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Microsoft has failed - Their actions erase any lingering doubt
Semiaccurate ^ | Nov 14, 2012 | Charlie Demerjian

Posted on 11/14/2012 9:22:49 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Microsoft is largely irrelevant to computing of late, the only markets they still play in are evaporating with stunning rapidity. Their long history of circling the wagons tighter and tighter works decently as long as there is not a credible alternative, and that strategy has been the entirety of the Microsoft playbook for so long that there is nothing else now. It works, and as the walls grow higher, customer enmity builds while the value of an alternative grows. This cycle repeats as long as there is no alternative. If there is, everything unravels with frightening rapidity.

A company that plays this game for too long becomes set in their ways, and any chance of real change simply becomes impossible. Microsoft is there, and has been for a long long time. Their product lines have stagnated, creating customer lock in is prioritized over creating customer value, and the supply chain is controlled by an iron fisted monopoly. Any attempt at innovation with a Windows PC has been shut out for over a decade, woe betide anyone who tried to buck that trend. The history books are littered with the corpses of companies that tried to make change the ‘Windows experience’. Microsoft’s displeasure is swift and fatal to those that try. Or at least it was.

In the end, Windows advanced only to the point of undercutting any competition, and even then to the minimum extent possible. The rules in Redmond were, “Do not change anything unless it is to crush someone doing something innovative”. They didn’t unless they did, and it worked. And the market stagnated. Ask yourself when the last time Microsoft did something innovative? Did it come from internal impetuses, or a clone of the competition?

Sooner or later, someone will come along and do a better job than the treacle that Microsoft, offers. Actually that happens all the time. How about, sooner or later, someone will come along and do a better job than the treacle that Microsoft offers, and for some reason, Microsoft won’t be able to crush them like a bug. Then the circled wagons have an alternative. Then the decades of built up enmity have an outlet. Then Microsoft is in trouble.

In such a situation, a company has two choices, both of which are quite stark. They can radically change their ways or they can wither and die. Before you point to Windows 8 and say, “But they are changing and innovating”, hold off a moment, it isn’t what you think.

Microsoft has three product lines that underpin everything, Windows, Windows Server, and Windows Mobile/Phone/WART/whatevertheynameitthisweek. On those, the other moneymakers, Office and Exchange, run exclusively. The apps use protocols that are locked down with dubious methods, and will not run on any competition. The competition is likewise excluded from doing what Microsoft can, either directly like Novell, or by raising the cost to the point of it not being profitable. This is how the wagons are circled, with every iteration, the cost of competing go up, and value of alternatives go up too.

The problem is that if you are locked in with a choice of 100% Microsoft or 0% Microsoft, once someone goes, it isn’t a baby step, they are gone. Once you start using Google Docs and the related suites, you have no need for Office. That means you, or likely your company, saves several hundred dollars a head. No need for Office means no need for Exchange. No need for Exchange means no need for Windows Server. No need for Office means no need for Windows. Once the snowball starts rolling, it picks up speed a frightening pace. And that is where we are. The barriers to exit are now even more potent barriers to entry.

If you read the story about Steve Sinofsky being fired, err leaving at the peak of his success like Windows 8, you will see some interesting quotes. Take a look at the AllThingsD story, especially the update. Take a look at the quote from Steve Ballmer, “I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company,” CEO Steve Ballmer said. “The products and services we have delivered to the market in the past few months mark the launch of a new era at Microsoft. We’ve built an incredible foundation with new releases of Microsoft Office, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Microsoft Surface, Windows Server 2012 and ‘Halo 4,’ and great integration of services such as Bing, Skype and Xbox across all our products. To continue this success it is imperative that we continue to drive alignment across all Microsoft teams, and have more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings“.

You will see that one sentence is taken up by the normal excuse train when canning a top exec. The next three are spent on a tangent where Ballmer goes off about how well integrated their product lines are, and how successful that is making them. Any guesses why he went off on such an aside?

Start back a ways, Microsoft’s mobile OS line was failing, it was the laughingstock of the industry pre-Windows Phone 7. Microsoft totally revamped that OS with a new look, new paradigms, and a completely incompatible OS with all the apps that came before it. They spent almost half a billion dollars advertising it. They bought Nokia to both kill off one competitor and to buy their market share.

Microsoft at the time had approximately 12% smartphone OS marketshare, Nokia a bit over 30%. With the collaboration, Nokia and Microsoft, together with all the other OS partners selling Windows Phone 7.x, sales are now hovering around 2% of smartphone market share. Subsidies are massive and increasing, and Windows Phone 8 is just coming out. Luckily it is incompatible with the 7 variants that preceded it, and anyone who bought one got obsoleted without warning.

