Greg's bite: Vista Mobile 7, Microsoft dud
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: Vista Mobile 7, Microsoft dud

By Greg Mills

In the extremely high stakes competition in smart phone operating systems, Microsoft's new Mobile OS appears to be a stone loser. This is for a number of indisputable reasons.  

The expensive advertising program (rumored to be half a billion dollars) which will be launched soon, and the efforts of various hardware companies and cell phone carriers rallied to support Vista 7 are likely to be a doomed and completely wasted effort. This will certainly end Microsoft's presence in the mobile market, which includes both smart phones and slate computers.  

The future of computers is the smartphone and slate market, and everyone knows it. I think Microsoft is toast. Goldman Sachs already downgraded Microsoft stock to neutral, saying "the company needed to show some progress on mobile devices such as the smartphone and a device to compete with the iPad." Goldman analyst Sarah Friar wrote in her report, "The company needs an immediately successful Windows Phone 7 launch"  

Sorry, Sarah when the air in the launch party balloons go down, the market will likely severely punish the gang that can't shoot straight ... again. Short Microsoft, go long on Apple. I predict Goldman will downgrade Microsoft to sell, soon.

The street had publicly laid down clear expectations that true innovation will be required for their new Mobile OS to be relevant and, again, Microsoft has failed to preform. Zune, Ken, Vista and now Mobile Vista 7 have all failed to offer anything really new or compelling to excite consumers or investors in Microsoft products or stock. The issue is not as much what the new platform amounts to, but the poor timing and lack of compelling new features.  

Even if it doesn't crash all the time, or have serious worm or virus problems, is there a market for another major mobile OS? Timing is everything. The notion of Cinderella coming to the ball at 11:45 p.m. and winning the heart of the prince before rushing off at midnight is a true fairy tale in the fast developing smartphone and slate computer market. 

Had this new platform been launched shortly after iPhone took off, it would be different. Had this mobile OS been launched about the same time as Google's Android OS, Vista 7 might have found a market. It is just too late for something that is not really compelling. Windows Mobile 6.5 is expected to remain the Microsoft platform for business smart phones while the new Vista 7 will be the consumer smartphone platform. Neither platform is compelling.  

I read a number of breathlessly excited articles about why Apple's iOS is toast and Microsoft is the toaster. Not to worry, Apple. A closer examination and a careful review of the cell phone screen shots under Vista 7 tell another story: that of Microsoft relabeling Apple innovation and calling it their own.  

While they went back to the drawing board, they didn't have any new ideas to embellish their new operating system. A new home screen, a user interface that is more graphical, "tiles" instead of iOS style buttons, interfacing with Xbox live over the Internet, the old Zune interface, social network integration and connection with cloud content such as photo albums and a hardware Bing search button isn't compelling enough to rescue Vista Mobile 7. A lot of the features are likely covered by Apple patents -- and you know Apple will not stand by and see their technology stolen. It would be hard to imagine any warm fuzzy feelings between the companies at this point.

A few years back Microsoft had around a 50% market share in smart phone OS, according to Gartner Research. They now predict that by 2014 Microsoft will be down to a 3.9% market share, which is effectively out of the market. Add the dismal OS share to the lack of a robust app developer base and you spell disaster for Microsoft in the next big thing in computers, where you would have expected them to lead.  

Adding further distress to Microsoft's situation, the new Mobile OS is not up to speed for running slate computers. The Xbox is upside-down to the tune of billions of dollars, so the only thing keeping Microsoft profitable right now is the old Windows OS for the PC franchise, which is also losing market share to Apple's Mac OS.  

Even if the new Vista Mobile 7 OS platform was up to speed with Apple and Google's Mobile OS the "late to the party" contender is woefully short on apps. With roughly 250,000 for Apple, 90,000 for Google's Android, the new wonder Mobile OS from Microsoft weights in at about 2000 apps. Microsoft has worked hard to interest developers in their new platform -- with little success. There are issues with any platform that upsets developers -- and everyone knows what a pain in the rearward parts Microsoft can be.
 
From what I read, the music player portion of Vista Mobile is just a warmed over Zune which has already been panned by the market place. Try offering to buy any kid on the street a Zune or an iPod as a gift and see which they prefer. Most of them wouldn't know what a Zune is, while iPods are stolen at gun point.

