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back to article Microsoft: Surface a failure? No, it made us STRONGER

Microsoft's Surface fondleslabs haven't been selling as well as it or its retail partners would have liked, but top execs say that building hardware in-house is an essential part of Redmond's strategy, and one that has already paid off. Speaking at a meeting with financial analysts on Thursday, Microsoft chief operating officer …

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Facepalm

We alienated our partners, wrote off $900m, and were the laughingstock of the industry...

We plan to do more of this in the future!

For example, we're buying Nokia...

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Re: We alienated our partners, wrote off $900m, and were the laughingstock of the industry...

Based on BB quarterly results they may even double down before too long since they seem to have a boner for phone manufacturers that are a shell of their former selves.

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Anonymous Coward

Watch out

Blackberry are announcing nearly 5000 job losses and a financial loss greater than the number of Z handsets it hoped to build.

The company is heading for junk status and may well want to sell to the highest bidder.

Who will get in first? MS, Apple, Samsung?

History is littered with 'Great Businesses' that take a wrong turn and then fall and end up as footnotes in the mists of time..............

1 October 2030 "A look back at technology, was the Surface and Win 8 the precursor for the decline of Microsoft?"

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Re: Watch out

"1 October 2030 "A look back at technology, was the Surface and Win 8 the precursor for the decline of Microsoft?""

Er, no, more like "was the iPhone 5 the precursor for the decline of Apple?"

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LDS
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Re: We alienated our partners, wrote off $900m, and were the laughingstock of the industry...

Guess most of you didn't read the article about the Newton and how Apple burned money for a device which didn't catch the market and was axed. Later Apple was able to deliver the iPhone and iPad.

It looks most of you are really worried MS could fight back and deliver some good devices - which would make your hate for MS burn your brain.

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Holmes

Re: We alienated our partners, wrote off $900m, and were the laughingstock of the industry...

Here's some illuminating commentary on Windows 8.

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Re: We alienated our partners, wrote off $900m, and were the laughingstock of the industry...

i don't hate them , i just wish they would get their act together , if anything i feel sorry for them being unable to dig their way out of the sizable hole they have made for themselves Maybe now they have ditched that prick Ballmer they may have a chance provided they also give windows 8 the boot as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We alienated our partners, wrote off $900m, and were the laughingstock of the industry...

Exactly, Linux needs some competition.

Choice is good.

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Re: We alienated our partners, wrote off $900m, and were the laughingstock of the industry...

No, My fear is that MS will still make enough money to spin successive pieces of crap and will remain a player in the market.

Meaning they won't return to what works like windows 7 and will continue to try and flog windows 8 style rubbish.

I have no fear in them making good products, it won't happen.

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If your at the bottom they are assuming the only way is up. Well, no. You could easily stay there.

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"If your at the bottom they are assuming the only way is up. Well, no. You could easily stay there."*

Not in this case.

After all, Ballmer just announced the cunning plan to get them out of the hole they dug: "Keep digging!"

*Tsk, your-you're... there is a difference, folks!

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Anonymous Coward

Sounds like

they think they can dig themselves out of the hole by digging harder.

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Anonymous Coward

@Will Godfrey

You're not your please!

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Unhappy

Re: @Will Godfrey

Gimme a break guys! It's not often I make a mistake like that. It's this new keebord wot dunnit innit A.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Will Godfrey

Upvoted for honesty and humbleness.

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Re: @Will Godfrey

They may be in a hole now, but if the keep digging eventually they'll wind up out of that hole on the other side of the planet.

If you follow cartoon logic... which I do.

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Anonymous Coward

they must be doing something wrong....

to make huge profits. I would love to be as big a failure as Microsoft apparently is....

Let's see YOU dweebs run a company......

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Re: they must be doing something wrong....

The edge to that desktop monopoly is that can it pay off years later in ways you don't expect such as when even Android phone manufacturers are forced to pay for patents so their phone memory (fat32) can interact with customer computers. Microsoft has ridden that beast about as far as they can though and my guess they are nearing their peak in profit unless the new CEO turns out having the gold touch. But hey keep posting as an AC as it really shows your faith in your employer and/or stock holdings.

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Re: they must be doing something wrong....

Most of that is "automatic", like the banks "borrow at 0.5%, lend at 6-20%".

