Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: One More Reason Why Microsoft Succeeded
OESF Portables Forum > General Forums > Off Topic forum
It's all about continuity and compatibility.

From DOS to Windows 1.x, 3.x to 98, NT, Me, 2k, and XP ... till Vista ... it's all about compatibility.

Back when I was with them ... they even had a team in practically every subsidiary dedicated to Windows Application Compatibility (AppCompat) for customers to get their pre 2k apps to run on 2k nicely. When XP came, they continued their strategy.

Sure, it makes Windows bloat and all, and not 100% of the apps work, but most 95+% works, with 3% more working with a bit of tweak with the built-in AppCompat feature, while the remaining 1~2% is so hardware dependent, the hardware might be obsolete already.

Reason for this post is I read on about some users complaining about the lack of proper support for N770 and fear of history repeating in N800 when a possible new tablet appears. Some were Zaurus users and they lamented on how the same thing happened in Zaurus and is repeating in the Nokia tablet.

You see, while newer Windows usually needed an upgrade for your PC, at least it will still install and run albeit slower, and when you do upgrade your PC's ram or CPU, and install the newer Windows, it will feel as though it's new! This gives perceived value for users. They probably would have forked out the money to buy a new machine anyway, but knowing that you can spend a fraction to upgrade and get a 'like-new' machine back from your earlier investment makes it seem like a good deal!

I guess the situation is perhaps more a device specific issue as embedded devices like PocketPCs and Palms have more or less faced the same continuity problem. But the problem is aggravated when device OEMs have to try to induce a new device hunger by obsoleting an earlier model even if it is still good and running. MS on the other hand, has little pressure on that as they don't sell hardware. Their partnership with hardware vendors however, does put a pressure on them to encourage new hardware buys. Nokia currently do not have that incentive like MS to provide the continuity, and from the likes of it, may be pursuing the mobilephone approach of users totally getting a new tablet after 1~2years of usage.

Only time will tell if Nokia get their formula right. As it is, MS is still the incumbent and lion's share holder of PC and PDAs market
It seems though that there is some sort of analysis of magnatude problem in this analysis.

In handhelds especially the idea of MS vs 'nix is specious. Really it is MS vs pdaxrom or angstrom or whatever nokia is using--not ms vs a a monlithically analagous nix distro.

Possibly the comparison (and, admittedly, the competition) will get more meaningful when the "big" linux players, like Ubuntu, or redhat, get seriously involved in handhelds.

Also, does anyone keep the same Axim for 2+ years?
I read somewhere mentioning that re-installation of applications running by Windows Mobile OS is required if the smart phone battery is flat as there was no flash RAM to hold them.

Yet the company is still so successful. Something is not right.

Remembering it takes Windows with 3 major upgrade, ie starting from Windows 3.0, to be stable.

Now it is Windows Mobile Version 6, it still needs catching up.

Let's Ubuntu Mobile Linux and iPhone's Mac OS X show Micro$oft what a ruggedized mobile OS is.
QUOTE(Snappy @ May 24 2007, 12:23 AM)
It's all about continuity and compatibility.

It's sort of that but not quite.

The real reasons for M$'s stranglehold on the marketplace are:

1) its cancerous behaviour, once you start using M$ stuff it forces you to use other M$ stuff because of all the interdependencies with itself and the incompatibilities with the free world.

2) its abuse of its ill-gotten monopoly and its protection by the current dictatorship in the US

And the backwards compatibility comes at a cost - "Windows XP a 64 bit upgrade to a 32-bit patch for a 16-bit GUI shell running on top of an 8-bit operating system written for a 4-bit processor by a 2-bit company who cannot stand 1 bit of competition" - windoze has so many layers of crap in its innards that most of M$'s current programmers haven't the faintest idea of what's happening deep down in its bowels.

