Microsoft… AGAIN…

I guess I just don’t have much self control.  It seems I can’t go six months without writing something negative about Microsoft.  I don’t think its my fault.  Microsoft just makes it so easy sometimes.  Lets examine a couple of quotes by Microsoft management and then you tell me if I’m wrong or not (Have I ever been wrong :) )

Here is the man himself – Steve Ballmer

“Apple gained about one point [in global market share], but now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction.  The economy is helpful. Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment — same piece of hardware — paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that’s a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be.”

This is the CEO of Microsoft?  Here is my beef with this statement.  First, while Apple does demand a premium for their products $500 is a modest exaggeration given the quality of the parts Apple uses, but my real issue is that he seemingly doesn’t understand at all the value that Apple brings to the table.  Ballmer very unwisely compares the hardware that comes on a standard PC with Mac hardware and then assumes that the operating systems are of equal value.  In short he says a PC that comes with Vista for $1000 is a better value than a Mac with the same hardware that comes with OSX that costs between $1000-$1500.  The problem is that almost no Mac users would agree with that statement.  I’m sure I am a little out of the norm, but I would happily pay 5x the price for a Mac because I have no patience for Microsoft’s products and their constant problems.  If he REALLY believes that a few hundred dollars are going to sway a significant portion of Apple’s user base back to Windows he is grossly mistaken.  People are not only buying Macs, but they are increasing their share at TWICE the rate of HP and Dell.  Why?  Isn’t this a recession?  The reason is because they recognize VALUE.  Notice I didn’t say cheaper.  Apple’s operating system is so much better than anything coming out of Redmond these days that people are switching at a record pace.  Microsoft has put themselves in the poor position of having to compete on price because they can’t compete on quality.  Hopefully Windows 7 will improve things and force both companies to improve their products at a rapid pace.

Ok next quote – IE General Manager Dean Hachamovitch

“We’re going to keep making the script engines faster (but) right now it’s not clear how many people are gated by script performance.  JavaScript comprises a small portion of how fast a Web page will render. It is a piece, but by no means the holy grail.”

I don’t think this guy could be more wrong.  IT IS THE HOLY GRAIL.  He is SO wrong that I’m willing to put $10,000 on it.  If Microsoft doesn’t publicly say in the next 12 months that they are actively working on making javascript faster and that javascript is the primary driving factor for web based services and that fast javascript execution is the key to making web based services usable then I will donate $10,000 to the Make A Wish foundation in Microsoft’s name.

The reason web based applications are limited in scope and use is DIRECTLY related to javascript speed.  The issue is no longer bandwidth or processing power, it is the javascript engine.  There is a reason why Mozilla spends a great deal of time on TraceMonkey, and Apple on Nitro (Webkit), and Google on Chrome’s V8.  They know that the javascript engine is what will drive the use of their browsers in the future.

Microsoft is more than likely simply downplaying this because their javascript engine is weak compared to their competitors.  They better secretly be taking javascript performance very seriously now or they will soon find themselves too far behind with an inferior product (Again…) because of their lack or forethought.

Matt Heaton / Bluehost.com

38 Responses to “Microsoft… AGAIN…”

  1. [...] Source posted under Web Host [...]

  2. [...] Matt Heaton, President of BlueHost and HostMonster posted his bi-annual Microsoft rant. He picked up on some particularly fragile Microsoft [...]

  3. teraom says:

    I would happily pay 5x the price instead of fighting with vista. Ballmer is still in 1985. He has never seen a computer that works..

  4. Russ says:

    Matt, I could not agree with you more. It is all about the javascript engines and their speeds. This is why so many javascript libraries are now popular and javascript is the backbone of web services.

  5. Tyrone says:

    Matt!

    I couldn’t have said it better myself!!! ESPECIALLY about the Mac. As a web developer, the Mac is the best investment I’ve made in terms of a computer. I’ll NEVER go back to Windows!

