Seems like Microsoft is rudderless

18

The company is so massive it seems like they have a million different short lived projects or plans which don’t have any follow through and constantly fumbling around and screwing up every little (and some big) things.

  • The new Whiteboard app is a mess and Microsoft has acknowledged it
  • Windows 11 didn’t ship with major features, and has majorly regressed in other parts (browser choice, Taskbar, compatibility, flat emojis)
  • Azure has had major security issues
  • Surface finally has TB4, but loses legacy ports essential to creators the same time Apple adds the ports back on their competitive ARM devices
  • OneNote has been languishing for years with new features being built as a web view pane tacked to the side of the app
  • Fluid Framework is now rebranded … but still vaporware
  • Halo Infinite is was a total cluster, but maybe recovered from that now
  • Teams continues to be a hulking clunky mess, and the integrations into Windows 11 is a disaster
  • Skype is dead, or being redesign, or is being shifted to Teams?? What is happening?
  • The best keyboard is still the Sculpt ergonomic keyboard from like a decade ago
  • VS2022 Hot Reload fiasco, which was resolved well, but still did damage to the community
  • Windows Insider programs continues to randomly trickle out features and A/B test stuff for no reason
  • WindowsAppsSDK 1.0 has maybe half of the originally planned features
  • WinUI 3 continues to move at an incredibly slow pace with maybe 2 new controls a year
  • Windows on ARM still sucks
  • No good ARM based Windows PCs in any form factor

Just so many blunders and “miscommunications” makes it seem like the company is lacking vision and steady leadership.

But at least .NET 6 is really good.

Comments (18)

18 responses to “Seems like Microsoft is rudderless”

  1. SWCetacean

    I think you're really overstating the impact of all of these events. I see no mass exodus from Azure in light of the security issues (which was very serious, though it has been patched). The new Surface devices have had a pretty good reception both in the press and on Surface enthusiast communities. Similarly, Teams usage is still growing last time I checked despite its clunky client. Windows 11 has odd design decisions and limited compatibility, but so far the rollout has not hit any major snags, unlike some Windows 10 releases. Halo Infinite has had, in the last few months, a very good reception except for its Battle Pass progression system, but in terms of gameplay it's been rated highly in all of the publications I've seen. No good Arm-based PCs is because there's no good hardware being released. Qualcomm hasn't released any new laptop chips, and won't do so until 2023 when its Nuvia designs reach the market. Thus Arm-based Windows is on a holding pattern until new hardware arrives. There's only so much Microsoft can do with the aging 8cx chips.


    But I don't see why these indicate a lack of unified leadership or vision. It just means that no team within Microsoft is immune from bad decisions or bad releases. You could have a very unified vision, and still mess it up badly (a la Windows 8). You can also have no unifying vision, but still execute each component very well (Google has been like this at various points). None of these blunders are the worst that Microsoft has ever made, and each team within Microsoft has made worse mistakes in the past than what you've mentioned. Microsoft's overarching vision is "Intelligent Cloud + Intelligent Edge" or something like that, and I don't see any major deviations from that theme.

  2. dftf

    "But at least .NET 6 is really good."


    I'm honestly confused where .NET is thesedays. The 2.0 and 3.0 releases used to come preinstalled in Vista; 3.5 got added in Windows 7, and currently in Windows 10 the latest 4.x release ships with it, and 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 have to be turned-on via Windows Features. I've not used any app yet that needs the .NET 5.0 release. Does that version come preinstalled in Windows 11?


    (On a related note: I'm surprised the Visual C++ libraries aren't preinstalled by now, as I must have around a dozen apps that require them. And for whatever reason, even though I have "Microsoft Update" enabled, these libraries never get updated automatically!)

    • thejoefin

      .NET 6 is the latest and best attempt to unify the .NET development world. New features were mostly focused on performance and making Blazor easier to develop.


      Not sure if it is built into Windows or not, but I don't know if that is as big of a deal as it used to be. Also .NET 6 makes it easier to deliver apps as a single, self-contained executable so no download needed.

  3. dftf

    "Skype is dead, or being redesign, or is being shifted to Teams?? What is happening?"


    Merging its users into 'Teams for Consumers' is the long-term plan. Not the first-time Microsoft has ditched old messaging apps: NetMeeting, Comic Chat, MSN Messenger, Windows Messenger (the one that came built into Windows XP), Windows Live Messenger, Office Communications Server and Lync are all ones that have been-and-gone. (And I guess you could include things like WinChat that allowed local-LAN messaging).


    • thejoefin

      I thought this was the case too, but then Skype announced a big refresh/redesign effort so... maybe not dead after all?? Who the hell knows.

  4. dftf

    "OneNote has been languishing for years ..."


    Nowhere near as much as Microsoft Publisher -- it's literally had no-new features since the 2013 release! I doubt it's alone though: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook are their main-four. Do Access, Project and Visio all still receive major-updates now?


