Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Android Microsoft

Why Eric Schmidt Is Wrong About Microsoft Not Mattering Anymore 398

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'm-feeling-better dept.
First time accepted submitter Gumbercules!! writes "Eric Schmidt said he believes there is a 'Gang of Four' technology platform leaders — Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook — Microsoft isn't one of them. I wrote about why I believe he's wrong and what it might say about Google's weaknesses. From the article: 'It's no secret that Microsoft have utterly failed to make significant roads into the mobile market place. Windows Phone 7 has approximately no marketshare (ok they have live 5% or so) and this has actually gone down over the last year. It's also no secret that Microsoft have failed to gain any semblance of "cool" and that they're also managing to drag Nokia down with them. It's not even a secret that nearly everyone who looks at the new Windows 8 interface-formally-known-as-Metro doesn't like it. However this isn't the whole story.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Why Eric Schmidt Is Wrong About Microsoft Not Mattering Anymore

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:30PM (#41624645)

    All four of the companies mentioned are walled-in gardens.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:40PM (#41624787)

      I noticed three of them, whatever else they do, produce things that are useful, and one produces nothing but qiestionable marketing drivel and lack of privacy.

    • Walled gardens (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:59PM (#41625513) Homepage Journal

      At least Google lets you get your data out.

    • by LordLucless (582312) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:59PM (#41625515)

      No, actually I don't.

      iOS is a walled garden - you must get Apple's permission to run applications on it. Mac OSX isn't (yet).

      Google, it depends on which of their multitude of services you're using. If you're referring to Android, then no, it doesn't. It has an app store (garden), but doesn't restrict you to only installing apps from that store (no wall)

      Facebook, as far as I'm aware, will let you run whatever apps you using their API. They kick them off for TOS violations, which is entirely reasonable. I'm not really sure how you can compare that to applications installed on consumer hardware though.

      Amazon, again, has a bunch of services. I assume you're talking about the Kindle. While its easiest to just buy from the amazon store, you can also dump ebooks onto it via USB with no trouble. Again, garden, no wall.

      Apple is the only one with a walled garden.

  • by KrazyDave (2559307) <htcprog@gmail.com> on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:31PM (#41624667) Homepage
    Ballmer and out-of-control, boy-billionaire eccentricities including management implementations, R&D based on petty jealousies and magical thinking are to blame for MS' slow, steady decline. Stick a fork in MS, it's done insofar as stock value as far as staking its entire hopes for the future on legacy Windows and Office market bases.
    • by symbolset (646467) * on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:37AM (#41627209) Journal

      For many years Microsoft was the 800lb gorilla of technology, a titan among small fry, not just the largest technology company but such a king that could hold sway over all of the market. That gave us such gems as this: "Minding your Microsoft Manners." [rcpmag.com] The palpable hubris is, in hindsight, the problem. Pride goeth before a fall.

      When Apple knocked them off of the top of the market cap, revenue and profits hills many of them do doubt were telling themselves it was a fluke, a fad, a bubble. But now not only is Apple worth well over twice what Microsoft is, but Google has knocked them out of the second spot. Google! The company that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer swore he was going to kill in that legendary chair throwing incident eight years ago [theregister.co.uk] has grown over three times in size while Microsoft stood still and has bested him. As if that weren't enough, IBM has been in its customary patient, persistent, conservative way building itself up until it is ready to put Microsoft even out of the third row in "Technology Companies by Market Capitalization". This on the eve of the largest simultaneous refresh of Microsoft's products in its history: new versions of Windows, Server, Office, Mobile, gaming products, the expected success of which the market has already priced in.

      This is no longer the giant that others dread.

      Microsoft's fall from dominance goes really hard. They are still in denial, demanding things they are no longer entitled to. It affects their partners too. Their longtime partner HP remains loyal despite the fact that Windows PCs make them no profit to speak of, and aren't expected to in the next few years, and HP has been scrambling so fast for so long that literally every other option has been floated but still the company stock is trading at lows not seen in a decade and analysts are calling for a breakup of the company, or doom inescapable. What could make HP act this way when there is no profit in it, nor hope of any? Dell is just as bad off - in the midst of the 2008 panic their stock fell lower than today, but there's no panic today and their shares today traded at an annual low, and the company's market cap is about one third of where it was a decade ago. And then there's Nokia. We all know what's happened to Nokia in the last few years. The only Microsoft partners doing well these days are ones like Samsung, Asus and Acer who keep them at arm's length and are participating in the mobile revolution Microsoft somehow missed.

