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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 202913  
Subject: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/25/2012 8:45 PM
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Apple, the biggest company on the planet, has just four core products. The iPod (now in decline), the iPhone, the iPad, and, of course, the legacy iMac. Oh sure, those four have spun out in a variety of colors, or prices, or sometimes features. Who remembers the first iMac, the jellybean colored computer than kicked out the beige boxes? Yes, it's had more facelifts than Joan Rivers, but it's still just one thing in just a couple different screen sizes.

When the iPod was introduced there was just one to choose from. It was so classic it became, uh, Classic. The iPhone? Any color you wanted, so long as it was black. Sizes? Steve's size fits all. Maybe you wanted more memory at a steeper price, but heck, at first you had a choice of exactly one carrier. The whole thing was very nearly binary: buy it or don't.

The iPad launched in one size and one color, although there were a few features on the palette: wifi-only or 3G, and different memory configurations. Eventually you could get it in white instead of black. Big whoop! Now there's a little brother, just as the iPod eventually allowed a few colors, then smaller form factors at different price points - but the point is Apple picked a model and ran with it, drilled it into a successful platform, and only then spun out derivatives. By that time nobody needed to explain much about the Shuffle, or the White iPhone, or now, the iPad Mini. You know what it is and what it does before you ever lay hands on it. And that's true for all four Apple product lines, all so clearly defined.

(But wait Goofy! What about all those other things Apple does? Like iTunes? Irrelevant: it's a support vehicle for the iPod. Without the hardware nobody was coming to Apple to buy music. Likewise the App store. Likewise all the peripherals. Even OSX; if the iMac doesn't sell, there's hardly need for an OS is there? There's not any real profit in any of that anyway.)

I bring it up, because Microsoft today announced three products (euphemistically speaking; they've been pre-announced or in beta for months.) There's the Surface tablet using Windows 8 RT, a sort of weird hybrid of the Windows 8 tiles surface, except it doesn't run any Microsoft legacy software (nor will it ever), and there aren't many apps yet either. There's a different tablet coming soon, we're told, that will do that, except it will be incompatible with any software you buy for the RT. Apps too, maybe, depending. And it will come with a variety of configurations, and with or without two different keyboards as you may choose, using different hardware architecture and OS variants.

Also today came Windows 8 for Surface, and a different version of Windows 8 Pro for PC's. Whew! The new Windows will push Xbox music, hoping to drive users to another new, untested platform, once they get past the new UI, which has had two names in four months. ("Metro" lost out in a trademark dispute, so it's the decidedly less memorable "Modern", which is OK because I don't think I will remember which Surface tablet I have much less the name of the UI if I have one, which I probably never will.)

Well, I recall that Microsoft pushed hard to get into game consoles, and after years of losses managed to produce a viable product and brand, although I think it's a bit different since they were pushing one thing and only one thing into the consumer marketplace. Now they're hawking two tablets with two incompatible OS's (although they look alike), a full featured OS for a different platform that's quite different from what users have become used to over the past two decades, and it all comes in a blizzard of advertising and hype unleashed just a few nights ago.

I don't think you launch six things at once and do any of them justice; Apple persevered in a densely competitive and hostile landscape by doing one thing and doing it exceptionally well. Microsoft seems to be playing baseball with 24 men on the field at the same time, and although I expect them to have some decent sales at the beginning (if only for the curious IT managers tied to legacy Microsoft products), I will be surprised if the tablet garners significant traction over the longer pull.

Still, Microsoft has been counted out before and come back. Who can forget the Zune?

OK, bad example.
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Author: DutchMark Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188108 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/25/2012 10:10 PM
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Apple, the biggest company on the planet, has just four core products. The iPod (now in decline), the iPhone, the iPad, and, of course, the legacy iMac.

I'd squeeze a MacBook in there and make it five. Not counting Apple TV.

Mark

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Author: Milligram46 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188109 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/25/2012 10:41 PM
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Still, Microsoft has been counted out before and come back. Who can forget the Zune?

Still, Microsoft has been counted out before and come back. Who can forget the XBox 360.

Still, Microsoft has been counted out before and come back. Who can forget the cloud offerings for Microsoft Office.

Still, Microsoft has been counted out before and come back. Who can forget the advancements and growing share of Bing.

