Beleaguered Microsoft has failed

“Microsoft is in deep trouble, their two main product lines are failing, and the blame game is intensifying,” Charlie Demerjian writes for SemiAccurate. “Steve Sinofsky gets the blame this time for the failure of Windows 8, but the real problem is the patterns that are so clearly illustrated by these actions.”

“Microsoft is largely irrelevant to computing of late, the only markets they still play in are evaporating with stunning rapidity,” Demerjian writes. “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.”

Demerjian writes, “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… 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… 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.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: A toast! To Monkey Boy, for as long as it takes!

Our initial impression is that Microsoft, in trying to cram everything into Windows 8 in an attempt to be all things to all devices, will end up with an OS that’s a jack of all trades and a master of none (which, after all, ought to be Microsoft’s company motto)… We simply do not see the world clamoring for the UI of an iPod also-ran now ported to an iPhone wannabe that nobody’s buying to be blown up onto a PC display.

From what we’ve seen so far, Windows 8 strikes us as an unsavory combination of Windows Weight plus Windows Wait.

Not to mention that probably no one on earth knows how much or what kinds of residual legacy spaghetti code roils underneath it all (shudder)… No matter what, if Microsoft’s going to ask Windows sufferers to “learn a whole new computer” (and that’s exactly how they’ll look at it, regardless of how Microsoft pitches it), millions will simply say, “Time to get a Mac to match my iPod, iPhone, and iPad!”

As if they needed it: More good news for Apple.MacDailyNews Take, June 6, 2011

As we have always said, even as many short-sightedly waved (and continue to wave) the white flag, the war is not over. And, yes, we shall prevail… No company is invincible. Not even Microsoft.MacDailyNews Take, January 10, 2005

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “BTL” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Slate reviews Microsoft’s Surface tablet: Too slow, mercilessly buggy; why is it so bad? – November 6, 2012
Microsoft’s bloated Windows RT eats 16GB of Surface tablet – November 5, 2012
InfoWorld reviews Microsoft Surface RT: A disappointment; you’re better off with Apple’s iPad – October 31, 2012
Acer delays Windows RT tablets; adopts ‘wait and see’ approach after poor Surface RT reviews – October 30, 2012
Gizmodo reviews Microsoft Surface RT: Do not buy; inferior to Apple’s iPad; the worst of both worlds – October 25, 2012
The Verge reviews Microsoft Surface RT tablet: ‘The whole thing is honestly perplexing; who is this for?’ – October 24, 2012
Analyst: Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet priced too high, could be the next Zune – October 18, 2012
Dvorak: ‘Microsoft’s Surface tablet isn’t the Apple iPad, so it shouldn’t be priced like one’ – October 18, 2012
Microsoft inexplicably claims Surface RT tablet lower resolution screen beats iPad with Retina display – October 17, 2012
Microsoft Surface RT tablet Wi-Fi-only; 32GB for $599 with, $499 without keyboard, $699 for 64GB – October 16, 2012
Microsoft airs first TV ad for Surface tablet (with video) – October 15, 2012
Apple’s ‘iPad mini’ to obliterate Microsoft’s Windows 8, Surface RT tablet launches – October 13, 2012
Acer CEO to Microsoft: ‘Think twice’ about Surface tablets – August 7, 2012
Microsoft Surface tablet pricing leaked; US$1,000 for ‘cheapest’ Windows RT model – July 26, 2012
Ballmer: Uh, yeah, ‘Surface is just a design point,’ you know – July 10, 2012
Microsoft’s Buffoon, er… Ballmer throws down gauntlet against Apple – July 10, 2012
Microsoft reportedly dumps ‘VaporMg’ chassis, will use ‘VaporMg’ only as ‘surface treatment’ – July 9, 2012
Microsoft’s downfall: Inside the executive e-mails and cannibalistic culture that fueled Microsoft’s lost decade – July 7, 2012
HP said to dump Microsoft over Surface; to cozy up to Google Android for tablet efforts – July 2, 2012
Bad news for Microsoft’s iPad killer? – July 2, 2012
Dear Microsoft, Steve Balmer and Bill Gates: What is up with your obsession with keyboards? – June 28, 2012
Jason Schwarz: Top 10 reasons why Microsoft’s Surface is DOA – June 22, 2012
Why I love Microsoft’s vaporware Surface tablet – June 22, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablet said to be Wi-Fi only at launch; no 4G, no 3G, no 2G, not even 1G – June 22, 2012
Microsoft outsources Surface assembly to Pegatron; prices above $799 for Windows 8, above $599 for Windows RT expected – June 21, 2012
Acer founder: Microsoft will quit making tablets soon – June 21, 2012
Devastating video shows Microsoft’s Surface event aping Steve Jobs’ iPad unveiling (with video) – June 20, 2012
Thanks to Apple, Microsoft is doomed in the era of mobile computing – June 20, 2012
Why wouldn’t Microsoft let anyone touch its Surface tablets’ keyboard cover? – June 20, 2012
The cost of Microsoft’s Surface tablets – June 20, 2012
Apple’s revolutionary iPad vs. Microsoft’s anti-tablet ‘Surface’ – June 20, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablets provokes ‘sense of betrayal’ among Windows PC assemblers – June 20, 2012
Fox News: Copier Microsoft is doomed to fail with Surface tablet – June 19, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablet destined to be as successful as the Zune – June 19, 2012
Surface: Why Microsoft’s big mystery turns out to be a big mistake – June 19, 2012
Microsoft’s Suicide, er… ‘Surface’ – June 19, 2012
ZDNet Sr. Tech Editor Perlow: Microsoft’s Surface has catastrophe written all over it – June 19, 2012
Microsoft previews own ‘Surface’ tablet – June 18, 2012
Microsoft touts ‘major’ June 18 event said to showcase Windows RT tablets – June 15, 2012
ZDNet’s Kingsley-Hughes: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is an awful, horrible, painful design disaster – June 8, 2012
Analyst meets with big computer maker, finds ‘general lack of enthusiasm’ for Windows 8 – June 8, 2012
Dvorak: Windows 8 an unmitigated disaster; unusable and annoying; it makes your teeth itch – June 3, 2012
The Guardian: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is confusing as hell; an appalling user experience – March 5, 2012
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011


