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Windows department disappears from Microsoft: This product used to popularize personal computers

via:博客园     time:2018/4/11 10:03:09     readed:934

This article comes from Curiosity Daily

Windows fulfilled Gates' vision of the software industry, bringing business into the era of information and networking, but it itself could not keep up with the mobile era.

Press the power button, the indicator light flashes quickly along with the hard disk noise, line terminology appears on the screen. Then, the screen went dark and lit again. The four-color window logo and the huge "Windows" appeared on the screen.

This is the impression of hundreds of millions of people on Microsoft and the beginning of the popularity of computers in human society.

At one time, Microsoft was Windows, and all other businesses were built on the success of Windows.

The Windows company no longer has a separate Windows department.

On March 29th, Seattle local time, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella issued a letter to announce the reorganization. One of the main business units, "Windows and Equipment Department" was split and merged into two. Business Units no longer have a separate Windows department.

"This is the most thorough restructuring in my memory." "Brad Silverberg told the Wall Street Journal," Brad & Middot said. He was the head of the Windows department at Microsoft Windows 95.

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft, announced that he would leave Microsoft as a reorganized and become the final head of the Windows department. When Microsoft cut the Lumia mobile phone business two years ago, Myerson complained that Windows had an opportunity in the mobile market but did not receive enough support from the company. After Myerson left the company, Windows-related executives had the highest level at two levels lower than when he was in office, and no longer reported directly to the CEO.

If it happened a few years ago, this reorganization will probably be considered heresy in Microsoft. Until 2012, Ballmer, the then CEO of Microsoft, said that "There is nothing more important than Microsoft in Microsoft."

Perhaps the most telling of the changes in the world is that after 6 years, not many people are concerned that Windows has taken down the Windows department.

The capital market also expressed its support. US stocks plunged with other major technology companies for several days from the 29th of last month to the 3rd of this month. During this period, Microsoft only fell 0.11%. Morgan Stanley believes that Microsoft had previously focused too much on the Windows operating system, causing its share price to lag behind other technology companies for a long time. Brad Reback, an analyst at brokerage Stifel Nicolaus&Co, praised Nadella for "obviously no history."


Just looking at the performance of Windows, the reactions of all parties seem to take for granted.

In the past two financial years, Windows only accounted for 9% of Microsoft's total revenue. Next, Windows will continue to be updated for many years, and hundreds of millions of personal computers running Windows will drive the entire world. But just as wires and rails are no longer as exciting as they were 100 years ago, Windows is not as exciting as infrastructure, and we're all used to it.

From scratch, to changing the world, to becoming an infrastructure. Windows has spent a total of 33 years.

Two years ago, Jeff & Middot; Bezos recalled when the birth of Amazon said, "It was only feasible at that time (1995). At the time we were a 10-person company. I drove to the post office to send packages. Behind us is a series of infrastructure support. If it weren’t for the existence of these facilities, such a small company could never start Amazon.com, or could not do it. ”

Bezos said the infrastructure includes postal services, including the Internet and Windows computers.

In 1995, the United States already had more than 50 million personal computer users and 16 million Internet users. This is the initial infrastructure of the Internet. The first ever Windows system Windows 95 was released that year.

For most companies and families, Windows 95 is the beginning of a personal computer. "One PC at each table" did not stop for Gates's slogan to boost employee morale.

It can be said that today's largest technology giants are inseparable from Windows. Zuckerberg wrote the facebook.com website on a Sony Windows computer in 2004. The iPod, which is crucial for Apple’s recovery, really began to sell after the third generation of support for the Windows system. The only product that Tencent has built for a long time is a Windows software called OICQ.

For Microsoft's software industry startup, the best summary may still come from Steve · Steve Jobs, who had a public conversation with Gates in 2007. When asked how to evaluate each other for the computer industry, Jobs said: "Bill created the industry's first software company. I think when he founded the first software company, no one in our industry knew what the software company was. ”

Windows is not Microsoft's first software. However, starting from Windows, Microsoft really started the software industry and eventually changed the world. And this company was eventually changed by Windows.

