Microsofts 'Big Mistake'

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
While Microsoft has had many mistakes, many of them big...very big...I'm talking about their most recent and perhaps most devastating (to them) mistake.



As we all know, Apple revolutionized personal computing by switching to Mac OS X. Not only was the system very strong and secure having unix underpinnings, it looked great, was easy to use, and while lacked some important features, that was no problem at all as Apple quickly remedied the system with updates every year to year and a half. Today, Mac OS X tiger is much more advanced than any version of Windows in terms of the overal experience. I belive that Microsoft has really only done a few things right in the windows opperating system, and the one thing that i think may *possibly* make windows better then macs (in the following regard only regard only) is the balance of advanced features and useibility to non advanced users; although in recent updates by Apple, Mac OS X is coming closer.



With that said, i must now focus on microsofts mistake, which is...you guessed it...Microsoft Windows Vista / Longhorn. In 2001, Windows XP was released, and obviously, windows we already working on what their next opperating system would be at that time. The problem, which was not anticipated by microsoft was that windows xp would require so much work after its release in security and otherwise updates, let alone the enormous amount of resources that were required for support. In addition, Microsoft did not really have a clear idea of what longhorn would be at the time. As seen from their actions over the past few years...that is slowlying taking out features they promised would be in longhorn, it appears that microsoft when planning longhorn pulled out all stops; shall we say...their eyes were bigger than their mouth. Because of the unanticipated amount of attention windows xp required, microsoft did not have the will and/or resources to push work on vista / longhorn out the door. Also, as trying maybe to avoid a future mistake like that of windows xp, they wanted to get it right, and get it better. So they spent a long time carefully planning and developing the system in the hopes that it would salvage the tarnished name of windows. Perhaps however microsoft waited far to long to do what they should have done earlier. A release in '04 of what they had planned perhaps may have been windows advantages over Mac os X in some areas. But as we all know, release dates of 2004 turned into 2005, into 2006, and some even thought maybe...that might become 2007.



Now the big problem for microsoft now was that Mac OS X's roadmap of the future had most likely been planned extermly well by Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs wasn't looking here and now in switching to OS X from OS 9, no, no, no, he was looking to the future, which explains why Apple has been able to keep to schedule in slowly improving their opperating system. Another piece of evidence pointing to the fact that Steve Jobs had planned the OS with the future in mind is the fact that Apple had developed their OS for both PowerPC chips and Intel chips...even from the begining. Now as we all know, right now, Mac OS X Tiger is much more advanced then windows is many aspects. With Mac OS 10.5 Leopard coming out when Microsoft Vista is slated to come out, this leaves Microsoft with an interesting delema. Microsoft is trying to cross a bridge that is only one person wide, and they are behind the other person. Since Apple is right now ahead of microsoft, and both of their next moves will occour at about the same time, it would be very hard for windows to surpass, or even come close to passing Mac OS X.



Another part which is aggrivating the problem is the iPod. As we all know, the iPod is exteremly popular -- no further explantion needed. If the iPod halo effect becomes more intense, over the next few years, Apple has a big chance to do some real business -- possibly allowing their market share to climb very fast.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    elronelron Posts: 126member
    It's hard to agree or disagree with your post given that I've only seen screenshots of Longhorn.



    Microsoft has never been good at scheduling the releases of their OSs (remember Windows '94, anyone?), so it's no real surprise that Longhorn is slipping. I'm not saying this is good for MS, but it's not too bad either. The thing about Windows users is that most of them don't really get excited about a new OS. They only upgrade when their computer dies, and most of them probably wouldn't even do it then if they had a choice. The fact that Longhorn has been shedding features as its release date fades into the distance may speak of a "cultural malaise" (apologies to Jimmy Carter) at MS, but again, I doubt that this will effect their bottom line, at least in the short-term. They still have a stranglehold on the office-suite market, and until there's a decent competitor in that space, they will always have a huge bankroll.



    I agree that OS X is winning the technological war against Windows. Put simply, OS X is just better than XP. But then, you could argue that Beta was better than VHS. Was it a mistake for companies to support VHS?