Microsoft’s mobile aspirations have failed so spectacularly that it is almost impossible to account for. Rather than fix the lock in that excludes the overwhelming majority of the market that does not have a Windows phone, Microsoft doubled down with the new iteration playing the same compatibility games they did before to lock out developers, competitors, and innovators. Laughably they did so in the name of compatibility. With Windows 8, current marketshare rounding to zero, every other bit of software written for Windows is excluded. Windows phone hasn’t paid for the last ad campaign, much less made dollar one, and likely never will.

Then came Windows 8, the all new tabletized UI, and WART. It is a miserable experience for the corporate user, and anyone spending serious time using one finds out the halo wears off surprisingly quickly. To make matters worse, Microsoft dropped the Surface bomb on all of their partners, you know, the ones they have under their thumb and locked down with monopolistic might. They are livid, angry beyond words, and were afraid of angering Redmond. As we exclusively brought you the story, HP dumped WART. They are now much more afraid of what happens if they don’t leave.

Then Acer postponed Windows RT devices until Q2, Taiwanese OEM-speak for it is stone cold dead. Other are looking for an alternative, any alternative, as a top priority. This exodus has never happened before, and is a one way street. Microsoft jacked up the price of WART to untenable levels, undercut their partners pricing on hardware, and made it impossible for any vendor to make a WART device profitably, and then surprised them with the news. The shocking bit? Microsoft feigned surprise that their entire partner base was not overjoyed at their entering the market and undercutting them. As a fix to placate OEMs, Microsoft picked a scapegoat and fired him, then went ahead with their plans at full speed. Partners somehow weren’t fooled.

To the surprise of no one, Steve Ballmer just described Surface sales as, “modest”Mr Ballmer is not one to understate anything, modest for Stevish means abject failure in English. Surface sales are said to be roughly four million after about a month of sales, hardly modest. Then again, to put the number in perspective, Apple was said to sell five million iPhone 5s on the first day, mainly because they were severely supply limited, and three million iPad Minis over the first sales weekend. Modest indeed, and no word about returns which SemiAccurate hears are astoundingly high. Surface is a failure too. Apple didn’t have a massive ad campaign to back it up either, they just released the products.

This means the two mobile compute markets that Microsoft was locked out of have been attacked full on by Windows Phone 7.x and 8, Surface, WART, Windows 8, plus the might of the entire Microsoft ecosystem. This has been backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising, more in OEM incentives, and sold through an dealer and retail network that is locked in to a monopolistic supplier. With all of this, filtering out the initial sales bump of a new product, Microsoft isn’t even holding it’s ground in phone and tablets. Failure is not nearly a strong enough term for Microsoft’s mobile ambitions.

And that brings us to Windows 8 itself, the laughing stock of the OS world. Not since Windows Vista has there been an OS so widely derided as 8. Initially it seems like a fun experience, but as we said, that halo wears off quickly. For use on an older computer, it is miserable, you need touch. Unfortunately touch does not work on a vertical surface, there have been decades of studies to show this. Unless you are using a tablet, Windows 8 quickly becomes an exercise in frustration and arm pain. Worse yet, it is simply not workable for doing what most business users need to do, write a letter, make a spreadsheet, and reply to an email. How fun do you think pulling your hand off the keyboard to touch the screen every time you want to click a menu in Word is? Fun edgy UI or carpal tunnel nightmare? Luckily for those realizing this problem, Microsoft got in front of that potential deal breaker and, well, made it so there is no other way. You can’t avoid the new UI, and it is unsuitable for corporate work.

For developers, Windows 8 is a nightmare too. High end games are the one area where Windows still has no serious competition, but Microsoft doesn’t seem to care about this. Even with that lack of attention, Windows 8 has outdone itself in turning off the developer community. First Valve publicly trashed Windows 8, then came Blizzard backing Valve. Several other very large and influential development houses have expressed far worse sentiment for Microsoft and Windows 8 to SemiAccurate in private. No one likes what Microsoft has done, some just don’t say it publicly.

Microsoft has gone from a position of overwhelming power in software and games to one where they have to pay developers to port. This is usually the death knell for a platform, and most developers are already looking away to greener pastures. The strongest draw for consumers died with Windows 8, and pay to play is not sustainable even with Microsoft’s deep pockets. The sales of products will never justify third party investments at this point, without Windows 7 and earlier compatibility, there is no market.

The mainstream market isn’t doing well for Windows 8 either. OEMs, chipmakers, and Wall Street have collectively tried to minimize ever dwindling PC sales as a collective wait for Windows 8. With the release of that OS, sales in Q4 and Q1 were predicted to go up by 5-10% as the pent up demand was fed, good times ahead. Anecdotal evidence seen by SemiAccurate said otherwise, but it is just that, anecdotal.