Gates Turns Software Development From Hacker's Personal Hobby To A Real Industry

In 1976, Bill · Gates, who had dropped out of Harvard less than two years ago, wrote an open letter to computer enthusiasts entitled "Open Letter to Lovers," pointing out:

"Most computer enthusiasts must realize that the software used by most of you is stolen. Hardware must be paid for purchases, but software has become something shared. Who cares if the person who develops the software is paid? ”

"If there is no credit, who will engage in professional software development?" How could amateurs spend 3 people/year on writing software, modifying software, writing manuals, and distributing it for free to others? In fact, only we invest heavily in software for personal computers. ”

The open letter is Micro-Soft's general partner, Bill · Gates.


Bill · Gates An open letter to computer enthusiasts in 1976. Map / Wikipedia

Gates and Paul · Allen founded Microsoft in 1975 and developed the Altair BASIC program for MITS computers. He hoped that he would buy a computer and use the software they developed to pay for the copyright.

Gates later found that less than 10% of Altair users purchased the BASIC program, but the number of BASIC users in the market far exceeded this proportion. At the end of 1975, Microsoft's roll of punch tapes containing pre-released Altair BASIC disappeared, and then 50 copies of Altair BASIC's unauthorized copy appeared at a hacking party. This is one of the triggers for the birth of Gates’ declaration.


MITS Altair 8800. Map / Wikipedia

Use software and pay for things that are taken for granted today. At the time, hackers who admired the use of computers without any restrictions and whose information should all be free of charge were angry.

Concerned about the early development of personal computer hardware and software, News Agency founder and editor Hal Singer of Micro-8 Newsletter stated that after he received the open letter, he felt that the most rational response was to tear the letter and not think about it. ”

At that time, the software industry had not yet been formed. Most of the software development was done by hardware vendors. They added software development or procurement costs to the hardware for sale.

The personal computer market has not yet sold software, and few people realize that software has copyright and patent issues. Most of the data copies are either exchanged in the lab or they are word of mouth passed by computer enthusiasts. They often use "hackers" as their own.

Hackers are mostly interested in writing software and developing interesting new hardware. Steven Levy's hacking article on computer development written in 1984 mentioned dozens of people who contributed to the development of early calculators.

Among them were Ken Thompson, who created Unix and UTF-8, who cracked the North American air defense command system Kevin Mitnick at the age of 15, Richard Stallmam, founder of the Free Software Foundation, and Gates, Jobs, and Wozniak.


In 1975 Paul · Allen and Bill · Gates. Figure/eyerys

Of them, probably only Gates was good at commercial operations in the 1970s. Even after Jobs founded Apple, he also specially invited a CEO to manage the company and he and Wozniak went to drum up new products. Others are more like a group of hippies trying to create art and beauty on the computer, thinking that all information should be freely transmitted.

Of course, the personal computer world finally operates according to the rules envisaged by Gates. Beginning with Microsoft in 1975. After the Oracle database in 1977, the Lotus Excel office software in 1982 and then Adobe, a batch of software companies was born.

And Gates and Microsoft's wealth is also accumulating with a series of products around Windows developed by Windows and later Office. In 1985, with a graphical interface, Windows 1.0 was no longer required for users to press the command line to the screen. Microsoft listed the next year, and Gates, which holds 45% of the shares, became a billionaire.

In 1995, the release of Windows 95 enabled Gates to completely erupt in wealth, becoming the world's youngest richest man with a net worth of $12.9 billion. Since then, Gates has been the richest man for 18 years in 23 years and was only surpassed by Bezos this year.

Windows was born in Microsoft's tenth year, making it a mature company

In 1980, Tim Paterson, an employee of Seattle Computer Products, spent four months writing an 86-DOS operating system. Microsoft purchased the entire copyright of the product for $50,000 every other year and renamed it MS-DOS.

