Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Said To Limit Device Makers' Partners

Roblimo posted more than 3 years ago | from the tighter-hardware-control-is-our-number-one-goal dept.

Microsoft 200

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has asked chipmakers that want to use the next version of Windows for tablets to work with no more than one computer manufacturer." The article also said, "Seeking to limit variations may help Microsoft speed the delivery of new Windows tablets by keeping tighter control over partners and accelerating development and testing. Though the program isn't mandatory, the restrictions may impede chip- and computer makers from building a variety of Windows-based models to vie with Apple Inc. (AAPL)'s iPad... In past versions of Windows software, chipmakers could work with multiple computer manufacturers. "

cancel ×

200 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Yoshinoya (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36307934)

This has nothing to do with this thread, but would you just listen to me for a little bit? See, I went to the local Yoshinoya today. Right. Yoshinoya. And the damn place was packed so full of people, I couldn't even find a seat. So I looked around a bit, and I found a sign that said "150 yen off". What the hell is wrong with you people? Are you idiots or something? Any other day you wouldn't even think of going to Yoshinoya, but if it's 150 yen off, you all flock in here? It's just 150 fucking yen! 150 yen! And you're bringing the kids too. Look at that, a family of four going to Yoshinoya. Con-fucking-gratulations. And now the guy's going, "All right! Daddy's going to order the extra-large!" Shit, I can't watch any more of this.

Yoshinoya should be fucking brutal. Two guys sit facing each other across a U-shaped table, and you never quite know if they'll suddenly just start a fight right there. It's stab-or-be-stabbed, and that's what so damn great about the place. Women and kids should stay the fuck away.

Well, I finally found a seat, but then the guy next to me goes, "I'll have an large bowl with extra gravy!". So now I'm pissed off again. Who the fuck orders extra gravy these days? Why are you looking so goddamn proud when you say that? I was gonna ask you, are you really going to fucking eat all that gravy? I wanted to fucking interrogate you. For about a fucking hour. You know what? I think you just wanted to say "extra gravy".

Now, take it from the Yoshinoya veteran. The latest thing among the Yoshinoya pros is this: Extra green onions. That's the ticket. A large bowl with extra onions, and egg. This is what someone who knows his shit orders. They put in more onions, and less meat. A large bowl with the raw egg, that's really fucking awesome. Now, you should know, if you keep ordering this, there's a risk employees might write you up. This really is a double-edged sword. I really can't recommend this for amateurs.

Re:Yoshinoya (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307974)

what

Re:Yoshinoya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36307988)

That is a wonderful story.

Re:Yoshinoya (1)

nharmon (97591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308028)

So a cheap tablet PC running Windows is like eating at Yoshinoya on coupon day?

Re:Yoshinoya (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308960)

Hey as long as MSFT keep this "idea" to tablets I'm fine and dandy with it, but they can fuck right off if they try to lock down the X86 desktop and laptop market. IMHO what has made PCs so great is that anybody can find something they can afford, you can DIY or go whitebox or find a sale, there is a niche for everybody.

I know old Ballmer has a hardon for the other Steve (I still think the MSFT Gates borg should be replaced with Ballmer in a beanie with his tongue out and "I heart Apple!" written on the beanie) and cutting down version on the tablet will let them get it out the door quicker, but the last thing we need is the PC landscape to be as locked down as Apple, with only a small handful of models to choose from.

Of course on the other hand if Ballmer really does get THAT stupid then we might actually see some serious R&D spent on Linux on the desktop as those companies that don't want to limit themselves to only a couple of models try to make Linux more user friendly.

Frankly I don't even get WTF MSFT is thinking ATM anyway, I mean Windows on ARM? WTF? Yeah I could see Win 8 on one of those new ULV AMD APUs, with the nice Radeon chips and dual cores, but ARM? The whole selling point of Windows is third party programs, 99% of which don't work on ARM! WTF is Ballmer thinking? Does he think people will pay the MSFT tax just to stare at the desktop? Maybe use WMP? Give me a break! If all my third party Windows programs don't work then WTF do I need Windows for when I could go Android or iOS?

Re:Yoshinoya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308106)

What's a Yoshinoya. Like, an Arby's?

Re:Yoshinoya (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308350)

Mc Donalds but with more McNasty in it.

Re:Yoshinoya (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308976)

Decaf.

Just sayin.

In other words (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308024)

Microsoft wants to be more like Apple. Eh...

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308108)

Well, they allready have an arrogant asshole named steve as their boss, so they are off to a good start.

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308442)

Both are arrogant assholes. But only one of them has any talent and sense of style.

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308510)

Its not Jobs fault though, he's sick with cancer which no doubt effects his thinking

Re:In other words (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308490)

Yeah, but one has the ability to increase stockholder value. Hiyoooo! Thank you I'll be here all week!

Re:In other words (3, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308114)

Oddly, this is also Microsoft deliberately giving up what was originally their biggest selling point against Apple -- the PC won because you could buy cheap clones from any number of manufacturers, and they'd all run DOS and Windows, whereas anything from Apple would have exactly one choice of hardware manufacturer and OS provider: Apple.

Re:In other words (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308232)

Yeah, the market has completely flipped on that aspect. Style and marketing are what dominate now, and Microsoft will always be behind on fashion. They can never be 'cool', and this effort won't help them one bit. They should stick with cheap and encourage more bootlegging of their OS (piracy, I believe, is what the kids call it today), like the old days.

