Tag: onecare

Microsoft needs a new strategy for its Windows platform

I have Vista installed on this laptop. I haven’t booted up Vista in weeks. Why? Because I installed Ubuntu on another partition and it is so much faster, and more secure (since Microsoft instructed me to remove Norton and then failed to get OneCare to work on this laptop).

Many others are eschewing Vista, not just because of the speed and stability issues it has but also because of the steep learning curve on moving from XP to Vista.

On the other hand Apple’s star seems to be in the ascendancy. In their financial statement released yesterday, for the quarter ended September 29th, they report:

Apple shipped 2,164,000 Macintosh® computers, representing 34 percent growth over the year-ago quarter and exceeding the previous quarterly record for Mac® shipments by 400,000. The Company sold 10,200,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 17 percent growth over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone™ sales were 1,119,000, bringing cumulative fiscal 2007 sales to 1,389,000.

“We are very pleased to have generated over $24 billion in revenue and $3.5 billion in net income in fiscal 2007,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’re looking forward to a strong December quarter as we enter the holiday season with Apple’s best products ever.”

“Apple ended the fiscal year with $15.4 billion in cash and no debt,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO.

Why are Apple’s Mac sales doing so well and Vista so poorly?

At least part of the answer has to be in Apple’s strategy of releasing new versions every 12-18 months. Steve Jobs referred to this strategy in a piece in the New York Times yesterday when he said:

“I’m quite pleased with the pace of new operating systems every 12 to 18 months for the foreseeable future,” he said. “We’ve put out major releases on the average of one a year, and it’s given us the ability to polish and polish and improve and improve.”

Apple introduced OS X in 2001 and since then has brought out four newer versions (Puma, Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger) with a fifth version (Leopard – OS X 10.5) due to ship this coming Friday.

Ubuntu releases new versions on a pre-defined six monthly schedule.

Xp was also released in 2001 but the next version of Windows, Vista, didn’t ship until January 2007.

The gently, gently upgrade strategy appears to be working for Apple and Ubuntu as their uptake soars.

Microsoft needs a new strategy for its Windows platform. Its current strategy certainly isn’t working.

Microsoft give up on trying to fix Windows Live OneCare

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about how slow Microsoft’s Support people were in getting back to me to resolve an issue I have with Windows Live OneCare.

The other day they sent me an email which said:

Case Reference Number: 1039327169

Dear Mr.Raftery,

Unfortunately we have been unsuccessful in resolving your issue at this time; therefore I can confirm I am closing this case as unresolved.

I’m sorry, what? That’s it?

Microsoft are just giving up?

Windows Live OneCare is such a piece of junk that Microsoft themselves can’t even support it?

This doesn’t auger well for the rest of their Windows Live offerings.

Incredible.

How long is 5 minutes in Microsoft Support time?

Four weeks ago tomorrow I contacted Microsoft about problems I was having with their OneCare product. I spent two hours on the phone (after trying to get it working for the previous two hours) with a Sam in tech support and we failed to get it working.

Sam had me uninstall Norton (which came installed on the computer but which I never setup). He had me download a tool to uninstall OneCare (!). I uninstalled and re-installed it 5-6 times during the call. Each uninstall or install requires a re-start of Vista, hence the length of the call.

Eventually Sam said he’d have to escalate the call and I’d be contacted by senior techs to get it resolved “within the hour”.

No-one called.

Until today that is, when Sam called back to see if everything had been resolved ok and could he close out the call!

After I told Sam that no-one had bothered calling back and the machine was still in the state we left it four weeks ago, he said sheepishly that he’d see what had happened and call me back “in 5 minutes”.

Well, we know that 1 hour in Microsoft Support time = at least 4 weeks in real time, so any bets on just how long their “5 minutes” really is?