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[News] [Rival] Windows Vista in Trouble, Operating System Becomes Less Relevant

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Microsoft needs system to fix Vista (and itself)

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| Meanwhile, another technology called "virtualization," which allows multiple 
| operating systems to run simultaneously on one PC or server, is diminishing 
| the importance of products like Vista and raises questions about its 
| future. "What is an operating system and what role should it serve?" asks 
| Whitehouse. "The OS was originally intended as an abstraction layer between 
| software applications and the computer's hardware. But with the new 
| abstraction layer between the hardware and the OS provided by virtualization 
| and products like Adobe's AIR that sit between the OS and desktop software 
| applications, the role the operating system once played is becoming 
| increasingly diminished."         
| [...]
| Despite these new developments, Microsoft finds itself at a crossroads, 
| according to legal studies and business ethics professor Kevin Werbach. 
| "The platform for most uses of PCs today is the Internet, not Windows. 
| Windows plays an important role in the ecosystem, but it's not the center of 
| the world in the way it used to be. ... Microsoft needs to decide whether it 
| cares more about the next 5 to 10 years, or the 20 years after that."   
| [...]
| At a conference on April 7, Gartner analysts Michael Silver and Neil McDonald 
| argued that Windows is collapsing under its own weight and suggested that it  
| change radically to become lighter and modular so that customers only have to 
| use features they need. For Microsoft, its ecosystem and its customers, "the 
| situation is untenable," the two analysts stated.   



Is Vista to Blame for Windows Revenue Drop?

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| Microsoft said this week that Windows revenues during the first three months 
| of 2008 were down nearly 24% from the same period last year. 
| One analyst argued that the decline is more evidence that the company is 
| having trouble convincing users of Windows Vista's value. 
| "More than a year has passed since the rollout of Vista to both the business 
| and consumer markets, and experiencing revenue declines so early in the 
| product lifecycle is not a positive sign," said Allan Krans, an analyst with 
| Technology Business Research.   


Microsoft earnings post-mortem: The cash cows quiver

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| I can’t help but wonder if the lackluster Windows/Office results also can be 
| attributed to Microsoft brass’s complete and crazy obsession with Google (and 
| taking over Yahoo) has resulted in no one minding the Windows store. Kevin 
| Johnson, the head of Microsoft’s Platforms & Services division seems to be so 
| laser-focused on the online-ad business these days that he almost seems to 
| have forgotten Microsoft is still in the software business, too.     
| Microsoft execs’ claims about walking away from the Yahoo deal are nothing 
| more than bluster. A protracted hostile takeover bid is just going to 
| distract not just employees in Microsoft’s online services business, but 
| company management, too. It’s not a pretty picture.   


Feeling the heat at Microsoft

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| If I ask you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?  
| Ballmer: Open...Linux. I don't want to say open source. Linux, certainly have 
| to go with that. 

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