Microsoft Hate Is Getting Very Expensive - HotHardware
Microsoft Hate Is Getting Very Expensive

Microsoft Hate Is Getting Very Expensive

It's always amusing to read blog comments and hear just how unpopular Microsoft is. Of course a 90+ percent market share in their core business would seem to indicate a certain level of popularity, but apparently popularity is measured in a different way than simple arithmetic. It really doesn't matter if your average websurfer likes the guy on the left or the guy on the right in the Apple ads, because as we all know, hate is free on the Internet. But it's beginning to cost big companies big bucks to indulge in Microsoft hate in the boardroom. Google hated Microsoft enough to sink a billion dollars into moribund AOL in 2005, likely simply to keep Microsoft from getting any sort of toehold in online advertising where Google reigns supreme. Google said Thursday that they're getting ready to take their beating for poking the Redmond bear.

The Mountain View-based company disclosed in a quarterly report filed late Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the 5 percent AOL stake that it bought in 2005 "may be impaired." Impairment is an accounting term used to describe an acquisition or investment that has eroded.

Unless there is an about-face, the acquiring company eventually must absorb a charge on its books to account for the diminished value of its holdings.

Google acknowledged for the first time that it might have to recognize a loss on its 5 percent stake in AOL, whose struggles have made it a financial albatross for its owner, Time Warner Inc.

Amusingly, the article is displayed on Yahoo! News. Yahoo! managed to lose a potential 13 billion dollars in shareholder value by successfully fighting off Microsoft's proposed acquisition this year. You know, a billion here, thirteen billion dollars there; pretty soon this might add up to real money.  Google certainly has the wherewithal to tolerate a lot more punishment than Y! these days.  Wonder who cries uncle first?
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Sounds to me like Google won: They didn't buy into AOL because they thought it was a worthy investment - they bought into it to protect their business (where they make the real money), and it worked.

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Everyone likes to bash Microsoft. It's considered geek political correctness these days. But I will say this, even if I get flamed for it. MS wouldn't still be where it is if there were a viable alternative. Now before all you Linux fans fire up your keyboards to bash me, hear me out. I like Linux as well as the next guy. I have Ubuntu dual booting with WinXP Pro. But Even the most user friendly Linux Distro leaves a lot to be desired as far as compatibility and ease of use compared to Windows. While I am no expert with Linux, I'm no rookie either and at times I have to scratch my head and ask questions. Home users are not going to do that. They just want it to work. They're not going to search and dig for drivers tat work. The list goes on. Now the bundling and/or integration of their other products into the OS is a hurdle, and one that should be illegal, it is not an impossible hurdle to overcome. Anyway, when a viable alternative becomes available MS will feel the pain. Maybe Steve Jobs should get his head out of the sand and support MAC OS on other hardware.

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I respectfully disagree, necro1967: I don't think people use Windows because "It just works":

Most "non-technical" users use Windows because it came with their computer.

And, because it is on most computers, that's what all the game (and most other types of software) producers target. Thus begins the vicious circle.

I feel certain that the people who ran out and bought boxed versions of Vista ran into just as many problems as people do when installing Linux. Windows only *appears* to "just work" for most people because someone at HugePCShop already spent the time debugging the build when they created their default image.

When I built a system for my (older, non-techie) parents, I put Linux on it (dual-boot with XP) and actually had fewer problems with the Linux install (XP didn't like the modem). Since my parents mostly use the machine for web-browsing, e-mail, and one presentation program that works 100% under Wine, they never even boot it to XP. Why would they, when the package manager gives them access to thousands of software packages with a couple of clicks. So, that deflates the "Linux isn't ready for the desktop and/or isn't easy to use." argument.

Disclaimer: I *am* a Linux fanboy. I don't dual-boot Windows (It's good incentive to contribute bug reports / feature-requests for anything Linux lacks). I use Wine to run the few Windows games I play (works great for EQ, CS:S, CoH, etc.), and native Linux apps for everything else.

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I agree with you, nECrO1967, that «[home users] just want it to work». But tell me, even when running Windows XP Pro, are there not «times [you] have to scratch [your] head and ask questions» ? I know this is certainly the case for many of the retirees and others who ask me for help when their Windows machines - mainly XP, some Vista - don't simply work. Like you, I also run a multi-boot setup - in my case Ubuntu Hardy on one HDD, and Windows XP and Vista on a second, and with respect to the things that most users need or want to do, I don't find the former more difficult or complicated than the latter two....

Henri

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