Beware a softie bearing gifts…Microsoft giveaway?

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I make no secret of my opinion that Microsoft should never be allowed the dominance on any form factor that its enjoyed over the years on the desktop.  After many years of introducing users to Linux and indeed other alternatives, it always amazed me that such simple features of Linux that I take for granted were seen as a huge benefit by those used to a Microsoft operating system.  A solid stable experience, no need to battle malware and faster operations were but a few things that users coming from Windows mentioned when they had Linux introduced to them.

Today times are changing and despite what some might say, the traditional desktop is going.  Thats great news for choice since we have Android and even Apple products offering users the experiences they want, that’s not good news for Microsoft who have, to be fair, struggled in almost every facet of new tech.  Even the Xbox One has a derogatory name and it hasn’t been released yet.

Recently Microsoft announced that it was giving away free ebooks in multiple formats for users to download.  These ebooks – surprise, surprise for Microsoft products. Good news? Well not in my opinion.  Lets look back a few years at what Bill Gates had to say:

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

That was Bill Gates talking about piracy and taking Microsoft products for “free”.  Now as we see people moving away from Microsoft is so many area’s, one has to wonder if this give-away is all about getting people “addicted” again.

I don’t think Microsoft has a belief in free.  It’s actions if hidden under a banner of “free” are to lock you into an ecosystem of theirs “One Microsoft Way” or as Bill Gates said, “to get sort of addicted”

I think Microsoft knows that the new generation of customers, the ones in school or college are getting competitors products.  Microsoft in my view can see that if left unchecked very shortly Microsoft will be an afterthought – Just look at the tablet and smartphone market now, Microsoft barely registers on the scale and has to get a living from Android “licenses” and if these form-factors are the mainstream of the future as the current market stands, Microsoft has a very small and unremarkable future.

I wouldn’t recommend people accepting anything for free from Microsoft, as in my view there’s always a price to be paid.

Contact points:

Skype: tim.openbytes
I can also be found in #techrights on

UK Government going ahead with Open Source

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Intellect 2012 Open source and open standards are the direction for UK government IT, the civil servant leading the government’s technology change agenda has said.


Has the penny finally dropped for government that Open Source is viable and the future for UK government IT?

More often than not, the UK governments grasp on technology/software is rather vague to say the least.   We need look no further than BBClick to see the level in which these people comprehend (I’ve always thought the ignorance of Click mirrored the government perfectly – trying to be trendy, missing out the obvious whilst pandering to the monopolist)

It comes then as a pleasant surprise that in recent times Government latched onto words such as “open source” and now we see news of how its to manifest itself within the spending plans of those who handle our taxes.

Liam Maxwell, Cabinet Office director of ICT futures, said:

Opensource software is not three guys in a shed anymore. There are a lot of misconceptions about open source but open source is the future model for delivering IT.


To which I would add that those “misconceptions” are still on the lips of many Microsoft MVP’s and advocates, most notably on forums and maybe the best example of these “misconceptions” given form are in comp.os.linux.advocacy (link leads to Google Groups if you have no Usenet access) where you have had Microsoft advocates posting for years that open source (and obviously Linux) are things for the hobbyist, created in the basements of unshaven single men – Doubt that? Get yourself over to the news groups and see Linux advocates get attacked personally by those who have spent more than 10 years posting vulgarity in a newsgroup about Linux and open source advocacy.

I would actually go further than Mr Maxwell and state these “misconceptions” are generally not misconceptions at all, they are downright lies by people who have much to lose if their customer base discovers the benefits of Open Source and withdraws their money from the traditional cash cows that they have made a living off for years.

That’s where the future is moving. It’s moving to  a new model of service and delivery, it’s big data and big data is going to be open source. We are going to spend a lot of time looking into that. If we move to being one common government we need open source…

Encouraging news for the end-user/consumer.  Not so for those still trying to sell proprietary which already clearly has a FOSS alternative.  I strongly suggest you read the entire linked article to find out exactly what form open source is to be taking.

Tim (Goblin)

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.