Still, Microsoft has been counted out before and come back. Who can forget MapBlast which has morphed into Bing Maps.

Still, Microsoft has been counted out before and come back. Who can forget CRM 4.0.

Still, Microsoft has been counted out before and come back. Who can forget Halo franchise?

Ya, that Microsoft - never gets anything right...

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Author: Milligram46 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188110 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/25/2012 10:44 PM
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I'd squeeze a MacBook in there and make it five. Not counting Apple TV.

Mark...

Well since the original goofy comparison was Apple to Microsoft. Lets not forget iRelationalDatabase. iE-mailServer. iCollaborationPlatform. iDeveloperCODEC. iAppleServer. iVirtualization. iEmbedded. iVideoGameConsole.

Microsoft has a long list of problems, that starts with Ballmer and goes through the organization but love or hate, Microsoft has eight, count them, eight different billion dollar plus businesses, and a couple of more just on the brink of joining the club.

How many businesses can you name that have eight billion dollar plus business operations under their roof?

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188113 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/25/2012 11:08 PM
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The iPod (now in decline), the iPhone, the iPad, and, of course, the legacy iMac.

Why is the iMac a core product, but not the MacBook line, which accounts for roughly four times the sakes (and more than four times the revenue)?

Apple doesn't release sales numbers for specific models, but they do release numbers for desktops and laptops. Here are the number of units sold in Apple's FY4Q for the last five years:
              2008     2009     2010     2011     2012
----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Portables: 1,675 2,266 2,643 3,616 3,955
Desktops: 936 787 1,242 1,278 968
Ratio P/D: 1.8:1 2.9:1 2.1:1 2.8:1 4.1:1

(units are in thousands)


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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188114 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/25/2012 11:12 PM
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The growing share of Bing? You're kidding, right? Their share is shrinking. The only improvement was when they bolted on Yahoo! Otherwise it's a failure.

MapBlast into Bing Maps? Is that a joke? Who uses that? Harvey's Screen Door, Plumbing, and Travel Agency on 53rd Street?

Cloud offerings for Microsoft Office? This is in any way significant? Didn't they just rejigger their Cloud offering again?

Seriously, Microsoft is a great and powerful company, but less and less so with each passing month. They've punted two of the three most important transitions in their core business: phones and tablets. They have hard fought but expensive success in console gaming, just as console gaming gets obviated by mobile. They're doing OK in some areas: servers and the like, but this flurry just seems so, well, unfocused.

For a while IT departments dictated what people brought into the enterprise, but BYOD threatens all of that, and it started with RIM security which pointed out just how bad Microsoft's was. Now the train has left the station, and people are using Androids and iPhones and even a few Blackberries, and no one no one is using Windows phones.

And honestly, this launch - of two incompatible tablets with different OSs, coupled with a relaunch of the core OS which has changed look and feel, and the attempt to toss out iTunes and push Xbox music all at the same time is either desperation calling or a seriously dyslexic marketing department in need of a laxative.

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188115 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/25/2012 11:19 PM
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I'd squeeze a MacBook in there and make it five.

I thought about that just as I clicked the 'submit' button. I should have called the 4th leg: personal computer, which includes desktop and laptop. Same OS, same function, same everything - just a different form factor.

Not counting Apple TV.

Irrelevant until it becomes relevant. Which I think unlikely now that Apple has a reputation. They might have been able to sneak up on the music business, and capture the app developers with the platform of choice, but the cable boys aren't likely to let Apple disrupt their business the way the music guys did, at least not without a fight. Apple TV is "other" on the revenue charts where "other" is almost invisible. Personally I'd like the cable TV model to be stood on its head, but I don't know how that's going to happen given that Comcast and brethren have a far larger club with program producers, control the wires to the house, and the first box anything gets to which Mr. Homeowner is required to rent to get the service at all. "Cord cutting" is an individual, long, slow slog and isn't going to be the next big breakthrough with the kind of dazzle Apple shareholders have become used to.
 


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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188116 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/25/2012 11:21 PM
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Now they're hawking two tablets with two incompatible OS's

Yes and no.

I describe Windows RT as a subset of Windows 8. Windows 8 runs legacy apps and Modern apps. Windows RT only runs Modern apps. But developers can write Modern apps once, and sell those apps to both Windows 8 and Windows RT users.