The way you open apps or choose major functions in the Vista Mobile OS 7 is by touching "Tiles" instead of buttons. Gee, what is the difference? The size of the button won't make it new technology or compelling enough to matter. Adding information to the button faces sounds like Apple's badges to me. I can see the legal department at Apple warming up the copy machines to file suit for patent infringement.  

One Microsoft supporter mentioned in an article that the tiles amounted to files where more than one app could be accessed while the Apple iOS required you to drag and drop apps into button open files which he called "laborious"? Would you rather let Microsoft presort your apps for you and be stuck with what they defaulted to or be able to customize your files?

With the market share of the game community Xbox has the effect of offering to hook up their smartphones to Xbox Live, which sounds like something only a part of the Xbox community would do, and that won't help much. Live Internet connected games is certainly not an exclusive for Xbox and not something that will drive smart phone sales to a completely new smart phone platform with all the baggage that brings to mind.

Explorer -- or something called Explorer -- is the mobile web browser. Explorer is like most of the Microsoft franchise. It is in decline and is down to about 50% of the market from 90% a few years ago and for good reasons. Other browsers have become preferred over Explorer despite the advantage of coming free with Windows in most any OS package or preloaded on a PC you might buy. No fresh advantage here.

Email is email and advantages or disadvantages of particular programs and are really slight.  Apple is now able to do the secure email tricks enterprise demands that used to be exclusive to Microsoft Office. 

MS Office applications may work better with Vista 7 than previous Microsoft smartphone operating systems, but remember, they expect the new mobile OS to be the consumer version of their product. As Ballmer himself put it, Microsoft missed a generation of smartphone software.  That "missed" opportunity is going to be punished brutally.  

Some people paid as much as $890 for a Windows 6.5 smartphone six months ago that will be an electronic dinosaur tomorrow when Vista 7 is launched. The contract you sign with your carrier is not canceled when the phone you get is discontinued. Ask the people stuck with two-year contracts to operate their Kin phone. There is a serious risk in buying a Vista 7 smartphone, and I think a lot of smart phone buyers are going to hedge their bets and buy Apple or Android phones to avoid Vista 7.  

Stuxnet worm; Iran executes staffers

Intelligence sources report that the Russians who fled Iran had good reason to go home ASAP, as Iran began last week to execute "a number" of nuclear staff members suspected of sabotage using the Windows Stuxnet worm. Some of the executed staff members "have access to information about Iran's plans for foreign purchases and commercial affairs." Meaning, they had information that if leaked to the enemies could have allowed the Stuxnet worm to infect computer systems.  

It is more likely, according to some experts, that USB flash drives, which are very common and cheap, might well have been the easy way for someone to secretly introduce the malware into Windows machines. A handful of free USB drives, handed out to the right people, would have been enough to seed the worm without the staffers ever knowing they infected the systems. The worm spreads wildly, and then the fun and games begins in the control systems.

Iran is now admitting that the new nuclear reactor will not be turn on anytime soon. The damage to the plutonium centrifuges may also be much worse than they have admitted.
With information leaking out of Iran that nuclear experts have been killed (likely not in gentle ways) will tend to make it much harder to hire foreigners and recruit Iranian scientists alike. Being tortured to death for mere suspicion of accidentally introducing a Windows worm to a PC is not your typical work related injury.  

That's Greg's Bite for today

(Greg Mills, is a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup, www.CottageIndustrySolar.com using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's art web site at www.gregmills.info ; His email is gregmills@mac.com )