      The world has changed. We don't need to mind our "Microsoft Manners" any more. That is the really, really big deal.

  • This guy is dumb (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:32PM (#41624681)

    Why would I buy a laptop or a PC for my staff ever again I could buy them a single tablet – or even pocket sized phone – that just connects to a dock or cable and viola - it’s now a fully fledged PC, running all my corporate software, legacy or otherwise on a full sized monitor with keyboard and mouse.

    This paragraph proves that this guy has no idea what he's talking about.

    • +1 exactly right on.
    • by tomhath (637240)

      This paragraph proves that this guy has no idea what he's talking about.

      It's possible he's just an Apple shill, but more likely you're correct. That's an absurd statement.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by shugah (881805)
        He can't be an Apple shill, as anyone who has tried to use an iPad for anything useful would understand that this is absurd.
        • A shill doesn't necessarily need to know the limitations of what he's shilling...

        • by roc97007 (608802)

          Mod up. My company issued me an ipad earlier this year. After a week, I gave it back. Because I didn't want to carry an ipad *and* a laptop. The ipad is a hipster toy.

    • by zlives (2009072)

      moron, would categorize him better. an idiot would do, and in a bind, douche will suffice.

      +1

    • He does not get it. No it will not run and work. Tablet software runs and works well because it basically does very little, or is very heavily optimized. PC software that runs on a notebook is not heavily optimized, and it runs in general. Thus battery life ounce for ounce will not match. For example Intel tablets still have a little fan. I mean COME ON PEOPLE! I am not critique Intel, I am saying that there are moments when I use a PC, and moments I use a tablet. What has changed is that you don't need Mic

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        He does not get it. No it will not run and work. Tablet software runs and works well because it basically does very little

        Most office desktop also do very little these days. For the general office worker, the idea is not so terrible... a docked tablet or phone will provide email, calendaring, web, and light word processing. That covers 90% of what 90% of what corporate office monkeys need to do. Most web applications will work great on these slim browsers, and if there is a killer app needed it is the full fledged spreadsheet... the processor will handle it but it seems no one wants to write or sell it because it will compete

        • by zlives (2009072)

          "Most web applications will work great on these slim browsers" you just proved to have no real world grasp of browser based apps used in real corporate settings.

          • by shugah (881805)
            Thin clients are not the problem. The challenge with tablets for business is where the data resides. For most businesses, data governance, privacy and security concerns around tablets and cloud computing in general have not been adequately addressed. There is also the presumed need for ubiquitous connectivity which is not always possible or practical. For instance, unless you can intelligently cache and sync local data, tablets are useless on airplanes (aside from Plants vs. Zombies and Angry Birds). M
        • Re:This guy is dumb (Score:5, Interesting)

          by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross.yahoo@ca> on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:05PM (#41625019)

          There is a problem IMO in this strategy. You are assuming that people will want to swipe and touch a screen. The Surface is a small device with a crappy mouse pad. The Apple MousePad is the norm and once you have used it, you don't go back. Imagine sitting at your desk and having to lift your hands to do anything? Not going to happen. Additionally ever tried to sit in front of a small screen to do work? Not very nice. I use 3 23" monitors for my daily work and will never go back to anything smaller.

          The assumption that you are making is that people will want to continue using the Microsoft software paradigm. As seen by the oodles of OSX, and now Linux users they can do just fine without Microsoft software. That is the irony in this entire situation. People don't hate Microsoft, they have become indifferent to Microsoft. That is worse than hating because people will look at your stuff and say Meh. When people hate, you will have those that will use just because others hate. When people say Meh people move on because they don't want to be boring.

        • by vux984 (928602) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:40PM (#41625359)

          . No, its not ideal for graphic design, CAD, or software development, but in a corporation of 10K users, the percentage doing this is tiny.

