Why Microsoft Ignored The Warnings

from the do-it-over-again dept

It's no secret that Microsoft has seen a lot of pressure from the rapid rise of Google and free web-based services, even if this new competition has yet to demonstrably hit the company's bottom line. What's interesting is that there have been people inside the company warning about the shift in the industry, and the need to embrace alternative revenue models like advertising-based services. The Wall Street Journal offers a nice glimpse inside the company, and how management viewed the warnings. Basically, it felt that as long as the company could out-muscle its opponents by investing more in technology, it could always stay ahead. And as long as the company only had to face competitors with a similar business model, selling software licenses, then it probably would have worked. But once competitors found an end run around the traditional distribution system, no amount that Microsoft could spend could guarantee that it retains its top position. And although the company is now trying to take online ads and services more seriously, it still remains tied to the success of Vista, the ultimate example of its choice to try to out-invest all comers.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 9:32am

    Irony

    There is an irony in the description of Microsoft as focussing on technology at the expense of advertising revenue: they really are not very good at technology.

    The biggest threat to Microsoft's software revenue is not advertising on Google but the poor quality of their software and, in particular, the multiple vulnerabilities of Windows and Outlook to viruses. Viruses and adware make home computers much less useful than they could be and pose a long term threat to that market.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    xxl3w, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 9:45am

    Haven't heard that before.

    WOW! I haven't heard any of those points made before. You've opened my eyes to numerous new ideas.. BTW, how are microsoft's product's quality poor? If that's so, why does 98% of businesses use windows/office? Ohh that's right, you installed the XXX Dialer and now you can't understand why they're boobie dialers all over your desktop. To be honest, spyware/adware (i'm guessing that's what you meant by vulnerabilities) has never really gotten out of control on my home computer. I've seen many users who have REALLY bad problems, but it's their own fault. That's the price you pay for free porn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Bob, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 9:49am

    Points

    1. Business Applications(office) are about productivity tools and advertising slows productivity.

    2. Spam/viruses infects google's search index also. And will continue to be a problem for any anonymous system.

    3. Advertising sales is not an either/or proposition. It's very easy for a merchant to advertise on both networks. So that means the advertising game is going to be about eyeballs and time. I wouldn't count out Xbox in this area.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Rational Beaver, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 10:08am

    Re: Haven't heard that before.

    What?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Mike, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 10:14am

    RE: Irony

    The only reason viruses and spyware are a problem for Microsoft is not because of a poor quality product, it's the fact that it’s the world leader. The viruses and spy/addware are designed for that platform. Any software can be infected; it’s not that Mac and Linux are not vulnerable! It’s not the target. Besides anyone who gets viruses and spyware is only because they browse indiscriminately and are too stupid to figure out that there system isn’t actually experiencing a serious error or that the xbox 360 isn’t actually free!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Blitze106, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 10:19am

    morons...

    Porn does not give you infections nearly as bad as other things. The FACT is that if you are surfing and get infected on windows you were infected because a security hole. If you went on linux (or sadly even mac), you would not be infected. And if you haven't realized AMERICANS DONT ALWAYS USE THE BEST THINGS. (cough AOL norton cough)

    98% do not use it, linux is taking over servers. Why.. hmm it's free... it's better.. and it doesn't have security holes. Well it may have a few but no where near the thousands that MS has had / will always have. As for office, i know companies that have been changing to open office and other OS.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Marco, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 10:25am

    Re: Irony

    You want irony Joe, swallow this... The viruses you are speaking of are created by hackers. If you look at the percentage of Microsoft-savy hackers vs any other platform, I would guess that it follows that of programmers across the board and is way up there. Add to that the fact that hackers don't give a hoot about the small minority who don't have microsoft products on their desktop, they would much rather go for the headline-making giant. So in essence, whatever software publisher is most prolific is going to have the most vulnerabilities.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Firesuite, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 10:28am

    Re: Irony

    It seems any time any website offers up a news article on Microsoft all the MS haters come out to put the company down, I read it all before and its sooooo boring stfu!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 10:33am

    Re: Irony

    I do not personally have a problem on my computer with viruses but I am a sophisticated user. Lots of unsophisticated users (including my kids) have an ongoing nightmare.

