Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
User avatar
Topic Author
RooseveltG
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:56 pm
Location: The Rust Belt

Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by RooseveltG » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:01 am

I am an indexer so am just floating this thought. It seems that Window's new interface is scaring off a lot of Windows 7 users who would like to upgrade. I think many of us also have upgrade fatigue because we are tired of forking over hard earned cash for incremental software improvements.

IF I was a trader, I would consider shorting MSFT. It will be interesting to see if this happens. As an indexer, I hope my prediction that the stock will fall is wrong. Or it may already be factored into the price.

Roosevelt.

linguini
Posts: 260
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:49 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by linguini » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:01 am

Windows Vista is widely regarded as a dramatic failure for Microsoft and was panned by consumers. Microsoft's stock was a bit over $30 when Vista was released in January, 2007. A year later, January 2008, Microsoft's stock had risen to $33. I'm not saying Microsoft's stock won't fall, but there's certainly no reason to think that we can predict the swings of Microsoft's stock price any better than Goldman Sachs or Citibank can. So no, don't short Microsoft.

brianH
Posts: 327
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:21 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by brianH » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:19 pm

MSFT is far more than just their home computer operating system, which Windows 8 falls into. Some counterpoints off the top of my head:

-Many businesses will be forced to move off Windows XP to Windows 7 in the coming year as XP support expires. $$$ in MS's pocket
-Windows Server 2008 and 2013 OS are and will be in wide use for many years to come to support LOB applications
-SQL Server database software makes them a boatload of money. One of the best databases in the industry.
-MS Office, love it or hate it, still the standard for most businesses. New version out early next year.
-Office 365 MS's take on providing cloud-based Office. Will probably do well as IT departments look to cut staff.

User avatar
rmelvey
Posts: 804
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by rmelvey » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:35 pm

Windows 8 truly is different though. As a PC user I worry it is kind of a lowest common denominator product, catering to mobile while watering down the PC side. Who knows though, I thought the iPad looked stupid when I first saw it.

User avatar
Orion
Posts: 512
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:52 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by Orion » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:12 pm

rmelvey wrote:Who knows though, I thought the iPad looked stupid when I first saw it.
Good point. I have personally failed to see the attraction of a number of recent products and services that have turned out to be very popular.

User avatar
abuss368
Posts: 16970
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Where the water is warm, the drinks are cold, and I don't know the names of the players!
Contact:

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by abuss368 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:34 pm

I just "played" around with it today at Staples. I know absolutlely nothing on this system after using Windows my entire life.

There is no "start" menu anymore. Nothing at all that resembles anything from prior versions.

We have an iPhone and iPad and it is so simple and as the late Steve Jobs once said "It just works". Well we went out and bought the second iPhone.

While the world uses Windows thus far, I am starting to wonder if this is going to be the tipping point to Apple even more. I am really at a crossroads for my next computer. I may end up going the Mac route.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

User avatar
zaboomafoozarg
Posts: 2052
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:34 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by zaboomafoozarg » Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:56 pm

abuss368 wrote:Nothing at all that resembles anything from prior versions.
Hey, like Windows 3.1 to 95! :D

User avatar
ClosetIndexer
Posts: 288
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by ClosetIndexer » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:34 am

linguini wrote:Windows Vista is widely regarded as a dramatic failure for Microsoft and was panned by consumers. Microsoft's stock was a bit over $30 when Vista was released in January, 2007. A year later, January 2008, Microsoft's stock had risen to $33. I'm not saying Microsoft's stock won't fall, but there's certainly no reason to think that we can predict the swings of Microsoft's stock price any better than Goldman Sachs or Citibank can. So no, don't short Microsoft.
This.

madbrain
Posts: 5271
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by madbrain » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:47 am

rmelvey wrote:Who knows though, I thought the iPad looked stupid when I first saw it.
Some of us still even think so :)

User avatar
bogleblitz
Posts: 468
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:51 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by bogleblitz » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:03 am

windows phone 8 failure would be a better reason to short it. Still it is not a good idea. i rather short apple.

thebogledude
Posts: 420
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:40 am

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by thebogledude » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:11 am

I pretty much grew up making fun of Apple products (we used the Apple II in high school and IBM 386 in college). Now its not that funny. Scratching my head on Windows 8 though. Not sure what to make of it.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 39715
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:29 pm

Forget about Peter Lynch scoring a ten-bagger with L'Eggs because his wife told him they made great pantyhose. We are all consumers and the producers have led us all to believe that we are connoisseurs with hugely valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of energy drinks, down jackets, and HDTVs. We are not.

Whatever you think about Windows 8, your judgments are not the equivalent of inside information the market doesn't have. Indeed, the information that would be most valuable would probably would not be whether it's actually any good, or whether your dad finds it usable, but what the Exxon IT department thinks of it and what their plans are.