  1. This is a nice story, but I want to see the gory details. Show me the horrible sales of their surface (slab), windows 8, and how stats on sales per square foot on their stores like they do for Apple. Microsoft is caught in time and does not know how to keep up with everyone else.

        1. MS Titanic is a bloated money pit of huge number of very highly paid staff, very high operating expenses & overhead, diminishing monopoly of power & control & shifting demands, trends & attitudes in the fast changing mobile wired internet based world.

          MS Titanic is slow to change course & once they when an iceberg appears off the bow, they cannot correct themselves fast enough…

          Kaboom, abandon ship matey!

      1. There is a generation (or 2) of workers who left school with MS Office apps as their way of working and those are in government and business that also bought into MS corporate products. Given the cost for departments to change – including the cost of re-training its staff, the inertia allows MS to do basically nothing – my work uses Office 2003 – it is in effect the modern equivalent of the Office typewriter – 94% of the output is WORD, 3% POWERPOINT, 2% excel and anything else ( Adobe acrobat, Project Manager etc.) is so small as to not really count.

    1. Microsoft has not produced anything unique in the past few years. BiNG was a failed version of Google that copied its search results, the Zune was a pathetic iPod knockoff, and Windows 8? Constipation-inducing squares with an app system similar to iOS. Oh, and it looks just like the Windows Phone interface.

    1. Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t this the first time “beleaguered” modifies “Microsoft” in a sentence, much less one including “failed”?

      “As long as it takes”. Accumulating evidence suggests a Bayesian inference of an asymptotic approach to certainty. IOW MSFT is doomed.

    2. IMHO, Microsoft’s slow demise is also causing the tech stocks slump. Because of unspoken fears by Windows sufferers, who are realizing that they will have to give up “their” Windows environment. The term Stockholm syndrome comes to mind.

  2. There are two ways to stand out: the first and easiest is crushing everyone else; the second is leaning on others and raise yourself.
    The difference is that, with the first option, you do not grow, you stay the same. And stay the same is lowered.

    Stupid is as stupid does®

      1. Ditto here. Surprisingly good article if you read the whole thing. I encourage everyone to go to the source on this one and not just review the synopsis.

        Blistering. I find myself shaking my head and saying….wow, this all seems so true…can it really be? If so….it’s vindication time.

        Really great article worth reading in full.

      2. No, it is very poorly written by someone who has little command of the English language. About the same as you by the look of it. This guy needs to go back to school to learn good grammar and sentence structure. I speak as the author of four books, so know what I am talking about.

          1. Indeed.
            “Micros**t is nothing if they are not predictable.”
            There’s plenty more where that came from!
            (Micros**t spelling is my doing.)
            Not everyone read The Essentials of Verbal Reason when they were in primary school…

            Oh, one more thing: I absolutely LOVE the ‘Comments are closed’ at the bottom.
            I imagine thousands of M$ dweebs reading the article and readying their scathing replies, only to find they’re shut out. The author may not have a firm grasp of Her Majesty’s English, but he IS astute.

        1. On the contrary, Charlie writes well for a tech journalist.

          Whereas your first sentence is a shocker, your second is a fragment, and the last sentence looks a bit retarded as well.


        2. This. An interesting point of view, to say the least, but too long, repetitive, and clearly not given even a single read-over by the author, much less any proofreading. Only in this age of amateur blogs could something like this be cited as a must read.


  3. > They didn’t unless they did, and it worked. And the market stagnated…

    Except for the small but growing portion controlled by Apple’s Mac, of course. The Mac by itself would have been annoying but “manageable” for Microsoft. But then came iPad and everything changed.