For most people applications backwards compatibility is overrated. What they need is data compatibility, standards-based data formats allows migration to other apps, other OSes. M$ Office is M$'s cashcow, with each new windoze they persuade/cajole/force you to upgrade to a new version of M$ Office, what practical use is backwards compatibility then?
QUOTE(freizugheit @ May 24 2007, 09:33 AM)
I read somewhere mentioning that re-installation of applications running by Windows Mobile OS is required if the smart phone battery is flat as there was no flash RAM to hold them.
I think it depends on model and manufacturer. My wm2003se machine comes with a backup util that automatically backup the RAM when battery drops to dangerously low levels - it's like suspend to disk.

Yet the company is still so successful. Something is not right.
It uses its windoze monopoly to force its way into other markets ...

Now it is Windows Mobile Version 6, it still needs catching up.
... the "mobile" division of M$ took 10 years to turn a profit. How many PDA manufacturers can afford to bombard the market for 10 years with mediocre products after mediocre products before seeing a return on their investment?
QUOTE(Snappy @ May 23 2007, 07:23 PM)
Only time will tell if Nokia get their formula right. As it is, MS is still the incumbent and lion's share holder of PC and PDAs market

The accuracy of that statement is a function of how you define PDA. If you exclude smartphones and digital media players, then yes, MS probably has a majority of the traditional PDA market. However, it can be argued that this is less a result of any brilliant strategy and more due to the fact that everyone else has abandoned the traditional PDA market. Symbian pulled out years ago. Palm still makes a handful of devices but their efforts are almost entirely focused on the Treo line of Smartphones. So hats off to MS for capturing a rapidly dying segment of the mobile market smile.gif

Now, if we expand the definition of PDA to cover Smartphones, then the "percieved" MS dominance of which you speak is non-existant. Worldwide sales of Symbian OS devices from Nokia and Sony-Ericsson currently dwarf sales of MS based Smartphones and PDAs combined. Throw in the wildly popular Blackberries and most of Motorola's highly successful product line (with the exception of the Q) and it becomes clear that MS magic formula for success in the PC world is *not* carrying over to the mobile space.

Forward compatibility for application software in the broader mobile device market is a miniscule concern given that most mobile device owners (70% or more depending on which market survey you believe) will never purchase a single third party application for their device. Fewer still will purchase anything other than games or other entertainment software for which backward compatibility is a non-issue since most consumers have tired of them by the time they switch devices.

But reading the linked posts re: the Nokia internet tablets, the compatibility direction users are complaining about isn't the one you praise MS for achieving. N770 users appear to be unhappy that *newer* software won't work on old devices, not vice versa. MS in the mobile space is no better at this than anyone else. How many devices running PocketPC 2003 were able to be upgraded to Windows Mobile 5? How many WM5 devices will see upgrades to WM6 (HTC's Dash is the only one I've heard of). And app software that uses newer WM features isn't going to run on old versions. And with most of it being closed-source there isn't anything anyone can do about it.

I'm not one to bash Microsoft, but let's not credit them with things they haven't achieved and things they don't do.
I hate to say so, but I think M$ will be one of the major playr; maybe just linux & M$.

The reason for that is:

- the unlimited money can M$ spend in a strategic decision, and mobiles are definitely the future, even no one knows what the future will bring, it'll be mobile

- it has unlimited ways to convince partners to join. Actually, the most beautiful smartphones, nokia apart, are all wm: htc, t-mobile wack-something, hp, samsung new models, ...

- you can program them with VB!! (yeah, let's call it programming while we all know it os something else)

- it has a powerful media player, much better than that crappy realplayer for nokias, completely outdated nowadays

So I think sometime we'll have to handle with one of those. Let's hope M$ learn how to do stuff in he meanwhile !
After reading the various posts, and rereading my own, I think I kinda got the PC, PDA and mobile phone market somewhat mixed up in a sense. Perhaps the compatibility strength I mentioned was more applicable in the PC space than in the pda/mobile space, the latter which is equally bad for WinMobile if not worse in some cases. I stand corrected. smile.gif

On a side note, I should say that I'm very impressed with Nokia for getting connectivity and synchronisation done so superbly well in their handphones. With their phones, I get the sync cable and software, and it allows me to drag-drop files, images and videos to and from the phone with the PC. Not too sure if they have software for linux though.

