My reference to Exchange/Office was meant to include other "back office" products as well, since once a business is a "Microsoft shop", they tend to use Microsoft products for most of their other needs as well. While this is a highly profitable arrangement for Microsoft, it makes them even more vulnerable to a competitor coming in and offering an cheaper better solution by breaking up the "microsoft shop" mini-monopolies at businesses. Microsoft doesn't tend to fare well with open competition once their barriers to access have been broken. Blackberry was very successful and made a lot of money, too, but were also extremely vulnerable and collapsed with frightening speed. I would be somewhat nervous if I was a Microsoft shareholder... only somewhat nervous since they have a lot of cash to burn before they crash, but their future looks kind of shaky at the moment.
Ballmer defenders like to point out the stock value and revenue numbers, which is valid, however Ballmer's reign ended Microsoft's dominance in mindshare and allowed their monopoly to essentially break up. Their revenue gains were made at a great cost to the company's prestige and future dominance and are likely to be short lived. There is only one product now that is making money and that is Office/Exchange and their cloud version of that. The desktop Windows market is shrinking rapidly, Surface is a financial failure, Windows Phone is a laughingstock, Silverlight a joke, and Xbox One is circling the drain. Where is the future? No one cares what Microsoft wants to do in the marketplace. They are ignored. Ballmer made them a one trick pony--a revenue generating one trick pony, but one that is extremely vulnerable to being completely toppled by a better, more respected competitor.
There is a required lab course in the afternoon.
I like mine a lot. It's basically become my primary laptop. Anything that I need beyond Chrome, I can do in Linux via Crouton.
Win NT had a hardware abstraction layer that supposedly made everything portable... I think you still had to compile applications to whatever native architecture it was running on though. Maybe they will go back to promoting
Here's a real life car analogy... GM in the 80's "unified" all their drivetrains. The same engines/transmissions were available in the Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, etc. The only differences were in the style, body, and nameplate. It didn't particularly go over well with auto enthusiasts or consumers in general. The GM brands became rather superfluous, and consumers were quite lukewarm to the generic "all-in-one" options for GM cars. GM cars from the 80's are considered to be the worst built and least desirable of the company's history. You don't see any of those models still driving around with classic plates on them. Few consumers wanted them then, even fewer want to preserve them now.
That would make little sense. You acknowledge in your post that the product line is dying. Milking everything you can out of it makes sense, but if you don't replace it with something else, you'll end up like every other IT company that decided to just sit on their cash cow until it was too late. Novell Netware, Banyan Vines, RIM/Blackberry, SCO, all companies that cashed in mightily on one trick wonders, only to crash and burn incredibly quickly when their product was surpassed by someone else. One of the reasons why Microsoft was so successful in the 1990's was that Bill Gates refused to let anyone get ahead of his company. Your recommendation is one of certain corporate death.
I can now finally get a Google+ account and do ratings on Android apps...
Too bad it's a few years too late... Had google offered this when they launched Google+ they might have actually become a decent competitor to facebook. Now it's too late.
And Google Play comments, too...
Microsoft already reinvented itself once--in the 1990's, and only because a few passionate employees convinced Bill Gates that the Internet was worth something. Gates, being ever paranoid, decided to flip the company on its head and turn it into an Internet company in record time. Gates isn't there anymore. While Gates used to wake up in the middle of the night terrified that someone might steal his business. Ballmer managed to sleep through the decade and let everyone else eat Microsoft's lunch. Can Nadella recreate Bill Gates and redirect the company? We'll see... He doesn't have the advantages Microsoft did in the 1990s. He has a tough job ahead.
Microsoft could become a business only company... that would put a dent in their "Surface" vision, of course. But, they have nothing to lose with Xbox keeping them relevant in the consumer space. Why throw it out? It would be such a waste!
A lot. What better way to sell advertising than to totally integrate with the TV experience and sell some stuff, too. The Xbox's capabilities would dovetail nicely with Google's vision, and they'd make it a lot cheaper, too. Imagine advertising supported games, so you don't have to shell out $60 every time? Google owning Xbox would be a dream come true for them.
They got the word Microsoft into millions of home and unlike with their home PC, made it into a positive experience. Any money that might have been lost was made up for by the marketing gains. When people think XBox, they think Microsoft and successful product--two words that don't usually go together. That's worth any price Microsoft may have paid for the experience. Considering how much Xbox charges you for everything and everything, it certainly takes an extraordinary level of incompetence to lose money on something like that.
So they get rid of their most successful consumer product.... the thing that puts the word "Microsoft" in people's houses? That makes sense--typical MBA driven, stupid, short sighted decision that would be so Microsoft. I'd love for Google to buy Xbox. They would do some pretty cool things with that. Microsoft would never sell to them. Samsung, maybe? They'd love to get a bigger piece of the living room, and they might do some cool things with it!
And yet, they are still making gobs of money. In fact, they are more profitable than ever. Moves like this don't really help anything.. not even the bottom line, since the massive cuts crush morale and limit the ability of the company to innovate to keep ahead of the competition.