What Microsoft can’t create, they acquire? & more MS bad news?

Cant get your own following?  No problem acquire someone else’s!

Microsoft (masters of Innovation as many of their faithful will like you to believe) have just taken another step in trying to create a popular web service of some description (any description in my opinion)  Looking at Bing and also considering Google apps, its easy to see why this next piece of news has happened (IMO).

Its being reported that Microsoft have “acquired” a Twitter account started by a 19 year old which offered news reports and has over 1 million followers.  Michael van Poppel allegedly set up the account two years ago and on December the 1st a (very thankful Microsoft I believe) took possession of it.

Another example of Microsoft “not getting it” when they turn to the successes of a 19 year old in order to get their hands on a successful service?

Michael from the Netherlands is alleged to be planning to set up a subscription based news service and if his success with the Twitter account is anything to go by then Microsoft may soon come knocking again.

Mr Poppel had this to say:

Our Twitter feed has always aimed at American subscribers, which means some local news in the United States would be posted on @BreakingNews – and something similar which would have happened for example in the UK would not have reached our service…

You can read more about this here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8389436.stm and more importantly you can note the Twitter account that is now in Microsoft hands: http://twitter.com/BreakingNews

So why is this a problem? Well its not, however Ive covered those “dubious” Twitter accounts that promote Microsoft products and then suddenly stop when challenged.  I’ve covered the Twitter account which was using a legitimate (and innocent) company name to promote Microsoft stock.  Who is behind this?  I could (and would) not say for sure.  I will let you decide however when you see all the Microsoft product RT bots on Twitter, you have to wonder how much is officially Microsoft and how much of the Twitter servers bandwidth is being taken up by the RT of MS PR around it.

Whilst I will still use Twitter (and those Microsoft RT bots are handy for circulating Openbytes articles) I find Identi.ca far better, its faster, it has less of an infestation of the above behaviour and there are many sensible discussions actually happening on it.

Windows 7 new feature? – Black Screen of DEATH!

Maybe I was a little premature when I suggested that Windows 7 was merely a little lipstick on Vista.  From reports coming in it appears those coders at Redmond have actually made a few more improvements which are only coming to light now.

If reports are correct then the tradition blue “BSOD” that we all know and love, has been “upgraded” and is now black.  I wonder if maybe this is an intentional feature to conserve power of laptops and in turn for Microsoft to do their bit for the environment.  I certainly was no stranger to the BSOD on previous versions of Windows, so it would make sense that Microsoft would want to be more eco-friendly in todays energy saving age.

On a serious note though, the new BSOD has seen Microsoft release a fix, although its reported this “feature” could affect over a million machines and the fix would not resolve the issue in all cases, to add further woe its being reported that:

at least 10 different scenarios which will trigger the same black screen conditions

Sounds like the bugs been narrowed right down? 😉

Of course you can put money on it not being Microsoft’s fault (it never is) and Ive often reported that there always seems to be a 3rd party to blame rather than Microsoft.  From BSOD to exploits to GPL violations, theres always someone else at fault.  When you next have a few minutes to spare, search Google for “Microsoft blames” and see for yourself.

Talking of blaming, the report found here from the beginning of November says:

SOFTWARE GIANT Microsoft is claiming that PCs in countries with high rates of software ‘piracy’ are more likely to be infected by malicious code because users don’t install security patches.

Which you need to keep in mind that Bill Gates himself is reported to have said:

as long as they’re going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.

which was recently echoed (IMO) in a flippant way by his padawan learner Steve Ballmer (in relation to pirated Windows having 2nd place in market share):

“That’s a competitor that’s tough to beat, they’ve got a good price and a heck of a product…..”

But as always, its always somone elses fault.

A point of interest (maybe) and fitting for the feature on the BSOD, is a picture which is made up of BSOD’s forming an image of Steve Ballmer.  You can see that here.

A new service by Microsoft? – Really?

In the first part of this article I covered Microsoft “acquiring” that which it HADN’T innovated, but now we move on to an example of Microsoft Innovation.  Im sure you will be impressed as much as I am.