If Apple and Microsoft were brilliant, they would figure out a consistent usable UI model that works well across all sizes of touchscreens and desktops.

They are not brilliant. They are making a mess of it, both of them. Microsoft is making a worse mess of it than Apple.

Not being able to come up with a true integrated UI for desktops and tablets, they have both decided to throw desktop users under the bus in order to cater to touchscreen tablet users. If desktops are dead, and touchscreen tablets are the near-term wave of the immediate future, and desktop users ought to be thrown under the bus, then Microsoft is making a bold move that will pay off.

Personally, I feel sure that Windows 8 will be as big a success as Windows for Pen Computing. However, I don't base my investments on my personal tastes in soft drinks, golf clubs, or operating systems.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

btenny
Posts: 5210
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by btenny » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:52 pm

I think this panning of Windows 8 is just the begining of a change in how we do computing, again!!!! For those real old timers remember those old cash registers/calculators from National Cash Register? See here http://www.google.com/search?q=national ... 67&bih=504
How about room sized main frame computers from Sperrry Univac? See here http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls= ... lRHtm7serE.
Or how about when we first got CRT remote terminal to use remotely instead of card decks or teletype machines? Or when we got mini computers from Digital Equipment? See herehttp://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls= ... bPGA0AgBCQ.
Or for you young guys when we got our first desk top computers from Commodore? See here http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls= ... eNPD-UK6Mo.

As you can see computing changes very regularly and many many companies have been on top only to fall out and die. So for my two cents worth I see BOTH Apple and Microsoft changing dramatically very soon. They are succumbing to the next revolution driven mostly by Google. They may go broke or just morph into a different company as did IBM. BUT the future of computing is changing and a Windows PC is not the future of computing.

It is more like this http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/de ... nding.html

and this http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/de ... mebox.html

and this http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconside ... -the-cloud

and tons of these http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls= ... LUfGsVCEEY

Bill

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 39715
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:08 pm

Microsoft Bob is the future of computing. A new paradigm. All this panning of Microsoft Bob is just a reaction to a change in the way we do computing.

Social science research influences computer product design
...based on research on human-computer interaction conducted at Stanford's Center for the Study of Language and Information....

"The interface between humans and computers is where the action in computers is now, and so research on how people think and behave is becoming hot stuff," Perry said.... "Two social scientists, Clifford Nass and Byron Reeves, professors in the Communication Department, provided their theories and research results to Microsoft Corp.'s "social interface" program designers...."

Other companies that have supported Nass and Reeves' inquiries into the human-computer interface include Apple, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, U.S. West, Bell Northern and Compaq.
When people pan something, sometimes it's because they don't get it. But sometimes, it's because it sucks.
Last edited by nisiprius on Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

User avatar
lmpmd
Posts: 739
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:47 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by lmpmd » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:36 pm

How many of your friends under 40 who can afford a cell phone with a touch screen have a cell phone with a touch screen. Probably all of them. 100%. MS probably realizes that in 10 years the answer will be the same for PC's. That everyone will have a touch screen and want to use it - not just tablets, but all computers. But touch won't work well with something that resembles Win 7. So they had to redesign it dramatically. But that was necessary. Probably a smart move for MS. Or to put it the other way - it would be the end of MS if they didn't come out with something that works well with the touch screen. Don't underestimate how fast people learn (especially young people) new things on computers. Look how fast people learn to use the Android OS without any instructions/lessons.

KyleAAA
Posts: 7726
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by KyleAAA » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:54 pm

Windows 8 will sell well whether people like it or not, just like previous Windows versions. Vista was widely panned but it sold pretty well.

thebogledude
Posts: 420
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:40 am

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by thebogledude » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:55 pm

[deleted]
Last edited by thebogledude on Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thebogledude
Posts: 420
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:40 am

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by thebogledude » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:59 pm

KyleAAA wrote:Windows 8 will sell well whether people like it or not, just like previous Windows versions. Vista was widely panned but it sold pretty well.
I was happy using Vista until 7 came out. That required an incremental learning curve. It depends if corporate america upgrades to it. I think what it comes down to is does corporate america want something that's radically different from Windows 7 (disclosure: I have only read that people who used windows 7 could not figure out how to use windows 8. I have not used windows 8.) or similar to windows like Mac OS. What they have done is go from Blackberries to Iphones. So if the trend continues with their laptops, MSFT can take a hit on the OS platform and still be viable with Office, they won't be as relevant. Hence the bet on Surface (their tablet) and Windows 8. I applaud them, it's a gutsy move.