Then IBM released its first personal computer. The operating system used was the 86-DOS system of Seattle Computer Products Corporation. However, Microsoft quickly improved MS-DOS and made it a successful operating system for IBM computers.

IBM did not know the origin of MS-DOS at first, and Patterson did not know the cooperation between Microsoft and IBM at the time of trading. Microsoft made a savvy deal.


The first IBM PC in 1981. Figure / Wikimedia Commons

For many years, IBM, with its bureaucratic and closed image, has suddenly opened up under the leadership of Don Estridge, the father of IBM PC. It opened up the hardware standard for personal computers and allowed Microsoft to sell MS-DOS to other computer companies.

At the same time, Intel honored Moore's Law and rapidly iterated semiconductor processes, providing new processors for the personal computer market. The market share of IBM PCs and other cloning machines reached twice that of Apple in just three years. And every IBM PC is using Microsoft's system.


PC shipments, after 1982, a large number of IBM PC cloning machines have seen a significant increase in PC market share. The unit of ordinate is "1000 units". Figure / Ars

A purchased system, Intel's hardware, and IBM's open standards have made Microsoft an early controller of the PC market.

But what really makes Microsoft become Microsoft is Windows.

In the early 1980s, Jobs began to develop the earliest Macintosh computers. He had learned the idea of ​​a graphical interface from Xerox. Jobs found Apple's multi-year partner Gates and hopes that Microsoft can develop an easy-to-use programming language for the Macintosh and develop applications such as documents, charts, and data processing programs.

After listening to Steve Jobs describing the Macintosh will be a computer with a graphical interface developed for the public, Gates signed with Jobs. It was a particularly difficult project. Gates later recalled that most of the Apple and Microsoft engineers involved in the Macintosh left the project after completing the project.

The cooperation between the two parties is not happy because Apple soon discovered that Microsoft is collecting details of the interactions with the new system.


Apple Lisa and Macintosh, 1984. Figure / Mac History

In 1983, Gates announced that Microsoft plans to develop the Windows operating system for the IBM PC and publish a preview at the New York Plaza Hotel. Prior to the Microsoft rush to the Macintosh, Microsoft demonstrated a new system using a graphical interface with windows, icons, and a mouse that can point and click.

Jobs confronted Gates at the headquarters of Apple. He shouted to Gates: "You have deceived us! I trust you, but you steal from us! ”

Gates just sat there and gave that famous answer, "I think this is more like saying that we all have a wealthy neighbor called Xerox." I broke into the window and tried to steal his TV and then discovered that you had already stolen it. ”


The PC market share of the 1987-1990s. The IBM PC market accounted for nearly 90% of the 1990s. This also made Microsoft and Intel earn pours. Figure / Ars

In 1985, Windows 1.0 was officially released on the tenth anniversary of Microsoft's founding. Like most of Microsoft's first-generation products, Windows 1.0 is not as bad as it can run. By 1986, Microsoft Works office applications appeared on Windows, and sales of the latter increased.

But Microsoft is good at fixing problems. After that, Microsoft brings a big version update almost every 2-3 years. By the time Windows 95 was introduced, the Windows operating system had occupied more than 80% of the market, and Microsoft's annual sales exceeded US$1 billion for the first time.

Windows 1.0, released in 1985, where Windows started, it uses a graphical interface.

By 1991, when Fortune magazine prepared a cover question and recalled “10 years of personal computer development”, only Jobs and Gates were found, no one was concerned about IBM.

Windows 95 made personal computers easy enough to use, and began to spread in home and business office markets.

However, its famous blue screen has not been resolved and the operating system kernel it relies on is not stable enough. Enterprises have accepted Windows and Office for their daily office use. However, in the 1980s and 1990s, workstations and servers that were different from personal computers were also used to handle higher stability and performance requirements.

It is Windows NT that lets Microsoft really control the entire computer market.

