Microsoft sets sights on providing an Apple-like experience

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Comments

  • Reply 81 of 118
    bocaboybocaboy Posts: 28member
    Based on the last couple of weeks, Apple could use some stiff competition. The continuing unavailability of the 3G iPhone, the botched up launch of MobileMe, and the corporate-speak that Apple uses to not acknowledge that anything is awry is indicative of arrogance, not innovation.



    Maybe Microsoft isn't the company to do it. Maybe Google's Android OS will serve up some real competition to Apple. I have to say I sure don't like the way they've been behaving over the last few weeks.
  • Reply 82 of 118
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rnaoncfixd View Post


    I feel that Apple has gotten quite cocky lately and has become too ambitious in providing things that are actually "like Microsoft but better". Mobile Me has yet to surprise anyone with quality. Every new update that comes out for Leopard seems to create more problems than fix. The new iPhone's launch was plagued with problems. There are incompatibility issues with some 3rd party plug ins (which is exactly the opposite of Microsoft actually, where I have specifically made products that crash and 3rd party products which work well). It seems that all Apple needs to do is have the blue screen of death instead of that spiny pinwheel of horrific catastrophe.



    Apple has become lazy lately because of their booming sales. This is leading to poorer quality . I agree with others stating the claim that Microsoft should be successful to create more competitive business. I hope that the "zune phone" makes it and creates a shift towards progressive technology instead of regressive. When Apple sees it, maybe they'll strive for an even bigger push than they usually have.



    Actually, I'm sure mobileme will be a wonderful experience......once they get the kinks out. Lets face it, the mobileme team dropped the ball and totally screwed up the launch. I'm sure once Jobs gets back from his vacation he is going to stomp the crap out of the mobileme team leader and beat the crap out of the rest.

    Rest assured he will get things back on track.
  • Reply 83 of 118
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,919member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by miniMoe View Post


    "...mimic the experience offered by the Mac..."



    Microsoft's been trying to do that since Windows 1.x, for more than 20 years now.



    Nothin' new here.



    More plausible speculation from Microsoft, more good products from Apple. It's a pity we live in a world where plausible speculation outsells good products though.



    McD
  • Reply 84 of 118
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 922member
    Microsoft has a lot of VERY smart people working for them - maybe too many. I've heard/read that Vista was a design by committee nightmare with multiple levels of managers second-guessing, turf-battling, and other such petty things during the design & implementation.



    MS should emulate Apple by appointing smart design (not business or sales) people in charge of products and making a VERY small group responsible for the final product. Apple has Steve with his obsessive attention to detail - MS needs more people like that (or needs to put the ones it has in positions of power).



    MS has a ton of great tech., years of experience doing software, and lots of very good people. They need to streamline their development process and leverage their vast experience and intellectual property to produce something GREAT! They just seem never to put people in charge who can recognize greatness, demand it, and keep the mediocre from gumming up the works.



    As long as they continue to be a design by committee, make sure everyone is happy, let everyone's finger touch it shop, they'll be doomed to making camels rather than race horses.



    - Jasen.
  • Reply 85 of 118
    cicerocicero Posts: 20member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post


    Microsoft has a lot of VERY smart people working for them - maybe too many.



    MS has a ton of great tech., years of experience doing software, and lots of very good people. They need to streamline their development process and leverage their vast experience and intellectual property to produce something GREAT! They just seem never to put people in charge who can recognize greatness, demand it, and keep the mediocre from gumming up the works.



    As long as they continue to be a design by committee, make sure everyone is happy, let everyone's finger touch it shop, they'll be doomed to making camels rather than race horses.



    - Jasen.



    I completely agree. In fact, I have been saying this for quite some time now.



    I have worked with many people who have worked for or gone off to work for MS and they have been some of the brightest people I have met/worked with. Those who have left the company have basically told me what Jasen is saying.



    Too many chefs in the kitchen....
  • Reply 86 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post


    In the future Microsoft logo will change to a pear with a bite mark on the upper left of the logo.



    More like a lemon!
  • Reply 87 of 118
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cicero View Post


    I completely agree. In fact, I have been saying this for quite some time now.



    I have worked with many people who have worked for or gone off to work for MS and they have been some of the brightest people I have met/worked with. Those who have left the company have basically told me what Jasen is saying.



    Too many chefs in the kitchen....



    I've always wondered what exactly is the problem with MS on this point. They have a whole bunch of money to hire some of the best minds on the planet. Yet MS can't innovate themselves out of a paper bag.

    It makes me think the problem is the idiotic but dominating polices set in place that the employees have to work by. Is this correct?

    Too many chefs in the kitchen makes me think its simply a management problem. But surely the problems are much deeper than this right?
  • Reply 88 of 118
    parksgmparksgm Posts: 60member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by city View Post


    Microsoft should stop focusing on capturing and dominating markets and actually invent something that will advance womankind. It all about "selling" to them. As such they are following the path of General Motors and their high profit impractical SUVs. People eventually wise-up with California leading the way. ("focusing on capturing and dominating markets"-is Bush in-charge?)



