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Journal Infonaut's Journal: Dvorak too close to the crack pipe again 1

His latest is full of clever insights.

The XBox, rather than a money pit, has been an "experiment", merely the first stage in a Microsoft plan to roll out their own PC.

Rolling out Microsoft branded PCs is a good idea because, um... "perhaps making a Microsoft computer that adheres to the often-ignored Microsoft reference designs might reinvigorate the once-lively PC buzz." I know I'll be excited by a machine that FINALLY adheres to the Microsoft reference designs.

This is also a good move because Microsoft has been successful at playing follow-the leader in the past: "Microsoft has been very successful with this copycat strategy." So copying Apple's ill-fated Mac clone move is a good idea? When you're competing against other hardware vendors, there's a built in conflict of interest. If Microsoft wants to advance the Linux cause, there's no better way than to start shipping Microsoft-branded PCs in the United States. Michael Dell and the boys and girls at H-P won't take such a move lying down.

Dvorak's answer to this is that "[Microsoft] has them over a barrel since their only alternative is Linux, which has little chance of becoming popular anytime soon." Uh, where have you been, bro? And do you really think that forcing your hardware partners into a corner with your offerings will keep them *away* from Linux? How would you react if all of the big PC OEMs jumped on the Linux bandwagon, developing their own distros and contributing to kernel development?

Dvorak presumes too much foresight from Microsoft. They put the XBox out there as a way to cover their asses from a flank attack by consoles. Dvorak also thinks "[a]n inordinate effort has been made to integrate the Xbox with the PC, via Microsoft Media PC software." Right. Obviously. I mean, Microsoft wouldn't want to try and standardize their software platforms as much as possible unless they were secretly planning (for the past SIX years) to roll out their own PC hardware. I don't buy the argument that this is a deliberate, well-orchestrated clever Microsoft plan.

If Microsoft does roll out PCs in the US market, it will be just another example of Microsoft reacting to a marketplace that is no longer in its grip. And it will only serve to push hardware OEMs into the arms of Linux.

The "own the OS and let others build the hardware" model was good while it lasted.

If Microsoft really wanted to take some risks and be bold with its future, the company would have a team building a completely new OS, from the ground up, along with the next-generation hardware to run it. And no, Surface doesn't count. Surface is a great concept, but it's a $5-10k table running MS Vista, and it took six years to create.

Give the commando team a year, some money, and a building of their own. If they come up with something good, sell it. Pull a Procter & Gamble and compete against yourself. Stop milking the Windows/Office cow. The teats are going dry, boys and girls.

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Dvorak too close to the crack pipe again

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  • by mr_mischief ( 456295 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @05:09AM (#19936499) Journal
    The XBox already is a pretty capable machine for the price. It's a standardized platform, it has a trusted computing module in it, and the software stack between the XBox and Vista are supposedly similar enough that porting a graphically intense, high-speed game is trivial compared to porting to other consoles.

    At the least, this means Microsoft is using XBox to make sure that big-name console titles make it to the PC. At most, they probably figure some people will buy the kids a console who wouldn't buy a second or third PC. However, don't be entirely surprised if, still under the XBox name, you someday see a stripped-down Office package (or maybe a full-blown Works) for the XBox line. Such a move would be an attack on low-end to midrange PCs in the home that are not used for much besides games and term papers, but MS could assure the PC vendors that they're just doing a value-add for their console to better compete with Nintendo and Sony.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.