1. Realize the world is moving beyond Windows
2. Cede mobile OS to Android/iOS, that battle is lost.
3. Realize, next great revenue stream is the Cloud (Azure).
> "as a CEO you need to create that continuous balance between the multiple constituents [that] is the real job"
> "Ultimately, if we don’t want to have a race to the bottom, we need to have some laws and regulations that govern how participants in the marketplace can make sure we don’t do things that have unintended consequences."
One might argue that thinking like this can be obtained in a two-day management course, or an afternoon with the corporate head of PR - still, many leaders don't even seem to understand the benefit of putting such into words, let alone use it as guiding principles.
What you're looking at is a second-generation CEO. Nadellas was bred through the executive training program of an established organization, having received many two-day management courses, and he knows that an afternoon with the PR group is a good idea. This is in contrast to Gates and Balmer, which were first-generation "founder" CEOs.
Microsoft doesn't break out Azure revenue, but by all accounts it's quite small compared to AWS.
And Office is very much under threat. If you work with young people you'll notice they tend to prefer G Suite apps over Office - most likely because Google has done a great job getting their software into schools.
And sorry, G Suite is a joke compared to desktop Office for serious work. It doesn't matter what the youngin's prefer, what matters is what gets (or facilitates getting) real work done in the enterprise, which generally revolves around Excel and PowerPoint in some fashion.
There's similarities, but key differences that you can easily look up to better understand. Hence part of why most aren't huge fans of including O365 to claim Azure's bigger than AWS.
If the claim is that Microsoft's cloud revenue is bigger than Amazon's, I would assume that includes Office365. Office365 isn't just Word and Excel on the desktop, it's Outlook, Dynamics CRM, Sharepoint, Teams, etc.
I doubt it, but that’s just speculation without anything to back it up.
So any concrete data would be interesting.
Even if the bulk of the Office365 ecals they're selling are for the lowest tier offering that still includes Outlook and Onedrive which a lot of organizations use fairly heavily.
Edit: Okay they only offer document storage you still need to edit your documents with MS Office.
If there is one area where I've been consistently wrong, it is betting on "powerful/serious tools" rather than simple, ubiquitous things that handle most of what people need. 'Simpler' tends to win vs 'better'.
For someone that spits reports or jangle number all days, G-suite is a poorly thought-out joke.
A simple exemple: it's impossible to make custom styles in Docs. You can just redefine existing styles. And you can only apply one of these styles per paragraph (you can however, manually bold or change the font of some span within the paragraph... but not apply a premade style on a span of text smaller than a paragraph).
Even if the basic issues are fixed, Office is a powerhouse of features for power users, who'll keep paying good money for it, because it's well worth it.
Now if google provides a decent convert to excell converter- they win over time.
For anything more serious I drop down into Office.
> A Hungarian Government bid, worth $25B Hungarian Forints, roughly $157M was allegedly skewed towards MS
I clearly remember in the late 90s, when all the computer literacy exams were phrased explicitly to use Exel, Word, Explorer. The official European computer competency test (ECDL) until 2013 was explicit about Microsoft products as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Computer_Driving_Lice...
It is hard to convince people like me, who grew up in such level of corruption, that the people who were working for Microsoft as a high-level executive that time, they are not relying on public money any more.
First, serious work & powerpoint? Really? Yeah in an enterprise organization that's largely stuck doing what they've been doing because it's worked - sure, but that's not a technology issue, it's a culture issue.
For example, Google Sheets covers 80-90% of the use cases for Excel. But that's not what you should be comparing. A lot of what folks use spreadsheets for to do complicated calculations, have built lengthy, stitched together macros to automate processes, etc. would be much better in many cases to consider a completely alternate approach.
i.e a data warehouse, hey use a service like BigQuery that requires minimal adminstration and requires users to really only have SQL knowledge.
In order to effectively work across a large organization across different functions, product lines, etc., you have to remove every point of friction that prevents collaboration, etc. Desktop Office is great for individual work, but in today's dynamics, it really seems like you put a ceiling on productivity by sticking to it.
There are billion dollar businesses that run on Excel, and many workers in all kinds of industries live in it all day because nothing else comes close. Those macros and automations are what empower them to get things done and drive business forward instead of worrying about the "right way" to do something.
This perspective that they're all naive and should use better tools just fails to understand how people actually work, and explains why G-Suite as it is today will never beat Excel.
Huh? I don't recall continually posting about how G Suite sucks. Pretty sure this is the first time?
> Desktop Office is great for individual work, but in today's dynamics, it really seems like you put a ceiling on productivity by sticking to it.
Desktop Office is basically O365 today, and it's pretty much constant collaboration where I work. Not sure how that doesn't meet today's dynamics?
The finance companies I mention above also had data warehouses, but that's a completely different use case and not what Excel is used for. It would not work as a replacement even if everyone knew SQL.
Dunno if something similar can't be done in Googles office suite as well though.