Skype: tim.openbytes
I can also be found in #techrights, #techbytes on

Microsoft stock takes its largest dip in two years? – More than 4% according to reports.

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With people around the world celebrating the Royal Wedding, good cheer may be hard to find around Redmond today.  If Steve Ballmer had considered raising a glass to the happy Royal couple, then the news on the Microsoft stock drop may instead have the chairs flying.

It is being reported that Microsoft stock is down more than 4%, the largest one day drop the company has seen for 2 years.

Business Insider said:

The stock is down more than 4%, its biggest drop since July 2009, when the company reported disappointing earnings for the fourth quarter of its 2009 fiscal year……


Is this the start of a more aggressive erosion of Microsoft? It certainly would not surprise me since we see almost every avenue of revenue being eaten away at by competitors with popular and loved products.  With Windows sales allegedly dropping 4% and general PC sales 8%, its looking like a little bad news for Microsoft.

Lets look at some other examples:

Zune – If that was to be an iPod destroyer, then for me it failed more spectacularly than the Kin did as a phone.  The Zune “technology” now appears to be little more than a reincarnation on the WP7 platform.

Kin – Need we say more?

WP7 – Despite marketing campaigns and “advocacy”, it still appears people are overlooking it for Android phones or Apple and thats forgetting about its lacking features or the issues which have been reported.

Bing – How much money is Microsoft pouring into this?  There are figures thrown around the net, but whatever the truth, Microsoft shareholders surely cannot be very happy with the impact its had (or rather not had) on Google.

Microsoft Office – For the vast majority of users I have one question: Libreoffice – Why pay more?

Windows 7 – Can’t shake the XP syndrome – that’s great for XP, not so great for Microsoft to make money.

Xbox360 – Despite claims of great success, its reported that Sony outsold the 360 for the last two years.  With no Bluray and a subscription based online play service, does this come as a surprise to anyone? (lets not forget the rather large issue of the RROD and that its alleged Microsoft are only now starting to make money on the platform)

In my view Microsoft is a bloated beast, from the views I read it appears that internally its a hive of politics, backstabbing and personal agenda’s.  How long can Microsoft remain in “control” of the computing world?  – I’d say as long as its war chest of cash holds out.  In the meantime, it will be the shareholders who see their investment go the way of the u-bend, if this is indeed a small glimpse of a downward spiral to come.


If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.

Skype: tim.openbytes
I can also be found in #techrights, #techbytes on

Nokia & Microsoft sign deal ahead of schedule – Time is of the essence?

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I’ve spoken previously about the Nokia/Microsoft deal and I believe its been covered once or twice on the TechBytes show too.

Hot of the Microsoft press (albeit its news center) Microsoft is announcing that it has signed the deal with Nokia which was reported in February, earlier than expected.

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) today announced the signing of a definitive agreement on a partnership that will result in a new global mobile ecosystem, utilizing the very complementary assets of both companies. 


Amongst the bold claims and patting each other on the back, here’s one part of the release which I found interesting:

Microsoft will receive a running royalty from Nokia for the Windows Phone platform, starting when the first Nokia products incorporating Windows Phone ship. The royalty payments are competitive and reflect the large volumes that Nokia expects to ship…..


“….large volumes Nokia expects to ship”? and where’s that expectation from? What evidence is there to suggest WP7 is going to be at best anything other than a very small piece of an Apple/Android pie?  Maybe I missed the queues outside stores when WP7 launched? Maybe I’ve missed the lacking features installed and maybe I imagined the reports of data gobbling and upgrade crashes on the net? – All the while Android phones and Apple are getting out products by the bucketload.  I must have missed some major WP7 successes for Nokia/Microsoft expecting to ship large volumes. ;)

Or maybe Microsoft has a different definition of the word “large”?  I suppose if you use Kin sales as a measuring stick then “large” is not very many at all.

Then of course when you get to the end of the article I see the section on “Forward looking statements” which suggests to me the justification for the “large volumes” comment and appears in my view, as a disclaimer to everything said before it.  You decide though, its all on the links provided.