    I think the real driving force behind Apple's eventual (and I'm being optimistic here) increase in market share will be the iPod halo effect. Apple has done a stellar job of making a must-have device. The iPod is cool, it's chic, and it gives Apple a lot of cachet in the mid-twenties-and-younger crowd. It's the Joe Camel strategy -- get brand recognition when they're young, and hopefully they'll keep buying from you for years. You could argue that Apple tried the same thing by being the computer for education, but what kid things school is cool?



    Put this way, I think Microsoft's biggest mistake is in marketing. MS markets their software products to adults. They have, thus far, failed to make Windows cool. Windows is just there, and that's been enough for quite a while. If you think about it, the X-Box is Microsoft's first real attempt (talking completely out of my ass -- feel free to prove me wrong) to rope in the kiddies, and, at least in the US, it's been fairly successful. Sure, the PS2 still outsells it, but I'm sure a lot of PS2-owning folks are jealous of their friends who get to play Halo 2 and talk trash to people halfway around the world.



    The challenge for MS will be to parlay the popularity of the X-Box into the software world. This may be difficult since, on the surface, there is little relation between the X-Box and Windows. The iPod looks like an iBook. The X-Box looks like a Bose wave-radio with a garish green circle on the top. If MS can pull off this association, and if Longhorn turns out to not be a turd (and Avalon provides a decent amount of eye candy), I think they'll be able to maintain their dominance for another 20 years.



    Is Longhorn a mistake? I think we'll have to wait and see.



    Edit: Reading Dvorak's article posted here brought two things to mind.



    First, it would be interesting if MS started pouring more and more resources into the X-Box. It's the first computer-like product they've ever made (again, talking out of my ass). Is it possible we're seeing MS at the beginning of a sea change? Will they take a cue from Apple and become a hardware and software company? People have said for years that Windows is unstable because of shoddily-written drivers. If MS limited hardware choice the way Apple does, they could probably eliminate a lot of that.



    Second, where does Google fit into all of this? Web-based applications are getting better and better. I don't see them replacing traditional desktop apps in the near future, but somewhere down the line it may be possible. Will Google render OS-choice obsolete the way Netscape wanted to? If anyone could do it, they could.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    wingnutwingnut Posts: 197member
    From what I've read about WV, I think it will be a much needed improvement. MS is finally using *nix security features, like password protection for critical settings. The look of the beta seems pretty nice too, but who knows what MS will do to it between now and launch. \



    It looks like MS "borrowed" iPhoto to some extent. \



    I don't think WinFS will be that sorely missed. The metadata search is there, and if the security settings actually work, I think most people won't mind not having WinFS. I'm not sure if MS pulled people off WinFS to improve security, but if they did, then they made a good decision.



    All in all, I like what I see. It doesn't really look like it's going to have much more than 10.4.x already has, so I won't feel too left out if I don't get to play with WV (I have no windows machines), but I think it will be good for everyone else. Patching WinXP indefinitely is certainly out of the question, which should make for interesting drama down the road...
  • Reply 3 of 26
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Wingnut

    It looks like MS "borrowed" iPhoto to some extent. \





    I thought the same thing when I saw the recent Vista screenshots. Except MS is integrating the features in to the OS rather than separate apps. Next thing you know Windows Media Player will just be another smart folder... or whatever MS is calling them.



    Oh, and those vertical folders are weird.
  • Reply 4 of 26
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member
    An interesting quote I saw...



    Quote:

    If Windows has only a third of U.S. desktops 10 years from now, historians will point to 2005-2006 as the period when Microsoft fumbled the ball for good.



  • Reply 5 of 26
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    The key selling point of windows right now is compatibility. Microsoft is less free to start from scratch lest it ruin that selling point. Yet with that said, MS has definately stumbled in the last couple years.



    I think we're discovering a new balancing point between quick-and-dirty and well-architected. Operating systems have grown so complex that perhaps quick-and-dirty is no longer possible in the long run.



    Microsoft maintained backwards compatibility with rather clever hacks. While effective and quicker than restructuring the entire system, over time they were left with a jumbled mess of code so convoluted that adding functionality has unpredictably buggy consequences.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by elron

    ... where does Google fit into all of this? Web-based applications are getting better and better. I don't see them replacing traditional desktop apps in the near future, but somewhere down the line it may be possible. Will Google render OS-choice obsolete the way Netscape wanted to? If anyone could do it, they could.