And this is one of countless random things I could do with PowerPoint 15 years ago, when I was drawing slides for a freaking CS conference.
Seem like a phenomenal miscalculation to not have this built out as a cloud service already.
It would help keep more small companies in a Windows ecosystem and bring them into office 365.
The version they have today seems to offer 10% of the on premise solution.
I'll give you Excel.
How exactly is all of that not real work?
Operating systems? I personally love Windows 10 (now its more mature), and Windows Server 2019 is embracing containers.
On cloud, AWS is very entrenched, but Microsoft can capture a lot of the enterprise market. I've worked extensively with Azure, and I think it's a fantastic product. TBH, I'm not sure there is a "best of breed" cloud provider - they each have their strengths and weaknesses, and there is plenty of room in the market for all the big players as well as smaller, specialised ones.
 https://m.windowscentral.com/how-fix-taskbar-search-not-work... Had to have a work PC reimaged to fix this. True story.
Server 2019 is no exception.
At the company I work for IT ops deliver VMs as a service. The windows ones have huge disk footprint and take at least 3 times as long to deliver. Moreover dsc is not featureful enough compared with ansible. So it's also a pain to script/automate for. The failure rate is higher.
And let's not forget the need to put antivirus on them.
Lots and lots of reasons to escape from that platform, I could go on for a while.
Still plain old select(), poll() and AIO?
Personally I lean towards MacOS because homebrew and terminal.app are pretty good. Updates are pretty unobtrusive and wifi is easy to manage. I'm not sure that these are hard hitting features for most users.
Could you expand on this statement?
If you have better numbers for ChromeOS world domination, care to share them with us?
It is not. Many are switching to Office 365, those who tried GSuite in Enterprise are moving back.
Young people may prefer GSuite, but then they learn the whole world is built on Excel. Eyes opening for every generation of people coming into work how multi billions dollar of revenue dependant on Excel and no one wants to touch it with a ten foot pole.
There were once kids were using Snapchat and said only old people use WhatsApp. I laughed and replied yeah you are right. Then they left their fantasy youth and join the real world, look at what they use for business? WhatsApp ( Or WeChat in China ).
I live in India, and after years of 'ahem' using office, I started paying for their 4000 Rs (50 USD) per year subscription for 5 PCs, 3 or 5 Tablets/Mobiles pack.
Not really. But an awful lot of shops rely on their Excel macros. Changing the office suit would mean to re-develop a huge amount of infrastructure.
I would not be surprised if their failed project Astoria was reused to run android apps on that.
Then again, WinMo 7 was way faster and more responsive than Android at the time, and look how that turned out..
Still it's probably a lot cheaper to fix some latency issues on linux that to maintain your whole kernel.
The main issue with linux is the GPL for drivers, a long with kernel API instability.
That's the main benefit with Linux. OEM drivers on MS Windows are a shit show, even on Windows 10.
It mostly feels like “ok guys this is the best we get out of this” to me though. If they do not go with a different approach, the filesystem will always be an issue with WSL.
I planned ditching my mac in favor of WSL. Due to MBP hardware issues and the fact that a git status would take 10x time drove me away.
I wish it was good enough though.
However on what concerns the desktop, I am betting more on GNU/Windows.
Or maybe buy QNX off of Blackberry and make it open source again. That would also be nice.
Who knows which ones will survive, however they all have two things in common, they aren't GPL based and just enough POSIX to keep C and C++ happy. Additionally some of them do have stable ABI for drivers.
Linux's long term victory might be constrained to the server room, and even there it is debatable, given the increase in managed runtimes for micro-services, which could even be running bare metal for what I care.
I hope not.
As you said, it works well and it's open source. But that's not enough, as they could then chose BSD. But Linux is what's used by most, not BSD.
Given Microsoft new strategy to just adopt what everyone else is using, they will eventually use the Linux kernel.
Win32 binaries running on Wine is one of the best option for desktop software.
It's funny how it is like the polar opposite of UWP, but it just work and I guess that matters more than technical beauty.
This could be used as a way to maintain backward compatibility in Windows as it evolves in the future.
MS is a software company. Now that they've remembered that, it's producing results.
Long live the Zune!
But yeah, I should have known that given the crowd on hacker news I should have protected my statement from the "actually..." crowd.
1. Realize Windows has won the PC war.
2. Improve the Mac by calling Next the Mac. Grow the Mac's market share year after year.
3. Concentrate on the next big thing. Ipod, Iphone, Ipad, etc
What does that give us? The question why Microsoft is unable to integrate their mobile OS strategically into their Cloud, in order to grow both.
(The Mac's growth is also due to iPod and the iOS devices.)
Have a look at this MS revenues  and consider why for a moment there is any 'conventional wisdom' like this?
MSFT stock price did languish during this time of amazing growth which I guess validates that 'conventional wisdom' was in fact sour, but it's hard to see why it was.