    It is not just that Microsoft is a big target. They have designed their systems with a low level of security. For example, designing Outlook in such a way that third party applications (viruses) could get access to the address book was simple incompetence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Rabid Wolverine, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Irony

    That's by design. If you look at how MS applcations work they have to have that kind of 'open' access in order to work with other office (and legitimate third party) apps.

    True enough, they need tighter security but lets put blame squarely where it needs to be put, on those fools and idiots that write viruses, spyware, trojans, etc.

    They need to lock a few of them up for 50 years to set an example, maybe that will get these idiots to start doing something legit with their talents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Irony

    "True enough, they need tighter security but lets put blame squarely where it needs to be put, on those fools and idiots that write viruses, spyware, trojans, etc."

    No doubt the criminal is to blame for the burglary but the homebuilder who refuses to put locks on the doors of the houses he builds is still incompetent. Saying it was done by "design" does not make things better - it makes it worse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Jon, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 11:16am

    BS

    This bs about security is just bs. It is purely myth that Windows less secure only because it is more targeted. Mac and Linux are more secure because they are designed that way. Windows can be made secure but it's not that way by default. The simple fact that in XP, by default, you log in as an administrator makes XP less secure and is stupid for exactly the same reason you don't log in as root in linux to do everything. Also, the fact that files are arranged in a way that user data with program data makes XP less secure.

    Even if every virus targeted Linux as well as Windows, the virus could do less damage in Linux than in Windows.

    These people that repeat the "Microsoft is only insecure because it is targeted" bs either like MS too much or just don't know much about how other operating systems function. Once you see how the other stuff works, you understand why your stuff sucks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Irony

    The only problem is that regardless of how well designed a computer system is, without hardware implementations (which microsoft has rallied for yet failed to do so for obvious reasons) it is impossible to design an inherently secure system. all software can be hacked, cracked, reverse engineered, etc. to find exploits and vulnerabilities.. you'd be hard pressed to find a software solution that's free from such things. and for all those people who think microsoft sucks because they, in retrospect, did this or that wrong... develop your own operating system that's free from problems and has no vulnerabilities... go for it... i can't wait until we can tell you that you suck at all things because someone found an exploit because of your complete incompetence...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    C. J., Nov 16th, 2006 @ 11:41am

    I have built and serviced computers since I was a sophmore in High School - being well out of college now. Since then I have seen a great number of my friends and family's computers succumb to "virus attacks"; though that term seems a bit harsh - you get my point.

    Very few times has it happened to me. I have learned to keep important things stored elsewhere, and also - most important of all - servicing my own pc isn't all together that hard. I find it very rare that my computer gets clogged with spyware and trogans. Like someone mentioned before; there isn't a free xbox 360 waiting on the other side of that link, and yeah, sometimes porn isn't that free.

    What is everyone complaining about?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Irony

    Could be true. However we'll never really know until somebody beats M$ @ their own game.

    Why continue to speculate on something nobody really knows and simply complain about reality? Joe's comment lies more in reality than your 'what if' rebuttal since it doesn't really speak to how things are currently.

    Fact is M$ ignores known security issues all the time and there is no excuse for that except they don't bother. They deserve the grilling they get for the actions they take (or don't take).

    "IF" they are unseated as #1 in the future and our new software overlords aren't any better than you're point might matter but for now it's wasted speculative breath.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Irony

    No doubt. In fact, if this were a legal argument...

    Say I leave my car unlocked with the keys in the ignition in a bad part of town and it gets stolen - who wants to be the sympathy from my insurance company is going to get me a new car assuming the action is known by them?

    There is plenty of room to complain about the lack of action taken on M$'s part in regards to protecting their clients from the black hat's of the net.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 11:59am

    Re: Haven't heard that before.

    That's cause you're another jackass with 1/2 a brain - even if that half is only dedicated to understanding how to protect yourself.