          Yes, lets put accounting on an ipad; nevermind the spreadsheet he's larger than an ipads RAM; and he's got 5 of them open at the same time... and he'd rip your face off if he had to use them full screen swiping from one to other and back again. And then he'd put your face back on just to rip it off again when you told him he couldn't use Microsoft Excel.

            Legal? iPad's all round - I heard legal likes to put all their documents on iCloud anyway, right guys?

          And I could go on indefinitely.

          That covers 90% of what 90% of what corporate office monkeys need to do.

          What is a corporate office monkey and what do they do?

          Sure the legion of cubicle grunts doing data entry from handwritten submitted forms for an insurance company -- sure they can probably have their cheap desktop replaced with a docking tablet... but why? The PCs they are using are already cheaper than a tablet.

          And really anyone further up the food chain than that? Well you said it yourself... "That covers 90%...." meaning 10% of what they do isn't covered. So what's your solution? They just don't do those things?

          Someone in sales needs to post some product photos to the company twitter account... except he used an actual digital camera so they didn't look like shit... but he can't get his photos from his camera to his company issued tablet.

          The girl managing the cellular assets gets an iphone back from the field that's locked up... no problem documenting the issue in the web-crm-pos system on her tablet... but really she needs to attach it to a computer with itunes to revive it.

          The advertising manager who needs to sign off on the new website design can't see it on their tablet because the outsourced designer sent them a physical DVD. So wandering around the halls with a disk looking for the face-ripper from accounts receivable because he knows he got a proper PC...

          Anyone who thinks tablets can replace general purpose pc's is only ever looking at 90% of the problem. That other 10% will kill you.

      • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:05PM (#41625015) Journal

        He does not get it. No it will not run and work. Tablet software runs and works well because it basically does very little, or is very heavily optimized.

        We did real work on computers slower than current low end smartphones less than 20 years ago.

        • by vux984 (928602) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:14PM (#41625617)

          We did real work on computers slower than current low end smartphones less than 20 years ago.

          We did real mining with pickaxes once upon a time too.

          We used the best tools we had at the time.
          Tablets are not a step forward from the current state of the art, the fact that they are better than my old 386 is rather irrelevant.

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          We did real work on computers slower than current low end smartphones less than 20 years ago.

          Yeah, but it was different "real work" and it wasn't very efficient. For instance, CAD. Back then I could run a large-mesh (by today's standards) FEA on a part in about 4 hours on a very high-end HP unix workstation. Now, that same analysis would be done in a few seconds - so we run a much more thorough analysis and end up with a lighter, cheaper part, better part with a lot more iterations tested against it.

          Data... a good digital oscilloscope 15 years ago would capture a fraction of the data that the same

    • Re:This guy is dumb (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ArsonSmith (13997) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:01PM (#41624991) Journal

      ...As i sit here with my phone docked to a 22" monitor with Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, RDP'd into a virtual desktop that runs all my corporate software, legacy and otherwise.

      this post shows that you don't know what you're talking about and a bunch of moderators seem to agree.

      • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:43PM (#41625393)

        What's the point of the phone in that setup? A thin client that you can leave on your desk seems like a better deal if you're talking about just connecting to another computer that runs the actual applications.

        • by ArsonSmith (13997)

          Because i have the same thin client while at the office, on the road or at home. Plus it keeps a lot of functionality when I don't have it connected to the corporate network.

    • Re:This guy is dumb (Score:4, Interesting)

      by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:02PM (#41624997) Homepage Journal

      This guy is an idiot, but it is pretty telling that so many people are jumping on the only actual insight he wrote. Not that Microsoft has such a thing coming out anytime soon, but if you don't believe that this is the end goal of Apple (and therefore, Microsoft), then well, you're a bigger idiot than he is.

      • by MtHuurne (602934)

        What would be the advantage of putting phone or tablet in a docking station as opposed to putting a simple PC on someone's desk? The amount of CPU power and memory needed for office applications is not expensive now and certainly not in the future. Keyboard, video, mouse would be provided via the docking station, so no money saved there. And using the mobile device for storage would be a disadvantage in my opinion, since it is easy to lose the device; it's much better to put the data on a company server, or

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:20PM (#41625161)

      Why would I buy a laptop or a PC for my staff ever again I could buy them a single tablet – or even pocket sized phone – that just connects to a dock or cable and viola - it’s now a fully fledged PC

      What I don't get is the requirement for a viola to go with the cable...?