Robert Shiller, in a recent interview on the FT alphaville podcast  indicated how so much of valuation was based on 'narrative' and that a lot of this narrative is in fact fiction.
For whatever reason, the industry press never liked Ballmer, and I guess they like Satya. Surely, there have been some changes afoot, but in terms of fundamental business orientation, I don't see any reason why Satya is 'better than' Ballmer. At HN, we might see things like VS Code and open sourcing Chakra as 'important', and although they are relevant, those issues are small peanuts in the MS bigger picture.
Ballmer made several missteps:
1. Fruitless foray into mobile with acquisition of Nokia and Windows Mobile and Windows Phone strategies.
2. Billion+ dollar acquisition of Skype that basically went no where.
3. Remember a company called aQuantive? Don't worry, neither does anyone else. Ballmer's MS purchased them for $6 billion.
That's off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are more examples.
Growing an already massive company company by 3x in revenue is the important thing, which is the 'bottom line' in which missteps have to be contextualized.
Any company in tech is going to make mistakes, this should be happening, so listing them off doesn't so much help - what matters is how all of this works out in the mix.
I worked in mobile during that time, it was vicious. Surely MS could have done better, but I view it more as lost opportunity than failure.
Remember that 80% of acquisitions fail. Google spent $3B on Nest. Apple spent $3 Billion on Beats, it remains to be seen if they'll make that up in profit.
Trying to compete in search and failing is also a misstep. Bing is just not as good as Google.
It's arguable that Azure would not have been successful under Ballmer either, because it's unlikely he would have embraced Linux to the extent that Nadella has.
The bottom line is that Ballmer was good at growing existing business but Microsoft was late to the game on a lot of industry trends under his watch, and when they did try to catch up they did not do a very good job -- Windows Phone is a perfect example.
It's impressive to grow existing business, but companies that do not successfully innovate eventually stagnate and that's not what investors want to see.
Microsoft was going to own desktop, mobile, search? $300-$400 billion in revenue? $130+ billion in profit?
No. That's absurd. Holding Ballmer to account for not conquering planet Earth is not a fair premise. Of course there were lots of 'missteps,' what's described is impossible. Their biggest mistake was attempting all of it in the first place.
> No. That's absurd. Holding Ballmer to account for not conquering planet Earth is not a fair premise.
I didn't say Microsoft needed to "own" mobile and search. They just needed to be competitive, instead of trying and failing which is what they did.
On the other hand bing has been good for them (and it's great for consumers). Hard to call a multi-million dollar business unit a failure.
Yes, he managed to creatively squeeze revenue out of existing markets. This is what he was known for.
But as far as finding new markets or growing existing markets, he failed and that's all Wall Street cares about.
> Surely MS could have done better, but I view it more as lost opportunity than failure.
Non other than Bill Gates himself refers to MS Mobile strategy as a failure: http://fortune.com/2013/02/19/today-in-tech-why-bill-gates-c...
> Remember that 80% of acquisitions fail. Google spent $3B on Nest. Apple spent $3 Billion on Beats, it remains to be seen if they'll make that up in profit
Ballmer's failure rate on major acquisitions may have been 100%. (I'm not even kidding)
Beats Music was also the foundation of Apple Music which is also gaining subscribers like crazy.
As far as I am aware, the Beats acquisition was successful. They bought their streaming music model and put that into Apple Music.
Apple made $17.5B in revenue in FY18 in "Other Products". A sizable chunk of that is bound to be headphone revenue (and homepod may also have profited from the Beats acquisition).
Given the healthy margins that Apple tends to have across all its products, it seems plausible that even under quite conservative assumptions Apple easily made a billion or so in profit from that segment. And that's not even counting Apple Music.
Disclaimer: Working for Apple in a non-fiscal, non-Beats related role.
Bad business acquisitions and management decisions notwithstanding...
Developers, developers, developers.
Many other crazy antics.
Being an archetypal business man and probably the defining image of MSFT in the 2000s - you literally couldn’t make it less cool.
Lots for industry media to troll.
Today I believe that's their biggest revenue stream alongside Office perhaps.
Big picture, Ballmer was a huge success.
The problem with Microsoft under Ballmer was execution. For example, they saw the potential of the iPod (eventually), but all they came up with was the Zune. They saw the potential of smartphones (eventually) but did not execute well on the OS, the app store, the hardware, and the marketing.
By the time the Zune came out, the iPhone/iPod Touch were right around the corner.
But also especially with Scott Guthrie, and his role as a leader for the future Micrsoosoft developer platform .
I don't know if Guthrie hired the likes of Scott Hanselman, Phil Haack, Mads Kristensen etc. But they have IMO made a huge impact, but internally and externally for the OSS push.
It's a big corporation and internally the fights had been big, becasue a lot of people don't understand how to sell free software.
Just to give an example.
To say that differently, every story about Google or Facebook is usually some horrible thing. I would not touch their product with a 10 foot pole. A few years go, I uninstalled all facebook stuff and even whatsapps. Now I do not buy anything even remotely connected to google (such as android phones) because it gives me the creeps.