    Amazing thought process.



    Microsoft should stop focusing on capturing and dominating markets? That is the point of a corporation - to make the shareholders/investors money by capturing and dominating markets. It's wonderful if a corporation has other goals...but the corporation can't fund those goals without making money, and to make money they must attempt to dominate whatever market they are in. Basic economics.



    Your political comment doesn't follow either - while you may disagree with the reason for the war in Iraq, the United States is not "capturing" or "dominating" Iraq in any way. Troops are actually being withdrawn *right now* as peace and stability in the country continues to increase. The widely stated purpose is to ensure that the Iraqi people have a stable, democratic (or whatever they want) government and functioning social system when the withdrawal is complete. How is that "capturing" or "dominating"?



    Finally, General Motors makes "high profit impractical SUVs"? The MILLIONS of Americans who have purchased them specifically for their utility since the introduction of the Ford Explorer ("first" SUV) in ~1990 prove that they were in fact very useful, practical vehicles.
  • Reply 89 of 118
    inkswampinkswamp Posts: 337member
    You know what I suspect is the root of MS's problems? I'm willing to bet that most of MS's upper management and executives don't actually use Windows.



    Wha--? What do I mean by that? Am I suggesting they use Linux or OS X?



    No, when I say that, I mean that they run Windows at work and on their home machines, but they don't actually use it. It's all business. They don't use Windows for enjoyment, and they don't view it as part of their life. It's just a product or just a business tool to them. And when you view software like that, I suspect you don't see it in the same way the consumer does and you're never on their wavelength. Whenever I use Windows, that's what I feel like. I feel like I'm using something that was partly tossed together without any regard for how a real human has to use it. It feels like someone designed it on paper, presented it for committee discussion, refined it and discussed it many times over and all the while it's an abstraction. And as it wound its way through this approval process, it was never really used.



    Remember all those spy photos of Steve Jobs and various other Apple-connected folks using the iPhone prior to its release? I found that fascinating and wonder how many other companies test their unreleased products like that. They were really putting it to the test and making it part of their life and working out the wrinkles via real-world usage. I suspect the same is done with OS X and the iPod. The amazing thing to me about Apple's products is how perfectly they seem to fit right into the way a human being needs to do things. You can sense that a real person sat there and really used it, and lived with it and that the software was molded around that.
  • Reply 90 of 118
    muncywebmuncyweb Posts: 157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thompr View Post


    Balmer said:



    <...more comprehensive effort to redefine the meaning and value of Windows for our customers.>



    This quote says so much. First of all, it says that Microsoft feels that it is necessary to define the meaning and value of windows to the customer. Shouldn't the customer just naturally sense the value, if the product is any good? I know with most good products, the value is inherently obvious from the get-go. If the company has to TELL me why it is valuable even after I have tried it, then the product most likely stinks.



    The second thing the quote says is that Microsoft has to REdefine the value. In other words, not only do they feel it necessary to define in the first place, but they failed at it once and need to try it again... presumably with a different - but somehow better - definition.



    Balmer STILL doesn't get it!



    Thompson



    Well said my friend. Well said.
  • Reply 91 of 118
    Microsoft just don't get it.

    After more than 15 years using every permutation of Windows, I made the switch to Mac last week, and doubt I will look back.

    I consider myself a power user, I work in the media and have used Mac (OS9) in the past. This time last year I remember having a cliche row with a Mac user - 'they're specialised, over-priced, exclusive, no-software...'

    You know, it's nonsense.

    There is no reason at all to keep using a product you're unhappy with.

    And that was the root of my switch, Vista is rubbish.

    Once you've bought the right version (wtf?), you are FORCED to put up with a disgraceful, ill thought out, unintuitive user experience. It's bloated, slow, painfully buggy, I could go on...

    What would make me, someone who used to build his own PCs annually, has a cupboard full of PC components, and a current desktop PC fit enough to fly the shuttle, walk into to a Apple store and a hand over cash for a macbook?

    If they are going to save their business Microsoft has to understand real people. As a 30-something, married, new father - I don't have time to fiddle around. I want to dip in, get a job done, and dip out.

    I'm by no means an Apple fanatic, I barely understand the product or the company, but I've voted with my wallet. Anyone else had the same experience?

    Rav

    (morning ramblings, in between whining child strops)
  • Reply 92 of 118
    knightlieknightlie Posts: 282member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by astrosmash View Post


    I welcome any improvements to "The PC Experience" and any other area of computer technology, but I'd much rather see these improvements happen through innovation rather than through the "mimicking" of your competitor.



    In that case, they have already failed - Microsoft cannot innovate, they copy and crush.





    Ballmer's problem is that the Windows "experience" is the problem. When I use my Mac I get things done, when I use Windows I just get frustrated by the whole experience. The only thing Microsoft do well is Flight Simulator - they should stick to that.