Re:In other words (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308344)

No I would disagree. Android has a larger user base then Apple does because it is a "universal" OS for smart phones and mobile devices. Apple has a strong holding in part of the marking and stile but mostly due to the fact it has the most apps. Back in the Dos days When my family went to get their first computer they looked at Apple, Amiga, Commodore, and IBM/IBM Compatibles. They liked the Amiga, the Apple is what I used in school, the Commodore was OK too... But they went with an IBM Compatible... Not because of the hardware openness but because when you looked at the store you see 1 shelf of Apple, Amiga, and Commodore programs and 3 or 4 isles of IBM/Compatible software.

Re:In other words (2)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308686)

No I would disagree. Android has a larger user base then Apple does because it is a "universal" OS for smart phones and mobile devices.

Wait, you are actually serious? Android is still largely a smart phone OS whereas iOS (previously know as iPhone OS) started out on the original iPhone but quickly came out on the iPod Touch and then the iPad last year. Apple has a huge head start over Android on tablet sales and whether you look at install base or marketshare of iOS devices versus all android devices Apple still has a huge lead. You seem to have forgotten about iPod Touches and the huge lead Apple has with the iPad and iPad 2 when you made the bold statement suggesting that Android had a larger user base than Apple.

I would argue that Android is less "universal" because Google had kept Android marketplace off non-phone devices like android based music players and non-3G tablets in the past whereas the Appstore was on all iOS devices as soon as it was introduced.

Re:In other words (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308762)

Hmm, I always thought it was pricing that put the IBM compatibles on top... But then, what do I know? I went with a Mac IIx because that's what the art department used

I really don't know the specifics, but sometimes a smaller user base can produce a greater flow of revenue for a particular company. While Google's strategy might generate more cash flow overall, they get a smaller percentage, and their business model is built on advertising, which could prove to be more stable on the long run than Apple's fickle market segment.. In the future, we might find out who buys out whom. Personally, I think Google will indeed come out on top, and Apple will become like their 'gold card' appliance for the emo segment of their market :-)

Microsoft's attempts to lock their stuff down with cost them big time. They will have move to the opposite direction if branding is really important, otherwise the only way to make money with them is shorting their stock until they end up as as small as SCO and patent/copyright trolling becomes their primary business model.

Re:In other words (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308864)

The other side of the coin says that Google is getting a bad rep (whether or not deserved) by not exerting the same control that Apple does over its hardware AND software base.

Microsoft is WAY behind the market, and needs to catchup. Using that good old Jobs zen approach of cutting away the distractions might help them catch up. This of course, means that all of the other leaden madness that ties them down is somehow assuaged. But comparing them to SCO is a non-starter. Microsoft probably helped finance SCO just to be a PITA to the FOSS movement. But SCO's market cap wasn't even statistically relevant to Microsoft's. Like them or hate them, Microsoft has unbelievably high cash resources (even after buying Skype) to digest or kill what it wants.

BTW, "emo" is only a fraction of what motivates people to buy Apple stuff.

Re:In other words (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308900)

Price isn't always the key element, it is value. If you are paying the difference between $1500 vs. $2000 for a computer. The question is what makes that $2000 worth $500 more, and is it worth it, for you. Lets say the IBM PC vs. Amiga. the Amiga at the time was an awesome product compared to the IBM if it had the larger software base the IBM and PC probably wouldn't have made it.

Re:In other words (2)

DaveOrZach (1002903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308936)

I think Android has a large install base because Android phones are cheaper. AT&T has 4 Android phones under $20, T-Mobile has 4 free phones, and Sprint has 2 free phones (all with 2 yr contract.) My mom, dad, and aunt don't care if you root or jailbreak your phone. They want a cheap phone that can email, browse the web, and show off picture of the grandkids. Their is a lot more non-geek user than geek users; they don't care about the underlying technology, they just want a cheap phone.

Re:In other words (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308378)

this effort won't help them one bit

Sure it will - One of the reasons Apple has done so well is it owns the entire environment on an iDevice - From OS to hardware. Hell, they even own the mechanism to get apps on the device. By limiting what they have to support, MS has an opportunity to follow Apple's model. If you, as a consumer, don't like these models, then buy an Android tablet.

Re:In other words (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308468)

Yeah, the market has completely flipped on that aspect. Style and marketing are what dominate now, and Microsoft will always be behind on fashion.

Depending on how long you've been around, what you call "style and marketing", some people call "usability and good design".

I remember DOS from the mid 80s, and have used the earliest versions of Windows, Linux, old Macs, and a bunch of different flavors of UNIX.

My personal perception is that my iPad and my iPod are easy to use, do exactly what I want them to, and don't suffer from some of the frustrations I've come to associate to Microsoft products over the years. (I like iTunes, and I've hated Windows Media Player for just as long.)

I've got Vista, XP, FreeBSD, and Linux machines at home. I'd still like to have a Mac.

IMO, there's substance behind Apple's style ... and sometimes, Microsoft's style lacks substance. At the end of the day, it's what people are happy with -- and I have enough painful memories of Microsoft stuff to still be leery of them.