When I buy Microsoft hardware or software, I do not get this bad feeling. So I buy more of it.
You should not underestimate the power of a narrative or even impressions.
I'm not. I'm saying (from Shiller, world leading economist) - that narratives are usually wrong, and the MS case is evidence.
VS Code and 'open source' Chakra are very, small, things.
They are not even canaries.
(Caveat: Azure allowing linux is important strategically though)
I personally fall victim to this myself a lot, making undue correlations between some tech move or announcement, and actual business robustness. We vastly over estimate these things because we think and care about these issues all day. Most technology customers, and most Enterprises do not. If you have a look at where MSFT derives it's revenue and how consistent it is, that gives a clearer picture.
Second, that MS may appear to be more 'open' in these areas in no way implies any kind of success or revenue growth.
Apple is considerably more 'closed' and they do just fine, for example.
Satya in no way deserves a massive P/E ratio bump from analysts, there is no real basis for it.
MSFT stock price over the last 20 years should have been ballpark commensurate with it's revenues, fluctuating here and there. The 'big lift' after Satya had nothing to do with fundamentals really.
Ballmer took an already great company and massively grew it, launched XBox, moved into the cloud, grew enterprise services substantially, it's one of the most successful and robust evolutions of a company ever.
The 'misperceptions' that lead to 'false narratives' in this case are analyst's readings of pop culture tech trends, and we HN'ers overvaluing the importance of things like VS Code.
And you're right about Ballmer: he made risky moves that are now paying quite well.
Tons of blinking apps I never wanted all connected to whereever to the internet?
All those nice things like cortana you can only get rid of by messing with registry?
Agressively pushing you to except all kinds of phoning home?
Not saying that google is the nice guy, but thinking MS is nicer ... I don't know
I think the industry perspective tends to be ahead of the business/wsj perspective but sometimes incorrect. Tech people are the folks who build this stuff. It takes a long time for upfront investment to filter down through sales and into tangible business results. And then even longer for anyone to notice those results. Whereas the devs / product managers / salespeople are on the front lines seeing all of this firsthand.
A good, concrete example of how this has played out for me personally was that I bought stock in new relic a few years ago. In a nutshell, they were making a product it was obvious people needed, I worked at their competitor and realized they were kicking our asses product-wise, just totally out-executing us and it wasn't even close. I bought a bunch of stock on the theory that the product was getting great adoption and people loved it. Fast forward a few years and now it's tripled/quadrupled. I would've done the same thing with Stripe and lots of others, except they aren't public companies.
Stripe is sort of out of the bag at this point but you'd be surprised how few traditional "business" folks have even heard of it. There are tons of great developer tools, stuff like Sendgrid, Lob, Easypost, etc. that are going to be huge that are still mostly under-the-radar.
Aside from that, one of thing most amusing things and one Ballmer excellent business moves was suing nearly every Android Smartphone Company for patent infringement. Microsoft literally makes money off of Android Smartphones but what's confusing to me is how Apple takes all of the flak.
Not like the Apple claim of "Rounded Rectangles" but I will admit that it did appear even at face value that both Apple and Microsoft had a strong case against HTC, Samsung, etc.
But I guess one of these makes better headlines for clickbait. YMMV.
On a level specific to Microsoft, their biggest threat is how agreeable and self-deprecating everything they do is now. Corporate cultures thrive on hierarchy, and yet their employees are pretty comfortable admitting to their friends that Windows and Azure are crap. The quiet trie flippers at Google, Amazon, Facebook, Oracle and Apple never speak ill of the product. Those people go and hunt leakers.
Nobody at Microsoft wants to hunt leakers anymore. That bloodthirsty lust for dollars is what made it possible for a whole generation of middle managers to hit the country club in the first place. So what does it say that the us-versus-them mentality is gone?
The CEO should be going out and saying, "Come work for us. Look how much nicer we are. Trie flippers might score better on their programming quizes, but they're insufferable." Instead he's talking, in coded language, about expanding to serve the Chinese government, which is impossible in an organization that believes in personal freedoms and positive life outcomes.
On a meta-level, what do we do with all the CEOs who are essentially beneficiaries of our increasingly correlated bull runs? Has it really boiled down to, "Since non-mineral and utility revenues are correlated at huge market cap companies, you're a good CEO as long as your likable?"
The ship is still afloat, with a captain able and willing to navigate it into new territories. That's really what they're doing and I think that in itself is a re-invention and worth remarking about.
Now, you can give them shit for the design of their ship, failures, practices, etc.. and rightfully so, but they are definitley re-defining their business in real-time, in my opinion.
I'd love to hear if any of that resonates as I haven't worked at Google or the other companies you listed to get a scope of the culture.
You make a whole lot of claims with absolutely zero evidence to back it up.
There's a difference between being critical of a product in an effort to improve it, and classifying the product as 'crap'.