    I can't understand what he is saying - to take his plan to the extreme, is he talking about selling Microsoft PCs and only running Windows on them? That's the only way he can control Windows end-to-end, surely? But then Microsoft thrives on making statements about what they WILL be doing, and then not doing it. Microsoft Surface, anyone? Shouldn't that be out by now?
  • Reply 93 of 118
    carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    One of Microsoft's mistakes has been to be a little too greedy.



    They make four mistakes.

    1) Windows will install and run on anything,

    Microsoft has to cope with a billion hardware variants which makes their software more difficult to maintain than it needs to be.



    2) Any vendor can create drivers and release them

    Rogue vendors ship drivers which break the OS, and steal resources.



    3) They allow/encourage vendors to pre-install crapware.

    New computers arrive so full of crapware that it spoils the new-car-smell TM



    4) Windows tolerates software which breaks the rules.



    Windows itself isn't great, but these four factors undermine the Windows OS experience dramatically. By trying to please everyone, everyone loses out.





    All Balmer has to do is grow a pair, and crack down a little.





    C.
  • Reply 94 of 118
    banalltvbanalltv Posts: 238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post


    You know what I suspect is the root of MS's problems? I'm willing to bet that most of MS's upper management and executives don't actually use Windows ... when I say that, I mean that they run Windows at work and on their home machines, but they don't actually use it.



    You can also bet that they don't personally have to wrestle it into older systems, or into working with older peripherals, and that accordingly updating what they do work on costs them less of their own money and time than the ordinary user.



    I doubt they have much appreciation of the real hassle that it costs people.
  • Reply 95 of 118
    aheneenaheneen Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cicero View Post


    That's funny... Apple was just trying to provide a Microsoft like experience with the launch of Mobile Me....



    Couldn't have put it better myself!!
  • Reply 96 of 118
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    Ah, yes. Because providing a user-friendly, integrated solution across multiple hardware and software product lines is as easy as just saying so



    All along, it wasn't that Apple was good at this stuff, it's just nobody else ever tried before



    Microsoft has a world class usability team...they just haven't given it much authority over the final customer experience.



    Microsoft has a world class research arm...they just have had a hard time translating that into products.



    If Ballamer really intends to do this, they have all the pieces required to transform the Windows user experience. The KEY will be to appoint someone with sufficient power and vision to accomplish this goal.
  • Reply 97 of 118
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 922member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post


    One of Microsoft's mistakes has been to be a little too greedy.



    They make four mistakes.

    1) Windows will install and run on anything,



    Agree. Reading Ballmer's statements it could mean they're going to have stricter hardware requirements. Windows does run on a FAR wider range of hardware configs than OS X, and I have to give MS respect for that. But it does cause them problems, too.



    Quote:

    2) Any vendor can create drivers and release them

    Rogue vendors ship drivers which break the OS, and steal resources.



    Agree. I'm not sure how you crack down on people who write so close to the metal, but I suspect it can and should be done.



    Quote:

    4) Windows tolerates software which breaks the rules.



    Probably not what you meant, but Internet Explorer is a great example of this. It will display the worst garbage HTML. I expect someone had to spend a lot of time writing a smart parser etc. that can deal with all the broken stuff that IE will gladly display. I suspect this was done, in part, to make it easier on web authors, but it just leads to people writing horrible, horrible, HTML



    Quote:

    All Balmer has to do is grow a pair, and crack down a little.



    The problem with that is then you alienate some people and have the potential to lose marketshare. MS thinks more features = appeals to more people. Put enough in there and everyone will like some part of it. They don't understand that too many features = a confusing mess to the "average" customer.



    - Jasen.
  • Reply 98 of 118
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,716member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BocaBoy View Post


    Based on the last couple of weeks, Apple could use some stiff competition. The continuing unavailability of the 3G iPhone, the botched up launch of MobileMe, and the corporate-speak that Apple uses to not acknowledge that anything is awry is indicative of arrogance, not innovation.



    Yeah, and the continuous Time Machine errors that are impossible to figure out. When the seamless, simple to use solutions no longer work there is absolutely no way of figuring out what went wrong. Last night Time Machine threw errors on both my Macs which are in different locations and don't share any files or networking hardware. I suspect I'll have to start from scratch with both of them. Not too much of a biggie but very annoying and it kind of defeats the purpose of Time Machine.



    Apple needs to take a break and settle down to sort out all their bugs. You know, bring out a new Service Pack, kinda. At the moment I am not sure MS would be well advised to copy the Mac user experience. In fact its all a little MS-esque here in Mac land right now.
  • Reply 99 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Apple needs to take a break and settle down to sort out all their bugs. You know, bring out a new Service Pack, kinda. At the moment I am not sure MS would be well advised to copy the Mac user experience. In fact its all a little MS-esque here in Mac land right now.



    This is exactly what I was trying to say. People should stop demeaning the "other side" when we aren't so far from it.
  • Reply 100 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post


    30-to-1? What fantasy world does he live in where Apple has 3 percent market share and Windows 97%?



    Exactly.
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