And footnote, I am dual-booting with ubuntu on one notebook, though with each additional app that makes my life easier, I'm finding XP more and more usable in a sense. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I got this Acer notebook that comes brand new with linux for cheap! (~US$500) I installed WinXP Pro and Ubuntu on it and everything just works. Fiesty is still flaky sometimes with APM but in all, very good and I switch between the two.

One of the reasons for mentioning this compatibility thingie is that I'm thinking of getting either a Nokia N800, pepperpad 3 or a cheap tablet. I'm pretty happy with my Akita but somehow I've been using it lesser these days and I wonder if it's because I have been switching to using my notebooks (one in the office and one in the room) more than it.

Anyhow, it can only be good if Ubuntu mature even more and grow into the other verticals. As I said, I'm still trying to find a suitable tablet device to replace my notebook. Akita is fine and all, but the screen is a tad too small. I think I need at least 5~6" at least. 7" if possible. My clothing always has huge pockets so I can easily carry a device that is UMPC sized. Will see how. smile.gif
begin rambelings, i would recomend against reading this, the spelling sucks. points are made that are off topic and frankly the thing is a mess. but i wrote it and when i got to the end rather than delete this work like i normally do when i feel i am doing a core dump i thought it was to much effort to waste. so here it is

you have been warned

i think we are begging to say major fracturing of the market, more people are starting to see what hardware can and cannot do (not always the case but at least some people i know wont by hardware based on software features)

look at the pda phone market for example, you have the buisness user, the home entertainment user, the "all my friends like thiers" market and the hardcore market (note these are ones i interact with on a daily basis, not all the ones that exsist)

the buisness users wants it to work, they dont understand the statment or its implications they want it to work. mainly use email and opens word docs

entretainment user (note can be 2 sub catagories, light and hard core). once again wants it to work but are willing to invest more time in encoding moives. may research good file formats (hardcore) but will generally stick to supplied apps (note i normally dont have respect for these people as they will use heavy compresion to save space then buy wodden headphones because they sound better)

the "all my friends like thiers" market, i wolud say this is why microsoft and nokia suscseed in thier respective fields, you can go on about backwards compatability but the truth is that most users of windows apps have never thought about it at all these people want to be able to do the cool stuff that everyone else does without putting in the hard work. i see this alot as my equipment really impresses most people

eg i can play mp3s on my phone when the file is at home. problem is that they want it without having to think about it, sure i can do that but theres more than one way to skin a cat and ftp sharing C: dosent quite match up to a sftp server. i can make the sftp server easy to install but its not worth the effort because they want it for free (they are aware that i didnt pay anything for it)

when it comes to microsoft people try to nail it down to one formula from the perpective of todays markets when in actual fact it is a series of decissoins over time that at the time made the most finacial sense coupled with a deep understanding of advertising (initially) followed by market share (once it hit a certin percentage they start throwing thier wieght around) and standord buisness tactics.

at teh moment they are cashed up. if you will allow me to make a comparison to the US as someone from another country, it is like the US in the way that they are powerful and impoisible to beat with current tactics, hence terrorism/guirella warfware (in this case i would say that linux is gurellia warfare.)