Then came the first hard evidence, Joanne Feeney of Longbow Research came out with two notes on the health of the PC market. In it, she claims that laptops are going to be flat in Q4, desktops down by 5-10%, numbers in line with the whispers. Windows 8 launched and sales go down? During Christmas and Chinese New Year? Really? Stop and think about that, the last few releases you read stories about people camping out for midnight sales, this time a new OS tanks sales. Does that scream market acceptance to you?

So here we sit, Microsoft has utterly failed in phones, utterly failed in tablets, and is seen as a has been by the next generation. The company can point to technical superiority all day, but people aren’t buying. Windows 8 itself seems to be dropping sales of PCs too, and that will have a knock on effect to their server OS as well, something that is also losing share at a frightening pace. To stop the decline after only losing the majority of their marketshare, Microsoft took the unfathomable move of forcing a touch UI on servers. If this doesn’t make clear the depths of how lost Microsoft is, and how reactionary their fixes are, nothing will.

To fix things, Ballmer didn’t acknowledge the massive problems confronting the company, didn’t address how their purported fixes are not only failing to stem the losses but also destroying the market for previously safe products, and he didn’t even announce anything to look forward to at all. Instead, he picked a scapegoat, canned Steve Sinofsky, and claimed Surface sales were, “modest”. iPad sales are not modest. iPhone sales are not modest. Android phone sales are not modest. Android tablet sales are modest only in comparison to Apple products. Surface sales are not modest either, they are an absolute disaster.

Getting back to Ballmer’s eulogy for Sinofsky, remember that? He said that the guy gave his all, did a great job, and took the fall for, well, Ballmer most likely. The rest of the quote goes on to say how integrated the whole of Microsoft is now, go team. It all works together, and is a single whole unit. In fact, you would be forgiven if you thought of it all as one piece that will get tighter integration as we move forward. Great.

Unless you own an iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or Android tablet, they don’t play well with Microsoft by Microsoft’s design. You can’t have Office on them, you can’t properly integrate them in to the Server 2012 offerings, and they can’t run the scant few Windows 8/WART programs out there. They sure can’t run Halo 4, and will never be a surface, but do have an app selection that dwarfs what Microsoft can offer, not to mention music and video libraries that again are without peer. If you give up your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or Android tablet, you can be with the 2% of loyal Microsoft customers that have bought all of the offerings and are enjoying an existence free of non-Microsoft products.

Somehow, 98% of the market doesn’t seem to be moved to abandoning their current devices. In fact, you could say just the opposite is happening. Windows 8 sales are withering, and the target market doesn’t seem to want to pay more for less functionality just so they can get an OS that has “modest” sales and no apps. For a good reason. Give up iTunes and their reams of purchased songs, movies, and TV shows? Android or iOS apps that have no equivalent in the Microsoft ecosystem? All for more money and a clunky frustrating interface? What’s not to love? Why would any consumer not want to re-buy all of their libraries so they can move to a Surface?

Somehow people are not just staying away in droves, customers who previously bought Windows desktop and were purportedly waiting to upgrade either decided not to or were actually gone long ago. The whole death spiral of low marketshare has doomed Windows Phone 7 and 8, made WART and Surface non-starters, and the entire OEM space is hell bent on making viable alternatives to Windows itself. Microsoft is said to have internally written of any chance of corporate adoption for Windows 8 too. That means all the goodies that Server 2012 brings, we assume there are some, are only going to work with a Windows 8 desktop just like the last 4-5 generations. Microsoft is nothing if they are not predictable.

So Android and iOS are not losing ground to Microsoft, instead they are pulling sales from Windows 8 proper. That means Server 2012 has less appeal to customers as well. OEMs are incentivized to push anything but Microsoft, and so it goes. There is a whole generation that has tablets that don’t run Windows anything. They use Google Docs, not Office. They use Gmail not Outlook or Exchange.

They could use Microsoft’s purportedly spiffy Office 365, but somehow don’t seem to want to spend the money on the full Office desktop license it seems to require. There are ways to pay for the service as a standalone too, but no one is. The whole cloud integration with Windows 8 in all forms doesn’t do much for you if you don’t use Windows 8. If you build it, they will come. They built it, and the users came. Microsoft built another, and wonders why no one wants to buy their expensive tickets anymore, especially since the fine print on the back binds you to not going elsewhere else ever again.

