I feel like an archaeologist who just found one of those “missing link” skeletons, because even though I’ve been talking about how Valve’s push for Linux is justified and smart when you consider the potential downfall of Windows, there hasn’t been much evidence to support that fear besides Gabe Newell himself, who you could argue has a conflict of interest. I need somebody in the tech world who is intimately familiar with Windows, its history, and its politics, who can attest to the problems today — somebody like Paul Thurrott, who asks What the Heck is Happening to Windows?
There are some important bombshells in here as far as I’m concerned, including the fact that Windows 8 was designed by a prominent “Steve Jobs” wannabe who messed it up so bad that it was responsible for restructuring Microsoft itself, including kicking out Steve Ballmer! (Still believe Don Mattrick’s quitting in the face of the “Xbox 180” fiasco was a coincidence?)
The Xbox 180 reversals and the Windows 8 catastrophe are deeply connected: mismanagement, scattered thinking, poor judgment, and lack of vision in the face of incredibly strong competition.
Whenever I criticize Microsoft, there are those who accuse me of being a Sony fanboy. The type who hates Microsoft out of some juvenile, Highlander-type “There Can Be Only One” nonsense. After all, I run a Metal Gear fan site, not a Halo fansite; I complain about the bro culture and Xbox tactics all the time; I seem to go out of my way to pick on bad news when it comes to Microsoft, but I don’t mention Sony’s troubles! But the truth is, I am mostly a PC gamer, and as I wrote before this new generation started, I want Steam to lead the way of gaming. I don’t hate Microsoft because it competes with other platforms that I like more, I hate it because it’s evil and it is going to drag down an awesome platform out of pure hubris, unoriginality, and greed, just like they poisoned the console culture with the Xbox brand and billions of dollars in dirty shenanigans.
Speaking of Windows 8, Paul Thurrott gives us insight into the warped mentality inside Microsoft at the time, and the consequences for its failure:
… I had found out from internal sources immediately that the product was doomed from the get-go, feared and ignored by customers, partners and other groups in Microsoft alike. Windows 8 was such a disaster that Steven Sinofsky was ejected from the company and his team of lieutenants was removed from Windows in a cyclone of change that triggered a reorganization of the entire company. Even Sinofsky’s benefactor, Microsoft’s then-CEO Steve Ballmer, was removed from office. Why did all this happen? Because together, these people set the company and Windows back by years and have perhaps destroyed what was once the most successful software franchise of all time.
He goes on to touch on some of the main problems with the jumbled Windows 8 interface, which can’t decide whether it’s a tablet OS or a desktop OS. This is exactly the same as how the Xbox One can’t decide whether it’s an always-online Kinect media hub, or a next-gen game console meant to be controlled with a controller.
With a new CEO obsessed with chasing iOS with “mobile” and Google with “cloud”, but rejecting “traditional” hardware emphasis, it will be very interesting to see how the half-baked abortion, the Xbox One, fares in such turbulent times, with investors hoping to see the Xbox, Bing, and Surface scrapped since it’s clear Microsoft doesn’t know what it’s doing with any of them… and losing billions every year.
[Here’s a link to the article one more time.]