such an expensive commitment, $40 games, a $40 yearly subscription. and a ~$200 device. I guess most don't care, but man, we just have the Wii still set up just to use Netflix in the living room and not mess with that.
     
  25. macrumors 603

    Carlanga

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    PR
    #25
    I have to disagree w/ you. I'm a techie and love all brands jus the same. After going to the MS Store w/ a friend that is considering the pro version we went to see the cheap version and 'play' w/ it. I'm like you bias toward apple stuff, but the surface is one new thing I believe MS has done right in a while. The machine is great, does not look cheap like you said. There are two keyboard covers, the cheap version is really bad, but the high end one that is like $150 is pretty good.
    If I had money and I were to buy a tablet, I would go for the Surface before the iPad or an android tablet. I have used various iPhones (currently on 4S), still have my trusty macbook that I use everyday and an android tablet w/ ICS (need to update it to JB though).
    The surface can do many things like a normal laptop, the surface is great as a replacement for laptops and it works fine, the pro version is the best one though. I believe soon apple will have to merge iOS w/ OSX and give us a whole new OS. I went in wanting to hate the surface tablet, but came out liking it instead.
     

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