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Old 12-05-2012, 06:54 AM   #46
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:14 PM   #47
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Expected by whom, I wonder. Outside of its two core products -- Windows and Office -- the number of successful products MS has ever had rounds off to as nearly zero as no matter.

Every time MS tries to do hardware (Zune, anyone? Kin Phone? Slate? Windows Home Server? Tablet PC? SmartWatch? WebTV?) or simply break out of the desktop, it fails miserably (well, OK, X-Box is starting to pull in some serious cash, after a decade as a monetary sinkhole).

Note that Surface is Redmond's *third* attempt to do a tablet. The only surprise will be if they actually succeed this time 'round. MS's track record suggests it has never understood mobile. Maybe never will.

Windows 8 is a decent product -- for mobile devices (I wouldn't want Metro on my desktop). But it's just MS playing catch-up in a market that has at least a three-year head start. Fortunately, Microsoft has piles of money it can burn through as it waits for traction.
Part of Microsoft's issues are with it's marketing. The Zune was a fantastic product. I still have my Zune 80 and I still think it beats my iPhone 4s as a media player hands down. It didn't sell well enough to keep it around, but a lot of the interface features have shown up again in the XBox and Windows 8 phones. Poor sales and marketing does not mean the product was a miserable failure.

And some of their more minor / less hyped products are fantastic as well. I put them up with Logitech as the most reliable manfacturers of mice and keyboards, for example.

Visual Studio is a HUGE development platform.

Lots of their server backend products are industry standards: Exchange, SCCM etc. SQL Server is very successful and a viable competitor to Oracle.

Microsoft's successes are WAY over 'zero'. A home user probably doesn't see it as much but if you work in a large corporation then you see them all over the place.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:00 PM   #48
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Not like it resembles any modern programming language. You can't even manually number your lines anymore.
I just checked Visual Basic in Visual Studio 2012. You still can manually number executable lines. You (or the software you have do this for you) need to put a colon after the line number; otherwise, it works just about like in VB6.

The only reason I know that you might want to do something in this ballpark is if you have lots of originally pre-.NET code and don't have time to change it to structured error handling. One then can continue use of the Erl property to journalize the source code line generating an error. Structured error handling doesn't need those explicit line numbers because it journalizes based on the ones outside your code and optionally visible.

Now back to our regularly scheduled mobile reading web site.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:40 AM   #49
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Microsoft's successes are WAY over 'zero'. A home user probably doesn't see it as much but if you work in a large corporation then you see them all over the place.
Yes, I spent many years in IT. I'm quite familiar with a broad swathe of MS products. To clarify, let me quote my previous post: "Microsoft has *tried* many other things. It has made money at *none* of them."

By "successful" I mean "keeps the ship afloat". Take away the revenues MS has derived from Windows and Office, and all that remains of Microsoft is an historical footnote that used to make a few good developer tools. Nothing else MS has ever done (including MS-DOS) has risen financially above the level of a rounding error on MS's current bottom line.

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Part of Microsoft's issues are with it's marketing.
Oh, I absolutely agree. Microsoft has never been able to market product, even good product. Remember that DOS rode the PC's success into its dominant position, then MS used product tying and a barrage of anti-competitive practices to parlay DOS's success into Windows/Office success. Faced with open competition on a level playing field, it seems as if MS always loses.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:49 AM   #50
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Yes, I spent many years in IT. I'm quite familiar with a broad swathe of MS products. To clarify, let me quote my previous post: "Microsoft has *tried* many other things. It has made money at *none* of them."
I must respectfully disagree. Many of Microsoft's corporate products, such as SQL Server, Exchange Server, Sharepoint Server, Commerce Server, etc, are leaders in their fields. A very high proportion of the largest companies in the world run their e-mail systems on Exchange Server, their databases on SQL Server, and their information systems on Sharepoint.