To me, this early signing shows that its crunch time.  Microsoft in my view has realized its now or never and it’s got to be quick.  Do I think this will make any difference to the acceptance of WP7? – No.   Do I think the WP7 will be Ballmers final stand? – Yes.  Do I think that everything concerning the WP7 is too little too late? – Yes.  

Sorry if my opinion upsets any MVP’s or Microsoft advocates, but as we saw in a previous post, it appears even some of the long time faithful are feeling a little downhearted. 

Time will tell.


If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.

Skype: tim.openbytes
I can also be found in #techrights, #techbytes on

Its a F’Kin comeback! – the “greatest social networking phone ever”

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And a look at the Kin/WP7 press releases questioning if people actually believe the PR anymore.

Ive certainly had a laugh at the disaster that was the Kin.  What made the failure so comical was that up until the point of total #fail, the Microsoft faithful were promoting the phone to the bitter end.  They did not go down without a fight and I fondly remember the Kin phone being described by a Microsoft advocate as:

the greatest social networking phone that has ever been built.

Of course everyone could see what an utter disaster it would be – everyone except those trying to sell it, or those trying to create interest in it.

You can read the article I wrote earlier in the year,  but even before the Kin was released it was obvious to me that it wouldn’t sell.

Recently on the TechBytes audiocast, I mentioned a rumor that the (presumably) 1000’s of unsold Kin’s would be getting knocked out for Xmas at bargain bucket prices.  At the time it was merely a rumor, but it seemed to make perfect sense to sell off the junk tech rather than (as per my other suggestion) stockpiling them and using the phones to plug up the next leaking oil well.  The Register says:

Microsoft’s KIN phones are back from hipster hell, with Verizon pushing the unwanted phones in the run-up to Christmas.


The Register is reporting that Verizon will be selling the Kin Two for $219.99 (without contract) and the Kin One for $119.00 (without contract)…..but wait there’s more.  Tie yourself down with a contract and one of these things you can get them at the bargain price of $49.99 and $19.99 respectively. You can read that article here.

So there you go and maybe an advert for how durable the Kin “phone” is? It’s certainly got a thick skin.

Microsoft and Figures

I don’t think its unfair to say that figures from a Microsoft advocate are as reliable as a cashing up ledger from an employee with their hand in the till, but it does seem that Microsoft is rather unwilling to specify exactly how many of these Kin’s have actually been sold.

It’s generally touted that the figure is “less than 10,000” however that’s hardly exact and there were some very nasty rumors that the Kin phones only sold around 500 units.

What the Kin tells us about Microsoft

Firstly I would like to apologize to anyone unfortunate enough to have either bought a Kin or been tied down to a contract with one.  I do not mention the Kin as a way to ridicule or insult you, but rather an indictment of what Microsoft saying being far removed from reality in my view.  I wrote an article about this which looks at numerous Microsoft Techs, what they said, what users thought and what was the outcome.  I wrote an article on this too which looks at this further.

Before considering in one of Microsoft’s new schemes or “techs” I would ask you to look to the examples of the past if you can find any original Microsoft PR and statements regarding the Kin, have a look, see what Microsoft and its advocates say and then look at what recent history said about the Kin.

From Microsoft Press Pass with a bold title of: “Microsoft Ushers in the Next Generation of the Social Phone With KIN, a New Windows Phone” they make some gems of statements, which sound to me very much like the ones they’ve just made about their Windows Phone 7.

Lets examine some of these now:

KIN is the one place to get the stuff you care about to the people you care about most.


And now lets look at a Windows Phone 7 press release

…. bringing together the things they care about most and helping them to get things done faster


Certainly when it comes to working with its partners WP7 and the Kin have a lot in common, here’s the Kin and their “partners”:

Working closely with our partners, we saw an opportunity to design a mobile experience just for this social generation — a phone that makes it easy to share your life moment to moment….

and now Windows Phone 7:

Microsoft and its partners have worked together closely to create a different kind of phone with new experiences that bring together what people care about most.

which if you notice links into the first Kin press release quite nicely.

The point of all this is, Microsoft can shout very loud.  Granted, in the case of the Kin people didn’t go for it, but the tactics used by Microsoft advocates in order to push WP7 should be considered alongside the history books of Microsoft and mobiles.