Hell, my retail copy of Vista Home Ultimate still makes me run into something where Microsoft deliberately crippled it so that I'd buy the more expensive version -- so, it is less capable for networking, and the built in back up manager lets me have exactly one scheduled backup set. There's no reason for this, other than Microsoft trying to carve up the market and get as much money from me as they can -- especially since all that was in there, but they took the time to cripple it.

Microsoft's operating systems have gotten vastly better over the years ... but that doesn't mean I don't occasionally run into something and wonder WTF they were thinking.

They've tried to mirror Apple's ease of use with frustrating wizards and dialog boxes that don't always help. Anything but the most basic error, and their wizards fall apart (because, really, I know my network cable is plugged in ... if that's the best help you have, it's useless). Once you exceed the most basic stuff, their attempts to make an easy user experience degrade to "something bad happened, contact your admin".

Re:In other words (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308270)

the PC won because you could buy cheap clones from any number of manufacturers, and they'd all run DOS and Windows, whereas anything from Apple would have exactly one choice of hardware manufacturer and OS provider: Apple.

That had more to do with IBM using an architecture they opened up than Microsoft in a lot of ways ... the way the arrangement was set up, Microsoft was selling a copy with every piece of hardware up until about 2000 or whenever it was, because it was required to be sold with the PC. (And, since everyone else was using it, that's what people needed.)

Some might argue that Microsoft got where they are today because everyone who bought a PC also was forced to buy MS-DOS -- it wasn't necessarily a superior product at the time. In fact, there were better things that ran on the same hardware at the time. It took a court ruling to say that Microsoft wasn't legally entitled to a sale every time someone bought a PC -- but many of us remember buying a PC for Linux and knowing that Microsoft was getting paid anyway.

For years, the biggest selling point for Microsoft was that an Apple computer cost more than a white-box clone of an IBM PC, and that business primarily used IBM compatible.

Microsoft have never been advocates of open platforms ... they just grew to prominence because of one. If Microsoft could have locked everything down earlier, they would have.

Re:In other words (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308870)

Didn't good old IBM also let OS/2 die because their shares in Microsoft were worth more? Maybe monkeyboy has gotten himself some Apple stock.

Re:In other words (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309112)

Well, the biggest problem Windows has EVER had is the unmanageable driver base. Every device manufacturer has their own take on chipsets and BIOS details, they mix in different firmware versions of disk, network, and various comm I/O, and it results in a system that has multiple drivers of varying quality with the potential for interaction and bad behavior. Apple sidesteps this with a controlled hardware environment, but Microsoft is stuck with a multiplicity of vendors, and some really suck. Even Intel delivers bad drivers, so that their chipsets flake out in interesting ways, and you wait for fixes that end up never coming, and you blame Windows, Intel, and everyone. And it just sucks.

Yet Android, cause it's O P E N, gets a pass because it also must live in a terrible hardware landscape, but it's O P E N. We complain about the Android 'fragmentation', and how so many devices are being introduced with Froyo and not Gingerbread, but with the fragmented hardware they have to work with, phone makers end up sticking with a well-understood release until they get their arms around the next one and then they either offer an OTA upgrade, or as often as not, they don't bother 'cause the phone is too old. Look, you generally get hitched to a carrier for 24 months, and then you renew. Time to upgrade. If your phone is 18 months old, don't expect the maker to expend too much effort unless you think they deliberately want you to avoid buying a new one. And the makers are getting such a subsidy from the carriers that they have every reason to crank out new models constantly and heat up the market for the next insanely great phone.

So Android is in the same boat as Windows (and Linux), supporting a multiplicty of hardware options, though Android handles it well at the manufacturer level, while Windows still struggles with drivers and all the nastiness under the hood that shows up as blue screens and reboots. Windows is making progress isolating the core from some drivers, but ultimately they can't do it all unless Windows gets virtual. Which moves the driver wars to the kernel and a hypervisor/etc. Still a fight. And if you want graphic performance for gaming, well, you get to touch the display hardware even more intimately, and the fight is back on.

It's always been ugly. Goes with the territory.

Re:In other words (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308160)

Microsoft wants to be more like Apple. Eh...

Popular, profitable, and with an ever growing market capitalization? What company wouldn't?

For years Apple was playing catch-up to Microsoft. Nowadays, Microsoft doesn't seem to be able to envision and bring to market new products people want. It seems like the last bunch of years, Microsoft has really lost whatever advantages they had, and have been trying to get "me too" products to market after everyone else already has had them for quite some time.

Getting away from needing to support every possible bit of hardware in random combinations might actually let Microsoft start to build interesting things again. Sure, they've got servers and operating systems mostly covered ... but in terms of consumer devices, Apple has been kicking their ass for years now.

Like or hate Apple, you really can't deny their sales numbers and profits.

Re:In other words (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308284)

They attained their position in the market through 'unauthorized' distribution channels. Trying to eliminate that is what's costing them. They should have stuck with what works.

Re:In other words (3, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308450)

Apple is popular now in one segment of the market. Meanwhile, they are still a relative failure in their legacy products. Microsoft might want to consider that Apple might not be a darling for forever or not even a terrribly long time. Apple is already starting to see an erosion of their market share where brands aren't terribly important and turnover is quick.

Frankly, Microsoft isn't very good at being an Apple and probably never will. It's just not how the company operates.

Pretending to be another Apple will probably end badly for Microsoft.