These products may not be familiar to the "man in the street", but they are highly commercially successful products.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:28 AM   #51
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I must respectfully disagree. Many of Microsoft's corporate products, such as SQL Server, Exchange Server, Sharepoint Server, Commerce Server, etc, are leaders in their fields. A very high proportion of the largest companies in the world run their e-mail systems on Exchange Server, their databases on SQL Server, and their information systems on Sharepoint.

These products may not be familiar to the "man in the street", but they are highly commercially successful products.
Indeed. Any one of those generate a lot more profit than entire companies.

The fabled "man in the street" should, however, be at least somewhat aware of a certain 70-million-unit-and counting XBOX 360 business that is generating a few hundred million in profits a year. Which gives them a solid platform in the techie war for access to the living room, which is far more than other companies have achieved with their "hobbies" so far.

As to the Surface tablets, they'll find their natural markets soon enough.
Like in hospitals the world over, among other places:
http://www.zdnet.com/why-windows-8-m...re-7000008144/

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-surfa...re-7000000433/

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Old 12-06-2012, 07:13 AM   #52
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Take away the revenues MS has derived from Windows and Office, and all that remains of Microsoft is an historical footnote that used to make a few good developer tools.
And lumping together the powerhouses that are Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, Project and Outlook as 'Office' also rather understates Microsoft's achievement.

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Old 12-06-2012, 07:15 AM   #53
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It's like saying take away Ford's Profitable cars and whatchagot?
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:13 AM   #54
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It's like saying take away Ford's Profitable cars and whatchagot?
The Pinto was a big seller!
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:56 AM   #55
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The Pinto was a big seller!
I still see a few Pinto wagons around every now and then!
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:02 PM   #56
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It's like saying take away Ford's Profitable cars and whatchagot?
F150!


http://trucks.about.com/od/fseriespa...ord-trucks.htm
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:22 PM   #57
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The Pinto was a big seller!
I bought one. Bright orange. I could actually find it in a parking lot.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:47 PM   #58
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I'd agree an absurd number of money bags have been filled by MS's OS and Office products over the years, dwarfing the profits of other operations. That speaks more about the runaway market success of Windows and Office than it does about lack of profit elsewhere.

I like that MS tries different things over the years. Yep, their early smartphone OS sucked, so much clunkier than Palm OS and horrible battery life. Xbox is only recently profitable, largely because of the Red Ring of Death fiasco. I had higher hopes for Zune, as the hardware was competitive. Looks like iTunes ate their musical lunch. Bing was strong effort in the search market. Not sure why that flagged. People already mentioned Visual Studio. Their tools survived and grew while so many others stagnated.

Not everything was organic growth. They bought companies like Visio, Hotmail, Bungee, and Skype (just for a tiny sample of better-known names).

At this point I think Surface Pro is going to be a failure. I had reserved judgement but they recently leaked a 4-odd hour battery life. If true, that won't cut it. 1.x pound tablets are pushing 10 hours (iPad is amazing there) and higher-peformance 2.x pound laptops are pushing 8 hours. I'm not seeing the use case of this over either a tablet or a high-end 12 to 13" notebook, depending on your need.

In other words, what sets Surface Pro apart from the many poor-sales tablet PC's that came before it? Lenovo had killer tablet PC's for a long time now, say the X220T (now X230T). One answer is Windows 8 but that is not unique to Surface Pro. Slightly lower weight? Tablet-mania?
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:51 PM   #59
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I'm thinking the same penforhire, I think the third-party ultrabooks and tablets will be what make win8 and win tablets a success.....and Pintos.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:28 PM   #60
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I like that MS tries different things over the years. Yep, their early smartphone OS sucked, so much clunkier than Palm OS and horrible battery life.
I disagree that it was clunkier than Palm. I quite liked "Pocket PC Phone Edition" back in those times, and before that Pocket PC OS. They were too forward thinking for their time, I think. I still miss the handwriting recognition it had - none of the iOS Apps even come close to understanding my handwriting, and MS Reader was better than most reading apps today.

I ended up abandoning Windows Mobile when I realized no upgrades to newer versions of the OS were supported, and because of the desolate marketplace.

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