Microsoft China has developed a service called Juku which allows you to post 140 char messages to people in the MSN live network.  I have to say that I was blown away at the originality of such a scheme. 😉

Yes of course, its merely Twitter (to all intents and purposes IMO) but since its Microsoft, its faithful will have you know its “sooooo” much better than anything else.

As per usual Microsoft seems to get detractors from even its own user base, with people already saying its a rip off of a similar existing service called Plurk.  Microsoft missed the target yet again?

Mashable is reporting on their article:

Microsoft hasn t announced any plans to internationalize the service and perhaps position it as a direct competitor to Twitter.

So at least we can be thankful we won’t have to suffer Microsoft innovation (and the accompanying PR campaign that relates to it) over here.

For a very apt Microsoft poster (IMO) visit here: http://pix.motivatedphotos.com/2009/7/31/633846323455770420-microsoft.jpg

Goblin – Bytes4free@googlemail.com


15 thoughts on “What Microsoft can’t create, they acquire? & more MS bad news?

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  1. Actually Windows 7’s KSOD (blacK Screen Of Death) *is* a carry over from Vista. I tried to fix it on a friend’s Vista computer — there were about ten “solutions,” none of which worked. Microsoft’s and Dell’s suggested “fix” was to reinstall — which is what I finally ended having to do.

  2. What? Are you serious?

    There was me thinking we had possibly a feature unique to Windows 7 and all along it was already there.

    Shame, I thought I had found an answer to a previous posts of “Whats unique about Windows 7?” which nobody ever managed to answer.

    In all seriousness though thanks for that info. The KSOD was not something I experienced with Vista, but then my disatisfaction only lasted a few months before it was removed.


  3. openbytes says: “Of course you can put money on it not being Microsoft’s fault (it never is) and Ive often reported that there always seems to be a 3rd party to blame rather than Microsoft. From BSOD to exploits to GPL violations, theres always someone else at fault.”
    And once again you be right on this one. Its someone elses fault, or rather, a lot of someone else’s fault. Its the fault of “Malware.” But wait, isn’t it M$ that lets OEM’s install and ship Windows without a true normal user account and at best, a 30 to 90 day trial antivirus? Isn’t M$ that the install sets up the user as administrator by default? UAC, is not a real “normal” account, and M$ knows this. So isn’t when everything is said and done, its M$ that is responsible for the horrendous security problems that allows for (possibly) malware to change the registry, and cause the Black Screen of Death?

    And here is the link from the horse’s mouth (M$ itself) stating it most likely “malware and not our patches (problem/fault).”


    Quote from the link: “On its blog, the company said it has “checked with our worldwide Customer Service and Support organization, and they’ve told us they’re not seeing ‘black screen’ behavior as a broad customer issue. Because these reports were not brought to us directly, it’s impossible to know conclusively what might be causing a ‘black screen’ in those limited instances where customers have seen it. However, we do know that ‘black screen’ behavior is associated with some malware families such as Daonol.”
    And there you have it, its not once again M$ fault. But isn’t odd that Malware is still getting through the defenses of what M$ always claims is the “most secure OS.” LOL, Windows is nothing, if not a Malware Target. Windows, the Typhoid Mary of Operating Systems.

  4. Quote from the link: “On its blog, the company said it has “checked with our worldwide Customer Service and Support organization, and they’ve told us they’re not seeing ‘black screen’ behavior as a broad customer issue.
    I very much doubt many users bother with M$ customer service which is not very respected at all. Not even sure its a free service. Since M$ customer service does not have a fix, why bother? Instead, people turn to a 3rd party to fix M$ negligence.

    Quote: “British security firm Prevx wrote about the problem on its Web site, offering a procedure to fix the problem by those who have experienced it.”

  5. I think its the “not our fault” which has got them where they are today.

    Chips, when we met on MS watch, Im sure you will remember that Windows 7 was not out and the faithful were pushing Vista, claiming that there was nothing wrong with it. Now there’s something else to sell we have a different take on the matter, theres been some admition (IMO) of the problems of Vista and so it starts again.