Re:In other words (2)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308248)

No, they just don't want manufacturer's putting out crap products like with what is happening with Android. Microsoft needs to be able to establish their tablet OS as a premium product in order to compete against iOS, WebOS, Honeycomb, and Blackberry. Google doesn't care if their product is premium or not, just as long as people use it. They make their money on advertisement, not off of the OS directly. Microsoft is in a different position entirely. If they can ensure all the Windows tablet products are quality AND still give consumers a choice, they'll be able to compete directly against the Android tablet market and all the other options at the same time.

Re:In other words (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308482)

Microsoft has never been a "premium" brand and now is no time to try and start.

Re:In other words (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308760)

They make their money on advertisement, not off of the OS directly. Microsoft is in a different position entirely

Who told you that?
They make money by charging for the google apps, Market, etc. They also take a cut from the android market. They make money for the OS as most OEMs use it.

Re:In other words (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308688)

and it's as if they've not tried this before and failed. Pissing off all those hardware vendors you've strong armed in the past and who have feared you and doing it at a time when they have other successful alternatives available makes perfect sense. Please, please keep Steve Ballmer around for another 5 years.

LoB

Re:In other words (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309104)

Google also imposes limits [thisismynext.com] on the kinds of partners hardware manufacturers can have. This is completely normal.

How is this not anti-trust? (5, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308050)

This reminds me of standard oil making deals with railroads, to not carry oil for companies that competed with standard oil, or to charge those other companies much more.

As I understand it, these actions by the old robber barons brought about the Clayton Act, and the Sherman Act.

So why are the new robber barons allowed to get away with such abusive, anti-competitive actions?

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308100)

except the oil was mostly the same. in this case manufacturers building cheapo products will damage microsoft's brand perception which is what they want to avoid

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308614)

except the oil was mostly the same. in this case manufacturers building cheapo products will damage microsoft's brand perception which is what they want to avoid

Keep in mind that Apple achieves the consistent quality and user experience it wants by keeping control of the entire chain from userland through the OS right down to the hardware. They manufacture everything themselves. Microsoft is trying to achieve the same thing but not by manufacturing the whole product them selves all the way down the chain, but rather trying to lay down the law for thousands of hardware manufacturers. I think they'll quickly discover that you can't have the cake and eat it too. Now that these guys have the option to go with Android rather than Windows, MS will have to tread carefully. Herding cats is hard, they have a mind of their own and they spook easily.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308926)

basically, this is a lack of an answer. It's not any different, it's just that it has to get to the courts to get settled.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (0, Troll)

dicobalt (1536225) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308104)

Don't ask me, Apple should have had the pants sued off of them a long time ago.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308676)

Even though Apple is even MORE restrictive with the manufacturing of their devices?

I don't know the detailed legalities of the whole thing but I think this is a very, very smart move on Microsoft's part from a business standpoint. Take a look at the Android hardware market right now vs. iOS. If you're looking for an iphone you know EXACTLY what you're getting. With android there's a huge variety - but the differences are fairly minor in most cases so deciding between all the choices is nearly moot.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (1, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308702)

Why? They make a product, and sell that product. Just like Nike makes products, and sells them. I don't think you understand the difference between a homogenous product chain and antitrust/anticompetitive practices, which I assume you're driving at with this fact-free statement.

It's not illegal to choose what you sell in your store (apart from for discriminatory reasons), and not illegal to have a monopoly. Apple is no different to any other single brand manufacturer with a retail and online presence - do you think Nike should be sued for not selling Addidas products in their stores? Do you think they should be forced to carry a competitor's product? Extending it, do you think that any retailer should be forced to sell something against their will?

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (1)

pohl (872) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308812)

Under which section(s) of the Sherman act?

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308934)

Apple hardly have a monopoly except perhaps the "tablet / pad" market and really, who gives a fuck about that?
It's not like entire governments are dependent on their desktop and office software and are run by management that refuse point blank to even consider that some of the software they supply might have alternatives...

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308200)

You may have missed the news: Microsoft was found guilty, and the antitrust oversight last for a few years. Now it is over, and Microsoft can go back to their same old tricks. It is a lot harder for people to claim that Microsoft is abusing their monopoly position when Apple is competing so effectively against Microsoft.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308448)

Except this time it is a pretty minor player in that particular marketplace. It can't push manufacturers too hard on this one or they'll just say "fuck you Redmond" and throw Android on their tablets.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308882)

That may work while people like tablets, but what the hell happens if that is a fad? Any brilliant manufacturer would not put all their eggs in one basket regardless of demands. I am not saying they have to bend knee to Microsoft, but they sure wouldn't tell Microsoft to take a hike. Particularly as their PC sells make up an enormous section of the market.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (5, Insightful)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308746)

Now it is over, and Microsoft can go back to their same old tricks.

I must have missed the time when Microsoft stopped using their old tricks.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308206)

Because our government is at least as corrupt today as it was in the late 19th century.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308292)

This reminds me of standard oil making deals with railroads, to not carry oil for companies that competed with standard oil, or to charge those other companies much more.

As I understand it, these actions by the old robber barons brought about the Clayton Act, and the Sherman Act.

So why are the new robber barons allowed to get away with such abusive, anti-competitive actions?