My opinion, and I think most msft employees would share it, fall into the former, and not the latter. There's a lot to be proud of in both Windows and Azure, even with full recognition that they aren't perfect.
They are doing a terrible job on Windows and they have to know it, if only at a subconscious level.
Ballmer grew the company like a machine during his tenure.
Satya has been iffy, in fact, without 2018 numbers, quite unstable in fact. It's just that that 2018 numbers were good enough to bring everything back to nice growth.
Without a lot of movement in P/E ratios, both CEO's would have really been doing about the same.
Basically, the stock was held back for whatever reason during Ballmer years, even as sales were growing well. Then when Satya took over the ratios changed and the stock flipped up like an elastic.
Satya's a good guy and the right choice but I don't think he's done anything quite fundamentally important yet relative to Ballmer.
They were bareknuckled and bloody for years - they got slapped by regulators for it and it was forced under the surface.
I’m glad to see them disappear and it drives me crazy to talk to all of these people who think Office 365 and Azure are sex on a stick. They’ve either forgotten the past or they don’t care.
Microsoft deserves to die.
Or they're too young to know or remember!
Working with recent grads, I've discovered that for most of them Bill Gates has always been this grey-haired, well-natured philanthropist. They can't believe it when I tell them of how universally reviled Microsoft was, and I feel like Grandpa Simpson talking about onions in his belt :(
There had been a smaller Microsoft before the rise of MS-DOS and Windows. Microsoft was a vendor of BASIC interpreters that were integrated into some 8 bit microcomputers, which I used. The Apple II's "Applesoft" basic was derived from Microsoft's work. Its name is a portmanteau of Apple and Microsoft, a kind of touchstone that highlights a complex history of cooperation and rivalry between the two.
Bu xie, my pleasure.
I got rid of it for lack of stability in the URL. There doesn't appear to be a nice semi-permanent home on the web for these photos.
They were part of a small group of companies that pioneered Desktop computing. They did so with forceful business tactics, but they changed the world nonetheless, and really did help place a computer in every home.
Ths history books will remember their contributions as well as their sins.
Their desktop monopoly isn't what it once was, especially considering that most people get online today using mobile devices. But it never really went away. Windows is the only commercially successful desktop operating system. Everything else is a niche product without access to the enormous ecosystem of Windows-only desktop software. Desktop Linux exists, but it isn't any kind of commercial success. The Mac desktop exists to sell Apple hardware, it isn't a product on its own. And part of the reason it exists at all is that Microsoft publishes a version of their office suite for Macs.
MS Office is absolutely entrenched in corporate computing. Many of us here on HN can get by on non MS Office products, but if you're exchanging Office documents with customers you absolutely need to use MS Office to get a decent level of compatibility. For a huge number of businesses, there simply isn't any choice.
Microsoft isn't about to go out of business and a lot of people enjoy using their software and feel productive. People should have a choice. Microsoft could go a long way to repent for their sins if they open up both Windows and Office to the point where there are significant viable alternatives to both. Microsoft should be able to compete on quality, not on possessing the keys to their proprietary kingdom.
I'm not holding my breath.
Your disgust is fitting. But let's be sure the context is appropriate as well.
What are you talking about? Citation needed.
IMO Android UX is way better than iOS when used on a right device. I switched from iPhone to Pixel and it's a delight to use. I am not going back to iPhone soon ...
Ballmer's style of leadership would not fly today. Saying stuff like Linux is cancer, the iPhone a toy/joke, acting like a clown during conference.
Ballmer's style of leadership would not fly today. "
Which of MS customers do you think care about 'perception' of how nice the CEO is?
Do you think Siemens is going to spend $500M on Google cloud because their CEO is nicer than Ballmer was?
Which Windows users are thinking about Satya vs. Ballmer? 99% of Windows users have no idea who either of those people are :)
Satya's 'nice guy ways' are almost irrelevant to the business overall, other than maybe recruiting, or something like that, but I doubt they've ever had a problem.
Analysts and investors read GAAP statements and those are 100x more important than 'how nice' the CEO is perceived.
Some issues, like Linux as you mention, I think are important, but I'll bet that Ballmer would have arrived there anyhow.
Linux support was not so much a strategic decision as it was a 'forced hand'. They had basically no choice and the decision was inevitable.
I think that the reason Ballmer was disliked by Wall St. was A) the failure of Windows Mobile b) the perception that Windows was in decline (it's not) c) Cloud revenues had not yet hit the big time yet.
I actually feel that the P/E ratio pushed on Ballmer would have come around for him eventually.
I like Satya, I think he's the right choice - but he still has to prove himself. As of today, he's mostly riding Ballmer's coattails.
I saw a post in another thread that suggested that former enlisted men do better as officers than people who were never soldiers. The same is true here in terms of people leadership, if not the vision.