in the casese i am reffreing to its the only option left to fight back, i beilve that apple is playing the same game microsoft is. ie big corparation warfare however this is good from thier perspective and is the logical choice (would it be apple if it was 10 smaller companies?) however as we all know big buisness combat rules are well defined and its normally the one with the most cash that wins UNLESS you come up with a good idea

a good idea in warefare was gurillea warfare, in our case its the Redundant Array of Inexpensvie Humans of OSS that wroks well (RAIH, Ray - hee) to our advantage. looking at the quality vs quantity debate we can see that we have the quanitity advantage (ie too many people to sue, they could do it but the inital cost/reward tradeoff is too much) hence why they "have never taken linux seriosly" basically they cant comprhend the enemy or its intetions

drilling down into that line of thought a bit more we can see that most of microsofts moves are buisness bassed for getting a maximum of return for as little work as posible while also reducing risk. they are VERY VERY good at that however the OSS community's secrets which microsoft is not awear of is that
1. OSS dosent play by "big buisness rules", there is no need as profit is not the motivation
2. the people microsoft is fighting are the people they hire and fire on a daily basis (programmers, lawers)
3. thier ennimes are also thier cutomers
***4*** not only are the rules by which they make thier risk/reward analisys not bieng folowed by the OSS comunity, those rules dont fit like tehy do with other buisness. they work but hove greatly reduced effectivness

point 4 can be shown by the gradual change in tactics. some people at microsoft get it but i am willing to bet they see linux as "just another preditor" rather than relising they are now on mars. its not taht somthnig new came along its that EVERYTHING has changed. sure it could be stated that in terms of the real world (law and such) nothing has changed but at the very least on some metaphorical level everything has changed and microsoft has yet to relise it

will this kill microsoft..... NO, not at all. what it will do is make them change thier game (kicking and screaming of course, tahts just the standard buisness rules) once again already seem them do that yada yada yada

i think its important to note that they do honestly see themselves as trying to make the world a better place and more simple at that however not only is this world not simple but that the people wha make the desiceions always seem to make the mistake of thinking that microsoft canmake th world a better place.

i highly dought this as from what i can see microsoft has been trying to move the world to one end of a line (like that white black, and other such oppisites) whereas linux is pushing the word to another end of the spectrum. i guess the sides would be public vs private, community vs personal or for the people (as in the bettering of man kind) vs for the individual (or group) (note i dont mean linux is the golden light of the people. just try and keep what i said in perspective wink.gif)

so basically from the last 2 paragraghs it would seem to me that the people in microsoft have people using microsofts products and humanity mixed up and feel that they are helping humanity when only they are helping microsoft. in this case i would blame the buisness decissiens. i belive they tried to help humanity but failed to do so because microsoft saw thier ideas as "leverage" and took the ideal and patented it

of course everything i said means nothing at all. it is mearly insane rambeling and i bet you didnt read this far, however microsoft is only relevent to me when the ban linux or affect me directly. i have long ago said good bye to microsoft and have only a few devices that are still running miocrosoft products (phone) to put it simply they only get/annoy you if you let them. they make a great OS however as much as they tell me i need it it is obvious that in the 12 years i have been using a coumpeter with windows pruducts i have been hurting myself in the same way as using a unergenomic computer chair. what works for one pearson dosent work for others and for me the main "feature" that dosent work for me is a GUI, for others it may be as simple as localisation support in thier native languge or virtual desktops however not everyone is ready for a lifestyle change (which i belive in my case it was considering how much PC usage i do in a day) even if they are hurting themselves in the long run, humans rarely do whats best for them

give me the /bin/sh or give me death
*phew* ... for awhile I thought you were referring to my post ... so it's your post you mentioned ... wink.gif

2. the people microsoft is fighting are the people they hire and fire on a daily basis (programmers, lawers)

Ahem ... not sure where you got this idea from. Companies with Hire-Fire culture hire and fire according to seasonal market demands. They hire folks to work on project and fire them when they are done with them. I doubt MS is like this, otherwise it won't be having a bloated 40,000+ strong staff count.

Many hdd makers adopted this strategy. Couple of consulting firms did as well. MS, naye ...
I just think Microsoft succeeded just because we don't have enough free thinkings on this planet.
I think people's idea of winning can be up for debate.
I don't think an OS has to be on the desktop of the majority of PC's/Phones in order for it to "win". I think western, capitalist mentality has pigeon-holed the term succeed.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2019 Invision Power Services, Inc.