    I’m still amazed at Ballmer. Microsoft must really be taking a hit for him to make a statement like that in regards to Apple.

  6. Jose says:

    As a AE for one of the largest IT resellers in the country, I have the ability to talk to many Microsoft users who agree with your statements. I hope that MS is listening and begin making progress by paying attention to this issue. It would certainly make my job easier!

  7. Drew LeSueur says:

    Thanks for the post. It would also be great to see IE embrace the things that other browsers do… canvas tag and svg, etc.

  8. Frank says:

    Hello Matt Heaton,
    a lot of people who actually are your clients (since they have blogs on Bluehost), would like to know if you are thinking to get VPS or dedicated servers. I am a customers of yours and I really love Bluehost, but i would be even happier if I could get a vps server since my blogs is getting bigger and bigger. Can you enlight us all please? Thanks Matt and keep the good work up!

  9. Aaron says:

    You would pay 5x the amount, but you’re also the CEO of bluehost.com :D

  10. Richard Gaskin says:

    Today is the activation day for the Conficker virus. While many lay and even industry journalists refer to it as a “computer virus”, in reality of course it isn’t so generic. Conficker doesn’t infect all computers; it’s specific to those running operating systems made by Microsoft.

    It is, like most viruses, not so much a “computer virus” as it is simply a “Microsoft Windows virus”.

    I haven’t checked your blog in some time, and enjoyed the synchronicity of dropping in here today to find your most recent post being a rant about Microsoft on the same day that one of the most virulent Microsoft-specific viruses becomes active.

    Thank you for choosing Linux for our Bluehost.com accounts.

  11. alec says:

    True, JS performance is key area MS should be working on, but doesn’t DOM processing and rendering have a greater speed price than JS execution?

  12. Luca Baroni says:

    I belive they do this because they simply ate Javascript and DOM/HTML since it’s a standard!
    They obviously would like to see Silverlight to take over Javascript and DOM in order to take over the web and kill thousands of web developing companies.

    They have already started this process by spreading Silverlight everywhere and by sneaking into Internet Explorer a full set of constrains on Javascript engine passing them as security features.

    Here is a short list of 3 features that are very useful when developing a Javascript based web application:

    1) In IE7 you can’t open a prompt dialog anymore (try out simple window.prompt() function) without raising a security warning that blocks the dialog forcing user to change browser security settings.

    2) In IE7 each popup window (window.open() function) shows the address bar at the top (even if readonly). Also here you need to change browser security settings.

    3) In IE7 each time javascript attempts to read/write data from the clipboard (window.clipboardData.getData(“Text”) function) a security warning appears, making life more difficult for applications like HTML editors (based on Javascript). This is why TinyMCE (a well known free open source HTML ediotr) needs to show a popup window when attempting to paste data from Word, it shows it to avoid teh secuirty warning.

    These security constrains made by Microsoft over Javscript engine are very strange because other secure and relibale browsers like Firefox and Chrome do not have such security constrains.

    This sounds to me only like a way to reduce Javascript power making life more difficult for people who are using Javascript based application, therefor they will be more likely to love Silverlight applications that won’t have such constrains for sure!!

    It’s the typical way of thinking of an Evil Monopoly!

  13. TopBanana says:

    Apple should open up their OS to PCs. That will really drive down Windows’ market share.

    For techies like me, it’s not just the cost but the closed hardware system that makes Apple machines undesirable.

  14. Luca Baroni says:

    And I forgot the 4th point:

    IE7 does not display animated gif, search on Google “animated gif not displayed by ie7″ nd see how many people are complaing about it.

    Did you know that AJAX loader icon are most of the times animated gif?This is simply another effort made definitely on purpose by the Evil Monopoly to discourage people on using javscript and to pust their owned Silverlight platform.

  15. Davide says:

    Hi,

    I love your blog and will most likely use your company to host the site of a startup I am trying to get off the ground.

    Quick question for you: do you think one could draw a comparison between the Apple/Microsoft saga and the AMD/Intel one?