madbrain
Posts: 5271
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by madbrain » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:49 am

lmpmd wrote: MS probably realizes that in 10 years the answer will be the same for PC's. That everyone will have a touch screen and want to use it - not just tablets, but all computers. But touch won't work well with something that resembles Win 7. So they had to redesign it dramatically. But that was necessary. Probably a smart move for MS. Or to put it the other way - it would be the end of MS if they didn't come out with something that works well with the touch screen. Don't underestimate how fast people learn (especially young people) new things on computers. Look how fast people learn to use the Android OS without any instructions/lessons.
I really hope you are wrong about touch screens. They are one of the most oversold technologies around, IMO. They have their place in some embedded devices like public kiosks, cars, airline screens. But the speed on inputting data on a touch screen is pitiful on a touch screen. I used to be able to type 120WPM on my AZERTY keyboard (on which I'm typing this), and about 100WPM on QWERTY at work. Try that with the useless virtual touch screen keyboards on cell phones, and even on tablets, where you still don't have all the characters on one screen !
IMO, touch screens are fine for "reading" devices, but not for devices that are used for creating content..

I also have 3 monitors in front of me, two on the left which are 30" diagonal in portrait mode, and one on the right which is 24" portrait.
My eyes are almost 3ft from the middle screen. My arms do not reach that far. Even if I move my chair forward and put my belly right against the edge of the table, with my fully extended arms, my fingers can still just barely touch the surface. It's fair to say that I hope I never ever have a touch screen on my computer.

Remember when voice recognition was going to take over the world too and replace keyboards ? It didn't happen.
Turns out the technology got pretty fast and reliability improved. It's not quite there, and you need to be a quiet area to make it work, like an office and not a cubicle, which many companies don't have.

But even if you are under ideal conditions, if I tried saying out loud everything I type as the speed that I type it, I would be constantly out of breath . I think for similar reasons, touch screens are not become the primary input devices.

User avatar
Jerilynn
Posts: 1929
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:49 pm
Location: USA, Earth

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by Jerilynn » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:53 am

brianH wrote:MSFT is far more than just their home computer operating system, which Windows 8 falls into. Some counterpoints off the top of my head:

-Many businesses will be forced to move off Windows XP to Windows 7 in the coming year as XP support expires. $$$ in MS's pocket
The official date is April 8, 2014.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/ ... pport.aspx
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

ThatGuy
Posts: 953
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:00 am

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by ThatGuy » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:41 am

madbrain wrote:
lmpmd wrote: MS probably realizes that in 10 years the answer will be the same for PC's. That everyone will have a touch screen and want to use it - not just tablets, but all computers. But touch won't work well with something that resembles Win 7. So they had to redesign it dramatically. But that was necessary. Probably a smart move for MS. Or to put it the other way - it would be the end of MS if they didn't come out with something that works well with the touch screen. Don't underestimate how fast people learn (especially young people) new things on computers. Look how fast people learn to use the Android OS without any instructions/lessons.
I really hope you are wrong about touch screens. They are one of the most oversold technologies around, IMO. They have their place in some embedded devices like public kiosks, cars, airline screens. But the speed on inputting data on a touch screen is pitiful on a touch screen. ... IMO, touch screens are fine for "reading" devices, but not for devices that are used for creating content..
Agreed. Touch just sucks for data input. What Steve Jobs said about needing sandpaper for a smaller iPad rings true, your finger tip is simply not a precise tool for selection of 'stuff' on a screen. I would never want to edit a photo via Photoshop using only touch tools, for instance. Or write a business document. Or hell, do ANYTHING in engineering...

Touch is great for things where you have a minimal interaction with the underlying system, like selecting music or a book, but not for anything that requires constant, precise, input of information.
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde

User avatar
lmpmd
Posts: 739
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:47 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by lmpmd » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:42 am

madbrain wrote:
lmpmd wrote: MS probably realizes that in 10 years the answer will be the same for PC's. That everyone will have a touch screen and want to use it - not just tablets, but all computers. But touch won't work well with something that resembles Win 7. So they had to redesign it dramatically. But that was necessary. Probably a smart move for MS. Or to put it the other way - it would be the end of MS if they didn't come out with something that works well with the touch screen. Don't underestimate how fast people learn (especially young people) new things on computers. Look how fast people learn to use the Android OS without any instructions/lessons.
I really hope you are wrong about touch screens. They are one of the most oversold technologies around, IMO. They have their place in some embedded devices like public kiosks, cars, airline screens. But the speed on inputting data on a touch screen is pitiful on a touch screen. I used to be able to type 120WPM on my AZERTY keyboard (on which I'm typing this), and about 100WPM on QWERTY at work. Try that with the useless virtual touch screen keyboards on cell phones, and even on tablets, where you still don't have all the characters on one screen !
IMO, touch screens are fine for "reading" devices, but not for devices that are used for creating content..

