Friday, September 6, 2013

Watching Microsoft's Death Spiral #7

For the first time, there looks like there might be some hope that Microsoft's death spiral might slow (some).
[Previous WMSD posts: #1#2#3#4#5, #6]
Here is the first of a new class of Windows laptop:
Toshiba NB15t 11.6 inch notebook coming in November for $379

This contains a 2ghz Celeron based on Bay Trail technology. This is only a product announcement, I've not got to touch one yet, but it looks like just the kind of laptop I've been arguing for in this blog. It's processor should be fast enough for most people. It has 4 gb of RAM (again enough for most people). The major shortcoming I see is that it's got a conventional hard drive (500 gb)... but I understand that... Windows 8 is so hefty that anything short of a 128 GB SSD would be a problem (and that's probably too expensive still). The laptop will likely need a fan, but probably not much of one. For Toshiba to put this out at only $379 implies strongly that both Microsoft and Intel are willing to give pricing breaks for lesser systems. One can only wait and see just how absurdly Microsoft and Intel will define "lesser system". This is an 11" laptop. Still the price is great... many people would be perfectly happy with such a laptop. I assume other companies will follow with similar products soon.

That having been said, the TDP of the Celeron inside this machine is 7.5 watts. This may be bad news for Bay Trail in tablets as the Bay Trail chips at a lower clock speed, at least in the initial benchmarks available, seem not to be competitive with top-end ARM chips.


In other news:


Microsoft has done something that actually makes sense:
Microsoft expands its lineup of free Windows and Office evaluation packages
This is to replace the TechNet subscription it recently killed.


Sadly, it all goes downhill from here.


Google just rolled out Chrome Apps to the public. These could easily displace Windows and MacOS as the primary way desktop apps are delivered. In response to Chrome Apps [and Android], Windows uber-pundit Paul Thurrott shocked me by saying that Microsoft should "give away Windows and Windows Phone"operating systems. He's probably right, but he's the last person I thought would say it in writing.

Here's an amazing quote from the article:
Will this [referring to devices and services income] ever match the billions in revenues that Windows now directly provides to the bottom line? Maybe not, but that actually doesn't matter. Those revenues are going to disappear anyway. The time to move is now, before that irreversible slide happens.
See his article here: Microsoft is Copying the Wrong Company



Here's more from the trade press on the Nokia deal and Ballmer's resignation:

Nokia buy can't fix Windows Phone biggest hurdle: Itself | Smartphones - CNET Reviews

With Nokia, Microsoft Has No More Excuses – ReadWrite

Beyond Ballmer: Why Microsoft Is Going To Continue To Suffer – ReadWrite

Microsoft-Nokia deal: A great idea that came too late, and killed Windows. - Slate Magazine



Oh, and if the Nokia deal wasn't already controversial enough... a Newkia has been formed that looks to poach Nokia employees to make Nokia-like Android phones:

Nokia is dead, Newkia rises from its ashes

Former Nokia CEO founds Newkia, aims to create the Nokia Android phone you've always dreamed of



There are signs that Enterprise customers are growing restless:

Does Microsoft Hate IT Pros?

Microsoft Must Split Or Lose Enterprise Customers

Microsoft cans three 'pinnacle' certifications, sparking user fury



As if small businesses weren't already upset enough with Microsoft:

Windows 8.1 to freeze out small business apps

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