    • by CyranoDeBergerac (127210) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:22PM (#41625187)

      that just connects to a dock or cable and viola

      Excellent; now I just need a dock connector for my violin and cello and I won't have to carry around that pesky string quartet any more.

    • by goombah99 (560566) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:35PM (#41625307)

      At home I have a couple macs. They do the job I need a computer to do. But to service the whole families needs, to provide a media center, and to provide something for on the go usage I need another work station plus a tablet. Eventually my other computers will get old and I'll need to replace them.

      Now if I could just use a tablet hooked to a big screen I'd need ferwer devices and I'd be happier. The tablets would let me use apps that are touch freindly with ease and the attached screen for typing and mousing apps. It would allow on the go use. Media use (where you want to move it to the chair or the amplifer or tv). perfect.

      so far all the tablets seem to only mirror their small screens if they have video out at all. Or they lack a desktop mode for mouse and KB usage.

      Windows 8 is going to have both.

      I had been wondering why win8 had both metro and desktop modes but suddenly I get it. this use case is a killer app.

      it fits my profile exactly. it fits my moms profile. it fits my kids needs.

      What sucks is that I don't like windows or the apps made for windows. I'd prefer to use the ones I have on my macs.

      • I use a last gen Apple TV when I need to put video on the big screen, and to send audio from any of my macs or portable devices to my home theater. No need for a dedicated tablet when a $100 device does the task very well. For better network performance and sanity, instead of using Apple TV's built in wireless I use it hooked to a Gigabit Ethernet switch that provides connectivity to all the networked devices in the entertainment rack.

  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:36PM (#41624717)

    A tablet has a completely different user interface with swipe gestures and a crappy keyboard.

    Why would I want to run legacy windows applications on it that already had in many cases godawful overcomplicated user interfaces with tiny menus and microscopic meaningless icons.

    Legacy photoshop on a windows tablet?

    Or standard Excel or Word with a monstrosity of control toolbars/ribbons with gazillions of tiny controls?

    Not going to happen.

    • by robvangelder (472838) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:49PM (#41624877)

      I think what the author means is that a Windows enabled tablet could replace the laptop space.
      On your work desk, it's connected to an external mouse, keyboard and monitor - desktop mode
      When you go to a meeting, or go on the road, you take the tablet with you - mobile mode

      The advance here is that you're running the same apps (yes, Word, Excel, legacy apps), same logon, same computer... whereever you go. In the corporate world, this could be huge.

      • by NoKaOi (1415755)

        I think what the author means is that a Windows enabled tablet could replace the laptop space.
        On your work desk, it's connected to an external mouse, keyboard and monitor - desktop mode
        When you go to a meeting, or go on the road, you take the tablet with you - mobile mode

        Yes this. Don't get me wrong, I don't like it, I don't think it's going to be successful, and I don't want it, but I think this is what they're banking on. I didn't want to knock the-UI-formerly-known-as-Metro until I actually tried it, so I tried it and it and I don't like it. It basically seems like they're making you use a touchscreen UI with a mouse and keyboard. The only reason this makes sense is if they want you to be able to use the same device as both a tablet with a touchscreen and a computer

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        I think what the author means is that a Windows enabled tablet could replace the laptop space.
        On your work desk, it's connected to an external mouse, keyboard and monitor - desktop mode
        When you go to a meeting, or go on the road, you take the tablet with you - mobile mode

        The advance here is that you're running the same apps (yes, Word, Excel, legacy apps), same logon, same computer... whereever you go. In the corporate world, this could be huge.

        I dunno. I have a Windows 7 "tablet edition" tablet collecting dust at home. As a tablet it was very nearly useless, because the OS didn't support touch properly (weird, unintuitive gestures to mimic a 3 button mouse, and odd design fails like the keyboard popping over the text field you were trying to type in) and none of the applications were even remotely tablet-enabled. So, to use it as a laptop was more complicated than a real laptop, and using it as a tablet was an exercise in frustration. Hence i

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You connect it to a large monitors and hook into a PC sitting on a rack somewhere. Easier maintenance, security and control of the IT infrastructure.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      A tablet has a completely different user interface with swipe gestures and a crappy keyboard.