(Technically the apps aren't exactly the same, because Windows 8 runs on Intel chips, and RT runs on ARM chips. But developers don't have to rewrite their apps; they just have to compile them for both platforms.)

I don't think you launch six things at once and do any of them justice…

Earlier this week Apple launched six things at once:
1. new iPad
2. new iPad mini
3. new iMac
4. new Mac mini
5. new MacBook Pro
6. iBooks 3

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Author: NailThatJello Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188118 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/25/2012 11:50 PM
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Pogue's review of Surface.

Sleek Tablet, but Clumsy Software

The Surface is a brilliantly conceived machine whose hardware will take your breath away — but whose software will take away your patience. How ironic that what lets the Surface down is supposedly Microsoft’s specialty: software.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/technology/personaltech/mi...

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Author: commoncents33 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188121 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 4:22 AM
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Earlier this week Apple launched six things at once:
1. new iPad
2. new iPad mini
3. new iMac
4. new Mac mini
5. new MacBook Pro
6. iBooks 3



Well, except for the iPad Mini, those are all simply updates to prior products. Nothing for the consumer to "figure out" there. Even the iPad Mini is just a "concentration" of the iPad...and it runs all the same software in exactly the same way.


I describe Windows RT as a subset of Windows 8. Windows 8 runs legacy apps and Modern apps. Windows RT only runs Modern apps. But developers can write Modern apps once, and sell those apps to both Windows 8 and Windows RT users.

I think that, along with Microsoft's reputation, gives Microsoft a fighting chance on gaining critical mass for it's tablet app ecosystem. As an Apple shareholder, I hope not. But it seems possible. Of course, people still have to buy them. If anything, I see it as having more promise in the business world than the consumer.

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Author: commoncents33 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188122 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 4:26 AM
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If anything, I see it as having more promise in the business world than the consumer


There really is a lot at stake here for Apple...and Microsoft.

I think tablets are going to eventually have an enormous presence throughout the business world. It will take a while for individual creativity to unearth all the amazing possible tasks that tablets will prove useful for, but the promise is quite evident. Same with education.

I think the only realistic threat in that sphere is Microsoft. I just don't see Android ever becoming a dominant force in that sphere. In the consumer market, possibly. But not in business.

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Author: dsbrady Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188128 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 11:53 AM
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Still, Microsoft has been counted out before and come back. Who can forget the cloud offerings for Microsoft Office.

Do we know they've "come back" with that? I mean, they've launched it, but do we know how it's doing? I don't know anyone who uses the cloud offerings for MS Office (anecdotal, I know).

Still, Microsoft has been counted out before and come back. Who can forget the advancements and growing share of Bing.

The only growth in share has been as a result of the Yahoo deal and their combined numbers are decreasing.

Still, Microsoft has been counted out before and come back. Who can forget MapBlast which has morphed into Bing Maps.

Again, I don't know anyone who uses Bing Maps. In fact, I switched my search engine over to Bing (after Google's "unifying your data" mess several months back), and I tried Bing Maps, but it sent me to the wrong place, so I never went back to Bing Maps.

Still, Microsoft has been counted out before and come back. Who can forget Halo franchise?

Who "counted them out" over that? If as part of the XBox, then you're basically listing this twice. If by itself, they bought the studio to get Halo, let the studio stay fairly independent, and then parted ways with that studio (with MSFT keeping the rights to Halo). From what I understand, the non-Bungie Halo games released so far haven't been all that great (with Halo 4 still to come). So, I'm not sure how this reinforces your point.

dsbrady

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Author: 0gre Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188130 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 12:34 PM
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How is MS Office a come-back? Wasn't Office always king? Cloud was a move to defend their market-leadership, I don't know anyone who counted Office out. (Though after a lot of frustration during a recent project I'm giving Libre Office a try again, MS-Office on Mac is irritating)

Bing? Seriously? Bing it On! You can bring up Bing as a come-back story once Microsoft shows a single quarter where online services is in the black. Microsoft just wrote off 6.5 billion for that money-pit on top of quarterly losses.