Because Asking is not the same as Demanding.
And because Microsoft does not have a monopoly on phone Operating Systems.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (1)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308308)

If Microsoft was the only company providing a tablet OS, then I might agree with you. If manufacturer's don't like the stipulations of using the Windows tablet OS, they can make an Android tablet. There's nothing anti-trust about it. If Microsoft decided they wouldn't sell their OS to X company (that does not have a competing OS) even though they agreed to all the hardware stipulations, then THAT would be anti-trust because they're only allowing certain companies to make a tablet.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308346)

This reminds me of standard oil making deals with railroads, to not carry oil for companies that competed with standard oil

Really? It reminds me of Microsoft making deals with OEMs, to not install operating systems from companies that competed with Microsoft. They've already been caught doing this with Hitachi and Compaq to kill BeOS.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308946)

Speaking of which, Haiku's going to hit Alpha 3 sometime this week.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (1)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308636)

Microsoft is the small fish here.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (2)

AnalogDiehard (199128) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308930)

So why are the new robber barons allowed to get away with such abusive, anti-competitive actions?

Because the Clinton-era DoJ wardogs who brought the antitrust action against MS were removed when the Bush Administration took office and the new DoJ settled the case for peanuts. Today's DoJ under Obama seem to be focused on protecting Hollywood's copyrights and are turning a blind eye to antitrust.

Antitrust enforcement actions depend largely on the administration in the White House. When Teddy Roosevelt was in office his DoJ wardogs enforced the Sherman Act with a vengeance.

Re:How is this not anti-trust? (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309084)

Railroads are a natural monopoly. If railroads refuse to carry your product, you had no other option. Despite people's fantasies, Microsoft doesn't have this kind of power and never did. You could always use competitive products. This is not to say they didn't make compatibility difficult, but it is incomparable to striking deals with network industries like railroads.

It would be like MS striking a deal with ATT to only connect to MS computers. That my good man would be a comparable analogy. And yes MS did do this... in South Korea by striking a deal with the government to force all financial transactions to go through internet explorer. Of course that is the government causing the problem (a real monopoly) in cahoots with Microsoft.

And if you read things like the Sherman Act you know that exclusive dealings are not illegal on their own. You must prove substantial economic harm first. The reason is blatantly obvious. Because exclusive deals and tying arrangements are common practice.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clayton_Antitrust_Act [wikipedia.org]

When you understand the difference between a monopoly and a competitive industry, you will understand the Clayton Act better.

Great business model (3, Insightful)

klingens (147173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308062)

Limiting hardware and exercising very stringent control has worked for Microsoft so well with Windows Phone 7 and was obviously the reason their OSes didn't sell.

The reason DOS and later Windows took off was exactly that every Tom, Dick and Harry from the shadiest backroom company could slap together something to sell. Many of those things didn't sell, many of them were and maybe still are atrocious piece of kit. But they simply swamped the market, drove prices to rock bottom and made MSFT's software have 90%+ marketshare, made the current and former CEOs of Microsoft multibillionaires, etc. Additionally they drove Apple nearly to extinction since they just couldn't compete with true mass production.

But this time around everything is different. Learning from Apple means more profit and success!

Re:Great business model (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308224)

Yep, this time it's Android enabling every Tom, Dick and Harry to build whatever the hell they want. Even the PSP's successor looks like it's going to be an Android device.

Re:Great business model (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308476)

The day of Microsoft's dominance is coming to a close. It will still probably dominate the business market for some time, but I can't see it ever being more than a fractional player in the tablet and smartphone markets. Apple and all the Android manufacturers have a massive lead.

Re:Great business model (3, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309154)

Yep, this time it's Android enabling every Tom, Dick and Harry to build whatever the hell they want.

As long as Tom, Dick and Harry join the Open Handset Alliance and pay dues to same, sign nondisclosure agreements forbidding them from releasing new OSs before Google, and agree to not bundle their phones with apps and services that compete with Google's.

The reason DOS took off? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308456)

"The reason DOS and later Windows took off was exactly that every Tom, Dick and Harry from the shadiest backroom company could slap together something to sell", klingens

No the reason DOS took off was that Microsoft bought DOS from the Seattle Computer Products and licensed it to IBM for use in the IBM Personal Computer. It also helped the reputatiion of Microsoft having the IBM Logo on the box. Later on when third party companies discovered how to cleanroom the BIOS, they manufactured IBM compatibles at a fraction of the cost of the real thing. Microsoft was more than happy to license DOS to them. Years layer IBM is no longer in the Personal Computer business.

Re:Great business model (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309012)

the market has changed. Back at the start of the Wintel PC era, PCs were either business tools one simply HAD to use, or hobbyist stuff one actually enjoyed tinkering/fighting with.

smartphones and tablets today are used by choice, by a much larger public, and not really tinkered with (hardware mods are pretty much impossible, and on the software side, I'm the only person I know to root my phone). plus, there's plenty spare power in these things to have nice interfaces.

I don't really like the term "dumbing down", but... people want a cool, easy, reliable device, even at the cost of features. The MS model of having second-rate interfaces, software glitches, and half-baked support for a lot of hardware instead of top-notch support for a handful of options doesn't work that well anymore. Honestly, when I see the smörgåsbord of android user interfaces (Sense...)... they rather get in the way.