But even if you are under ideal conditions, if I tried saying out loud everything I type as the speed that I type it, I would be constantly out of breath . I think for similar reasons, touch screens are not become the primary input devices.
I think ultimately you'll have 2 ways of using the computer and MS will try to make both as good as they can. So the mouse and keyboard will be there and they'll keep trying to improve that too. But they needed touch as an option - not to lose out to the competition. Look how blackberry's have lost out to "cooler" devices.

madbrain
Posts: 5271
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by madbrain » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:08 am

ThatGuy wrote: Agreed. Touch just sucks for data input. What Steve Jobs said about needing sandpaper for a smaller iPad rings true, your finger tip is simply not a precise tool for selection of 'stuff' on a screen. I would never want to edit a photo via Photoshop using only touch tools, for instance. Or write a business document. Or hell, do ANYTHING in engineering...

Touch is great for things where you have a minimal interaction with the underlying system, like selecting music or a book, but not for anything that requires constant, precise, input of information.
Glad to see I'm not alone in this ! Personally I would add texting and e-mail to the list also. I can read these forums on my phone with the touch screen, but when it comes time to compose something I pull out the 5-row keyboard, which thankfully my new Samsung Galaxy S Relay has. It's still not ideal with the small screen.

I think Microsoft got the right idea including a keyboard (Type cover) in the Surface, that will make it much more useful than any iPad in the world ever will be.
I realize there are 3rd party keyboards for the iPad, but most apps are not designed for them. They will be more useful with the Surface as they are a standard option.

Seems so far the "type cover" works much better than the "touch cover".
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2012903/ ... t-lie.html

And please note I'm not saying that keyboards are the end-all be-all of human interface devices.

I hope some day we will have something that works better than keyboards.

Something, like, say, brain-computer interfaces.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain%E2%8 ... _interface

Maybe they can get even those to work wirelessly some day, ie. telepathy !

Unfortunately, that day has not come yet. Touch screens are a major step backwards compared to keyboards.
Sometimes inferior technology just wins in the marketplace, though.

To a lesser extent, witness trackbpads vs trackballs. I can't stand the former but swear by trackballs, they are the only pointing device I use.
Placed only on the left of my keyboard on my desk. Regular mice gave me tendinitis at 19 and that's when I stopped using them.
Trackballs have all but disappeared from laptops. They even disappeared from smartphone. My Blackberry 8120 and HTC G1 android phone had nice trackballs.
They are nowhere to be found today in the name of shaving half a millimeter off the devices, even though they were vastly superior pointing devices.

The functional regression of touch screen vs keyboards are on a completely different scale, though, they are so bad that I can't ever see them replacing keyboards altogether. They are very prone to causing repetitive stress injuries also, much more so than keyboards.

User avatar
3CT_Paddler
Posts: 3272
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:28 pm
Location: Marietta, GA

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by 3CT_Paddler » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:14 am

The one aspect not yet mentioned is how other Open Source operating systems are catching up to Windows when it comes to usability by a non-techie. A couple false moves by Microsoft could end their position as the primary OS (especially when the competition is literally giving away their product). If anybody ever writes something truly comparable to Word/Excel for Linux (Google and OpenOffice are not there yet), then it just might happen.

Also as far as the touch screen goes, I think this could be a major misstep. A touchscreen only has an appeal to most people where you have a smaller device like a phone. It has little benefit when it comes to a workstation. Even the iPad touchscreen is not ideal IMO. It makes it time consuming to type anything more than a sentence or two when it comes to email or websites.

madbrain
Posts: 5271
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by madbrain » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:18 am

lmpmd wrote: I think ultimately you'll have 2 ways of using the computer and MS will try to make both as good as they can. So the mouse and keyboard will be there and they'll keep trying to improve that too. But they needed touch as an option - not to lose out to the competition.
I personally don't think this will fly. MS is wrong to try to use the same OS and codebase on smartphones, tablets, desktops and even servers.
They have tried to use generic code before on other devices like DVRs and they failed spectacularly and exited the market. They are already irrelevant in smartphones. They might have marginally better luck with tablets.

But would you believe they are pushing the Metro UI onto Windows Server 2012 ? That has got to be one of the most bone-headed moves I have ever heard.
Metro is a dumbed-down UI where you can't do half as much as you could with the old UI. At least you couldn't in the previews.
Server administrators are power users and need to get to the details. The last thing they need is Metro. A better command line would be more welcome. Most smart administrators wouldn't choose Windows Server anyway due to cost when they can use some Linux distro. I think it's safe to say Metro is not going to help MS with the server market.
Look how blackberry's have lost out to "cooler" devices.
I don't think Blackberry's market failure had very much to do with the input devices on their hardware. It had much more to do with the software.
Android and iOS were vastly better, and RIM could never catch up.

gd
Posts: 1575
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:35 am
Location: MA, USA