Bing Maps From what I've seen are decent... but since Microsoft doesn't break out this revenue separately, see above.

xBox/ Halo remains the single glowing example of Microsoft's success in the 21st century. Yet it's contribution to Microsoft's bottom line is trivial... almost an afterthought: http://www.asymco.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Screen-Shot...
(Hint look at the bottom chart that shows income, as opposed to revenue)

The contribution from Bing doesn't even make up for the shortfall from online services.

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Author: crassfool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188140 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 2:08 PM
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Goofyhoofy says

"I'd squeeze a MacBook in there and make it five."

I thought about that just as I clicked the 'submit' button. I should have called the 4th leg: personal computer, which includes desktop and laptop. Same OS, same function, same everything - just a different form factor.

You also called the iMac "legacy." I will quibble with that. The Mac Pro is perhaps a legacy product, used only for extremely compute-intensive professional tasks. But the iMac is a workhorse for graphics, video, music, software development and I'm sure other pro and prosumer activities. Stuff that cannot be done on any tablet and makes a laptop breathe hard and run hot. As for the laptops, I see at least as many apple laptops as tablets on the commuter train.


"Not counting Apple TV."

Irrelevant until it becomes relevant. Which I think unlikely now that Apple has a reputation. They might have been able to sneak up on the music business, and capture the app developers with the platform of choice, but the cable boys aren't likely to let Apple disrupt their business the way the music guys did, at least not without a fight. Apple TV is "other" on the revenue charts where "other" is almost invisible. Personally I'd like the cable TV model to be stood on its head, but I don't know how that's going to happen given that Comcast and brethren have a far larger club with program producers, control the wires to the house, and the first box anything gets to which Mr. Homeowner is required to rent to get the service at all. "Cord cutting" is an individual, long, slow slog and isn't going to be the next big breakthrough with the kind of dazzle Apple shareholders have become used to.

I agree. The main reason Apple was able to make its deal with the music publishers was the uncontrollable piracy; Apple's genius was to show thieves something better than stealing. Video in general and especially TV don't lend themselves to piracy at all well.

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Author: maracle Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188142 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 2:27 PM
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And honestly, this launch - of two incompatible tablets with different OSs, coupled with a relaunch of the core OS which has changed look and feel, and the attempt to toss out iTunes and push Xbox music all at the same time is either desperation calling or a seriously dyslexic marketing department in need of a laxative.

It seems like Microsoft trying to have a unified product strategy. While risky, it also has a big upside. Trying to compete with Apple by making a better iPad would be a tough challenge. Adding integration between your desktop, phone, tablet, and gaming console is both innovative and a differentiating feature. It's something you might be able to sell people on. If you have part of their ecosystem, you'll have a greater incentive to buy another piece.

As for the incompatibility between Windows RT and Windows 8, that's the same as incompatibility between iOS and OSX. The Windows 8 Surface is a product segment that Apple doesn't offer -- a full powered OS on a tablet. I don't know if people will want it at the price they'll have to charge to put that kind of hardware in a tablet but it will be interesting to see.

I also think you're a bit too dismissive of console gaming. Lots of people may be playing mobile games, but these prediction of the death of console and PC gaming are way overstated. Reminds me of the predictions of the death of the PC that we've been hearing for a decade. Mobile gaming companies are laying people off and not making much money. Mobile games are also not credible replacements for console or PC games. Those markets have their own problems but I don't think mobile gaming is that much of a threat. It's good for filling time at the airport and in the car though.

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Author: dsbrady Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188146 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 2:42 PM
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As for the incompatibility between Windows RT and Windows 8, that's the same as incompatibility between iOS and OSX.

One major difference is Apple doesn't brand them similarly. They say "iOS" ans "OS X" and it's harder for people to confuse them. Contrast that with what Microsoft is doing. If the average consumer hears "Windows RT" and also has heard something about Microsoft releasing Windows tablets that can run their desktop applications, it's far more likely they are going to think their new "Windows RT" tablet can actually run, well, Windows software.