    • thejoefin

      Access and Publisher are legacy desktop apps to Microsoft with no recent progress for modernization. Project is actually like 3 different products, and Visio at least has an iOS app and now a web app.


      but OneNote is on par with Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. It has an app on every platform, and two on Windows! But still all of the new features are crappy web components tacked on the side of the app and they're all focused on educational use cases.

  5. hrlngrv

    Without a doubt Windows 11 was rushed to market. However, that was entirely intentional on MSFT's part to help out OEMs whose sales will be falling off a cliff following the pandemic PC buying spree. MSFT itself is likely to show decreasing YoY Windows revenues at some point (though the financial engineers who come up with enterprise pricing will no doubt mitigate that), but they'd prefer it not happen during FQ2.


    Re OneNote, 1) how many students use it? 2) How many users does it have in total? 3) What's the mix of desktop vs Windows 10 app usage? 4) Who cares?


    Re ARM, given the mass of 3rd party Win32 software for Intel/AMD processors, how good or bad is 32-bit emulation on ARM? If not great, you have your answer why end-user WOA hardware offerings are roughly the same quantity as Chromebook offerings. If a machine can't run older Win32 software well, it has no more market as a desktop OS than Chrome OS or Linux. IOW, it's the applications. What 3rd party developers are going to out of their way to port Win32 application software to WOA? Classic chicken-and-egg, a problem through which only Apple can lead the iSheep. IOW, I figure you grossly overestimate the market for WOA.


    More generally, Facebook runs by the motto move fast and break things. MSFT has always run by the motto make money, and if anything breaks, who's REALLY gonna stop using Windows or Office (or Azure, once hooked)?

  6. dftf

    "Windows 11 didn’t ship with major features [...such as...] flat emojis)"


    Is anyone really that bothered not to get actual 3D emojis?


    • thejoefin

      Some people are bothered. Personally I don't really care, but it shows how Microsoft is incapable of communicating and delivering on even small and inconsequential things.

      • ianbetteridge

        I think you hit the nail on the head here Joe. It's not that the world is crying out for 3D emoji. But it's starting to build a picture of a company that promises even small things which it then can't be trusted to deliver.

  7. maktaba

    The top management at Microsoft neither know about the issues you mentioned nor would care even if they were told about them. It almost seems as if Satya Nadella and the other executives don’t even use Windows or Teams or Skype and other MS products, else why don’t they say something when they find problems with these programs. So either they don’t use them or they don’t care. That is how I see it.

  8. thejoefin

    Many good points raised and it seems like the general consensus is:

    • Microsoft has a bunch of products some of which are doing very well.
    • The lack of integration between products doesn't seem to be an issue for most people.
    • Not having an overarching vision for all of their products is not problematic and not related to issues occurring on individual products.


    So where is one pain point people experience regularly they'd like Microsoft to spend some time to fix?


    For me, if I click a link to a document I want to open it in the desktop app every time, none of this browser based app redirect.

    • lwetzel

      • The new Whiteboard app is a mess and Microsoft has acknowledged it


      This is the one that has had the most effect on things at my house. My Wife is a retired Engineer/Community College Dean/Mathematics and Engineering Professor/Currently Adjunct Professor. She is teaching a couple of Engineering classes remotely this term and uses Whiteboard as (ahem) a whiteboard. They threw that update out this week with no notice or apparently no warning it was updating. She has had is unable to use it as she had been able to in the past. There are only 3-4 weeks left in the term. Not only is she frustrated but she is having to put in double time just to get a reasonable result.


      If you have a link to details of what MS is saying or doing about it could you post that?

      • lwetzel

        Actually, I just got an update in the store! Searched the net and saw articles saying it is so. So I checked the store and it updated (or actually un-updated) to the older version. She will be happy!

  9. j5

    The company I work for, they’re world wide, we all love Teams! We use it for all the features of it. Every department has their own channels and employees create channels for other things like training and interests. Saving and sharing files to it is much better than opening up Sharepoint via browser and navigating that hot mess for your files lol. Having chat history available unlike Skype is fantastic! Video call features have only gotten better with more features and stability. Of course there’s the odd few that like to give Luddite complaints about it but that’s not the industry norm. Teams is great! But lets be honest it’s for businesses and very big corporations not home users.

  10. christianwilson

    I think Microsoft is doing well in more areas than they aren’t. When you are the unfathomable size of Microsoft it is easy to see all of the issues, problems, contradictions, and failures and think the company is stumbling. They can’t get it all right and communication within groups doesn’t work as well as you’d hope. You bring up valid points, but compared to the whole I think they are doing fine.

  11. dftf

    (Note: sorry to post each reply individually, but when I did it in-one the site said posting the comment was blocked as it might be an SQL injection attack attempt or something, or a bad keyword was detected. Be helpful if it specifically said which bit was the issue, so I knew what to delete!)

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