Thursday, July 1, 2010

Microsoft Fails to Impress

Once again, Microsoft has a product that failed miserably. The Microsoft phone "KIN" has already been pulled from the US market, and will not be making its European launch as had been planned. The reality here is that Microsoft's only money maker is Office. Windows sells well only because of its being pre-installed on most PCs. Linux would likely do just as well were MS Office available for it. Likewise, if people did some research and found out that iWork and MS Office were available on Macintosh machines, I am willing to bet that Mac sales would escalate even higher. This isn't the first Microsoft product to fall flat on its face (the KIN sold, by some reports, only 500 devices).

KIN, Vista, ME, Bob, Zune, CE (never garnered more than 5% of the market), XP Tablet Edition

What's odd here is that Microsoft has completely failed on selling Windows anywhere but netbooks, laptops, desktops, and servers. The mobile market has long belonged to Google, RIM, Apple, and Palm/HP. Music players... well that's Creative, Sony, and Apple (largely just Apple). Tablets were a failure for everyone really, except Apple.

Outside of Windows 3.x, Windows 95/98, Windows XP, and Windows 7, Microsoft has had a hard time selling OSs. Outside of Office, Microsoft has a hard time selling software. Outside of XBOX and XBOX 360, Microsoft has a hard time selling computerized devices. I guess that Microsoft's best selling stuff is really just keyboards, mice, and Office. Funny isn't it?

So what does this show us? Microsoft is really only where it is due to chance and consumer ignorance (not stupidity, just ignorance... and apathy). It also means that through tablets, mobile devices, and possibly netbooks, Linux can reign supreme. Possibly. A lot would have to happen for Linux to gain. Either Google's brand recognition, or another company's would have to gain to a point that it could really compete with Microsoft and Apple. This means advertising, product placement, and high initial sales.


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Chris said...

"Outside of Windows 3.x, Windows 95/98, Windows XP, and Windows 7, Microsoft has had a hard time selling OSs"

Don't forget Windows NT, Windows 2k and Vista all sold millions of copies. Even there worst selling OS sold more than Linux/Mac combined.

So yea almost every OS they have put out sold well. I would not say they have a hard time selling OSs at all.

Zune is also an amazing product that just has not sold very well. Don't get me wrong I am no Microsoft fan, if anything I am an Apple fan. But MS does some innovative things and they can fail a few times to see what will really stick. Companies that don't have a few failures are not trying hard enough to do interesting things. Lets not just hate every tech company because they are not linux, there is room for everyone.

twickline said...

CodeWeavers has CrossOver Office and Games for Linux and Mac so if anyone on Linux or Mac needs MS Office they have options.

Ford said...

@Chris: how many downgraded from Vista? as for NT and 2k, those were primarily business releases, and while sales were high I would never say the NT or 2K sold as much as say... OSX or Linux. I would wager that there are far more Linux machines out there than there are 2k.

@twickline: you didn't finish reading the article. IGNORANCE of computers, how they function, and even what Linux is are going to keep people away. the fact that you can run MS Office is irrelevant. OpenOffice is more than enough for most people. Ignorance of these options is the problem, not the lack of options.

Chris said...


Maybe today there are more Linux machines but Win2k sold millions and millions of copies so in its day it had a much larger market share that Linux and OSX. So it was no failure by any means. That is all.

mcinsand said...

One big problem with Linux adoption as I see it are lingering outdated myths. My experience over the past 4 years has been that Linux is superior to Windows in terms of more than just stability, reliability, and security. I will take Linux over Windows for wide ranging hardware support, ease of installation, ease of maintenance, and software availability. I came into Linux with only MS environments as my background, except for some DG-RDOS experience in the '80's and a bit of Mac at work in the '90's. The temperamental nature of Windows had me so frustrated 6 years ago that I tried Fedora. My personal computer has been only Linux and/or BSD since.


Kerberos said...

@mcinsand (And others)

"It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle." - Sun Tzu

There are various reasons that Linux has near zero marketshare. There are also various reasons Windows has 90%+. The key to understanding the situation is understanding these reasons. Making ludicrous claims like 'Linux is superior in usability' is just propaganda. This is the point where you call out anyone who doesn't support your agenda as a troll/shill/idiot.

What is ironic is you talk about outdated myths then say you haven't used Windows in 6 years, and *then* make a judgement based upon your own (outdated) experience with no modern knowledge of the platform you are talking about. Just wow!

Mike said...

> CE (never garnered more than 5% of the market)

The market share of Mac OS X was under 5 % for a long time and still is in Europe. Does that qualify it as a failure? Granted CE is currently dead in the water.

> The mobile market has long belonged to Google, RIM, Apple, and Palm/HP.

Long? Google and Apple are relative newcomers. Nokia/Symbian still has the largest market share, although they have been challenged by Android and iOS.

Microsoft has had a lot of successful products outside of Windows and Office, from mice and keyboards to games, they just don't come close in sales to the Windows and Office monopolies if you look at the dollar figures. They've had a lot of failures, too. It's hardly a surprise that the monopoly position has made them complacent and allowed them to spend tons of money on bad ideas. The question is whether they can transition from the Win/Office monopoly, which is going to be superseded one way or another by alternatives, possibly even quite soon.

CommonOddity said...


Hmm. Don't mean to flame bud, but the main reason that Windows is at 90% use is due to supreme and superior marketing and OEM deals/vendor locking. Ever wonder why most MMORPG's have not hit the level of penetration that World of Warcraft has- despite being very close to it?

Microsoft is a business that maintains 80% Marketing and penetration focus, with about 20% software engineering. It is not superior, it just rooted itself (pardon the pun) into the World... And technology a lot of the time had to shape itself around it.

Saying Linux is superior in usability is not propaganda. I've used both. Several versions, ranging from 3.1 all the way up to Windows 7. I have also used several distributions of Linux and currently sit with OpenSuSE.

Mind you, the criteria for 'usability' are a bit subjective unless listed. In this case I mean control over your OS/Hardware, ability to customize to approach efficiency and entertainment (I'm currently running about 31 different Windows-only games in Wine, and recently went back to Fallout 3 after not playing it for some time. Damned Super mutants.).

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