    I am curious to hear your views!

    Thank you very much.

    Regards,
    Davide

  16. Thomas says:

    just wondering… why bluehost doesnt supply windows hosting ?

  17. John Lynn says:

    I have to disagree with you on the Mac vs. PC route. I’m not arguing that Mac isn’t better than PC. It might be if you did a head to comparison. However, the reality is that for most users the Mac is functionally the same as the PC. Let me explain.
    1. Most users open word documents, browse the web and maybe listen to music. Windows can do this just as well as a Mac. Considering hardware compatibility, Windows might even do this better.
    2. The high end users probably could enjoy some benefits from using a Mac, but the switching costs are too high. I already know how to tame Microsoft. Why should I learn to do the same thing I already know how to do on a Mac? It’s just not worth it.

    Whether the assumptions these groups make in selecting a PC over a Mac is beside the point. It’s just the reality for most people.

    I do agree that Balmer understated the adoption of Macs. Macs do have a new life and Balmer knows it as well as anyone else. I just don’t think it’s as pro mac as you describe.

    The Javascript engine comment is dead on. The only thing you might have missed is your assumption that Microsoft is going to talk about what they’re really doing with Javascript in the next 12 months. I agree that they will be actively working on making javascript faster, but we’ll see if that’s actually said in public in the next 12 months. For Make a Wish’s sake I hope they don’t.

  18. Mark says:

    @John

    You should give a Mac a try for an extended period of time. I was skeptical at first – after all, you can do essentially the same tasks on a PC that you can on a Mac. For me it comes down to the fact that every single part of the Mac OS is designed using common sense. When I go to do a task I already know what should work and on a Mac 99% of the time it does.

    I think a computer should be a tool used to simply your life and not something that further complicates it.

  19. Tracy R Reed says:

    John Lynn: Spoken like a true PC user. :)

    Ask a Mac user if they are functionally equivalent. My Mac doesn’t run a firewall or antivirus and doesn’t give me the kinds of headaches that Windows did. You might even say that is LESS functional but virus compatibility is not a feature I want to have anyway. :)

  20. [...] his latest blog post which he titled “Microsoft… AGAIN…” the CEO of Bluehost gives a piece of his mind [...]

  21. Tom says:

    I have to disagree with your Mac vs PC route as well.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have my complaints about MS but a Windows computer satisfies most users requirements and runs just fine. Apple does as well.

  22. But John, you exclude one other fundamental part of PC (well, Windows) owner/usership: dealing with viruses, malware and security threats and updates. Granted, Macs aren’t perfect or unimpenetrable, but the required time and software to fight and protect against nasties is exponetially higher on Windows than in OS X.

    I spent an hour and a half disinfecting my father’s laptop two weeks ago. I had to remove the fake antivirus he installed, install the various OS updates and update the legit antivirus.

    I have to do this every six or seven months because he’s an average user who thinks the trial AV that came with his system is good forever or doesn’t need upkeep.

    If he had spent $2000 on a MacBook Pro rather than his Toshiba two years ago, that wouldn’t have been necessary. For the same money, he could have had a system that worked better and required less maintainance for stuff like viruses and malware. And his music, Office and email would be identical.

    My mom’s next laptop will be a MacBook. No, it won’t be $500 like she could get a similarly specced Windows laptop for, but that extra $500 will mean she doesn’t have to call me every time she gets a Windows security update and the wireless printer breaks. Or that I’ll have to do bi-annual maintaince checks. That’s the value of getting a Mac. So in 2 years, she won’t be throwing the PC away, she’ll still have it.

  23. Bill says:

    I’m just wondering if you really think Steve Ballmer is going to come out and say he’s afraid of Apple and the market share they are gaining…Bill Gates would probably be adjusting his shorts like he did on that commercial. And I don’t mean Bill’s shorts :-)

  24. Winter Ion says:

    As a happy Bluehost customer, thanks for your awesome hosting goodness.