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by gd » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:19 am

As others have pointed out, I think what you're saying is "will Apple win". Sure, just like MS won, and DEC before them, and IBM before them...
I consider this link entertainment, but then so is a thread on shorting Microsoft:
An eerie parallel between Apple/Jobs and Sony/Morita?
http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2012 ... allel.html

gd
Posts: 1575
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:35 am
Location: MA, USA

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by gd » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:33 am

Re: touchpads, , the most unappreciated feature of iPad 3 is dictation. In the proper environment (anywhere I don't feel stupid talking to my ipad), it seems to have the potential to replace most touchpad typing.

jimkinny
Posts: 1308
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by jimkinny » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:43 am

here is a link to an article by Allan Roth that deals with the diffulculty that we have in trying to pick tech companies that will do well in the future. I think the point he makes is also true for trying to pick companies that will do poorly.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162- ... ColumnArea

jim

ThatGuy
Posts: 953
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:00 am

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by ThatGuy » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:14 am

gd wrote:Re: touchpads, , the most unappreciated feature of iPad 3 is dictation. In the proper environment (anywhere I don't feel stupid talking to my ipad), it seems to have the potential to replace most touchpad typing.
How would I fill in boxes on a pdf form with diction? Can the computer tell the difference between tab, to move to the next box, and the word tab that I want to actually write? What about 'go back to box a'?

How does the iPad diction work with code writing? Does it recognize the idiosyncrasies of the many programming languages out there? How do I write a PDE (or any fairly complicated mathematical operation) for analysis with diction?

These are all things we've already figured out how to do efficiently with a keyboard and mouse. Maybe someone else can come up with a good way to do this with touch and diction, but I don't see how it could be better than what we currently have unless we get those brain wave thingies.
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 39715
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by nisiprius » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:54 am

Jerilynn wrote:
brianH wrote:MSFT is far more than just their home computer operating system, which Windows 8 falls into. Some counterpoints off the top of my head:

-Many businesses will be forced to move off Windows XP to Windows 7 in the coming year as XP support expires. $$$ in MS's pocket
The official date is April 8, 2014.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/ ... pport.aspx
But how many times have they announced an official date and then postponed it? I think this is at least the third. They're playing "chicken" with big customers and the outcome is not preordained.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

ayitey
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:51 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by ayitey » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:17 am

Perhaps not widely known enough yet: Windows 8 allows you to enter "desktop mode" with one click (or touch) of a tile.

And this desktop mode is almost identical to the Windows 7 desktop.

Desktop mode still lacks the Start button/menu, however. Instead you can launch an app from the start screen by typing the first few letters of the application name.

User avatar
archbish99
Posts: 1644
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:02 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by archbish99 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:42 am

lmpmd wrote:
madbrain wrote:
lmpmd wrote: MS probably realizes that in 10 years the answer will be the same for PC's. That everyone will have a touch screen and want to use it - not just tablets, but all computers. But touch won't work well with something that resembles Win 7. So they had to redesign it dramatically. But that was necessary. Probably a smart move for MS. Or to put it the other way - it would be the end of MS if they didn't come out with something that works well with the touch screen. Don't underestimate how fast people learn (especially young people) new things on computers. Look how fast people learn to use the Android OS without any instructions/lessons.
I really hope you are wrong about touch screens. They are one of the most oversold technologies around, IMO. They have their place in some embedded devices like public kiosks, cars, airline screens. But the speed on inputting data on a touch screen is pitiful on a touch screen. I used to be able to type 120WPM on my AZERTY keyboard (on which I'm typing this), and about 100WPM on QWERTY at work. Try that with the useless virtual touch screen keyboards on cell phones, and even on tablets, where you still don't have all the characters on one screen !
IMO, touch screens are fine for "reading" devices, but not for devices that are used for creating content..

But even if you are under ideal conditions, if I tried saying out loud everything I type as the speed that I type it, I would be constantly out of breath . I think for similar reasons, touch screens are not become the primary input devices.
I think ultimately you'll have 2 ways of using the computer and MS will try to make both as good as they can. So the mouse and keyboard will be there and they'll keep trying to improve that too. But they needed touch as an option - not to lose out to the competition. Look how blackberry's have lost out to "cooler" devices.
Not two, three. Keyboard, mouse, and touch. We've long had a requirement that everything be accessible with keyboard only, though it's certainly a hassle at times. Touch is just a new input method -- and certainly, it's not one you're likely to use for heavy content creation. That's why there's such an emphasis on Surface having an available keyboard (as do many of the other Win8 tablets) and being able to use USB/BT mice if desired.

Touch isn't replacing anything, it's complementing it.
I'm not a financial advisor, I just play one on the Internet.

