Friday, August 30, 2013

Watching Microsoft's Death Spiral #5

Well, Microsoft is clearly continuing its Death Spiral [#1, #2, #3, #4]

Let's start with Windows 8.1

Microsoft has announced that Windows 8.1 has been RTMed (released to OEMs).

They met their internal schedule!

Well, no they didn't... it is still very buggy [link, link]. They will slip in major bug fixes just before releasing it to customers on October 18th. The current release is so buggy they won't even release it to developers. Yet, somehow in less than 8 weeks they will magically make everything right and release it to customers without even a beta test, so that they can run untested apps.

Developers are extremely unhappy about this as they will be unable to test apps against the new system before customers are exposed to the problem. Microsoft will also not allow them to upload Windows 8.1 versions until October 18th. Previously Microsoft has always given developers early access. Apple gives developers early access to MacOS and iOS releases.

Developers Are Pissed That Microsoft Won’t Give Them Windows 8.1 Until Everyone Else Gets It

Developers furious with Microsoft - Holding on to Windows 8.1 - are you mad?

Developers flay Microsoft for withholding Windows 8.1 RTM

Microsoft's official explanation of changing how they handle RTM releases can be found here. It is attempts to slide by the issue, insulting customers and developers (which are not even mentioned) alike.

Clearly, Windows 8.1 is another unnecessary Microsoft disaster in the making.

This should really finish off the expensive Best Buy-based Windows stores:
Microsoft's Best Buy-based Windows Stores - Impending Spectacular Failure

Steve Ballmer

No real surprise, but the Wall Street Journal is reporting that:
Ballmer Departure From Microsoft Was More Sudden Than Portrayed

After initial euphoria (unwarranted in my view), the stock market is settling into the realization that it is unlikely to change anything any time soon (maybe not ever).

Fox Business reports:
Nokia CEO Elop on the Short List to Replace Ballmer
Given his handling of Nokia, Microsoft could fail sooner than I think.

Microsoft is desperately trying to avoid a shareholder revolt:
Microsoft offers ValueAct president seat on board

Surface Permanent Price Reduction

Microsoft's Surface slates get permanent price drops, cheaper Touch Covers
You would think this was good news, but the tablets are still too expensive and they left the price of the "Type" cover the at $130 (the "Type" cover is the only one worth having). The Surface RT's price ($350) would have been fine if they did it last year... but the Tegra 3 chip is now badly dated and is minimal for Windows RT's demands. The Surface Pro cannot be fixed until Intel (or AMD) provides proper chips that will not require a fan, and is still priced more expensively than small ultrabooks.

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