In the end, the death spiral for Microsoft is in full effect, and management is expending a lot of effort to speed it up. Anyone who dares point out that the entire system is collapsing, or worse yet suggests an alternative, gets Sinofsky’d. Or was it Guggenheimer’d? In any case, Microsoft is unwilling to change, and that is very clear. Even if they wanted to, they are culturally far beyond the point of being able to. What was a slow bleed of marketshare is now gushing, and management is clueless, intransigent, and myopic. Game over, the thrashing will continue for a bit, but it won’t change the outcome. Microsoft has failed.S|A

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TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: hitech; microsoft; msn; windows8
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1 posted on 11/14/2012 9:22:54 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: ShadowAce

Long articfle.


2 posted on 11/14/2012 9:24:37 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Meh. I’m admittedly no big fan of Microsoft, but I’d take the label of “failure” if I had their balance sheet. Even if they are on a long decline, it’s going to be a LONG decline, and plenty of profit to be made in the meantime.

And that assumes that the trend is real and never changes.


3 posted on 11/14/2012 9:31:28 AM PST by kevkrom (If a wise man has an argument with a foolish man, the fool only rages or laughs...)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Balmer, a.k.a. “Monkey Boy”, cannot hold a candle to Bill Gates and his entire tenure as head of M$ has been a story of decline.


4 posted on 11/14/2012 9:35:34 AM PST by SeeSharp
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

My next computer will not be using Microsoft Office.

I’ll be using “OpenOffice”.

It has everything I need, the interface I like and icons/commands that make more sense than the current version.

Best part? It’s free.

Not adverse to spending money on things but Microsuck has mad the latest version of their Office Suite confusing to use as I look for the advanced commands in spreadsheets and formatting in Word.

F em...

I’m a simple caveman, their ways frighten and confuse me...


5 posted on 11/14/2012 9:40:13 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: kevkrom

Microsoft has hundreds of millions of users world wide. And...they have hundreds of billions in CASH.

Sure, they have a problem on their hands with Apple and all the other handheld devices flooding the market. But that doesn’t mean they are going anywhere soon.


6 posted on 11/14/2012 9:40:52 AM PST by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: SeeSharp

Worked very close to the exec offices (and I mean feet away) for 10 years. Every exec that came up the ranks and showed any ability to lead has been fired by Ballmer. In fact, we used to joke about it and take bets on how long these guys/gals would last.


7 posted on 11/14/2012 9:43:31 AM PST by CityCenter (Presidential terms are 4 years, eternity is forever.)
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To: Vendome

I pretty much use Google Docs now.


8 posted on 11/14/2012 9:44:25 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

All someone has to is come up with an OS that equivelent to XP SP5 64bit before 2014 and Microsoft will be done in the desktop & laptop market.

Since XP it’s been,

Vista: Sucks
7: Doesn’t suck as bad as Vista
8: WTF @#&@#&!@#(&*@#!(&@#)(@#&@#


9 posted on 11/14/2012 9:44:50 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

and if this link is accurate then this whole article is just wishful thinking
http://www.mis-asia.com/resource/operating-systems/microsoft-office-to-arrive-on-ios-and-android-in-early-2013-—report/


10 posted on 11/14/2012 9:45:43 AM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I’d love to fail like MS has failed. The fact is MS has positioned themselves quite effectively as a necessary evil. Yeah almost nobody actually likes their apps or OS, but you’re gonna use them, you’re company will buy them and you work with them at work, and if you do work at home you’ll buy them too, and now if you want to work on a mobile you’ll but buy them there too. They’re kind of like a gas station, nobody likes going there either, but we drive.


11 posted on 11/14/2012 9:45:59 AM PST by discostu (Not a part of anyone's well oiled machine.)
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To: for-q-clinton

I believe the Andriod/iOS version of “Office” is extremely limited — more for content viewing than content creation or editing.


12 posted on 11/14/2012 9:48:38 AM PST by kevkrom (If a wise man has an argument with a foolish man, the fool only rages or laughs...)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

xbox

That’s my reply to every “Microsoft is dead” article.

Microsoft was late to the game console market, and the product the first delivered was laughed at by many. Today the xbox is the #1 selling console, and they hold 25% of the video game industry—an industry that is LARGER than the movie & TV industry. All of Microsoft’s other product lines could end, and they would still be a major company based on the xbox/video-game sales alone.

They also believe the xbox PLATFORM is the future of the company. That’s why they bought Skype, to extend their xbox platform. They see the xbox as the center of a home entertainment/communications/management/internet system.

Microsoft asked “how can we integrate phones, touch-pads, and other devices with our xbox system (so they will work seamlessly together). Their answer was Windows-8.