I do think MS should fully bite the bullet, buy Nokia, and do their own phones and tablets the way they do their own xboxes (success) and zunes (failure). The current charade where it seems one WinPhone partner gets (will get) preferential treatment, and all must only manufacture the exact same phone with a different case color is disheartening for both partners and buyers. The Symbian -> WinPhone transition seems to be going so badly for Nokia, I'm wondering if that was not the plan from the start.

The inmates are running the asylum (2)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308080)

I can only imagine that their goal is to limit the variety of tablets on the market in a vain attempt to make their partners design a few high quality devices. At this point, what Microsoft should be worried about is making sure that .NET and their other tools work exceedingly well on those ARM processors so that developers won't end up pulling out their hair trying to maintain compatibility.

Re:The inmates are running the asylum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308472)

just that .NET is designed to make developers pull their hair out anyway. Its called Balmer (not to confuse with "balder") development :D

Re:The inmates are running the asylum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308890)

Indeed!

There's nothing greater you can do for your potential market share on an unreleased platform, than to limit its supported development by several orders of magnitudes. Is MS trying the 'opposite of modern business' approach? Dozens of now defunct companies are probably laughing at this development.

Re:The inmates are running the asylum (1)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309126)

Following that dictum would put Dell out of business.

Might be interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308084)

It might be interesting to pare down the number of me-too vaporware devices.

So far with Android we've seen a lot of terrible devices that don't even come close to what apple offers.

If the devices stop trying to make 30 different versions that fail and concentrate on one version that works well maybe there might be some desire to buy a tablet windows device. Then after there is a version that everyone likes, come out with cheaper versions the following year.

I can't name one android device that I'd even consider buying, and at this point I can't name one laptop that I'd consider buying over the MacBook Pro other than the Alienware models.

Re:Might be interesting (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308304)

While I do prefer to buy Android devices from well known companies so that I can be more sure of quality and software updates (so far Dell and Motorola), if Android weren't open then the same thing would happen with Android as with Apple devices: over-priced, over-controlled, under featured. I'm not going to buy a device where the software I can install is censored (even in cases where Android pulls apps from the official market, you can still get them direct from the author's websites). I'm also not going to buy a device that will not let me expand the storage. This is becoming less relevant as more and more content can be streamed directly, but we're not there yet.

Re:Might be interesting (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308368)

Alienware? Seriously? Not only are those things bulky and ugly as hell, they're also terrible, terrible laptops. The high-powered ones have a battery life measured in seconds of full use. The low-powered ones are weak and incredibly overpriced.

There are plenty of good laptop manufacturers. I prefer Asus - a $1100 laptop has lasted me two years. I had one hard disk failure - I was able to back up all my data, send it in under warranty, and get it fixed, no questions asked. It looks pretty good, doesn't weigh too much, and balances a respectable amount of power (Core 2 Duo and GeForce 9600 - not top-of-the-line, but it still works fine even on newer games) with an OK battery life (~100 minutes, on a poorly-cared-for two-year-old battery).

Alienware is junk. On their high-end rigs, they charge a huge amount for what ends up being mediocre machines. On the low end, they do the same, but with less glowing LEDs everywhere. There's a reason most gamers view anyone using an Alienware as a poser - anyone with actual experience, even FPS-obsessed teenagers, can find or build better computers at a fraction of the cost.

Same shit, different decade... (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308112)

They've been doing this sort of thing with hardware vendors for quite a while. Nothing new here. Move along...

Re:Same shit, different decade... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308316)

They probably had to cut back during their anti-trust overwatch. Which ended a couple of weeks ago.

Re:Same shit, different decade... (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309142)

I'd been wondering why M$ seemed somewhat less evil in recent years. That explains it. Oddly it reaffirms my faith in the universe to learn that. Thank you.

Clamping down (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308124)

It seems Microsoft is jealous of Apple's ability to get people to accept heavy restrictions on mobile devices, and is attempting to enforce the same thing by leveraging their monopoly on Windows.

Sadly, now is better than ever for vendors to give Microsoft the finger and go for other options yet we probably won't see it happen. Precisely because Microsoft is still, ten years later, a monopoly that can crush a vendor if they don't do what Microsoft says.

Re:Clamping down (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308374)

Sadly, now is better than ever for vendors to give Microsoft the finger and go for other options yet we probably won't see it happen. Precisely because Microsoft is still, ten years later, a monopoly that can crush a vendor if they don't do what Microsoft says.

I think more likely that a vendor with laugh at Microsoft, spit in their face, and go with Android. Microsoft is a complete joke in the mobile segment.

I liked Windows Mobile for a while, I think they were the only non-Nokia smartphones even available for years (have never liked Nokias for some reason) - but when Android started gathering momentum, I switched and have not looked back.

Re:Clamping down (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308454)

I think more likely that a vendor with laugh at Microsoft, spit in their face, and go with Android. Microsoft is a complete joke in the mobile segment.

Microsoft will simply pay anyone they can't strongarm. You think Netflix thought Silverlight was technically superior?

Re:Clamping down (1)

kybred (795293) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308726)

I think more likely that a vendor with laugh at Microsoft, spit in their face, and go with Android.

Maybe that's their plan [infoworld.com] .