Perhaps having Linux in Azure was inevitable, like you said, but I don't think something like the Linux subsystem stuff they implemented in Windows 10 would have been OKayd by Ballmer. Same thing with stuff like VS Code and the new switch to Chromium for Edge.
It's about a culture where these kinds of ideas are encouraged and can develop into features and products.
Why is Google so successful? Because the culture allows people's ideas to develop into what became huge products loved by millions of people.
So During Ballmer's tenure, they always made a ton more money than Google.
So 'Ballmer's culture' was therefore the winner?
I'm afraid your argument is not based in how the world works actually works - it's more based on a 'feeling' of how people think it 'should work'.
Ballmer was somewhat aggressive in character, so was Gates by the way - they build a world class company that changed the world.
And FYI just because he was aggressive, does not mean he didn't 'foster change' or 'allow ideas'. It's really more a disposition than anything.
And FYI - MS made it's money by focusing on Windows, that decision is not because 'Ballmer is mean' and 'Satya is nice' - it has nothing to do with their emotional posture.
To imply in any way that they were not successfull or couldn't adapt, while they launched a series of world class products is just false.
" Because the culture allows people's ideas to develop into what became huge products loved by millions of people."
You mean while they spy on your every move? You've seen the headlines right?
Google is prying into my (and your) personal life in every possible way and trying to leverage that.
Was 'meanie Ballmer' every trying to read your mind to profit off of that? No?
As expected, since Microsoft is an older and much more established company.
>Ballmer was somewhat aggressive in character, so was Gates by the way - they build a world class company that changed the world.
Nobody is denying that.
But, pretty soon, it will be time for Microsoft to prove they can start new stuff again, you're correct on that.
It feels like Apple when OSX was introduced, only better.
Many people here may not like Windows 10, but the more I use it, the more I like it.
I bought a laptop for my daughter with 10 on it and got a (completely legit) license key for Office from work. Oh. My. God.
The laptop already had a different Office SKU on it, so I couldn’t use the key with that. The key I had didn’t work with any of the MS online licensing sites and I wasted 2 hours trying to figure out what to do. In the end I got on to a support rep via online chat and it took him an hour remot desktopping in to run some command line utilities to remove old Office install, clean up some stuff and get the machine licensed. It was unbelievable.
Random things that have aggravated me just in the last
* For some reason I suddenly had to create a pin a few days ago to login instead of my password. why?
* skype is now magically in my list of background programs.
* There is news in the start menu when I want to launch an app!?
* whenever I want to do something a little hard, like copy a large number of files, things tend to go pear shape very fast.
* It's very hard to find basic settings from the start button search thingy. Chrome OS and OS X are way better at that.
* windows shell still is unpleasant, and the goobuntu subsystem just isn't convenient due to the incompatibility of windows file paths. Also it's very ugly for some reason
* More generally dealing with Windows drives drives really sucks. I'm always shuttling things around trying to fit them into particular drives. Linux LVM is so much better.
The only reason I pay for Windows is to play games. I prefer Linux as a user, but the hardware and display issues are a pain. I also agree that Windows feels snappier and prettier. Chrome OS with Crostini would actually be pretty perfect if it didn't crash on me every couple of hours.
I have an AMD Vega 64 graphics card, drivers are all handled automatically.
My Xbox 360 controllers with wireless dongle are handled automatically.
If you want to use xbox one controllers, any bluetooth adapter will work out of the box, but you do have to install a package called xpadneo.
AMD drivers on Linux are great right now, and most hardware is supported with nothing extra.
My main blocker games wise is Battlefield series which I don't believe works on linux.
"We do not accept cancellations by mail, email, or by any other means. "
You might also rely on sites that are built with Microsoft technologies (Stack overflow for example) or find that your workplace gets by with Excel.
It's hard to say you don't use their technologies.
I also use the crap out of Excel.
But he's right Windows is taking a dive. And other Microsoft products. Example number 1: Excel has these cheesy glide animations that do nothing but slow down imports.
I export a report from quickbooks to excel and if it's a large one it almost feels like Excel will crash just from processing so many animations.
I tried turning it off, but it's not as easy as it looks.
... which is also reliant on HAProxy, ElasticSearch and Redis, but that part doesn't get quoted so much.
Use or rely on. I have to rely on Windows. Everything else you listed has acceptable replacements.
More anecdotally, the only time I used Skype in the last few years was when I had a remote job interview with LINE. (Ironically, LINE's core product is a Skype competitor, and they refused to use it for the interview even though I said I'd rather stick with LINE and not install Skype. If that isn't a red flag, I don't know what is, haha)
There's a reason why people say 2000 and 7 were the best Windows releases ever.
Windows 7's adoption of online-only functionality dwarfs XP's.
Vista and Windows 7 are extremely similar. I've easily fooled several Windows 7 die-hards that they were using Windows 7 while they were in-fact using Windows Vista. They are virtually the same operating system. Microsoft did the same in a series of television commercials.
Spyware and application telemetry are not the same thing. I don't know why I continue to beat this drum, though, it never sways anyone, facts be damned.