In 1988, Microsoft hired David · from DEC; David Cutler and his team developed a new operating system. Cutler had been programming at DuPont in the early years and switched to DEC in 1971 to develop the operating system RSX-11M, because a long-awaited project was cut off by DEC and he was born.


David Cutler. Map / Wikipedia

Cutler built a more senior team independent of the then Windows development team. After five years of development and several delays along the way, in July 1993, Windows NT was released to the factory for dial production.

After WIndows NT not only took over the Microsoft server system, but also replaced the original kernel after the huge failure of Windows Me, becoming Windows XP, Windows 7 more personal operating system kernel. Starting with Windows NT, Microsoft let PCs begin to replace workstations and dedicated servers, ruining IBM and Sun's last hardware business.

Windows gives Microsoft a perfect business model for years

Microsoft has been selling boxed Windows CDs in the software store, but this is only a marginal part of Microsoft's revenue. Its primary revenue comes from corporate customers who pay for Microsoft licensing fees either through pre-installed Windows or bulk purchases. Microsoft's total revenue for fiscal year 2000 exceeded US$22.9 billion, of which corporate customers contributed US$20.4 billion.

And almost from the release of Windows 95, personal computers built around the world are using Windows systems. Various computer manufacturers up and down, some companies specialize in gaming computers, some companies do high-end machines, there are companies fighting price warfare; these companies are bankrupt, listed, and such as Dell's listing, delisting and then Listed and tossed back and forth.

But no matter what the computer looks like, the personal computer brands other than Apple basically use only Windows. Different computers cannot be differentiated enough.

Ultimately, the PC market is still dominated by price wars. In the past few years, the sum of all computer manufacturers’ revenues was four or five times that of Apple’s sales of Macs, but their profits were only 1/8. The vast majority of profits in the PC market went to the two companies — — Intel and Microsoft.

PC vendors followed Intel's and Microsoft's R&D rhythm to update their products. They handed over hardware and software while also surrendering profits in the market.

Windows is just an operating system for consumers, but for PC makers it is like a chain supermarket desperately squeezing suppliers. If a PC manufacturer wants to sell a product to a consumer, it must pay an entry fee to Windows.

Ultimately, PC makers have pushed prices lower, and cheaper computers have made more people use them. The increasingly popular personal computers have also pushed Windows to more users. In a cycle, Microsoft's profits have accumulated more and more, and the market share of Windows is close to 90%.

In 2012, global PC shipments decreased by 4% year-on-year, but the sum of operating profits of Microsoft and Intel is still 700% more than the world’s top three PC makers.


Windows itself makes a lot of money. At the same time, it also becomes the basis for Microsoft to promote other businesses.

After a large company becomes a Microsoft customer, it will sign an Enterprise Agreement (EA) with Microsoft. As part of this agreement, Microsoft will provide discounts for the software portion of the agreement. For example, a Windows license fee or a SQL Server database license fee or Office.

After spending money on Windows, companies bought more software from Microsoft. Before and after 1994, the market share of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint was over 50%, and in 1998 it was close to 100%.

Even Microsoft Office 365, the cloud office software that Microsoft said today, is a continuation of this system.


Market share of Microsoft Excel and Word on Macs and PCs.

The layer-by-layer control of Microsoft accelerated the informatization of the company and brought huge profits to Microsoft.

In 1991, the information technology spending of U.S. business owners was approximately US$124 billion, accounting for only 2% of U.S. GDP. By 2000, this ratio rose to 4.6% and the absolute value was 472.8 billion U.S. dollars. During this period, Microsoft’s revenue increased from US$1.8 billion to US$23 billion, and net profit increased from US$463 million to US$9.4 billion.



Microsoft's market value changes. Unit of billions of dollars

In contrast, although Apple has become a more profitable company after the iPhone, its business is not as easy as Microsoft's — it needs to always make the best software and hardware with a large enough experience difference. Let users pay more money. This is getting harder and harder.

In contrast, Microsoft will have a big problem with every other generation of Windows, but the monopoly will not move.