      Why would I want to run legacy windows applications on it that already had in many cases godawful overcomplicated user interfaces with tiny menus and microscopic meaningless icons.

      Legacy photoshop on a windows tablet?

      Or standard Excel or Word with a monstrosity of control toolbars/ribbons with gazillions of tiny controls?

      Not going to happen.

      Agreed, absolutely nobody. Tablets need a completely different OS and application design paradigm, from the ground up, and Microsoft may never understand that. They certainly don't yet.

  • by L3370 (1421413) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:36PM (#41624725)
    Microsoft is making money. Lots of it. Facebook has a really good idea on how to make money.

    Make your predictions about MS failing...there's evidence to suggest they are going the way of the dinosaur. Facebook's Golden Goose on the other hand has yet to lay eggs.
    • by rabtech (223758) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:39PM (#41625357) Homepage

      Microsoft is making money

      Horse and buggy makers were still making money (and lots of it!) when the first Model T rolled off the assembly line. Doesn't mean a big change wasn't coming.

      The bulk of Microsoft's revenue comes from Windows and Office on the desktop. PC sales have slowed and begun shrinking - people just don't need to upgrade as often and the market is saturated.

      The iPad alone is a significant slice of the PC market (25% in the US) but more importantly it continues on a tremendous hockey stick growth curve. That's a market that Microsoft cant sell Windows to and refuses to sell Office to. It doesn't take a genius to see the wall of pain coming Microsoft's way and Windows 8 is a desperate attempt to push what worked in the past into a new area. Windows has been so successful in the PC arena that Microsoft cant imagine life without it or any strategy to monetize iPad users that doesn't involve billions in risk on producing their own hardware (like, say, Office for iPad.... A no-risk proposal that might cost a few million in developer salaries).

      That's always how entrenched players get beaten. It simply doesn't matter how dominant Microsoft is on the desktop because all the growth is happening in tablets and mobile... And being good early does you nothing there, you have to be good at the right time - the time when the market starts to look like a hockey stick so network and ecosystem effects can become self-reinforcing. Microsoft has already missed that point. That's why people think they are irrelevant.

    • by Dwedit (232252)

      Facebook had a really good idea on how to make money. It involved an IPO that made Facebook employees rich and screwed everyone else.

  • by Synerg1y (2169962) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:37PM (#41624749)

    Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, HP, if you look at it from a business point of view. Apple is a bit cornered here with only the iphone / ipad products, but people seem to like them. MS is obvious: software, Cisco runs most of the networks, and HP is popular w desktops & printers. On second thought, maybe we should swap out apple for IBM here too. Business sales are far more established, less trendy, and without looking up statistics on it, are a lot more $ than consumer sales.

    • On second thought, maybe we should swap out apple for IBM here too. Business sales are far more established, less trendy, and without looking up statistics on it, are a lot more $ than consumer sales.

      Yes, because when we do look at statistic, as of now, Apple worth much more than IBM. This is why Apple purposely leave enterprise market, since milking pocket moneys over millions of fanboys is more profitable.

  • Ho hum (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:38PM (#41624763)

    Yet another "Please come read my blog post where I totally miss the point of what someone said, but read it anyway so I can get some ad revenue" story on Slashdot.

    I read the article. It boils down to "Microsoft may make a comeback so they matter". Given the lack of anything other than speculation in the article - the author could've just as easily replaced "Microsoft" with "RIM". I mean, really - we should expect Windows tablets to make a strong showing simply because they can run Windows applications? Then why didn't all the old Windows tablets end up ruling the roost?

    Microsoft isn't a game-changer anymore. Sure, it's possible they'll rebound - after all, Apple was in the same boat in the 1990s. But they haven't demonstrated any reason we should give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • Re:Ho hum (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:49PM (#41624879)

      Thanks to Microsoft my on-premise private cloud is about to get a whole lot cheaper as they force VMware to start giving away the features we pay a lot for now. Windows 2012 is a game changer for the enterprise as they force the other vendors to drop their pants and remove the cost and other barriers to and agile cloud based IT scape.
      I think anyone who assume MS are over and out are going to get flanked. It is a very exciting time as MS have shown they aren't old dogs.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by SerpentMage (13390)

        OMG stop the presses, you are right having an on-premise private cloud is just going to change EVERYTHING. Here is a question, does anybody have an idea what that means? Yes yes the words are obvious. But what it sounds to me is that Microsoft has just invented the idea of having a huge honking data center on your own premises? I mean that must be rocket science and not something we had before, right?

