Microsoft – A modern day tale of (November) woe? What MS says != reality?

Today I thought that I would present a list of articles/links which hardly put Microsoft in the same light as its PR agents and boosters would want you to know.  On TechBytes Audiocast we have  often mentioned that what Microsoft advocates say != reality.  To reinforce that point, let’s have a look at some of the Microsoft news which has been generated:

Live Messenger has worms

The Inquirer reports on Microsoft’s actions to try to stem the spread of a worm which is contracted through Live Messenger. It says:

SOFTWARE MANGLER Microsoft has shut down links to some websites in the 2009 builds of Windows Live Messenger.

According to the Vole’s blog, disabling the feature was designed to prevent the spread of a malicious worm.

Source: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1897876/microsoft-disables-live-messenger-links

But this is hardly something new for a user of Windows software is it?

Windows Phone 7 – Failing in the USA already?  Ballmer get your coat!

Reading the comments of Microsoft advocates and partners, one could be forgiven for thinking the Windows Phone 7 is a raging success.  Just as we were told with Kin, WP7 is great.  Others however have a different point of view.  This article is again from the Register where they say:

Despite the huge amount of promotional activity and media seeding, Microsoft only shifted 40,000 handsets in the first day of sales in the US, according to unnamed sources supplying unverified data……There’s also talk of operator-owned shops not bigging up the handsets enough, and there’s probably some truth in that……

Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/11/windows_phone_7/

Has Microsoft’s Windows had its day?

The Guardian asks if Windows is still relevant which probably is the question many Linux users asked a long time ago.  Whilst its nice to see the Guardian “catching up” with modern thinking of some, it really doesn’t answer the question properly in my view and really is just another post to show that whatever PR Microsoft are selling, people are not buying:

And James Gardner, the chief technology officer at the Department for Work and Pensions, recently mused that his department’s upcoming upgrade from 2001’s Windows XP to 2009’s Windows 7 will probably be “the last version of Windows anyone ever widely deploys”, because interaction is moving to web browsers and mobiles; we don’t need powerful machines or OSs.

You only have to look at the banks, supermarkets, media organisations, musicians, games companies and everyone else offering mobile or tablet apps to see that a post-PC world isn’t fanciful; soon there will be more smartphones in the world than PCs (and there are already many more phone users than PC users).

Quite how soon that Windows-free day will come is hard to guess…..

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/nov/15/microsoft-windows-system-apps

Can Microsoft’s Kinect compete with the Wii?

I’d suggest not.  Even BBC Click seems to have a hard time celebrating it as “the must have”  One “feature” Click mentions which Ive not seen mentioned is reported lag.  Apparently making a particular game a “anti-game”.  Ouch, that doesn’t sound good.  I’m sure though there will be many people trying to play this “anti-game” over Xmas and Click even go as far to say that the sports game which is included with Kinect is not as good as the WII offering.

Can Microsoft compete with the Nintendo with Kinect?  – On the basis of this and other reports around the net, I wouldn’t think so.

You can see the BBC Click feature here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/9170898.stm

And this is probably the one and only time you will ever see me linking to anything Click says.

Its reported though that “Move more precise than Kinect” which is Sony’s offering and its also worth noting that Sony’s Move device beat Microsoft’s Kinect to an award at Gamecon 2010.

It also seems Microsoft advocates/boosters will tell you that demand has it sold out.  This doesn’t appear to be the case and at time of writing HMV had these in stock.  Maybe Microsoft is trying to generate some interest?  Maybe Kinect sales are suffering with the same type of lag that the device reports to have (as per the BBC Click review) .  Maybe the people who part with cash for this contraption can let us all know.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com / TwitterIdenti.ca

You can also contact me on Skype: tim.openbytes

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. I don’t know how good it is, or how well it is selling, but the availability of Linux drivers means that it may outlive the XBox360.

    1. openbytes says:

      Hi!

      In regards to buying one, Ive seen no shortages of stock. You may have a point too, maybe Linux will come to the aid of the Kinect like it did all Microsoft’s bloggers.

      Kind regards
      Tim.

  2. Will says:

    I got a chance to try the Move a few days ago at a demo station in a shop. Tried it out with a sword fighting game demo and I can attest that the 1-to-1 movement mapping is spot on (within what the games on display would allow) and without any discernable lag. (I lost the first round because I was just having fun waving my “sword” around in the air and watching the avatar perfectly mimic it)

    That said, the Move still strikes me as “Wii HD”. While it works well, it remains to be seen if the Move library will do enough to make it a compelling purchase in addition to/instead of the Wii.

    The Kinect reviews I’ve seen all talk about a little lag, but then go on to say that the reviewers just adjusted by doing everything a half second or so early.

    I didn’t get a chance to try Kinect out for myself because I haven’t seen any demo units set up for it. Must have something to do with Kinect’s need for so much unobstructed space.

    1. openbytes says:

      Hi Will,

      I’ve seen comment that the space required for these things is between six and eight feet. I’d suggest for a family living room with kids toys and other debris, it would make the experience difficult. Now that its been busted open for Linux, maybe non xbox owners can give it a try soon.

      That being said whilst MS advocates are claiming great sales, it needs to be remembered that effectively all ms is releasing is a new controller and since it has an established xbox customer base already then even ms would be hard pushed to make the Kinect flop. I do though think the new year will see a bit of backlash from the users that had it as a Xmas present. Even BBC click couldn’t manage to rave about it.

      Kind regards
      Tim.

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