I also think you're a bit too dismissive of console gaming. Lots of people may be playing mobile games, but these prediction of the death of console and PC gaming are way overstated. Reminds me of the predictions of the death of the PC that we've been hearing for a decade. Mobile gaming companies are laying people off and not making much money

I'm guessing you haven't been following the sales numbers in the console market. They've been falling off a cliff for a while now -- even with some high profile game launches in the past year. While not solely due to the increase in mobile gaming (this generation of consoles being so long in the tooth surely can't be helping), it is probably a significant factor.

dsbrady

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Author: 0gre Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188148 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 2:53 PM
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>>> Video in general and especially TV don't lend themselves to piracy at all well. <<<

Umm... videos pirate just fine. I have a few friends with large libraries of material. Video piracy has helped push the terabyte+ hard drive market.

I don't mess with it, but I can get nearly anything I want on video just by asking a friend. They probably already have it downloaded.

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Author: maracle Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188149 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 2:59 PM
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I'm guessing you haven't been following the sales numbers in the console market. They've been falling off a cliff for a while now -- even with some high profile game launches in the past year. While not solely due to the increase in mobile gaming (this generation of consoles being so long in the tooth surely can't be helping), it is probably a significant factor.

I can't imagine very many people are trading in Halo for Farmville. I know lots of people like to make that claim, but who are they talking about? Console sales are declining, but consoles are old at this point in their lifecycle. PC sales have done ok. They were way, way up earlier this year on some big name releases (Diablo III).

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Author: 0gre Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188150 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 3:06 PM
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>> I also think you're a bit too dismissive of console gaming. <<

http://www.asymco.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Screen-Shot...

Microsoft's gaming console business runs at a loss about a third of the time and even when it's doing well, it is a token addition to revenues.

iOS gaming is huge. It would be interesting to see how it stacks up to xBox.

I'm not sure which mobile gaming companies you're talking about, Zynga?

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Author: dsbrady Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188151 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 3:38 PM
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I can't imagine very many people are trading in Halo for Farmville.

You'd be surprised at the quality of mobile games (and not Farmville). But, given that mobile games cost between $0-$20 [most are $10 and under] and they can be played on a device that doesn't also use up one of the family's TVs, I'd say a lot of families are going to choose the mobile route instead of looking at console games that cost $50-$70.

PC sales have done ok. They were way, way up earlier this year on some big name releases (Diablo III).

The occasional PC game does really well. That's one of them. But, even so, in May (the launch month for D3), PC game sales were only $80M (which was a large increase from the previous year) compared to console games' $250M (which was a huge drop) -- and that was after calling D3 a "blockbuster" launch. For September, PC game sales were $50M vs. about $500M for consoles (I assume -- it's listed as "non-PC sales" so it might also include mobile). (One important note, these sale figures are for non-downloaded games, but NPD says the figures represent 50-60% of the overall total)

So, even PC games' growth hasn't helped too much (PC game sales often rise near the end of a console generation, so that's not a huge surprise).

Personally, I haven't touched my XBox in about 3 months, but that's mostly due to having a 10 month-old, and it being far easier to spend a few minutes playing something on my phone than having to fire up the console (plus, I can play a game on my phone without exposing my son to a violent game). Clearly, I'm not a typical case.

Of course, the launch of the next generation (WiiU soon, PS4 and XBox <whatever> within a few years) may completely turn things around. Perhaps even the release of GTA5 may help, but a single game can't turn around an industry.

dsbrady

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Author: dsbrady Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188152 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 3:40 PM
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I'm not sure which mobile gaming companies you're talking about, Zynga?

I would assume so, since that company appears to be imploding this year.

While I feel bad for the people losing their jobs, it still couldn't happen to a better company. A company that makes cr*p games that are usually just rip-offs of other games deserves what they get.

dsbrady

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Author: 0gre Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188153 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 3:50 PM
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yeah... Zynga isn't exactly a mobile game company. The guys who did Angry Birds are certainly not sending employees home.

The most popular apps selling for the iPad/ iPhone are typically games.

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Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 4:32 PM
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Goofy,

It's certainly easy to beat up on Microsoft on the Apple board. Here is how I see it:

Microsoft is launching the entire Windows 8 platform--PC's, tablets, phones. It's an unusual launch, something they may never do again. So, it isn't a launch of devices as much as the launch of a platform. I am sure the marketing geniuses at Apple could have timed the event with a solar eclipse and made everyone think that launching a platform was the start of a revolution. Microsoft clearly does not have the same marketing genius.