User avatar
archbish99
Posts: 1644
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:02 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by archbish99 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:48 am

madbrain wrote:Server administrators are power users and need to get to the details. The last thing they need is Metro. A better command line would be more welcome. Most smart administrators wouldn't choose Windows Server anyway due to cost when they can use some Linux distro. I think it's safe to say Metro is not going to help MS with the server market.
That "better command line" is called PowerShell, and Server 2012 has an order of magnitude more cmdlets than Server 2008 R2 did. Definitely not ignored. And the default install option for Server 2012 is GUI-less anyway, managed via PowerShell and remote tools. If you choose to install the GUI, you get the client GUI code, as in previous releases.

As far as whether "most smart" administrators would or wouldn't use Windows, that's a TCO issue. Licensing is a small part of the total cost of owning a server, and Windows bets on the better management story outweighing the fact that you have an up-front cost. In true Boglehead style, costs matter -- but you have to include all of them. :wink:
I'm not a financial advisor, I just play one on the Internet.

User avatar
Jerilynn
Posts: 1929
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:49 pm
Location: USA, Earth

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by Jerilynn » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:18 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Jerilynn wrote:
brianH wrote:MSFT is far more than just their home computer operating system, which Windows 8 falls into. Some counterpoints off the top of my head:

-Many businesses will be forced to move off Windows XP to Windows 7 in the coming year as XP support expires. $$$ in MS's pocket
The official date is April 8, 2014.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/ ... pport.aspx
But how many times have they announced an official date and then postponed it? I think this is at least the third. They're playing "chicken" with big customers and the outcome is not preordained.
Sweet. I didn't realize that they previously postponed it. Thanks. Here's hoping for a little longer life for XP.
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

User avatar
interplanetjanet
Posts: 2226
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:52 pm
Location: the wilds of central California

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by interplanetjanet » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:08 pm

gd wrote:As others have pointed out, I think what you're saying is "will Apple win". Sure, just like MS won, and DEC before them, and IBM before them...
And Wang! They managed to be an industry darling for a while.

This is a dynamic, competitive field - actually it's many fields. After many years of working with technology, I admit to an almost total cluelessness in how things will look and who will be on top in a decade or two.

-janet [future's so bright, you gotta wear shades]

Easy Rhino
Posts: 3267
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:13 am
Location: San Diego

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by Easy Rhino » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:24 pm

I upgraded my home PC to 8 over the weekend (was using Vista). And I forced myself to do things within the new metro interface. And I felt like a dunce for a while. And I'll admit that the metro interface just isn't that good for getting any serious work done (heck, any serious posting on bogleheads is better with traditional interface).

However, the interface really isn't that bad, and I think, if I were running a touchscreen, would probably be pretty cool.

I also think the "start screen" has a great possibility as sort of a "home page". Log in, and I can see my latest emails and news headlines and weather all at once. That's kind of cool.

But still, when I first tried Win 95 after 3.1 my reaction was "thank god they came out with this". Not so much now.

Confused
Posts: 636
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:23 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by Confused » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:33 pm

[Blanked for privacy]
Last edited by Confused on Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
greg24
Posts: 3746
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:34 am

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by greg24 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:42 pm

MSFT is a mature, slow growth company. Its IBM.

Win8 may be the last shove to Windows into OS/2land and force MSFT to focus on industry, same as IBM.

covertfantom
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:42 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by covertfantom » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:44 pm

What alot of people forget about Windows Vista's rocky start was that it paved the way for a smooth transition to Windows 7. I have the feeling Windows 8 will do the same for Windows 9. Imagine if, instead of having a fragmented experience across your android phone, your ipad, and you desktop PC, that you had one experience: Windows 9. Wouldn't it be cool to have the applications you used to run exclusively on your desktop be available seamlessly on your tablet and phone as well? It's something that only Microsoft and Apple can do, but considering that Apple will never have the corporate environment for PCs, the familiarity people have with Windows might just eventually win them over.

protagonist
Posts: 6080
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by protagonist » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:50 pm

Orion wrote:
rmelvey wrote:Who knows though, I thought the iPad looked stupid when I first saw it.
I still think it looks stupid.

User avatar
abuss368
Posts: 16970
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Where the water is warm, the drinks are cold, and I don't know the names of the players!
Contact:

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by abuss368 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:37 pm

Update - the tested it at Staples again today, and it is not bad from what I experienced. It is definitely different. Nothing is the same from what I could tell. A good learning curve.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

protagonist
Posts: 6080
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by protagonist » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:58 pm

Windows 8 seems like a high stakes gamble to me. If successful it could ultimately unite the world of computers, tablets, cell phones, etc under one operating system (excellent idea) and corner the market. That's big, and ultimately could take a huge share away from Apple with all of its proprietary hardware and planned obsolescence. At least a dozen new Windows 8 "convertible" ultrabooks/tablets are scheduled for release in the next few months that could give the iPad and Macbook SERIOUS competition once enough apps are developed for Windows 8. And that could happen rather quickly I would think if the market responds. It seems like Microsoft's biggest gamble since Windows 95. I hope it succeeds.