Fool me once – shame on you,  fool me twice – shame on me.

People often say when talking about Microsoft products “same old, same old” is there really anything new happening with WP7 and is it any surprise that its rumored to have only sold around 40,000 units?  You decide.

For me Microsoft and its “mobile solutions” won’t be fooling me again and Im already on record saying that I believe WP7 will flop.

Goblin –

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the Openbytes statement, here.

Start saving – Windows 8 on its way?

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A short snippet of a rumor….

For anyone who thought that their Windows 7 investment would not be “upgraded” for some time may have to think again.

It is being alleged that the Dutch Microsoft site released a statement which Winrumors has translated to read:

Furthermore, Microsoft is on course for the next version of Windows. But it will take about two years before Windows 8 ‘on the market..

Its further reported that the statement was taken down rather quickly.  So 2012 could possibly be the date that Windows 8 makes an appearance?  What do users think of this?  Lets have a look at some of the comments on PCWorld:

No one will ever need a damn OS that requires huge amount of ram and graphic capability to browse, view files and manage media content. The recent release cycle has been hilarious to say the least. Vista flopped making way for 7 with some reduced crap. Now follows windows 8. This is pretty unsettling for windows users. Just give us a ‘working’ version of an OS rather than a flashy, resource intensive piece of junk. its time to ditch windows totally……

or how about:

Windows operating systems are crap switch to mac and you;ll never go back I did wish I’d done it earlier


Who cares. Just another version of the famous malware/virus magnet.

or (In respect of Windows 7)

There’s no wonder it’s the fastest selling OS in history. It’s because so many people are wanting to dump Vista.

All these comments (and more)  can be read over on an article at PCWorld.

The Mayans predicted that the world would end in 2012.  Maybe they were right and Windows 8 will mark the end for Microsoft?  Certainly Microsoft has some unhappy people, maybe that’s why people are now seeing other platforms as desirable? – I’ll let you decide.

Goblin – /

You can also contact me on Skype: tim.openbytes

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.


Russian Police backed by Microsoft? – A dangerous combination and no surprise?

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The New York Times reports a rather disturbing story.

They are currently saying:

The group, Baikal Environmental Wave, was organizing protests against Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin’s decision to reopen a paper factory that had polluted nearby Lake Baikal, a natural wonder that by some estimates holds 20 percent of the world’s fresh water….Instead, the group fell victim to one of the authorities’ newest tactics for quelling dissent: confiscating computers under the pretext of searching for pirated Microsoft software.

The New York times then goes on to say:

As the ploy grows common, the authorities are receiving key assistance from an unexpected partner: Microsoft itself. In politically tinged inquiries across Russia, lawyers retained by Microsoft have staunchly backed the police.

Source: New York Times –

I suggest you visit the New York Times in order to read the article in full.  If true, it paints a rather dubious picture of Microsoft (if that doesn’t already exist) and makes me wonder what other shady little deals are going on in other countries between Microsoft and those in power.  If true, I think it further demonstrates the harm Microsoft causes and far from the lumbering software giant who seem to follow instead of innovate with millions of users “addicted” to its products because they know no better, this latest story is altogether a more serious issue and puts Microsoft in a far more dangerous light.

I repeatedly say to readers, ask your friends what they actually think of Microsoft.  How many can you find that are actually happy with them or their products and more importantly how many believe that there are no alternatives purely due to years of FUD and PR.

I’ll let you answer those questions.

Before this article closes, Mr Kutz from Microsoft is reported to have said (in respect of this story):

We have to protect our products from piracy, but we also have a commitment to respect fundamental human rights

It doesn’t look that way though does it? and talking of piracy, lets remind ourselves of the Bill Gates comment from a few years back:

…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.

Microsoft, you’ve got to love them, they’ve got more faces than Mount Rushmore and one has to wonder if this alleged “collaboration” between themselves and the Russian government, it not beneficial to both parties (remember we recently covered Microsoft allegedly going after the small business)  Microsoft counting the copper jar again?  Times might be harder than we think.

Goblin –

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.