However, the Surface is a very interesting piece of hardware. Everyone is comparing it to the iPad, but it's actually something different and quite innovative. The main question when it was announced was weather or not the touch cover effectively worked as a keypad. Evidently it works very well. So, Surface is somewhere between a laptop and an iPad and much more legitimately a work machine.

Is is perfect? No. Will there be problems with the first-generation devices? Of course.

Is the iPad perfect? Absolutely not. My wife complains that at least once per day there is a website which doesn't work properly on her iPad. She couldn't download her German lessons. She can't do our online banking. Just to name a couple of recent examples.

Do any of these things mean that the iPad isn't a success? Obviously not.

Of course, there is the ill-fated story of the Zune. Surface could have the same fate, but I doubt it. As stated above, it is more attractive as a work machine than the iPad, where it may fall short in consumer appeal. I know a few people who have tried replacing their laptops with an iPad; most of them failed. (The others I suspect don't do much except check their emails.)

I do agree with you that having Windows RT and Windows 8 doesn't make a lot of sense.

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Author: dsbrady Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188156 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 4:49 PM
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yeah... Zynga isn't exactly a mobile game company.

Well, they're both mobile and social. They're trying to expand more into mobile (as their Facebook business collapses), but they've had some successes in Mobile (the "With Friends" games [Words, etc.]) and have bought some other successful ones (DrawSomething).

But, I've heard almost nothing good about the company itself, but I guess I could say the same thing about EA. :)

dsbrady

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Author: crassfool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188161 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/26/2012 8:26 PM
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0gre

>>> Video in general and especially TV don't lend themselves to piracy at all well. <<<

Umm... videos pirate just fine. I have a few friends with large libraries of material. Video piracy has helped push the terabyte+ hard drive market.

I don't mess with it, but I can get nearly anything I want on video just by asking a friend. They probably already have it downloaded.

Yeah, I overstated my point. Videos do pirate fine. Still, it's not nearly as trivial as pirating music. We don't have video piracy as a major hobby of teenagers, the way we had music piracy before iTunes took hold.

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188202 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 10/27/2012 9:06 PM
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One major difference is Apple doesn't brand them similarly. They say "iOS" ans "OS X" and it's harder for people to confuse them. Contrast that with what Microsoft is doing.

That's pretty much my point with the dismissive thread title. It isn't that there shouldn't be different OSs for different platforms, it's that Microsoft's marketing of them is so clumsy. This Windows OS works here, but not there. This other Windows OS works there, but not here. Here's another OS labeled "Windows" that doesn't work here or there, but it does have tiles, just like the others. It seems a stretch, but...

It seems like Microsoft trying to have a unified product strategy. While risky, it also has a big upside. Trying to compete with Apple by making a better iPad would be a tough challenge. Adding integration between your desktop, phone, tablet, and gaming console is both innovative and a differentiating feature.

And, I contradict myself by agreeing. I just think it's hamfisted to release two different tablets when you haven't had success with even one. It would be as if Amazon had released both the Kindle (reader) and Kindle Fire at the same time. Product confusion galore!

The point about them launching "a platform" is well made, I think, but I would have gone with one less tablet. Isn't an OS for a computer, a tablet, and a phone enough? You have to have two competing and incompatible tablets at (nearly) the same time, too?

Microsoft's gaming console business runs at a loss about a third of the time and even when it's doing well, it is a token addition to revenues.

What's funny about this is that Bill Gates was the one who told Steve Jobs that the real margin was in software, not hardware. Hardware requires all sorts of icky factories and raw materials and retail markups and dealers, while software was simple: write it once, duplicate it a gazillion times, shove it in a box. Now Microsoft is doing hardware, and has trouble making it profit!

It's certainly easy to beat up on Microsoft on the Apple board. Here is how I see it:

I'm not saying anything here I haven't already said on the Microsoft board:
http://boards.fool.com/extremely-well-written-view-i-found-i...
http://boards.fool.com/but-as-more-useful-modern-ui-apps-com...
http://boards.fool.com/quotforcequot-a-bad-word-quotmake-it-...

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Author: Wildtool1 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188482 of 202913
Subject: Re: Microsoft announces, well, everything Date: 11/5/2012 10:43 AM
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Microsoft has almost never been especially good at software.

A company with 1.2 Billion Windows users must be somewhat good at software. There's also Office and a few other products. Just a thought.

WT

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