jacksprat
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 3:33 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by jacksprat » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:25 am

No, I would not short MS .
That said, in our corporate desktop environment mostly still on XP, there will be movement to win 7 however, we're seeing a shift to BYOD where possible and because of that, movement to Win 7 desktops will be done only where absolutely necessary. I do think that MS has a card that has yet to be played though. :o

buckeye7983
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by buckeye7983 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:28 pm

Upgraded to Windows 8 on Wednesday (desktop running Windows 7). Took about 2 hours to get oriented. Now like it better than Windows 7.

Desktop is ONE click away. Even ignoring Start screen and W8 apps, it is faster, more powerful, and more stable. W8 apps are very nice for consumption and desktop environment is just as productive as before.

I think Microsoft would be foolish to ignore touch interface and tablets. I think they would be foolish to entirely abandon desktop paradigm. Now that I have used it, I think they have done a wonderful job combining them. If you haven't used it, it is difficult to appreciate how smooth the transition is if you have an open mind.

I believe most laptops sold one year from now will have touchscreens (played with one at Staples and in about 60 seconds, additional input option seemed natural and desirable).

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 39715
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:39 pm

ayitey wrote:Perhaps not widely known enough yet: Windows 8 allows you to enter "desktop mode" with one click (or touch) of a tile.

And this desktop mode is almost identical to the Windows 7 desktop.

Desktop mode still lacks the Start button/menu, however. Instead you can launch an app from the start screen by typing the first few letters of the application name.
However, several reviewers have commented that you can't do everything in desktop mode, and you can't do everything in Metro, and that switching back and forth is a disaster.

And generally speaking my experiences with environments that preserve the previous environment as a special "mode" have not been good. They tend to be low-fi replicas of the old environment, and vendors generally regard them as a short-lived bandaid and don't support them very well, or for very long. Even something as basic as the DOS command-line interface and terminal window are a) not terribly compatible with old DOS programs, b) are quite ugly and clumsy in look-and-feel compared to running DOS native. You have a choice of fonts, and not one of them looks as crisp or easy-to-read as a genuine character-based screen. I'm not saying DOS native is very important any more, I'm just using it as an illustration of the inadequacy of "compatibility boxes." The Mac OS X "Classic" environment would be another example.

IMHO compatibility boxes are an admission of design failure and flawed engineering.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

KyleAAA
Posts: 7726
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by KyleAAA » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:56 pm

I like that Windows 8 incorporates some of the gestures from OSX. I thought they were patented, but apparently not.

KyleAAA
Posts: 7726
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by KyleAAA » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:00 pm

madbrain wrote: I personally don't think this will fly. MS is wrong to try to use the same OS and codebase on smartphones, tablets, desktops and even servers.
They have tried to use generic code before on other devices like DVRs and they failed spectacularly and exited the market. They are already irrelevant in smartphones. They might have marginally better luck with tablets.
I don't understand why people automatically assume MS is wrong to use the same codebase on multiple devices. Those failures you mentioned were NOT due to a shared code base. There's no reasons the code should be different for generic tasks. That's the future, despite Apple's efforts to force the market to behave otherwise. Apple pushes that model purely for economic reasons, not performance or quality reasons. There's actually very little optimization (I would say NONE, but never say never) that can be done on the higher level code side that can't be accomplished much more efficiently by a compiler. This is 2012, not 1992.

User avatar
Driver
Posts: 229
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 3:18 pm

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by Driver » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:59 pm

nisiprius wrote:
ayitey wrote:Perhaps not widely known enough yet: Windows 8 allows you to enter "desktop mode" with one click (or touch) of a tile.

And this desktop mode is almost identical to the Windows 7 desktop.

Desktop mode still lacks the Start button/menu, however. Instead you can launch an app from the start screen by typing the first few letters of the application name.
However, several reviewers have commented that you can't do everything in desktop mode, and you can't do everything in Metro, and that switching back and forth is a disaster.

And generally speaking my experiences with environments that preserve the previous environment as a special "mode" have not been good. They tend to be low-fi replicas of the old environment, and vendors generally regard them as a short-lived bandaid and don't support them very well, or for very long. Even something as basic as the DOS command-line interface and terminal window are a) not terribly compatible with old DOS programs, b) are quite ugly and clumsy in look-and-feel compared to running DOS native. You have a choice of fonts, and not one of them looks as crisp or easy-to-read as a genuine character-based screen. I'm not saying DOS native is very important any more, I'm just using it as an illustration of the inadequacy of "compatibility boxes." The Mac OS X "Classic" environment would be another example.