Of course, until the smart phone becomes more important than the PC.


Operating system market share used by personal computing platforms (including mobile phones and computers) at different times. Pinterest,

The last chance for Windows is in 2010

The success of Microsoft over the years, to some extent, it has successfully set up various obstacles to prevent competitors from entering, but also to their own customers have high switching costs.

So far in the PC market, Microsoft's monopoly has remained unchanged, and the company's profits have been drawn by it. But the mobile phone is a new market.

With regard to how Microsoft and Windows lost the mobile phone market, "Curius Daily" has previously summarized through five segments.

Looking back today, Windows’ last chance in the mobile market was in 2010, when Apple just launched the iPhone 4, a hardware-to-styling-to-software experience that is far from the industry’s other rivals’ products and has begun to accelerate into the global market.

Android has just matured after a series of tinkering. Samsung, Motorola and HTC have each launched an Android phone that has sold more than one million devices.


Blue is the change in market share of Microsoft Windows in the operating system. Figure / Statcounter

Apple is extremely strong, and Google’s subversion of several traditional industries has also caused alarm to operators and handset makers. In 2010, mobile phone manufacturers and operators are willing to come back to an operating system. The redesigned Windows Phone 7 came that summer.

But a series of choices from Microsoft let it eventually miss that opportunity.

In the business model, Microsoft also wants to copy the practice of the personal computer market: Microsoft makes operating systems, mobile phone manufacturers produce hardware, and pays licensing fees for each mobile phone equipped with a Windows system. In contrast, Android does not have money.

In order to ensure a consistent user experience, Microsoft forced other mobile phone manufacturers to pre-install applications, not to modify the user interface design, and to require mobile phone hardware specifications to comply with Microsoft requirements.

Mobile phone makers and operators all want to differentiate. Everyone knows that the PC industry has not differentiated from the "mdash;mdash;" becoming a foundry.

Today, Google is the only one to force mobile phone manufacturers to abandon their user interface, but it is not the case in 2010. In 2010, Motorola will see a trendy interface with a state-of-the-art social network. HTC will move the weather and date plug-ins that were previously tested on older systems to the Android platform. Even Samsung will use its own mobile phone. interface style.


Motorola Cliq


Motoblur interface

What's worse is that after the release of WP7, Microsoft did not continue to iterate the system. Instead, it proposed a unified plan to unify mobile phones and computers and let Windows stop in the mobile phone market for two years.

When Nadella took over Microsoft in 2013, the Windows defeat was set. At the time, Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, admitted in 2014 that only 14% of networked devices in the world were running the Windows operating system. Going back 10 years further, this figure is 97%.

Nadella then weakened Windows' position at Microsoft through a series of restructurings. One of the most important of these two steps is the integration of the hardware business into the Windows division and the return of the profitable Windows to the hardware sector. Microsoft's departments are responsible for the gains and losses, and eventually the Windows department has to choose to abandon the mobile phone sector. The other is allowing core services such as Office to develop other operating system products as a priority. For example, Office redesigned for touch was first appeared on the iPad. This was not possible before.

When Windows occupies 90% of the market, all Microsoft products are tied to it as much as possible to avoid losing users. However, when Windows continues to decline as a niche product, it will only be dragged if other products are tied to it. Nadella’s de-Windowsization is a last resort.

Now Nadella has successfully helped Microsoft to Windows, freeing Windows from the fast-growing business such as Office and cloud computing. Its Microsoft brand value has increased to US$695 billion, ranking behind Apple and Google. exceed).

But all of these businesses were initially built on the monopoly of Windows. Windows is no longer important, and it doesn't matter how long it can lock users afterwards.

Apple, Google, and Amazon, JD, Alibaba, Tencent and other big technology companies, they have a specific image in the eyes of users & mdash; & mdash; iPhone company, search and Android companies, e-commerce companies, social companies … & hellip ;

What company is Microsoft without the Windows department? It blurs the image in the eyes of users, just as IBM, which lost its computer market earlier.

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