    Windows was Microsoft’s reaction to Mac. Zune was Microsoft’s reaction to iPod. Windows Phone 7 was Microsoft’s reaction to iPhone. And now, Windows 8 is Microsoft’s reaction to iPad. While Microsoft is constantly flailing about in reaction to Apple’s actions, Apple is secretly creating the “next big thing.”

    1. I’d add Xbox was Microsoft’s reaction to Sony’s PlayStation 2. There is somewhat more to this pattern, however. Microsoft’s engineers always had strategic plans for every market segment, plenty of ideas, and prototypes in their labs, but the corporate structure and culture virtually guaranteed that whatever was in the pipeline would dwell there essentially forever, not emerging unless some competition showed up; unsurprisingly, this behavior sometimes led to defective or poorly-conceived projects released too soon. Microsoft decision-making increasingly seems like panic in slow motion.

      1. Adverse to risk, unless they are in “slo-mo panic” mode.

        It explains why Windows RT, Microsoft’s touch-based tablet OS, needs to go to desktop mode (and use a keyboard) to run the pre-installed Office apps. It was too big of a risk (and disruption) to it’s existing cash-cow Office business to create a touch-based (pre-installed) version of Office for a tablet computer. Imagine if it helped make Surface more popular and took away sales from the “desktop” Office suite. The horror…!

  4. As long as windows has the’s no different than any of the previous will rot and the experience will be the same.

    Add that..and it weighs in at 16 gb on their “light” tablet version..and the future is clear.

    Wasn’t anyone in Redmond watching RIM? Same culture..same end.

    1. Ah. The Registry. It is its own horror show, lurking in the closet for months, even years, until the unspeakable slithers out from under the door. Call the exorcist, and pray for deliverance. Either that or kiss your files goodbye, reformat your drive and do a clean install. Either way, wind up hating computers. Become a Luddite. Consider joining an Amish community, studying voodoo, or becoming a political analyst. Then realize that Windows itself is a secret religion, and become born again. Return to the fold and resume the unrelieved drudgery that is the lot of the true believer, whose only consolation must remain the blessed 90% market share—may it last eternally.

  5. Seeing Steve Ballmer humiliated and kicked out is all I want. I’d hate for all those people in Redmond, WA to be out of work because of clown leadership, further crippling the Pacific Northwest business community. I’ve been to the huge MS campus a half a dozen times over the years and predicted someday it would all be a ghost town.

  6. The WinOS & MSO cash cows will continue for a long time.

    The question is if people will trust a new MS product? How many Blue Screens before a user says “Never, ever, again under any circumstances!”

      1. I ran it 10 hours a day every day. BSOD twice in the last 4 years. I lost a week of production each time. That’s $3000 per occurrence just in lost labor. I’m so glad I’m retired now and will never have to touch Windows again.

  7. Microsoft is huge. It will take a hell of a lot of problems for them to “fail”. MS product lines will ebb and flow over time. They have such a huge market share that any problems will not likely be as significant as the author of the article is saying. Just like for Apple, Microsoft is always at the mercy of its customers. If enough people like the products being made, they will buy them, if they don’t they won’t. This is true for MS, AAPL, and any other company out there. Besides, lets be professional about the misfortunes of others and not beat them when they are “down”. When you judge others, you judge Apple too.

    1. That’s the type of complacent thinking that WILL lead to Microsoft’s downfall. In the 80’s and 90’s, Microsoft thought of themselves as the underdogs, with something to prove. And they became powerful (and influential).

      Now, they live in the Redmond fantasyland where they are too big and powerful to fail. And they are slowly failing and becoming irrelevant…

      After it’s own decade of complacency (and near-bankruptcy), Apple became the most valuable public company in the world, yet they still have the underdog mentality. MDN is just a very small corner of the web. In the “real world,” it’s the popular media that takes every opportunity to “beat down” on Apple.

      1. All this is evidence of the general principle that success will spoil the self-satisfied, self-entitled, entrenched elite.

        Once vital, they decay owing to mental weakness and a failure to understand that staving off hungry pretenders requires that you remain hungry yourself, rather than continually congratulating yourself that you own the planet and that no one else besides you has offered anything that consumers might want.

    1. True. I see that as their salvation and identity ten years down the road. They can maintain a significant position in the gamer market even as their corporate IT presence fades; already, their home PC market is circling the drain. The dragon’s breath is quickening, but sees a haven beyond today’s moribund office setting.

  8. Microsoft fail?
    No, no, No, no, NO!
    Not with supporters like these….

    And we all know these women would NEVER sell out just to support something for the money and fame….right?

  9. “surface sales are said to be roughly four million”

    where did he get that number?

    all I get doing a search is WINDOWS 8 selling 4 million on opening weekend.

    that’s heck a lot difference than surface.

    (also windows selling 4 m from an installed base of according to msft 1 billion is pretty pathethic)

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.