    Of course it will never be Microsoft’s fault (just like the GPL violation) but in order to get a little bit of an appology (IMO) we will have to wait until Windows 8 is released and they want to sell that.

    I think its this action which has given MS its issues. I think MS can’t achieve the “coolness” of Apple because its completely lost touch with its customer base who, in my opinion in the case of the average user only keep using Windows out of habit or fear of the unknown.

    I covered on Twitter the poll on Google wave where it was asked if Windows 7 was better than Ubuntu 9.10… the results are (so far) as follows:

    68 – yes
    59 – no
    31 – not sure.

    I think that shows a significant change in the thinking of average users and I think the only barrier to migrating to Linux is an unfounded fear of the unknown.

    By the way chips, are you on Wave yet and if not do you want an invite?

  6. One thought this has to translate into. MS would have been better off not trying to blame “malware,” on the cause of the BlackSOD. Because either way, Security Patch Update, or Malware, its still MS that is the problem. MS has in effect, admitted that its operating systems are not secure and are fragile systems at best.

    But MS would rather change the taskbar and wallpaper than do anything really meaningful about the terrible by default security problems of Windows, including its latest.

    The average person, especially the new user, looks at computers and the OS on them, as an appliance. As such they are supposed to run on the internet without the malware problems of MS Windows. Linux, BSD, and Mac OS X in effect do this, or at least come very close. Why then is it so impossible for one of the worlds richest companies to also do so?

  7. @Richard,
    It seems that you are right that its not a MS patch this time. However, MS is saying its most likely its malware that is causing the Black Screen of Death. So the problem is still caused by MS, for putting out a system that is so insecure by default; Windows.

  8. Quote “I guess now is when you issue a retraction, isn’t it?”

    Why Richard? Because I said the new BSOD was an improved feature? – Richard please read the next paragraph when I say “in all seriousness”. I was being tongue in cheek, flippant…a little bit like when I claim to be amazed an the originality of Juku…I thought you would get that…

    If you notice Richard, I did actually say MS would claimed it was not their fault…like they always seem to do. Although whilst Malware can may be blamed:

    “The issue appears to be related to a characteristic of the Windows Registry related to the storage of string data. In parsing the Shell value in the registry, Windows requires a null terminated “REG_SZ” string. However, if malware or indeed any other program modifies the shell entry to not include null terminating characters, the shell will no longer load properly, resulting in the infamous Black Screen with the PC showing only the My Computer folder.”

    Is that something that Microsoft maybe should have known about prior?

    I expect it would be unreasonable for all issues to be tackled by MS prior to release, however security/exploits/malware are subjects we see all too often with Windows eh?

    A little leaving your front door unlocked and having your property stolen….whose to blame? the house owner or the burglar?

    At the time of this article, MS had found 10 instances of cause to this issue.

    Your linkl does not change the article at all. I already predicted that MS would seek to blame a 3rd party. What exactly Richard would you like me to retract?

    1. “I already predicted that MS would seek to blame a 3rd party. What exactly Richard would you like me to retract?”

      Not only do they SAY that it’s not their fault, it actually isn’t their fault. You can insert the following text into the article:

      “Subsequent investigation revealed that Microsoft patches did not lead to this issue, and the problem was caused by third-party software.”


      1. er Richard, they ARE blaming a 3rd party, or have I got that wrong?

        I never said that the fault WAS Microsoft’s (unless you can quote me where I did)

        Having said that I did draw inference with the burglar question.

        So let me get this straight, you believe the insecurity of Windows has nothing to do with Microsoft and is all to do with the “naughty” people who create the exploits?

        Don’t make me laugh, in my opinion Microsoft has to accept some responsibility. We are not talking about an OS that has been created by a bedroom coder as a hobby, we are talking about a Microsoft product which is sold to industry. If what your saying should hold then industry should move away from Windows completely because Microsoft cannot secure it.

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