In other words, if you do nothing at all you continue to make large profits, and you have to try really hard to lose money.

Eg by writing off multiple billions on failed projects.

Like Mr B has done several times.

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LDS
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Re: they must be doing something wrong....

Google can write an ext4 driver for Windows anytime it likes and avoid FAT32 and exFAT wholly. No one is forced to use such MS patents. Can't really see why MS should not protect its R&D investments and give them away for free to competitor. Does Google open source its search engine algorithms?

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Re: they must be doing something wrong....

Well besides the fact I find almost all software patents to be morally wrong, yes Microsoft is playing by the rules of game. All I am saying is Microsoft is still making the vast majority of its money in the same markets it was making it a decade ago and the only time it makes money in new markets at all is when it can leverage it already ruled illegal monopoly. This is getting harder and harder for them to do. Yes they will stay profitable for a long time but unless things change radically internally I believe very shortly they will reach peak profit and slowly decline.

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Re: they must be doing something wrong....

Even if you think SW patents are acceptable FAT32 is an issue.

The problem with the FAT32 patent is that it is a stunningly obvious solution to a problem that only existed because of the pathetic design of FAT. The value of FAT32 patent is only FAT32's status as a de facto standard. Nobody designing a new filesytem would do anything as broken as FAT32. Patents that reward obvious solutions are bad because they inhibit innovation and competition. Patents whose only value is to allow implementation of a de facto standard and have no independant technical worth are very worrying especially when they are not offered under RAND terms.

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Re: they must be doing something wrong....

I assume that the reason why the Nexus4 doesn't mount as a drive and only supports MTP transfer is that it can then use ext3 internally and not require paying FAT32 patent fees to Microsoft. That would also give them a reason for not supporting microSD cards, since those would need to use FAT32 otherwise they would be unreadable on most PCs. Anyone know if this is true?

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Re: they must be doing something wrong....

Avoidance of the patent is somewhat plausible. Although big players tend to license the whole dump (pun fully intended), so one patent does not matter very much.

It may also be a matter of control - to prevent raw access to storage.

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Doubleplus good

No really, chocolate production is up 20%.

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Facepalm

"superior hardware-software integration"?

Gah... What about USER-software integration?

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Windows

Re: "superior hardware-software integration"?

"What about USER-software integration?"

I would not like to be integrated with Microsoft software. See what happened to this woman --->

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The surface RT had little chance of being successful, underpowered and with few apps there was little reason to buy it over an ipad. The surface pro on the other hand is pretty good, I bought one a few weeks ago with the £80 discount and I've got few complaints. The intel HD4000 graphics could be better, although if you turn the resolution down to 720p it'll play modern games at a decent framerate. The built in audio drivers are crap and have no noise cancellation on the microphone, so I had to install the realtek ones to avoid pissing people off on skype. Other than that I'm very happy with it.

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Intel graphics - hahahahahahahaha, GMA = games my ass

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Intel graphics - hahahahahahahaha, GMA = games my ass

That's what I thought, too -- last year.

Now I've got a laptop with HD4000 graphics which handily beats AMD's equivalently priced integrated graphics.

I can play Diablo3, for example, or Skyrim on high settings.

Sure, you can get better nVidia or AMD GPUs, but you're going to pay half again as much for marginal improvement, twice as much for significant improvement.

I really hate to say this, but Intel's graphics are finally somewhat respectable.

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Re: Intel graphics - hahahahahahahaha, GMA = games my ass

Yes, by all accounts Intel now has integrated graphics comparable with AMD or nVidia. You're still paying a premium for the chips but they're much cheaper than the full-fat ones which is why Intel is working hard (partly by crippling the graphics) to keep the market segmented.

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LDS
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Do you buy an i5 to play high-end games? My FSX PC runs on Intel Extreme processors and two high-end nVidia cards powering three monitors. Not exactly what you can fit in a tablet.

Surface was never designed as a game console - it was designed for people actually needing to perform some real task on a tablet device - like running Windows business software - not games.

If you look for a games console, get a Nintendo Game Boy - which looks the reference device most of you "learned" IT from.

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LDS is that your church? Your lame put downs and love all of all things boring and Microsoft sure seem to point that way. Then again Microsoft is the greatest thing ever and the consumer only rejects their mobile offerings because they don't understand.