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

OmniPlan Pro 3.6 - Professional-grade pr...
With OmniPlan Pro, you can create logical, manageable project plans with Gantt charts, schedules, summaries, milestones, and critical paths. Break down the tasks needed to make your project a success... Read more
Little Snitch 3.7.1 - Alerts you about o...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activity As soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
iMazing 2.1.3 - Complete iOS device mana...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
AppDelete 4.3.1 - $7.99
AppDelete is an uninstaller that will remove not only applications but also widgets, preference panes, plugins, and screensavers along with their associated files. Without AppDelete these associated... Read more
FileZilla 3.23.0.2 - Fast and reliable F...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface. Version 3.23.0.2: Bug Fixes and Minor Changes Speed up icon... Read more
PDFpen 8.3 - $74.95
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
TunnelBear 3.0.8 - Subscription-based pr...
TunnelBear is a subscription-based virtual private network (VPN) service and companion app, enabling you to browse the internet privately and securely. Features Browse privately - Secure your data... Read more
Safari Technology Preview 10.1 - The new...
Safari Technology Preview contains the most recent additions and improvements to WebKit and the latest advances in Safari web technologies. And once installed, you will receive notifications of... Read more
Ableton Live 9.7.1 - Record music using...
Ableton Live lets you create and record music on your Mac. Use digital instruments, pre-recorded sounds, and sampled loops to arrange, produce, and perform your music like never before. Ableton Live... Read more
BetterTouchTool 1.963 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Bully: Anniversary Edition (Games)
Bully: Anniversary Edition 1.03.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.03.1 (iTunes) Description: *** PLEASE NOTE: This game is officially supported on the following devices: iPhone 5 and newer, iPod Touch... | Read more »
PINE GROVE (Games)
PINE GROVE 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A pine grove where there are no footsteps of people due to continuous missing cases. The case is still unsolved and nothing has... | Read more »
Niantic teases new Pokémon announcement...
After rumors started swirling yesterday, it turns out there is an official Pokémon GO update on its way. We’ll find out what’s in store for us and our growing Pokémon collections tomorrow during the Starbucks event, but Niantic will be revealing... | Read more »
3 reasons why Nicki Minaj: The Empire is...
Nicki Minaj is as business-savvy as she is musically talented and she’s proved that by launching her own game. Designed by Glu, purveyors of other fine celebrity games like cult favorite Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Nicki Minaj: The Empire launched... | Read more »
Clash of Clans is getting its own animat...
Riding on its unending wave of fame and success, Clash of Clans is getting an animated web series based on its Clash-A-Rama animated shorts.As opposed to the current shorts' 60 second run time, the new and improved Clash-A-Rama will be comprised of... | Read more »
Leaks hint at Pokémon GO and Starbucks C...
Leaked images from a hub for Starbucks employees suggests that a big Pokémon GO event with the coffee giant could begin this very week. The images appeared on Reddit and hint at some exciting new things to come for Niantic's smash hit game. | Read more »
Silent Depth Submarine Simulation (Game...
Silent Depth Submarine Simulation 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Enneas Saga lets you lead your own demon...
Defend the land of Enneas Continent from the forces of evil in the new fantasy MMORPG from Lyto Mobi: Enneas Saga. Can’t wait? No problem. It’s available to download now on Android devices. | Read more »
Great zombie games in the spirit of Dead...
Dead Rising 4 arrives tomorrow, giving enthusiasts a fresh chance to take selfies with zombies and get up to other ridiculous end-of-the-world shenanigans. To really get into the spirit of things, we've gone and gathered the best zombie games that... | Read more »
Amateur Surgeon 4 Guide: Advanced tips a...
Amateur Surgeon 4 is still tackling the competition at the top of the App Store charts, so if you haven't tried it out yet, you should probably do that right away. If you've been at it for a while, though, perhaps you're ready to start expanding... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Holiday sale: 12-inch Retina MacBook for $100...
B&H has 12″ Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1199 $100... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $849 $... Read more
Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: -... Read more
Back in stock: Apple refurbished Mac minis fr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Twenty-Five Years Of Apple Laptops – A person...
Among many other things, the often tumultuous 16th year of the new century marked the 25th anniversary of Apple laptop computers, not counting the optimistically named 16-pound Mac Portable of 1989.... Read more
Landlordy iOS App Adds Support For Appliances...
Riga, Latvia based E-protect SIA is releasing major update (version 1.8) to its Landlordy app for managing rental business financials on the go. Landlordy is iPhone and iPad app designed for self-... Read more
Holiday sale, Apple iMacs for up to $200 off...
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
Holiday sale: Mac minis for $50 to $100 off M...
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $629 $70 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini: $899 $... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP, ref...
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3699, $... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Philade...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- San Ant...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Products Tester Needed - Apple (Unit...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
SW Engineer *Apple* TV Frameworks - Apple I...
The Apple TV team is looking for a software...create features that reflect the look and feel of Apple TV. Description: Were looking for someone who is Read more
Hardware Design Validation Engineer - *Apple...
The Apple Watch team is looking for a Hardware Design Validation Engineer. This person will be part of the Apple Watch hardware team with responsibilities for Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.