This is what Slack — and Silicon Valley, generally — failed to understand about Microsoft’s competitive advantage: the company doesn’t win just because it bundles, or because it has a superior ground game. By virtue of doing everything, even if mediocrely, the company is providing a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, particularly for the non-tech workers that are in fact most of the market.
Lock-in is effective. Microsoft services aren’t great, but are good enough. Because of that it’s often just easier to use them. My colleagues and I are all slowly converging to Microsoft apps because it’s the tool we’re given. So do we use Microsoft because someone pays for it? Or do people pay for Microsoft because people use the tools? I’m not sure, but whatever Microsoft is doing seems to be working.
Also, I do appreciate that Microsoft Teams is available for Linux. I don’t really use it, but it’s cool to see.
The Slack Social Network | Stratchery
I’ve been predicting for a while that Microsoft is moving us away from its PC-centric Windows operating system to a cloud-based rental version of Windows. Now, with the Windows Virtual Desktop beta finally showing up, we’re a step closer to the death of the PC.
This is an interesting opinion piece from Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. Vaughan-Nichols speculates that eventually the only locally-based operating systems might be OS X and Linux.
I understand the loss of control he’s worried about. But it would be great for me. I have a Windows partition that I use for a few annoying Windows tasks. Like track changes isn’t flawless going LibreOffice to Office. So I’d love to have a virtual machine I could visit, that doesn’t require my local disk space.
But I get why others might not love that they have to use a terminal to compute. Again.
The end of the desktop? | Computerworld
Microsoft has a DRM-locked ebook store that isn’t making enough money, so they’re shutting it down and taking away every book that every one of its customers acquired effective July 1.
Customers will receive refunds.
Just to repeat: Customers will receive refunds (and apparently, if you annotated your book, you’ll get an extra $25). But this isn’t just about money. It’s about control. People think they’re buying music and books, but they’re just renting access. Access that be removed with the speed of a pivot.
I’m not an ebook person but I only buy music where I can download the tracks. I have no interest in having to reacquire music because someone somewhere made a business decision.
I’m not sure what’s weirder: Microsoft embracing open source or people getting mad about it!
Microsoft moving away from their own browser technology and into Google’s is complicated. On the one hand, maybe it’ll help keep Google honest. But it does result in less browser options for Windows users.
Microsoft Edge: Making the web better through more open source collaboration | Windows Experience Blog
A California man who built a sizable business out of recycling electronic waste is headed to federal prison for 15 months after a federal appeals court in Miami rejected his claim that the “restore disks” he made to extend the lives of computers had no financial value, instead ruling that he had infringed Microsoft’s products to the tune of $700,000.
I don’t understand the legal issues here, so I don’t have an opinion, other than the best way to recycle electronics is to use Linux. I’ve never understood how the Windows restore disks work (and don’t work). But Linux is easy! And runs better on older hardware.
Microsoft made a big mistake wishing Linux away. It’s nice to see Microsoft finally recognizing the power and importance of Linux. Too bad they’re not considering it as a desktop operating system!
For the first time ever, Microsoft will distribute its own version of Linux | Business Insider
“Yes, this is jingoistic; the idea of a handful of American tech giants controlling much of society has helped push regulators internationally to try to limit their power. But we would almost certainly do the same if a bunch of foreign companies attempted to take over our economy. At least it’s our own giants that we have to fear.”
I take very little solace in the idea that a tech monopoly is somehow less dangerous if everyone involved happens to be from the same country. There’s no upside to a lack of choices.
Jessie Frazelle writes about working with the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which I hope to do on my next work/Windows machine.
When asked whether he also had an iPhone, perhaps as a secondary device, he replied: “No, no iPhone.”
So at least now we know which is the lesser of two evils in the Microsoft world.