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Re: Intel graphics - hahahahahahahaha, GMA = games my ass

<<Now I've got a laptop with HD4000 graphics which handily beats AMD's equivalently priced integrated graphics.>>

Every graphics benchmark I've seen has the AMD graphics superior to the HD4000.

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What is a stronger not smarter less than wise company called?

They say that Balmer is not responsible for the sad state of economics at Redmond...

And their phones and slabs will change the world...

They will eventually be able to fix errors, instead of poorly patching (and ticking off users)...

AAAAAND they are not stronger....

(Keep in mind all the above are very recent, except for the patching fiasco, which is becoming constant...)

Stronger but no wiser.

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a case of fanaticism?

every failure brings members of fanatical groups closer together, stronger united to fight to the bitter end, there's no room for rational decisions

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What doesn't kill you.....

...only makes you stronger.

Is this their business plan ?

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Re: What doesn't kill you.....

My ex-rugby playing paraplegic mate seems to think this phrase is a bit shit.

MS are getting a bit Black Night.

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Still too expensive and not enough storage

I would only buy a surface style device if it can replace my laptop, so that means more storage, full Windows 8 and a cheaper price. I findit very difficult to justify 700gbp+ on a device that is inferior to a laptop, when I can get a kick ass ultrabook for less money. Laptops and tablets are going to merge which means prices must come down.

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Re: Still too expensive and not enough storage

Not if Intel and Microsoft have anything to say about it.

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Anonymous Coward

More devices eh, Microsoft?

Get ready to start a huge bonfire, because that's what you need to burn all that money.

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FAIL

Microsoft quite obviously is or is well on the way to being a zombie entity.

I think I'll look at filtering out all Microsoft 'stories' because it is a complete waste of time to read about or deal with zombie, or zombie to be, corporations like this; it really doesn't matter if it has cash, because you can see the rotting and stinking. I'll consider filtering out Apple too, because it is boring, so could become a zombie too.

I'll get off the dated Windows family as soon as I see options which are good enough; I don't consider OS-X good enough, and see it is poisoned by stupid legacy baggage too.

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Thumb Down

Ultimately a worry.

Until now, hardware design has been done outside Microsoft, theoretically at least most software companies get equal access to the hardware specs.

If MS ever gains sufficient market share to dominate hardware design, then hidden HW APIs might become the order of the day as MS apps do within Windows. Remember, the old MS strategy v1.0 never works well but v3 usually does through persistence and time.

Ultimately, Microsoft's domination over integrated HW/SW designs will be of great concern for everyone.

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Re: Ultimately a worry.

>> Microsoft's domination over integrated HW/SW designs will be of great concern for everyone.

Nah.

Look what happened with XBox.

V1 was pretty much a PC in a funky case, and worked better as a PVR than a games console. It tanked compared to the PS2.

V2, the original 360, was awesome, modulo the odd hardware issue. It kicked the PS3's ass so hard MS thought they had won, and started fscking with the interface, making it an ad delivery platform, etc. Result - PS3 is winning again.

V3, the Xbox "one", is dead in the water compared to the PS4. MS have backtracked and u-turned on their plans so often I doubt even they know what their plans are.

Sony are evil, arguably more evil than MS, but they aren't incompetent. MS have both in spades.

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Meh

Shame Really

Microsoft are one of the few companies that can spend this kind of money to learn about building a new (to them) product category and getting it through the channel and to consumers. Losing the money sucks, but the loss is easily absorbed; especially if they take what they learned and apply it.

It is a shame they won't apply it. They'll march on with their own ideas and forcefully ignore what their partners and customer base say. Alienating even more people along the way. I say it is a shame because most companies would kill for well over $1B for a trial balloon. A lot of no name business numpties could make a successful product if they had that kind money even without holding all the other cards.

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Thanks for this story i needed a good laugh :) All Microsoft are good (evil?) at is buying companies that have the patents so they can troll them for years. Innovate? Dont make me laugh they have NEVER innovated

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None MS question: What is the difference between innovation and invention?

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"Your arms off!"

"This is but a scratch!"

The reality distortion field generators must be doing overtime lately in Redmond

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"But I'm an optimistic guy. Anywhere we have low market share, I see an upside down chair opportunity."

- Maybe what he actually meant?

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You can still sit on an upside down chair; even if uncomfortably. You can't do shit with a Surface.

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