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 )

 
AAPL
$104.83
Apple Inc.
+1.84
MSFT
$45.02
Microsoft Corpora
+0.64
GOOG
$543.98
Google Inc.
+11.27

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Delicious Library 3.3.2 - Import, browse...
Delicious Library allows you to import, browse, and share all your books, movies, music, and video games with Delicious Library. Run your very own library from your home or office using our... Read more
Art Text 2.4.8 - Create high quality hea...
Art Text is an OS X application for creating high quality textual graphics, headings, logos, icons, Web site elements, and buttons. Thanks to multi-layer support, creating complex graphics is no... Read more
Live Interior 3D Pro 2.9.6 - Powerful an...
Live Interior 3D Pro is a powerful yet very intuitive interior designing application. View Video Tutorials It has every feature of Live Interior 3D Standard, plus some exclusive ones: Create multi... Read more
The Hit List 1.1.7 - Advanced reminder a...
The Hit List manages the daily chaos of your modern life. It's easy to learn - it's as easy as making lists. And it's powerful enough to let you plan, then forget, then act when the time is right.... Read more
jAlbum Pro 12.2.4 - Organize your digita...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code!... Read more
jAlbum 12.2.4 - Create custom photo gall...
With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly, with pro results Simply drag and drop photos into groups, choose a design... Read more
ExpanDrive 4.1.7 - Access remote files o...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
OmniOutliner Pro 4.1.3 - Pro version of...
OmniOutliner Pro is a flexible program for creating, collecting, and organizing information. Give your creativity a kick start by using an application that's actually designed to help you think. It'... Read more
Evernote 5.6.2 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
OmniOutliner 4.1.3 - Organize your ideas...
OmniOutliner is a flexible program for creating, collecting, and organizing information. Give your creativity a kick start by using an application that's actually designed to help you think. It's... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Puzzle to the Center of the Earth Review
Puzzle to the Center of the Earth Review By Campbell Bird on October 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: :: SPELUNKING PUZZLESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Do some puzzles to make some platforms in this smart and fun free-to-play... | Read more »
Sleep Attack TD Review
Sleep Attack TD Review By Jennifer Allen on October 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: :: A TRUE TWISTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Sleep Attack TD is a tower defense game with a difference – you can rotate the layout – and it’s... | Read more »
Mecanic (Education)
Mecanic 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Plates, screws, wheels ... Everything you need to achieve whatever you want... MECHANICWith 'MECANIC' kids will have fun... | Read more »
Earn Your Master Camper Badge in Camp Po...
Earn Your Master Camper Badge in Camp Pokemon Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 23rd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Garruk Gets His Revenge in a New Magic 2...
Garruk Gets His Revenge in a New Magic 2015 Expansion, Coming This November Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 23rd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Sentinels of the Multiverse Review
Sentinels of the Multiverse Review By Rob Thomas on October 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: :: SENTINELS ASSEMBLEiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Greater Than Games’ tabletop classic, Sentinels of the Multiverse swoops in to save the... | Read more »
Build Your Own Fantasy Football Dynasty...
Build Your Own Fantasy Football Dynasty with Draft Day Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 23rd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Cars: Fast as Lightning – Tips, Tricks,...
Hey there, Stickers: Want to know all about how impressed we were with Radiator Springs? Check out our Cars: Fast as Lightning review! Cars: Fast as Lightning is a cute and fun app that combines racing and town-building with the charisma and... | Read more »
Jam Messenger Review
Jam Messenger Review By Jennifer Allen on October 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: :: SIMPLE MESSAGINGiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Want a very quick way to send push-based messages? Jam Messenger is basic... | Read more »
Felllice (Games)
Felllice 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: EXCLUSIVE PRICE DROP! 50% OFF FOR A LIMITED TIME! EAT EAT EAT AND GROW ! | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $125 on Retina MacBook Pros
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available sta...
The Apple Store has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for up to $60 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $255... Read more
Textilus New Word, Notes and PDF Processor fo...
Textilus is new word-crunching, notes, and PDF processor designed exclusively for the iPad. I haven’t had time to thoroughly check it out yet, but it looks great and early reviews are positive.... Read more
WD My Passport Pro Bus-Powered Thunderbolt RA...
WD’s My Passport Pro RAID solution is powered by an integrated Thunderbolt cable for true portability and speeds as high as 233 MB/s. HighlightsOverviewSpecifications Transfer, Back Up And Edit In... Read more
Save with Best Buy’s College Student Deals
Take an additional $50 off all MacBooks and iMacs at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through November 1st. Anyone with a valid .EDU email address can take advantage... Read more
iPad Air 2 & iPad mini 3 Best Tablets Yet...
The new iPads turned out to be pretty much everything I’d been hoping for and more than I’d expected.”More” particularly in terms of a drinking-from-a-firehose choice of models and configurations,... Read more
Drafts 4 Reinvents iOS Productivity App
N Richland Hills, Texas based Agile Tortoise has announced the release of Drafts 4 for iPhone and iPad. Drafts is a quick capture note taking app with flexible output actions. Drafts 4 scales from... Read more
AT&T accepting preorders for new iPads fo...
AT&T Wireless is accepting preorders for the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, cellular models, for $100 off MSRP with a 2-year service agreement: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi + Cellular: $529.99 - 64GB... Read more
Apple offering refurbished Mac Pros for up to...
The Apple Store is offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2013 Mac Pros for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Select MacBook Airs $100 off MSRP, free shipp...
B&H Photo has 2014 a couple of MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They also include free copies of Parallels Desktop and LoJack for... Read more

Jobs Board

Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…customers purchase our products, you're the one who helps them get more out of their new Apple technology. Your day in the Apple Store is filled with a range of Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.