The suggestions (yes, they are arguably ads) are easily turned off and never return, and this setting syncs across devices logged into the same Microsoft account.
No operating system is perfect, and no company is perfect. Is there any other fucking massive tech company in the middle of a huge turnaround like Microsoft is? I can't think of any.
Yet, many people will always have a very special place in their heart for attacking Microsoft, and they'll never relent, no matter what Microsoft do.
I do NOT understand it.
Windows NT needed way high-end hardware to be usable at the time. (Even Linux did, if you wanted to use a Win95-like GUI and not be limited to the text-only CLI.) Windows 95 was a hack, but it was still miles better than pure MS-DOG and 16-bit versions of Windows.
> Windows 98 ...introduced completely unnecessary IE integration and the Active Desktop nobody used.
Completely unnecessary? Used ChromeOS lately? Guess what, that integrates the web browser at a far deeper level than Win98 ever did. And Active Desktop-equivalent technologies are only coming back into use very recently, with things like Web Notifications, ActivityPub, Progressive Web Apps and the like.
> Windows XP ... looked like Fisher-Price ...
Except that you could disable the Fisher Price bits, either in XP or as late as Vista and Windows 7.
That's the entire point; it uses the web browser because the web browser became an operating system (in the "application platform" sense of the word, not in the "kernel" sense) in its own right, and ChromeOS is Google's attempt to follow it to its conclusion. This is categorically different than Windows' deep and arbitrary integration of Explorer.
Nope, Internet Explorer had its own "application platform" for the browser at the time, known as ActiveX. Of course ActiveX came with huge security drawbacks, not unlike Windows 9x itself, but OTOH it was somewhat usable compared to the security-oriented Java "applets". And ActiveX components did find some use in Windows 98, much like the web-based components in ChromeOS.
More: I don't want to use my computer as a media consumption device.
So for me, all the new UI changes are counterproductive. But that's me. Others have different usage profiles; whether it's a net win or a net loss depends on the customer mix.
Seriously, if you haven't tried Windows 10 since it first came out, try it - I held out on Windows 7 for years, but I'm really glad I switched.
Going from 16 bit cooperative to 32 bit preemptive in the 3.x to 9x change, useful.
Going to multiple accounts with permissions in the 9x to XP change, useful.
Rearranging the UI time and again since Vista, and sucking up CPUs with scannning processes, so what?
Note that I really only used Windows at work, anyway (instead of Linux, or more recently OSX), and I managed to avoid the post-7 cluster-bomb entirely at my current job.
Some new features:
- Cortana (I don't use it, but I know lots of people that do)
- The Windows Store and UWP apps
- High DPI support (this is something MS does very well compared to Linux desktops)
- Windows Hello (I find this really for signing in with a fingerprint)
- BitLocker (this is a bit one, IMO)
- Device Guard (Enterprise only, AFAIK. Very usual in certin environments)
- Windows Defender (it's now a 1st class AV - I have no reason to use anything else)
- Window Defender Exploit Guard
- Windows Defender Credential Guard
- Windows Defender ATP (only for large enterprises, but it's amazing)
- Windows S mode (this is a pretty big deal, and it's suitable for a lot of consumers, even if it's not exactly HN users' target market)
- Improved VPN support
- Built-in snipping tool (WIN + SHIFT + S)
- Dark mode (I like this)
- Improved Start Menu (IMO)
- Task switcher
- Action centre
- Improved command prompt (even supports copying with CTRL-C, how incredible!)
- Edge (OK, maybe moot now)
- Multiple desktops (yes, I know these have been a feature of Linux window systems for decades)
I imagine I've left out quite a bit too.
Am I missing something?
There was an issue a LONG time ago when the tiles were more front and center but they dumped that a while ago.
You get plenty of time to prepare for the reboot that's coming. You can even delay it by a day or more.
It isn't Windows' fault that you aren't prepared for it when it comes; it's yours.
Give the users freedom to choose when to reboot, and even to choose whether they want to. Some users will continue to manage to get infected with malware despite constantly being disrupted by the constant reboots, others never installed a single security patch and yet would never be infected due to what they do (or what they don't, to be more accurate.) But that's their choice and theirs alone.
Unfortunately it seems companies are far more authoritarian and would rather breed a docile obedient type of users in which to force their ideas on and control.
I will resist the urge to post that old Benjamin Franklin quote again.
I'll take the updates and reboots. I don't know what exploits are coming tomorrow, and I know very little about the ones currently in the wild. My SSD allows reboots carrying updates to happen in just a minute or two.
I will do my due diligence and protect myself.
If you don't want to, don't use Windows, then you won't have anything Windows-related to complain about.
> Unfortunately it seems companies are far more authoritarian and would rather breed a docile obedient type of users in which to force their ideas on and control.
You are on drugs or are otherwise compromised logically. Tech companies are nowhere nearly as organized as would be required to make this a reality.