Re:Clamping down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308850)

(have never liked Nokias for some reason)

Uh oh... you fool! You've just called in the N900 Persecution Complex Squad to hijack this thread and berate you for your less-than-N900 opinions! Quickly, hide! We'll try to hold them off! It's your only chance!

Microsoft doing the right thing? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308126)

I dunno, but I think they are trying to do the right thing anyway.

One of WinTel's biggest problems is its diversity. Developers do not follow the rules and worse, they make up their own rules. And with the diversity of hardware out there, the problem becomes even more complex. (No such thing as an IBM compatible any longer is there?)

As this new market is being entered, controlling the target playing field is to Microsoft's advantage enabling them to increase the quality of the user experience. (And actually, it will help Android too as undoubtedly people will want to put Android on their over-powered tablet devices and with less variation in hardware, there will be fewer obstacles to overcome.)

Re:Microsoft doing the right thing? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308252)

If that's really the problem, then Microsoft should just pull an xbox and release a console-ized version of the OS on locked down laptop hardware and call it the "xbook" or someshit.

(And actually, it will help Android too as undoubtedly people will want to put Android on their over-powered tablet devices and with less variation in hardware, there will be fewer obstacles to overcome.)

The distrustful part of me suspects that there will be requirements that bar the ability to load other OSes on these devices, above and beyond the typical lack of video drivers and (in the case of windows-based machines) the complete lack of a compatible Linux kernel.

increase the quality of the user experience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308334)

"One of WinTel's biggest problems is its diversity. Developers do not follow the rules and worse, they make up their own rules.

I don't even know what that's supposed to mean. There is no technical reason for for a single OEM+chipset manufacturer. Manufacturers design the hardware to the specification, the OS is designed to run on that hardware.

"controlling the target playing field is to Microsoft's advantage enabling them to increase the quality of the user experience"

No, it means it'll be much easier for them to control the one hardware manufacturer. Similar to the virtual monopoly they have with Intel, they will now extend this control to the OEMs.

Reminds me on x86 -.- (1)

disi (1465053) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308154)

Do I get this right? We are stuck with e.g. TI cortex for 10 years and companys will only increase the MHz. In 20 years we will see the first improvement in chipsets etc.

Is it a change with the times? (1)

jagier (409536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308196)

I understand why they want to do it. I think that limiting the vendor list to one is a sure death to the product. I think having one vendor will certainly streamline operations and allow for a more vertical integration of the product line but will the practice will severely limit the design innovation necessary to develop the next generation of products. The product that would be necessary to provide a replacement for income to its aging cash revenue producers namely the desktop and the office productivity products. I would expect they are looking at the success of iPhone the way it structured with its seamless vertical integration and content experience. Another model would be the game console and set tops. I am not certain this is a good strategy but it certainly signals that Microsoft is willing to reinvent itself to thrive in the new mobile market.

Re:Is it a change with the times? (1)

moorster (2093072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308400)

You're right, but it's a sad day for consumers. I prefer choice. I don't want my choices limited to the very narrow offering that apple provides. I want to be able to get the piece of hardware that nobody else on my block has. I want to be able to mix and match. I want to be able to add RAM or an extra drive. I don't want to live in some bleak, Stanley Kubrick world where everyone has the exact same, bland tablet, phone, etc. and wears the same white jumpsuit.

Re:Is it a change with the times? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308568)

Yeah, the difference with Microsoft is that instead of simply making a verticaly integrated product line, they are imposing vertical integration on third parties, with each vertical path composed of several different parties. In short, they are trying to get the worst of vertical integration (that is NIH syndrome, and lack of flexibility) combined with the worst of independent producers (that is lack of economic and planning ingtegration, differing objectives at different levels) with added market failures (olgopsones) problems (inverting the economic power X barrier of entry rule, what makes chip makers extremely vunerable) and some anti-trust problems (governments everywhere will be whatching them).

Or, in a shorter yet version, I don't think it is a good plan.

Re:Is it a change with the times? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309054)

BINGO!

It's an interesting balance, but anti-trust? (0)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308342)

Microsoft doesn't want to go the XBox route (which I think is a mistake, since it worked so well for them) which would mirror Apple. But, because they own the code, they feel that going the Google route isn't right either. It seems to me control for control's sake. I can imagine placing restrictions, just as they did on PCs. But to restrict based on the manufacturers themselves, which will lock all others out... they are treading dangerously close to another anti-trust lawsuit, IMHO, IANAL.

MS should have Segmentation plan for x86/ARM (1)

guidryp (702488) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308386)

With MS releasing WinArm into the wilds in may just be that they are creating some rules about where to use ARM (tablets) and where to use x86 (everything else) so it doesn't just confuse and alienate the consumer.

Bad for the manufacturers (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308408)

When I worked at Cisco we had to have explicit signoff from an Executive VP to single source any component due to the risks involved. The supplier might have yield problems, they might have a plant get hit by an earthquake, they might discontinue the product, they might feel they can arbitrarily increase unit prices because they know we are single sourced, etc. To have a third party force that kind of risk on my company would really piss me off if I was an executive in charge of such a project.

Re:Bad for the manufacturers (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308512)

Fortunately manufacturers have Android, so they don't have to accept any of Microsoft's limitations. If there were ever a clearer canary in the mine for Microsoft, it will be the universal shrug from manufacturers over their "request".

Translation (1)

bmacs27 (1314285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308434)

Steve Ballmer is trying to save his job by making his product more like Steve Jobs'.