    This is a fascinating part of computing history. Netscape was poised to make operating system choice inconsequential. With reliably identical browsing on any platform, companies and general consumers would be free to choose an OS with complete disregard to which operating system it ran.



    This scared MS shitless and their strategy was to make browser development unprofitable. Also, by making their browser slightly different, once again OS platform becomes critical when choosing a computer.



    The neglect and resulting atrophy of IE will likely prove to be as significant as Longhorn's delay. Firefox, Safari, and their numerous brethren seem to be accomplishing what microsoft was so afraid of Nescape for.



    If google becomes a major web-app company, OS choice will make less of a difference.
  • Reply 7 of 26
    wingnutwingnut Posts: 197member
    I agree. IE6 is terrible at web standards. Nothing worse than making a tableless-CSS website that looks good in FF and SF but totally wrong in IE. If MS brings IE7 back into full compliance, then they will lose a big battle in the browser war, as people will get freedom of choice back all the way.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member
    As people have slowly gavitated away from IE in the past few years for obvious reasons (after all who wants a lemon, when they can get a nice browser for free), this has made websites develop their sites to standards that are more universally accepted, and in this, people now have the freedom to switch without worrying about compatibility issues.
  • Reply 9 of 26
    wingnutwingnut Posts: 197member
    Well, "all the way" is the key in my statement above. Sure, we have good choices now, but there are still some features on websites that don't work properly unless you're on IE. Yahoo mail has some quirks, and maps.google.com isn't 100% (though both work well enough to live with day to day). If IE7 complies, everyone will have to "fix the glitch" in their websites.
  • Reply 10 of 26
    skatmanskatman Posts: 609member
    Quote:

    Since Apple is right now ahead of microsoft, and both of their next moves will occour at about the same time, it would be very hard for windows to surpass, or even come close to passing Mac OS X.



    I see Jobs has done his jobs of brainwashing you quite well!

    Keep dreaming.
  • Reply 11 of 26
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Wingnut

    I agree. IE6 is terrible at web standards. Nothing worse than making a tableless-CSS website that looks good in FF and SF but totally wrong in IE. If MS brings IE7 back into full compliance, then they will lose a big battle in the browser war, as people will get freedom of choice back all the way.



    read david shea's review of internet explorer 7b1. damn-near nothing's changed. and apparently everyone else outside of the WaSP cried bloody murder over this. yet Molly Holzschlag said "just give them time!" personally, i get the very bad impression that the explorer team is making her all and the WaSP all sorts of promises that they don't intend to keep, simply because microsoft cannot afford to tick off all of the enterprises that have done so much work in gearing their pages to work with all the goofiness of ie 6, 5.5 and 5.



    that having been said, i think the aero design team have done, dare i say it, making an interface that doesn't make me want to shut down the computer.are they copying mac os x? probably. but at least they have the good sense to copy something good. of course, there is a case to be made that an os can have too much translucency, and this is getting very close.
  • Reply 12 of 26
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by skatman

    I see Jobs has done his jobs of brainwashing you quite well!

    Keep dreaming.




    It's not that Windows couldn't surpace Mac OS X, its just that given Microsofts lost promises and current progress...in coordination with Apples kept promises of Mac OS X, it seems to me, for the moment at least, that the chance of Windows surpacing Mac OS X is very slim. Although, I must concede, that this a somewhat simplified summary of windows and mac, because just like the world isn't black and white, opperating systems aren't just good and bad; they all have their flaws...just that windows, seemingly has mean more flaws, esp. in security and lack of useful features. As I mentioned eariler, windows DOES do SOME things right; more specificly the right balance of advanced options and non advanced options. Also as some else mentioned, compatibility and/or backward compaitbility. This isn't Job's brain washing...its common sense.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    tchwojkotchwojko Posts: 139member
    I think this might turn out to be one of Microsoft's mistakes, and an example of how Steve Jobs believes the sales people are running the show:



    "We have plans in the next generation for something even higher-end in Office that we call Office Premium"



    I'm curious to know what premium features could be in a suite of applications that is already very automatable.