        Oh wait, we are also going to have agile cloud based IT. Yupe never had that before, actually asking the que

        • People didn't need phones with Angry Birds on them, but when presented with those phones they went hog wild. It's the producers imperative to show the consumers what they "should" want.

    • Which could happen soon, Microsoft won't have a business model at all. Currently Microsoft is being floated by patent extortion. If that ends, they are in big trouble.
    • by steelfood (895457)

      Microsoft isn't a game-changer anymore

      But were they ever a game changer? I'm not sure Microsoft is who you imagine them to be. Microsoft has a tendency to wait for something new to become mainstream, copy it, and try to take over the market.

      Is it a bad thing? In the sense of technological progress and innovation, sure, they tend to leach and don't really contribute. But in jumping in late, they also get to see what works and what doesn't, and expend resources only on the bits that work. They do make changes (Extend) and that can be considered i

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Microsoft isn't a game-changer anymore

        But were they ever a game changer?

        I'm one of the first to hate on Microsoft at the least provocation but where have you been? Microsoft was the first to bring us the same interface on the desktop and the server. (Unix workstations don't count, most couldn't afford to field them.) They were masters of reverse compatibility. They were leaders in providing both an operating system and a meaningful assortment of applications for that operating system. They led GUI development for ages, even being part of the Mo

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PlusFiveTroll (754249)

      Then why didn't all the old Windows tablets end up ruling the roost?

      Because they didn't have anyone to steal a good idea from at the time. I'm not sure Microsoft ever innovated.

      The biggest issue with Apple 'controlling' the market is Apple's control over its market, they love controlling and locking down consumer devices, that doesn't get in to the enterprise very far. Apple simply doesn't provide the platforms that run the back end of a business. Microsoft is well established there, I don't see a lot of places dropping MSSQL or AD any time soon. If Microsoft ever gets a t

  • Something something Visual Studio something something.

    Now pay me!

  • by rgbrenner (317308) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:42PM (#41624817)

    An article about how wrong he is.. but no link to his actual comments? Really?

    http://allthingsd.com/20121010/live-from-new-york-walt-mossberg-kara-swisher-interview-eric-schmidt/ [allthingsd.com]

    Schmidt: Something unusual has happened. All four companies are networks/platforms generating enormous scale effects. We’ve never had that before: Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google. All different, all competitors, all making enormous investments.

    Swisher: You left out Microsoft:

    Schmidt: Deliberate. ...

    Mossberg: Why did you keep Microsoft out of the Gang of Four?

    Schmidt: They’re a well-run company, but they haven’t been able to bring state-of-the-art products into the fields we’re talking about yet.

    8:23 pm: Schmidt: The Android-Apple platform fight is the defining contest. Here’s why: Apple has thousands of developers building for it. Google’s platform, Android, is even larger. Four times more Android phones than Apple phones. 500 million phones already in use. Doing 1.3 million activations a day. We’ll be at 1 billion mobile devices in a year.

    Schmidt: We’ve not seen network platform fights at this scale. The beneficiary is you all, the customer, globally. “This is wonderful.”

    8:25 pm: Compare this to the PC industry. Phone user population is six billion, one billion smartphone users. Much bigger than the PC industry — maybe a billion, 1.5 billion installed.
    Every month, quarter, year, the growth rate of mobile adoption exceeds everyone’s expectations. The phones become so useful that “it’s good enough for normal people” in lieu of a PC, for day-to-day events. Years ago, “people like myself, we missed that.”

    1) It's Eric Schmidt. of course he's biased.

    and

    2) he didn't seem to be specifically talking about mobile. Facebook, Google+, etc.

    So it's laughable that 100m apple phones, or 500m android phones is a significant platform.. but the OS used on 95% of a billion PCs somehow is not.

    • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross.yahoo@ca> on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:12PM (#41625089)

      Wayne Gretzky when you play hockey, don't look where the puck is/has been, but look for where the puck will be.

      This is what Schmidt is talking about.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      600 million is 60% of a billion. If you consider that the smartphone market is still thought of as new, but the PC market is considered mature, these are impressive numbers. Growth potential is still just that, potential, but I can't find any arguments that would convince me the smartphone market is near saturation despite being new.

      However, I'm not sure Android vs. Apple with be the defining contest. Sure, the consumer money is in mobile, and that is where the contest lies primarily. But the corporate mone

  • Meh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:46PM (#41624841)

    Microsoft is relevant today the same way that railroads are relevant. It will continue to be part of the infrastructure for a long, long time, but only as a necessary evil and a relic of the past.

  • by stargazer1sd (708392) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:46PM (#41624849) Homepage

    Eric Schmidt has spend a lot of time competing against Microsoft. I think he's mostly right. Microsoft has only been able to prosper through monopoly tactics and those won't work anymore. They come out with a lousy version 1.0 to keep competitors away, refine it some through versions 2 and 3, then version 4 becomes useful. They can't even think about that strategy now because someone else came out with version s 1, 2, and 3.

    Microsoft is still dominant in the word processing and spreadsheet markets. Unfortunately, they'll probably lose that franchise, given the rise of PDF for interchange, and their unwillingness to port their products to either Android or iOS. Someone with deep pockets, probably Google, will come along and take those markets from them.

    There's also a lot of back office software that uses their servers, databases, and development tools.But those markets will never grow as quickly as the consumer end.

    They won't be going away any time soon, but if they're ever going to get back in to growing markets, they need to change radically. In the end, no company that size will turn on a dime, and its not clear whether there's still time for them to get back in the game.

  • Facebook? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Keen Anthony (762006) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:50PM (#41624881)

    In exactly what ways is Facebook a technology platform leader that can be placed adjacent to Apple, Google, or Amazon. I'll buy Amazon. They have Kindle, but even without Kindle there's Amazon's web and cloud services, plus their supply chain management with all the technology that supports it, but Facebook? Facebook is still nothing more than a virtual platform that depends completely on existing platforms. Apple, Google, and Amazon can coexist independently in their own spaces. Facebook is a download, whether it's via browser to your personal computer or to your mobile device, it's still a download. Facebook does have its tech too. Something has made Zynga games successful and a seamless experience on Facebook, but Facebook has nothing that its competitors or its contemporaries lack except clicks. MySpace's luck with clicks and Facebook's constant stock devaluation illustrates just how easy it can be for Facebook to slip away. Microsoft has numerous platforms that interact with each other and is showing signs of realizing that today's market wants enterprise connectivity with consumer style, something Google and Apple have known. I would say that this "gang of four technology platform leaders" would best be described as a "gang of four attention leaders".

    • by rgbrenner (317308)

      You have it all wrong. Facebook is cutting-edge technology. They use Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, and MemCache. [makeuseof.com] What is more innovative than that?

      They also developed the hiphop php compiler, cassandra, thrift, and scribe... but those are nearly entirely to work around problems with using LAMP on a site that large.

    • by BeerCat (685972)

      I was almost going to agree with you totally - Facebook is more "at the table of the gang of three" than "one of the gang of four".
      But then I thought about whether it is more than "just clicks", in the same way that the iPod dominated the MP3 market because it wasn't just a music player - it was the whole package of player+easy music management (and later an easy online store).

      So, with Facebook having the app integration far better than MySpace did, (boosted by the near symbiotic relationship with Zynga in

    • http://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/Zynga-s-Downfall-Exposes-The-Biggest-Threat-To-3939452.php [sfgate.com]

      Zynga's not doing so well either. Facebook is a joke in the context of TFA, just like you stated. Their bones will be buried with MySpace soon enough. I should coin GAAM (google, apple, amazon, microsoft), because it's likely they'll be dominating tech sales for some time to come.

