Malek's Moorish Tales

Meanderings about life and technology

Microsoft's big gamble with Windows 8

Microsoft is doing something very interesting these days. By changing the way the end user sees windows so dramatically, they are taking the risk of alienating the very users that have been faithful for so many years. Why are they doing it in such a disruptive way ?

I believe Microsoft, like the rest of us, are seing the end of the PC as the inevitable outcome of the gadget frenzy of the past few years. I think they believe the Apple gadget revolution has made people more inclined to go for different devices for different usages. The tablet browsing is becoming the standard browsing experience at home and while traveling, and the phone browing is becoming the standard for browsing while commuting. What Microsoft is trying to do is to push an extremely simple user experience that includes everything the user has come to expect from a PC into a tablet or a touch screen all-in-one.

Basically, instead of having their business killed by a disruptive change in hardware, their want to accelerate the change and be part of it.

The issue is that the end user, generally, when he goes buying, will look at the devices in a stand, and start comparing the devices. He is not concerned by the vendors (except for the perceived quality of the vendor's products), and is even less concerned by the operating system, except for its familiarity. On the familiarity front, the normal end user will not find Windows 8 familiar (they even would find the iPad and the various android devices more familiar). Most end users are not aware that the tablets they are looking are of different kinds, and have different levels of technology in them.

Basically, if the new user interface impresses, it would gain a good market share of the tablets as well as replacing current desktops and laptops, and as the users start expecting all Windows can do in the devices, it would give Microsoft an edge on all kinds of devices. But if it fails, it would endanger Microsoft's PC market itself.

In short, this could give Microsoft a new begining, with the potential to dominate the new computing markets, but it could also break Microsoft completely...

 

Here we go again....

I am restarting a blog... again. I will be restoring my old blog posts gradually in the coming weeks.

 

I am now free to speak my mind out...

All the people who know me know that I like Microsoft technologies. That is something that can hardly change.

However, my trip through the arcane rows of Microsoft employees have opened my eyes to other dimensions. I now believe that Microsoft has some fatal weaknesses, and that anyone who, like me, is a technologist, has an imperative to open up to alternatives...
The issues and problems started long ago (I would think that sometime in the late nineties Microsoft started behaving like they owned us, but they actually did then, so it is only surfacing now that real alternatives are slowly starting to make sense). As someone that was internal to Microsoft not long ago, I think Microsoft is behaving exactly as it shouldn't... Microsoft has lost track, and is now lead by people that have little if any understanding of their customer and partner base. The main problem with Microsoft is not technology, it is leadership. To make myself clear, let me give some examples :

- I had been envolved with mobile development since 2002, and Microsoft basically created the concept of smart phones back then. Everything the iPhone or even android are doing was already there then. What pisses me off the most is that Microsoft didn't miss on "ergonomy" or as my US friends like to call it "user friendliness"... They mostly missed on timing. And as the world was starting to embrace it, Microsoft stepped down on R&D in this field because the US was not reacting... The need was there, just not in America, and the technology was there... and we were there to do the field work... but because there were no strong case studies in NY or Chicago, it was left to die...

- Integrating systems from multiple vendors has always been a nightmare. Microsoft started trying to tackle the problem since Biztalk 2000 and started getting it right since around 2002/2003 ( Biztalk 2004, SFU 3.0 ...etc.) However, Microsoft managed to make it so low key that it didn't make any difference...

- You may have noticed (depending on geography, you may have noticed a huge difference or none at all) that Microsoft Marketing has switched in the last few years to a pure online communication model... Back in the days ( up to about 5 years ago) we used to quantify and bet on a person's reach and influence. Now Microsoft treats audiences as the same be it online or in person, and to value the reach in terms of audience rather than actual real influence. A conference speaker that impresses you on his speech and as you go to him at end of session, resolves a problem that you have been having for the last couple of years is seen as an equal to a blogger that happens to talk about Microsoft Tehnologies (and eventually incite you to look at something you didn't know existed)... The level of influence went drastically down...

Although there are so many other things I think Microsoft is doing wrong, I am trying not to exploit anything I only know because I was inside it, so I will not say anything about the sales or marketing strategies, but there is plently in that area that shows extremely bad management...

I remember back in the late 80s how I felt about "prolog" and "ada". They were languages that offered the best technology could do at the time, but had a lot to prove "business wise" before they became viable. Microsoft, with all it has in terms of brand and knowhow, is unfortunately getting itself into the same spot...

Can it recover ? in theory it can, but I strongly doubt the same people that got it so low will fix the problem... So, will there be a Microsoft in 20 years ? well, only if it is lead by different people...

Leaving Microsoft

Just that, I am leaving Microsoft...

wow... how could anybody watch these folks

With the current (or barely past, depending how you look at it) crisis, and with claims that some people had actually forecasted it long time ago, I started looking at was out there... I stumbled upon the the open your eyes DVDs ...

I have to confess that the first few videos about the financial system did get my attention... Is the fractional reserve system a good one? was the first US Dollars fiat money a better one?

As I kept watching these conspıracy theory DVDs though, I got a lot more skeptical very quickly... As I believe in open mindedness, I went on watching (though skipping many videos, and just watching the first moments of many). I saw in most of the first ones, although not something believable, a glımpse of some form of respectable opinion, mixed in the middle of a flood of unfounded and totally unbelievable pseudo-facts. Most of them had A perspective that centered around the Judeo-Christian culture, but that is something one gets used to in the current world... Until I started hitting the juicy stuff...

One of those videos has the title of "the light behind masonry" where a guy called "Bill Schnoebelen" explain masonry (supposedly he was a mason of very high degrees). From the start, he tries to make masonry look like a satanic worship (for all I know it could be), so I watch (I have been intrigued by masonic practice for years now), until he starts saying things that went contrary to things I know very well. He said the Muslims had an efficient way to convert souls, and that it was putting a scimitar above somebody's head, then ask him to convert, and if he said no, cut his head... he then went into explaining why Islam has the moon as a symbol, and said that the god of Islam, Allah (by the way, Allah is Arabic for "The God" as it is very simply using the article "al" in front of the word "Ilah" which means god), was not God. "Allah was the moon, a rock" he exclaimed!

It is actually interesting that a guy that thinks he has both a high intellect and first hand knowledge can be so cavalier... It is even more interesting that he tries very hard to make it "Judeo-Christians" against "Mahometans"... The problem is that the only relation between Islam and the moon is the calendar. Islam uses a lunar calendar. Well, Judaism uses a mixed solar and lunar calendar. does that make the god of the bible (the Judeo-Christian god) an offspring of a star and a rock ?

Actually, the most interesting aspect of the whole series of videos, is that it has actually given me a much more positive impression of the masons, and more astonishingly, of the illuminati (if they actually exist)... In almost all of the videos, they are globalists, thriving to achieve global world government! How can this be the evil plan ? more balance in the world, with less privilege to the west? I would call that great good, or alternatively, morality... These are supposed to be a few evil people, conspiring to achieve what I would call a more just world!!! and what is the downside? they are not preaching Christianity the way he wants them to!!!

Off course I don't give much credit to any of that stuff, but my only worry about masons has always been that they seem to be a secret society of the powerful, giving them more opportunity to network and be even more powerful... If all they're doing is trying to make the world a more just place, then long live conspiracy! and long live masonry!