Anybody else confused by this? (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308480)

Anybody read the story and is confused by this restriction? The reason I am confused is that normally the chipmakers are not the ones driving the integration of devices. The device manufacturers like Acer, Apple, Samsung, etc are the ones that pick and integrate the hardware and software. The chipmakers may work with the device makers but they ultimately are not in charge and possibly don't care. The chipmakers care mostly about selling as many chips as possible to as many device makers. Even Samsung sells chips to companies that compete with Samsung's devices. Anybody understand this better than I do?

Re:Anybody else confused by this? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309000)

Microsoft has a lot more power over the chip makers than they do over the device manufacturers.

Chase the failure... (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308514)

"So it looks like Android with it's open and diverse platform is a rousing success with market penetration the envy of all. But we're the best, we're Microsoft and if that puny Apple can do it with a locked down, narrowly focused platform then we definitely will. Now about this crazy talk of me stepping down..."

I don't get it. What is Windows 8? (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308528)

Every time Windows 8 is mentioned, it's about running it on ARM-powered tablets. Is Windows 8 a tablet-only operating system? Or is it also for use on desktop PC's? I don't get it.

If Windows 8 is also for desktop PC's, then Windows 7's lifetime was awfully short, as Windows 8 is due for release in 2012 as far as I know. It's very possible that by that time, Windows XP's market share is still larger than that of Windows 7 (as it is currently about 2:1 for XP vs W7, with XP's market share just above 50% and W7 around 25% and Vista remaining at about 10%). Is it really wise to release yet another desktop OS, when neither one of the two previously released systems really caught on yet?

And if Windows 8 isn't a replacement for Windows 7 on the desktop, and merely an operating system for tablets, then why is it called Windows 8? Doesn't that make it seem the desktop is lagging behind compared to the tablet? And besides, if it really only is an OS for tablets, why not put that in the name, equal to Windows Mobile and now Windows Phone? Wouldn't "Windows Tablet" make a lot more sense in that case? Windows 8 as a name suggests it's a continuation of Windows 7, which doesn't make any sense at all if it's in fact a new OS for tablet computers.

All and all I'm completely confused on what Microsoft is planning to do with Windows and Wikipedia doesn't really help. Anyone here who knows more about it?

Re:I don't get it. What is Windows 8? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36308690)

Windows 8 is intended to replace Windows 7. It is intended to merge the Windows desktop and Windows phone operating systems into one platform to dominate all market segments.

Your comment could point to a major marketing problem. It is widely expected that Windows 8 on ARM Laptops will sucks. Too much bad press, and the user base may simply migrate to Apple or Android, in advance of the Windows 8 release.

Microsoft may have created a reverse Osbourne effect. Pre-announce your new O/S, and your customers migrate to the competition.

Re:I don't get it. What is Windows 8? (2)

HBI (604924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309090)

I think the Osbourne effect must have something to do with your system biting the heads off bats and mumbling incoherently.

The Osborne effect [wikipedia.org] is probably what you meant.

Re:I don't get it. What is Windows 8? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308968)

A desperate attempt to get some upgrade income by forcing people to buy yet another version of Windows if they want the next DirectX which no game other than those developed by Microsoft will use for five years?

Re:I don't get it. What is Windows 8? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36309010)

Sorry Mr. Balmer, we can't help you either

Re:I don't get it. What is Windows 8? (4, Interesting)

Alioth (221270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309108)

It'll also bite them to call the tablet OS "Windows 8" if there is also a PC OS called "Windows 8".

What Apple did which was smart marketing, was not to use the "OS X" brand for the tablet/phone, even though iOS is indeed based on OS X. They called it something completely different, so customers will never think "Oh, my iPad runs OS X, therefore I can run $RANDOM_MAC_APP on my iPad!"

What will happen is people will buy ARM-based Windows 8 tablets and find most applications for Windows 8 won't actually run because they are Intel binaries (and most apps for Windows aren't .NET so .NET won't save them). So the early adopters will voice their disappointment that their Windows 8 tablet doesn't run most Windows apps. Now if Microsoft didn't insist on calling their tablet and phone OS "Windows", they could break this association and set different expectations.

Microsoft is Confused (4, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308550)

Apple went it alone, and while they've had their share of heartache, they eventually built the shining behemoth they are today.

Microsoft never did that. *IBM* built their market, and Microsoft rode in on the coattails. (See the history of PC-DOS vs MS-DOS.) They certainly took advantage, but *THEY* did not build the market, IBM did.

As far as I can tell, they've NEVER built ANY market. They've always come in as a Johnny-Come-Lately. The 900 lb gorilla J-C-L, but never-the-less, not the innovator.

In the past few years it seems their entire business plan could be summed up simply as "Whatever Google is doing, plus Windows and Office".

Their stock has floundered under the leadership, or lack thereof, of Steve "Monkey Boy" Ballmer. They need a new direction, and since all they know how to do is emulate, they might as well emulate the most successful company they can find.

Re:Microsoft is Confused (2)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308654)

In the past few years it seems their entire business plan could be summed up simply as "Whatever Google is doing, plus Windows and Office".

You're really not telling the whole story here. Microsoft also take into account what Amazon, Apple, Nintendo and Sony (XBOX!) are doing.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?