Microsoft is late to the touchscreen OS, but isn’t that true of every company but Apple? Does that mean their doomed? Hardly, because they have one great advantage: Microsoft has always been a developer friendly company. Their development tools are easy to use and their product platforms are easy for developers to develop on.


13 posted on 11/14/2012 9:48:47 AM PST by Brookhaven (theconservativehand.com - alt2p.com)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Just got a new laptop with Windows 8. HATE IT!!! If Dell cannot downgrade the OS to Windows 7, I will be returing the laptop for one that does run 7 or for my money back.


14 posted on 11/14/2012 9:49:18 AM PST by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
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To: Sergio
Just got a new laptop with Windows 8. HATE IT!!!

My current laptop came with Windows 7 on it. The VERY FIRST time I booted it up it had a Fedora Install DVD in it.

I haven't gone back to Windows, or wished to, since before 2003.

And before people say I don't use it for much, I use it for work, connect to their Exchange server, use IM and exchange documents. No one can tell I don't use Windows, and I get much more work done.

15 posted on 11/14/2012 9:53:35 AM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

The entire military still uses MS products. That’s gotta be a healthy chunk of change right there. My assumption is that other FedGov branches do, too.


16 posted on 11/14/2012 9:56:07 AM PST by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: for-q-clinton

Well,...thst could make a difference.


17 posted on 11/14/2012 9:56:59 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Future Snake Eater

Not the entire military.


18 posted on 11/14/2012 9:57:31 AM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: kevkrom

Excatly...no one is creating big dogs on phones.


19 posted on 11/14/2012 9:57:40 AM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Good article. I think the author nails it.

IMO, the end started about 10 years ago. It was then that it became difficult to find anyone at MS who knew what he was doing.


20 posted on 11/14/2012 9:59:36 AM PST by Rum Tum Tugger
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To: Brookhaven

XBox has been pretty good.


21 posted on 11/14/2012 9:59:46 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Brookhaven

I agree 100%

I write software using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and have used Microsoft for over 2 decades

The debugger is a work of art (because they use it themselves)


22 posted on 11/14/2012 10:00:44 AM PST by Mr. K (We need a TEA PARTY MARCH ON GOP HEADQUARTERS!)
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To: Vendome

“My next computer will not be using Microsoft Office.

I’ll be using “OpenOffice”.”


While I use both and promote OpenOffice frequently, there are a few bumps in the road. If I only had my choice of MS Access or ooBase, Access would win hands down. If it were not for a very active users forum ooBase might be unusable. Macros are just a step above hieroglyphics. Also ooBase does not allow VB to be used as a more feature rich user interface to the database. To be fair that is not OpenOffice’s fault but no VB->ooBase database file driver has been written and I don’t see that as OO’s responsibility.

I just got bit by a lack of a very useful feature in Calc. I had a bunch of columns with calculations based on values in other columns and when I inserted a row on my spreadsheet, it broke the order of the cells these calculations pointed to and all info past the insertion was wrong. Also inserting a column has a similar problem.

I have not checked if this problem extends to a 2nd worksheet in the same file with a cell link to another sheet. That could get very ugly.

A simple highlighting the offending rows/columns (250 of them) the Alt-E-I-D corrected it but had I not spotted this loss of function everything past the row insertion point would have been wrong.


23 posted on 11/14/2012 10:01:52 AM PST by Wurlitzer (Nothing says "ignorance" like Islam!)
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To: ShadowAce
A good amount of his commentary seems to be aimed at business pardners and software developers....so it is not very apparent to consumers as of yet.

But compared to Apple.....they are not doing very much...that is new, or innovative.

24 posted on 11/14/2012 10:03:54 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I’ve been downloading older MS business and specialty solution software in the last 2 weeks just in case it disappears forever. Already many links are dead at the MS support site. Even though I’m mainly using Win7 64 bit, I’m collecting copies of all of the XP solutions that I still use on my older 32-bit computers. Some are very useful and yet never made it into Vista or Win7. It is a shame that a wonderful resource is crumbling apart. Part of the kiddiefication of MS.


25 posted on 11/14/2012 10:04:20 AM PST by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: qam1
7: Doesn’t suck as bad as Vista

Seriously?  Windows 7 has been a total success on all levels.  I replaced XP with it and cannot be happier.  What do you hate about it ... other than the fact MS makes it?

26 posted on 11/14/2012 10:09:43 AM PST by softwarecreator
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
The problem is that if you are locked in with a choice of 100% Microsoft or 0% Microsoft, once someone goes, it isn’t a baby step, they are gone. Once you start using Google Docs and the related suites, you have no need for Office. That means you, or likely your company, saves several hundred dollars a head. No need for Office means no need for Exchange. No need for Exchange means no need for Windows Server. No need for Office means no need for Windows. Once the snowball starts rolling, it picks up speed a frightening pace. And that is where we are. The barriers to exit are now even more potent barriers to entry.