    M$'s production are poor quality because of the LACK OF SECURITY. Not because their general functionality isn't good. Average consumers buy products based on general functionality - NOT SECURITY. They buy a product that works great until they do something that puts them at risk (often unnecessarily so - yeah, cause we NEED to have users running as administrator all the time... *rolls eyes*).

    M$ has a responsibility, especially now since there market share is so large, to ensure their users are as protected as they can be from the black hats. We can't expect every user to fully comprehend the technology that is behind each app they use (well maybe you can with your 1/2 a brain). M$ needs to better lock down their software and protect users. End of story.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    jack, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Haven't heard that before.

    All you have to do to pick up a virus or malware is make a typo, try goggle.com for one. there are plenty of unlegit sites that prey on people who aren't so good at spelling too.My ten year old son had my ms system at a crawl, had ten keyloggers and multiple trojan horse's on here , not his fault. He was looking something up for a school project. when you say " that's the price you pay for free porn " I am assuming you know this first hand? I hope he never has to look up about the whitehouse, as there is a porn site there if you use the .com instead of the .gov . my niece found that out the hard way

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Grizzli Bear, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 1:16pm

    Microshaft again!

    Guys,
    Has anybody said anything about the cost of xp? $150
    and then they come with a service pack not 1 not2 but three and every time they expect you to fork over $250 Each!!???

    I can't wait to see Vista and it's service packs galore, at $300 something.

    And yes, it's the preferred OS to be attacked since Microshaft does not care. And another service pack.

    Pay up buckaroo's.

    And just look at what they took out of Vista that they promised would be in there.
    And another service pack.

    I hope someone will see the light......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Skippyboy, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 1:53pm

    MS is just bad...

    For those who can't understand why MS software is inferior - here are a few examples:

    1. The Registry: what the HELL is this thing? Ever tried to learn about it? It is senseless.
    2. The web browser and file browser are integrated into the kernel. Why? What does web browsing have to do with running a computer? Same with office software.
    3. Users have administrater priveleges by DEFAULT!

    Contrast this to *nix:
    1. Everything is a file. No registry needed. Config files are text files and well documented.
    2. The kernel is isolated from web browsing and file managers.
    3. Permissions! You can't make system-wide changes unless you are root. You can't mess with someone else's files without permission.

    See the different way of looking at things?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    RantMax, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 4:57pm

    Skippyboy

    File/web browsing is not integrated in the kernel. You're buying FUD.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    RantMax, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 4:58pm

    Oh...

    And Windows has permissions all right, it's called ACL.

    The permissions in Linux are very basic (though usually sufficient), and only now some distributions of Linux started implementing Windows-like ACL.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    C. J., Nov 16th, 2006 @ 6:49pm

    Re: Re: Haven't heard that before.

    The term "thats what you get for free porn," is more closely related to a figure of speech.

    Perhaps if your ten-year old son is stumbling upon virus' and malware, you should take measures against that and aid him while he is on the internet. It isn't exactly a g-rated place.

    You make your argument from an out of context slander, and then try and make us feel bad about it? No fair..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    johng, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 7:20pm

    Re: Skippyboy

    from coverage of the microsoft antitrust trial

    "Jim Allchin, Microsoft's senior vice president for personal and business systems, has defended the company's decision to integrate its browser technology into Windows in his written testimony released today."

    ..." The Department of Justice (DoJ) alleged in its antitrust case filed against the software giant last May that Big Green bundled the Internet Explorer (IE) browser into its Windows operating system (OS) to drive Netscape out of business.

    In his 130-page testimony, which was posted on Microsoft's Web site, Allchin provides the most detailed account so far of how, when, and why Microsoft decided to integrate IE into the OS."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Search Engines WEB, Nov 16th, 2006 @ 8:52pm

    Do Nice Girls Finish Last??

    'Those people don't like me'


    Was she caught between a rock and a hard place - a catch 22?

    Was her brash personality needed to get changes?

    or Was her brash personality a turn off, so that others naturally resisted her and her ideas?

    Was she REALLY brash - or - just not acting like a ladylike stereotype, and would have been expected to act that way if she were a man?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This