    I have a hard time imagining any other bells and whistles could be added to be worth paying a premium for. Security? Built-in rights management? Integration with something else? Anything you think of here is most likely an issue with non-Office documents as well, so any business must have a generic solution to those problems. As such, why pay extra to have two?



    Linux and Mac OS are making some cracks in the OS monopoly. Mozilla browsers and others are keeping the net standards away from Micrsoft's control. Open Office and web based applications are starting to pry open the Microsoft Office monopoly (and the steady move to XML for documents opens things up as well). Sony and Nintendo are keeping open the gaming market. Cell phone manufacturers stayed away from WinCE/PocketPC. Search: Google and Yahoo.



    This is the first time in a long while that Microsoft has serious competition on all fronts. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft manages to maintain its grip on various markets and how they try to do it.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    people use windows cus it's "free"

    i think MS's mistake will be making windows hard to pirate, and when people have to pay for an OS... who wouldn't want OSX?...



    it was interesting when my prof asked the class..

    "how many people use MS programs, windows,office, ...etc"

    everyone raises their hand, but..

    "how many people paid for these programs?"



    yah, u guessed it.. none. no one raised their hand....



    just my .02
  • Reply 15 of 26
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BMWintoxication

    people use windows cus it's "free"

    i think MS's mistake will be making windows hard to pirate, and when people have to pay for an OS... who wouldn't want OSX?...



    it was interesting when my prof asked the class..

    "how many people use MS programs, windows,office, ...etc"

    everyone raises their hand, but..

    "how many people paid for these programs?"



    yah, u guessed it.. none. no one raised their hand....



    just my .02




    good point. It really dosn't make any sense why micrsoft would want to tighten the noose now.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    bigbluebigblue Posts: 341member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BMWintoxication

    people use windows cus it's "free"

    i think MS's mistake will be making windows hard to pirate, and when people have to pay for an OS... who wouldn't want OSX?...





    They will still use Windows, because the hardware is so cheap.

    That's the real advantage they always had.



    Sure, a lot of people would want OSX, but always bounce back at the price of the computers. And no, the MiniMac is no serious contender in this issue. It helps, but you can still buy a Dell for $400/500 including a screen, a keyboard and even a mouse.



    Also, the installer base and mindshare is still too big. Everyone has it, so everyone buys it. What do you mean, another OS ? You mean computers can work with something else than Windows ? Nah ... I'll stick with what I know (at least he thinks he knows it).

    Even with all those virusses, they think it's 'normal' and take it for granted.



    And where are Macs for sale ? When Joe Sixpack buys a computer, he goes to a store around the corner, where he buys a computer. No Macs around.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,074member
    Why does microsoft suck so harshly? They have way more money to spend than Apple, but everything that they produce (except for the xbox) it a piece of shit.



    My theory is that they are trying to poison the well with their crappy PC software and operating systems. PCs will die, and Microsoft will replace them with xbox 360s.



    The xbox will be very powerful, probably have a keyboard, mouse, and be usable with regular monitors. It will play games, probaly have a web brower, and microsoft could produce an xbox 360 version of office.



    They are sucking on purpose - the real idea is to take over the hardware side of the business from Dell and HP, and at the same time they get a clean slate for hardware (no more backwards compatibility problems and a million drivers).



    In short, Microsoft is trying to become Apple (but with bigger market share). Apple and Sony had better be ready.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    If you had summarized the "big mistake" in one sentence, I might have been able to vote.
  • Reply 19 of 26
    what I want to know is: what's up with the sh*tty Windows UI? Is it REALLY that hard to make a good UI? I've seen and used 3rd-party addons for Windows that actually make it look good (mostly by making it look like OSX ), so why the hell do all their designs suck so damn much?
  • Reply 20 of 26
    bigbluebigblue Posts: 341member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mynamehere

    what I want to know is: what's up with the sh*tty Windows UI? Is it REALLY that hard to make a good UI? I've seen and used 3rd-party addons for Windows that actually make it look good (mostly by making it look like OSX ), so why the hell do all their designs suck so damn much?



    Ever seen Monkey Boy dancin' ? That's why ...
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