Every sentence in the above paragraph is untrue.

First, even though who go with, say, OpenOffice or Google Docs, will still need the full blown Microsoft version to communicate with the rest of the world. I say this as someone who oversaw IT within a company and kept it 80%WordPerfect, 10% MacOS, 10% Word.

There's plenty not to like about Microsoft, but other companies are not without their "treacle". Apple treats the corporate environment like gum on its shoe. A lot of important hardware does not have Linux drivers or worse, very poor ones. There are entire categories of software (ERP, for instance) where not only the best of breed, but the five or six best of breedrun either on Windows only or on a mainframe. The MS Exchange server coordinates with a lot more than MS Office and has features of its own that make it a viable choice, MS Office notwithstanding.

The fact is for a company that doesn't innovate, Microsoft still has the best of breed spreadsheet despite the #$%%^ ribbon, a word processor that works a lot better than the free competition for corporate purposes, two database packages that do well in their spaces (SQL Server and, still, Access, even though I greatly prefer FileMaker Pro), a very good (if corruptible) organizer/e-mail client with Outlook. Niche business products that are still top tier (Visio, Project), stuff that brings it all together, (e.g. Sharepoint), and a whole bunch of marginal and bad apps that still draw in support from consumers and businesses that don't want to spend more for a better product (Publisher, Expression).

The fact is that MS Office is actually priced competitively enough to lock out the next Lotus Office/Novell Office/Star Office. WordPerfect is relegated to niche player status for those who do heavier formatting or legal-oriented stuff, and the rest, which miss useful features, are free.

In the enterprise space, Microsoft is committed to providing server products and development tools that will keep it in play, because their developers' products HAVE been innovative and competitive. Yes, they try to corrupt every standard (HTML5, Java, XML) that comes along, but in the meantime they have built a loyal raft of programmers, and Microsoft is willing to mostly stay out of the hardware game, ensuring that there will be a very wide range of suitable computers for its products to run on.

They ain't dead, or close to it, in the corporate realm. Most of the other big players HAVE to do business with them. That's not a bad place to be.
27 posted on 11/14/2012 10:10:15 AM PST by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

A good buddy of mine (recently retired AF O-6) just bought a new HP laptop with Windows 8. We had breakfast the other day and he brought it along to show me. Boy, did he show me.

He HATES Win8, and now I see why. It’s the most miserable, clunky, UN-user-friendly P.O.S. of an OS I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been in the computer biz for nearly 30 years). Just jaw-droppingly stupid design. Try to do just simple things, I dare you. It is openly hostile to users with a mouse....yet touch versions (i.e. Ultrabooks) really aren’t out in volume yet. Even then, as the article points out, what enterprise is going to switch to an OS that is CLEARLY touch-centric?

Answer: None.

I’m sticking with Win7 Pro, which I happen to actually like.


28 posted on 11/14/2012 10:10:15 AM PST by RightOnline (I am Andrew Breitbart!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Contradictory statements all over the place, like: Microsoft has failed

followed by:

Sooner or later, someone will come along and do a better job than the treacle that Microsoft, offers.

If MS has failed, then, "sooner or later" sounds like it hasn't happened. And in fact, it hasn't happened and is likely to never happen.

This is an article written by someone who absolutely hates Microsoft and would like nothing more to have it fail. This is an article where the author wishes to help make the failure happen, while at the same time, failing to point at all of the positives that Microsoft has going for it, like, the biggest variety of software on the planet, and the biggest user base on the planet, and the most used office package on the planet, and the most used OS on the planet, a huge presence on the internet with Bing and other major properties, a huge presence on the cloud with its many different services, a new OS for mobile platforms and which is, despite what the author above says, doing quite well in sales, and a new OS which (whether the author likes it or not) is being included with most new PC purchases and which is also very low cost for those who wish to upgrade from any previous Windows version.

MS is also the company with the mobile platform which threatens to take away huge sales from Android and Apple's mobile platforms, and that has already started to show in sales figures. What MS takes away in sales from Apple or Google, is something that will affect the bottom line of Apple and Google. Apple's outlook for sales have had to be lowered since Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT were released to market.

The author brags about the sales of WP8 being slow, but the strategy on he part of MS is not to make huge sales on a week-end and then brag about in on Monday to its user base, which is what Apple is all about. MS's strategy is long-term, and the figures they care about, are the ones reported on a quarterly basis. If weekly or monthly or quarterly figures were to be the determining factor for a failure, then MS would not have persisted in building its XBox system and the accompanying ecosystem.