  • From the article:

    All the apps that matter to most users (and virtually all businesses) can be run on Windows just fine, thanks (in fact most exclusively run on Windows). So why have an Android tablet and an Android phone, plus a Windows laptop and / or PC. Why not just have the one device to rule them all? At the very least, Windows 8 stands poised to decimate Android tablet sales overnight. As I mentioned in my Microsoft Office article, running genuine productivity software on a tablet is still something of a rarity (emphasis mine), while Microsoft’s Surface Tablet is the first tablet device that’s aiming at exactly this market, first and foremost.

    Perhaps the most common business "app" would be Microsoft's office suite. No one is going to be creating powerpoints, word documents, excel sheets, etc. on a tablet or a mobile phone. The tablet is just not designed for that. You need a keyboard and mouse (or the other option is some massive investment into training people to deal with no keyboard/mouse). Windows 8 stands to be the laughing stock of OS's if they do not address usability issues on the desktop. Until then, I only see it being

  • Microsoft already has a stranglehold in one market, and that is anything enterprise related. Anything E-mail related has to work flawlessly with Exchange.

    Same with AD. Even Linux installations end up having to have some form of AD compatibility if they are to be allowed in the data center.

    After the data center, Microsoft does still control the desktop. We don't consider desktops that much, since there are tons of other devices, but MS is slowly clenching its fist. First was product activation. Now, Win

  • by pod (1103) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:00PM (#41624987) Homepage

    If Microsoft do this right, it’s going to be game changing – and right now, Google doesn’t have an answer for it, that I can see.

    Microsoft doesn't have to do anything right. In fact they don't have to do anything at all, just wait, until technology miniaturizes enough that you can run desktop business apps in a tablet or phone hardware format. The portable device space has been all about device and feature consolidation, and I don't expect that trend to suddenly reverse because Google excluded Microsoft from some list they made up.

  • by DadLeopard (1290796) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:01PM (#41624989)
    Their past strategy insures that business will continue to use a Microsoft OS as long as they need access to their legacy documents exactly as they were created. With their purposely none standard formats Microsoft has effectively locked in anyone that doesn't want to spend massive amounts of time and money to insure that all documents converted to a different format are actually as they were created. They don't have to be Good, and they don't care if they are liked are not, because they have your balls in a vise!
  • Lol, Yeah Right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NinjaTekNeeks (817385) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:15PM (#41625127)
    What horse shit. They may not matter in search or mobile due to their current market share, but I'd speculate Research in Motion is a great example of how one day you are on top, the next you are bottom of the heap. MSFT has been churning out desktop and server operating systems, enterprise applications and CRM/ERP solutions for as long as I can remember. With further penetration into the virtualization market I'd say MSFT has a bright future and an obviously consistent and impressive track record. Remember, MSFT was piling up hundreds long before google, facebook and amazon even existed.
  • Anybody who can write that "iOS is static and hasn’t improved since 2007" has no idea what he's talking about. He's writing on an Android-oriented site, so I can certainly understand why he would come from the point of view that Android is the best. That's a reasonable opinion, even if I disagree. But to claim that iOS has remained the same as it was in 2007 isn't just a disagreement about opinions. It's factually mistaken, and it's sheer idiocy. It's hard to give credibility to someone who claims to
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft's biggest revenue sources are still alive and well

    MS SQL and Office

    In my opinion, in the computing word,

    The powerhouses are

    Google, Apple, Adobe, Oracle, Microsoft

    To be honest

    Facebook is losing users everyday and while they have a lot of dominance they can't be a force in the world of computing. What they do or don't won't matter much to other parts of the IT world

    Amazon's biggest competitor is eBay

  • Cool (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Master Moose (1243274) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:34PM (#41625295) Homepage

    Microsoft have failed to gain any semblance of “cool”

    I don't think that Microsoft ever had cool. Microsoft rose to prominence not by being cool but by ensuring that their OS and utility applications became the default Business and Home standards.

    New, layman computer buyers have had little choice but to send some money to M$ with every new machine they bought for most of the past 20 years. These people weren't buying "Cool" gadgets though. On the whole they were buying computers. Computers for their homes, school, work, internet connections - computers that happened to come with Microsoft products running on them.

    Their vast OEM agreements with all major computer manufacturers and Getting Word and Excel to be ubiquitous with Word processor and Spreadsheet is what gave M$ their market share - Nothing to do with how cool they are.

fortune: cannot execute. Out of cookies.

Working...