IMHO compatibility boxes are an admission of design failure and flawed engineering.
You can do everything in Desktop mode that you can do in Windows 7. Only Windows 8 RT (used on ARM based tablets) is limited in that you can't run x86 applications. If the reviewers you are referring to have a hard time using two keys (Windows key + D) or clicking once to switch back and forth between the desktop then I'd be wary of anything else they had to say.

madbrain
Posts: 5271
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by madbrain » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:56 pm

KyleAAA,
KyleAAA wrote: I don't understand why people automatically assume MS is wrong to use the same codebase on multiple devices. Those failures you mentioned were NOT due to a shared code base.
I think these failures were directly related, actually.
There's no reasons the code should be different for generic tasks. That's the future, despite Apple's efforts to force the market to behave otherwise. Apple pushes that model purely for economic reasons, not performance or quality reasons. There's actually very little optimization (I would say NONE, but never say never) that can be done on the higher level code side that can't be accomplished much more efficiently by a compiler. This is 2012, not 1992.
I don't think the issues have anything at all to do with compiler optimizations. Apple has proven that embedded devices that are designed with software in mind from the ground up have a better user experience. All the abstraction layers in Windows are great for very diverse hardware like PCs, but they don't work well at all for embedded devices like DVRs. A base Windows 7 install took on the order of 18GB. It's quite clear that no embedded device needs that much stuff on it. I don't know how big iOS is, but it has to be a lot smaller.

Note that I'm not a big fan of Apple and their proprietary hardware and software either. All I'm saying is that it has generally provided a superior user experience compared to, say, Windows phones. To continue on the DVR example, the old Windows-based Dishplayers were a disaster and couldn't reliably perform their main task - the current ones do admirably once they moved away from Windows. I'm not even sure what OS they run now, I think some customized Linux, but for sure it's not Windows.

I'm not sure how much Microsoft has learned from their past mistakes with Windows 8. It seems to me they are once again trying to force one size fits all with the Metro interface on desktops, and IMO this will not end well.

On the other hand, to go back to the subject of this thread, I would not short the stock just because the product is technically inferior. Worst comes to worst, if consumers reject Windows 8 massively, Microsoft will back down and offer manufacturers the option to keep preloading Windows 7, similar to what happened with Vista. They still have a mostly captive, but shrinking, PC market.

KyleAAA
Posts: 7726
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Windows 8: Time to Short Microsoft?

Post by KyleAAA » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:36 pm

madbrain wrote: I don't think the issues have anything at all to do with compiler optimizations. Apple has proven that embedded devices that are designed with software in mind from the ground up have a better user experience. All the abstraction layers in Windows are great for very diverse hardware like PCs, but they don't work well at all for embedded devices like DVRs. A base Windows 7 install took on the order of 18GB. It's quite clear that no embedded device needs that much stuff on it. I don't know how big iOS is, but it has to be a lot smaller.

Note that I'm not a big fan of Apple and their proprietary hardware and software either. All I'm saying is that it has generally provided a superior user experience compared to, say, Windows phones. To continue on the DVR example, the old Windows-based Dishplayers were a disaster and couldn't reliably perform their main task - the current ones do admirably once they moved away from Windows. I'm not even sure what OS they run now, I think some customized Linux, but for sure it's not Windows.

I'm not sure how much Microsoft has learned from their past mistakes with Windows 8. It seems to me they are once again trying to force one size fits all with the Metro interface on desktops, and IMO this will not end well.

On the other hand, to go back to the subject of this thread, I would not short the stock just because the product is technically inferior. Worst comes to worst, if consumers reject Windows 8 massively, Microsoft will back down and offer manufacturers the option to keep preloading Windows 7, similar to what happened with Vista. They still have a mostly captive, but shrinking, PC market.
This has absolutely nothing to do with Apple's approach to hardware and everything to do with the fact that Apple has always had a much stronger focus on usability than Microsoft. Apple's devices would have worked just as well on a more genericized platform, despite what Steve Jobs would have you believe. Why? Because designing hardware for usability doesn't require you to sacrifice a shared code base. Why would it? There's no reason Microsoft's model couldn't work equally well on an ipod-like device. Many Android models have managed it. I would also argue that the new Windows phones are more usable than the iPhone. I don't really understand your Windows 7 being 18 GB argument. A properly-designed modular system's footprint could easily be expanded or contracted based on needs. Why couldn't it?

Besides, you are aware the Apple OS's (both OSX and iOS) share a common code-base, right? Steve Jobs most have been a big fan, because plans were launched to completely merge them into a single platform (as in actually being the same platform, not just some shared code bases) well before he died. Indeed, some of that has already happened since this article was written.

http://www.ipodnn.com/articles/11/08/03 ... en.as.key/

Post Reply