The author of the piece above is one who wishes to see MS fail, and is divorced from the reality on the ground.
29 posted on 11/14/2012 10:10:38 AM PST by adorno
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

” The apps use protocols that are locked down with dubious methods, and will not run on any competition. “

Sounds like Apple to me..


30 posted on 11/14/2012 10:12:06 AM PST by Cyman
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To: Wurlitzer
If I only had my choice of MS Access or ooBase, Access would win hands down.

Check out Filemaker Pro.
31 posted on 11/14/2012 10:13:27 AM PST by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: Future Snake Eater

FedGov out my way uses MS. They actually prefer it because it is closed-source.


32 posted on 11/14/2012 10:14:41 AM PST by Lazamataz
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To: Cyman

The difference is that Apple is a systems vendor, not a software vendor. Buying Apple means going in knowing that it’s a closed ecosystem to a large extent. In the iOS world, that control is absolute, though in the OS X line, you’re perfectly free to develop any application you want as long as you sell/distribute it on your own; API restrictions only apply to the Mac App Store.


33 posted on 11/14/2012 10:16:47 AM PST by kevkrom (If a wise man has an argument with a foolish man, the fool only rages or laughs...)
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To: adorno
The author of the piece above is one who wishes to see MS fail, and is divorced from the reality on the ground.

MS haters have been predicting Microsoft's downfall since 1995, and yet, here they still are.  MS's marketshare will grow and shrink, like every business in history, yet they still are number one and likely to be that way for the forseeable future.

34 posted on 11/14/2012 10:20:25 AM PST by softwarecreator
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Nobody ever got fired for specifying IBM

It wasn't that long ago that IBM held a lock on the computing industry. Then things started to slip...and slip...and now where are they? (I know, they sell "service" exclusively now.)

And Microsoft is going down the same chute, and for pretty much the same reasons. The second generation of computing monopoly is withering. Wonder who will pick up the gauntlet?

35 posted on 11/14/2012 10:22:45 AM PST by asinclair (Bulls*it is an ever-renewable resource.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
But compared to Apple.....they are not doing very much...that is new, or innovative.

Improving a product is not innovation. Changing the look of a product is not innovation.

Apple has not created anything new or innovative in the last 15 years of so. They can improve and give them new looks and perhaps even tweak a product to make it work a little bit better, but, innovation or creating anything new, is not what Apple is about.

So, can you name anything "new" that Apple has created? Fact is that, the iDevices which have Apple being so profitable, were all there before Apple took them and released them with improvements and with new marketing strategies. It's the marketing where Apple is superior to others, but even that is not helping them so much lately, where they've lost some $120 billion in market cap. The end of the "Apple is better" period is upon us, and Android and Microsoft are beginning to make Apple look to do different things, because, the 5-year headstart Apple had with the "newer" mobile platforms, now has a lot more competitors, with better products and services and lower prices.
36 posted on 11/14/2012 10:26:22 AM PST by adorno
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

But Microslut produced...marketing...lots of marketing...and lobbying...and lawsuits...and suits.


37 posted on 11/14/2012 10:28:05 AM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: adorno; Dr. Sivana; Mr. K; Brookhaven; Rum Tum Tugger; ShadowAce; Future Snake Eater; Sergio; ...
At the moment he seems to be making his name with attacks on various management teams....

He lit up on AMD management a bit ago......

Found it.....

AMD is Imploding because Management doesn't understand semiconductors

38 posted on 11/14/2012 10:28:11 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: softwarecreator
Things that suck about Windows 7

No folder up button, annoying Ribbon/expolorer bar forced to use
Start Menu (or whatever it is called now) redesign sucks
No “Recent Documents” in Start Menu
Those Library folders suck
Search can't find anything (Bring back the dog)
Old programs still don't work
It is still bloatware

39 posted on 11/14/2012 10:33:26 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: Sergio

Try this and you’ll love it: http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/download.asp

It adds the start button back and it adds a few other features. So you can have your regular interface but all the improvements in Win8 too. Don’t downgrade.


40 posted on 11/14/2012 10:34:24 AM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: qam1

yeah. okay, I guess it does suck. /s


41 posted on 11/14/2012 10:36:29 AM PST by softwarecreator
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
At the moment he seems to be making his name with attacks on various management teams....

Sounds like a man on a mission.

And no credibility.

