Microsoft’s 5 biggest weaknesses 3

Posted by:admin Posted on:Sep 4,2011

Search, mobile devices, the Web and even the desktop represent challenges for Redmond
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“Beyond the user interface the other question is what does battery life look like with this, whether you’re talking about ARM or Intel,” Miller says. “If they’re not really efficient, this could bring out the worst of the ARM system and show you why nobody’s been able to make a kick-butt x86 tablet to date.”

 

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On start times, Miller says, “Windows needs to get to the point where boot time isn’t something people think about.” Unfortunately for Microsoft, the monthly security patches are an effective deterrent to hackers yet force users into long restarts. “I don’t expect that to change in Windows 8,” Miller says.

Microsoft’s challenge was underscored by HP’s decision to try to sell its PC business. HP is the No. 1 seller of Windows PCs, but Miller says “the tablet effect is real,” driving down PC sales even though there is really only one successful tablet, namely the iPad. If Android tablets ever take off, Microsoft could be in a lot of trouble.

Microsoft’s response: Microsoft declined to answer Network World’s questions about Windows 8, but we expect to learn more at BUILD, and we’ll learn a lot more next year when Windows 8-powered devices start shipping. For now, Microsoft has set up a blog called “Building Windows 8” to discuss progress.

“Windows 8 reimagines Windows,” writes Windows President Steven Sinofsky. Robust USB 3.0 support and better file management are on the way, the blog promises.
5. Web servers

Just as Windows client software dominates the desktop, Windows server software makes big bucks in the enterprise IT market. IDC numbers from the second quarter of 2011 show that Windows Server accounted for “45.5% of overall quarterly factory revenue and 71.0% of all quarterly server shipments.” The rest goes to Unix, mainframes, Linux and other platforms.

While not as impressive as Microsoft’s desktop share, Redmond can count on a steady revenue stream from businesses using Windows Server to host Microsoft applications such as Exchange and SharePoint, and non-Microsoft applications from the likes of Oracle.

Microsoft’s real server struggle is in the Web server space. Although Microsoft’s IIS Web server software that’s used with Windows powers more than 60 million websites, that only accounts for 16.8% of the market, which is dominated by the free software Apache, according to Netcraft Microsoft Free MCTS Training and MCTS Online Training..

Also according to Netcraft, nine of the 10 most reliable hosting companies run Linux or FreeBSD, with just one using Windows. Surveys by W3Techs show Linux and other Unix-like OSs account for 64% of websites.

These numbers wouldn’t include private intranets, but the fast-growing world of the public Web is one where Microsoft would like a stronger foothold. Few people actually use Linux desktops, but Linux enthusiasts will tell you that when you point your browser to Google or Facebook, you’re using a Linux-powered service.

Microsoft’s Web server problems date to the early 2000s when security holes gave the company’s technology a bad reputation, Gillen says.


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