You're saying that the manufacturer of an OS that requires reboots for certain fixes to be patched onto the operating system is actually an authoritarian regime grooming its users toward a manufactured Idiocracy?
I'll have whatever you're having. It sounds like LSD but only for geopolitical concerns.
Good, because like everyone else who does, you'd probably misrepresent what he actually meant by it.
No forced updates, no store apps, no Cortana.
The state of Windows update is terrible to me. Say what you will about Linux, but updating on most distros is a breeze compared to Windows.
Disable all telemetry options so much as you can. And then setup a sniffer, run Wireshark, etc on your traffic. Windows 10 is a disaster. It is constantly phoning back home, through a wide array of different addresses, sending back unknown data to Microsoft. It's safe to assume that, at the minimum, they're building extensive profiles on users which, in the most benign case, will be used to facilitate targeted advertising and messaging.
Aside from that there are also technical issues with the OS such as treating production deployment as sending out code seemingly just after it passes the 'it compiled' standard of quality assurance. An update for Windows 10 in April of last year was one of several that has resulted in bricking numerous machines. Another update a few months back was deleting files on users machines resulting in Microsoft having to roll back the update, and so on.
Not only is this itself all completely unacceptable, but I think it also reflects the new direction of the company. Even if you might be willing to tolerate their actions, and failures, today I think this reflects a new Microsoft. Put another way I think these issues are likely to become more substantial, and not less, as time progresses.
As an aside, I say this all as a Windows 'enthusiast.' My 'native' environment is Visual Studio working in .NET, C# in particular. I've also been using Windows since 3.1, but Windows 10 is simply unacceptable to me as an operating system. I'm still happily running Windows 7, which also has no issues with stability/drivers. The day Microsoft decides to try to make Visual Studio Windows 10 only is the day my Ubuntu partition gets bumped to the top of the boot order.
So yeah, at least from my perspective, Windows under Nadella has indeed been destroyed.
We don't know what data Microsoft is sending back but for whatever reason we've somehow concluded it must be incredibly invasive to the point where it's spyware?
If you are that concern with security. Use an air gaped device or don't even use electronic storage at all.
Or better yet just purchase Windows 10 Enterprise and turn all Telemetry off - which is entirely supported.
"We share your personal data with your consent or to complete any transaction or provide any product you have requested or authorized. We also share data with Microsoft-controlled affiliates and subsidiaries; with vendors working on our behalf."
They lead with consent as if it means something, but it is part of an "OR" clause. That means that they are listing consent as but one example of scenarios where they will share your data. It's tautological fluff. This clause can be accurately stated as, "We share your personal data with Microsoft-controlled affiliates and subsidiaries, and with vendors." Here are the entire terms with the unrestrained fluff removed:
"Microsoft collects data from you, through our interactions with you and through our products. You provide some of this data directly, and we get some of it by collecting data about your interactions, use, and experiences with our products. We also obtain data about you from third parties.
We use data to personalize our products and make recommendations, advertise and market to you, which includes sending promotional communications, targeting advertising, and presenting you with relevant offers. We combine data we collect from different contexts (for example, from your use of two Microsoft products) or obtain from third parties to make informed business decisions.
We share your personal data with Microsoft-controlled affiliates and subsidiaries and with vendors working on our behalf. Your ability to access or control your personal data will be limited, as permitted by applicable law."
I've removed fluff but in no way changed what was stated or removed it from context (aside from non-meaningful fluff). What is said above is literally in the terms you agree to with Windows. This is the reason that in times past if you wanted to upgrade from e.g. Windows 98 to Windows XP, that you went out and spent a hundred bucks on an upgrade key. Yet to not 'upgrade' from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for 'free' you had to aggressively fight off Microsoft who made every effort to force you to 'upgrade.' It's because the operating system is spyware and thus profit is generated primarily not by sales, but by harvesting and exploiting data on the people using it.
In times past Microsoft had a strong monopoly on the software market. Now a days every product I use and game I run, besides Visual Studio, is supported natively or through WINE/Proton on Linux. Creating some false dichotomy of 'don't user computers or the internet' or 'use windows' is just weird, especially on a site like this. Windows no longer has a monopoly. But I do think Visual Studio is a really great product, and so I'm happy enough to continue using Windows 7 with the spyware 'updates' disabled. But the moment that they decide to try to spin that product onto Windows 10 (which I suspect may happen with Visual Studio 2020) - then I lose my final tether to this ecosystem.
 - https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-US/privacystatement
Now that it has mandatory telemetry and unavoidable updates (at least for non-enterprise users), the value proposition has gone into negative territory.
I'm sure Microsoft has their reasons for doing this, but unfortunately it's clear that our goals are too misaligned.
Unless we are having the “but telemetry” discussion (again) there are very few ways that 10 is worse than a previous version.
I swear I see a lot of complaints but the things people cite seem like nothing new or ultra minor stuff that you could have cited all through Windows history.