This is the type of guy who would have described Reagan as a failure. And there would have been millions who would support his argument, while wishing to disregard the truth along the way.
42 posted on 11/14/2012 10:40:04 AM PST by adorno
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To: RightOnline
He HATES Win8, and now I see why. It’s the most miserable, clunky, UN-user-friendly P.O.S. of an OS I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been in the computer biz for nearly 30 years). Just jaw-droppingly stupid design. Try to do just simple things, I dare you. It is openly hostile to users with a mouse....yet touch versions (i.e. Ultrabooks) really aren’t out in volume yet. Even then, as the article points out, what enterprise is going to switch to an OS that is CLEARLY touch-centric?

I haven't used Win 8 yet, but from what I understand the Windows 7 desktop is still there for people who want to use it.

43 posted on 11/14/2012 10:44:00 AM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I recently picked up a Chromebox to replace my home computer. It’s basically a Linux OS computer that is designed to run the Chrome browser very well, and not much else. It works for my family though. Even before we bought it, 95% of what we did on our home computer was somehow connected to the Web. The Chrome browser has a buttload of great applications and extensions that are all free, everything I’ve needed so far, I’ve found. The clincher for me was the HTML5 remote desktop extension; if I ever find myself needing any Windows-based programs, I just remote into my work network, and everything’s there.

I like that I no longer have a nagging worry in the back of my head about: have I downloaded the right virus protection? have I properly backed up all of my hard drive files? have I messed up my computer by visiting this or that website, or downloading this or that file? am I current on the latest software updates? etc. All of that is handled automatically by people who know far better than me what the hell they’re doing. As far as it being useless without an internet connection, on the rare occasions that internet is out at my house, it’s more productive for me to do almost anything else other than try to work on my computer without internet.

I think Chromeboxes and Chromebooks could be a threat to a Microsoft along the lines presented in this article. Acer recently announced a Chrome laptop for $199, and Samsung has one for $249. Both come with storage and internet access freebies that are worth more than the purchase price. It’s still a bit of work in progress, but soon there will be a 4G LTE version, and if it has a good hardware/price package, that would be pretty compelling. Corporate IT is already moving to cloud computing; Chrome computers fit perfectly into that.

So, for the time being, at home, I’m free of Microsoft and Apple, and it feels good! Of course, now Google knows everything about me . . .


44 posted on 11/14/2012 10:45:46 AM PST by Behind the Blue Wall
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To: for-q-clinton

Thank you! I will give that a try tonight and see how I like it. FReepers are the best.


45 posted on 11/14/2012 10:47:01 AM PST by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
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To: qam1

You don’t need a folder up button, the address bar can be used to get back to any folder in your chain, and if you use the arrow any of its subfolders other than the chain you’re in.
The Start Menu is basically the same, except for replacing the run box with the much more powerful search box.
Recent documents can be gotten to via the application in question, hit that arrow next to Word and there’s the recent document list
Libraries are little counter intuitive, but once you get used to them having all your main places to put stuff on the navigation bar is pretty handy
I’ve never had search not find anything that was there for it to find
All my old programs work, and if you actually have one that doesn’t make an XP virtual machine
Bloatware is what happens when people want tons of new features AND aren’t willing to get rid of any old features

There’s a few changes necessary in how you think, but once you get over that hump 7 is a pretty kick ass OS. The big change is stop thinking so linearly, they’ve finally put enough layers between the OS and its DOS root that thinking like DOS inhibits you. Which is where most of your complaints, especially the folder up button, come from. DOS is folder up, 7 is one click access to all folders in your chain, two clicks to get to the subfolders near your chain.


46 posted on 11/14/2012 10:53:00 AM PST by discostu (Not a part of anyone's well oiled machine.)
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To: All
And regarding AMD I just posted this :

AMD Hires JP Morgan Chase to Explore Options of Company’s Future.

47 posted on 11/14/2012 10:54:46 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Behind the Blue Wall
I’m free of Microsoft and Apple, and it feels good! Of course, now Google knows everything about me . . .

Yeah, that's kinda like going from East Germany to North Korea.
48 posted on 11/14/2012 10:58:23 AM PST by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: Sergio; Charles Henrickson; bcsco
Just got a new laptop with Windows 8. HATE IT!!! If Dell cannot downgrade the OS to Windows 7, I will be returing the laptop for one that does run 7 or for my money back.

Which is why I shall be hanging on to the laptop I got for FREE via coupons a couple of years ago. I was planning on getting a new laptop about this year if a new OS came out but from what I have heard about the Windows 8 nightmare, I'm hanging on to it.

49 posted on 11/14/2012 11:07:53 AM PST by PJ-Comix (Beware the Rip in the Space/Time Continuum)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I bought a ps3 3 years ago when blu ray players were expensive .
My next upgrade will be an Xbox and a $89 blu ray player that does all streaming apps.


50 posted on 11/14/2012 11:50:36 AM PST by Morris70
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