    I have to agree with John. Hopefully, they keep their PR department mum on the issue. Make A Wish does wonderful work, even if they keep putting overpowered kids in my hockey games. :)

  25. George Sand says:

    The Microsoft ads may be more than just misdirected attempts to slow the onslaught of prior Windows users that have jumped ship. They would have to be incredibly naive to think they could lure Mac users to Windows, since from what I can tell, most of the Mac users are totally satisfied, or they are in the small minority that understand the trade-offs.

    IMHO, these Mac ads are more effective as a smokescreen to marginalize Linux users. Microsoft has actually created a new personna, the sexy Mac, which can’t hurt business for Apple. While Microsoft has done some pretty dumb stunts (Seinfeld), you can’t underestimate the talent and money they can bring to bear to have it their way, even if it sometimes appears dumb. This theory supposes that Ballmer’s and Gate’s anti-Apple statements were more than just for spite, but a calculated framing of the debate.

    I totally agree with John Lynn’s comment. I can’t afford a Mac, but would love it if someone gave me one for free. Then I would give it to my girlfriend to keep her happy and not have to fiddle with the controls. And in the meantime, I can keep my Windows system tweaked fast and trouble-free.

    The switch from PC dominance to Macs is being partly driven by product loyalty and personal recommendations from the many teachers whose schools acquired free computers. Their pro-Mac arguments can be compelling without being tech-savvy at all. But they are far more compelling than the rants of gamers who know more than you or me. Microsoft can’t really change these people’s minds (the mom ad), but they certainly got a hot debate going with the “tech-savvy” Gianpaulo ad. Fortunately a number of Linux people commented in to these debates to remind the crowd to consider the Linux system.

    A friend of mine hasn’t owned a computer for about 5 years, since her PC was compromised by viruses. I won’t argue with her when she says that next time she will buy a Mac. But she seems to accept the allegory I give her that Macs are Cadillacs and PCs are dune buggies. Hey, catchy rhyme!

  26. Bob Keeney says:

    Now that Mac’s are using Intel processors the pain of switching isn’t nearly as bad as it was when they were using the PPC. Running in VMWare or Parallels is a safety net (read crutch) and one can argue that being able to run the Mac OS *AND* be able to fall back on Windows, if needed, is what the real value of the Mac is these days.

    The most anti-Mac bigots are ones that have never used one! I’ve convinced several dozen people to switch to a Mac and not one has ever gone back to a PC.

  27. JonF says:

    I know what you mean…Why MSFT can’t get out of their own way is beyond me. They have smart people, they can be very innovative but they missout on the simple stuff. For example, why are there 7 different versions of Vista? Why when I close my laptop and re-open it does it not come back quickly to where I left off? Why does it ask me 3 times to confirm that I want to use a printer I just attached? The simple stuff. That is why I am writing this from a Mac

  28. Kara Linn says:

    Dear Matt,
    I just visited your company website, Bluehost.com. I then meandered over here to your blog because I wanted to get a more direct sense of who are. Why? Two reasons really. One, based upon my profession, I’m a student of corporate culture and I think CEOs have incredible power for generating the attitudes and ethics of the people in their companies. Secondly, you have something on your website that makes you very special. You had a Live Chat feature right on your front page, which I used and really appreciated! The fact that you make that available to your customers impresses me.

    Your comments about Mac v. Microsoft seem to be coming from a place of wanting to promote an accurate and fair standard of comparison. And you seem to be someone who is interested in objective truth and is committed to accountability. Otherwise, why take these people to task on their comments? This is all quite refreshing. A person who is a CEO and not only believes in the concept of accountability but practices it–what a concept~!

    My experience when I go to anyone else’s website is that I am just a blip on circuit board, someone to be snagged by an introductory offer so that they can get an affirmative answer to an agreement that would take at least 2 hours to read and which authorizes all kinds of things per all kinds of confusing deadlines with automatic renewal clauses, etc., any services rendered after the introductory period will be substantially increased, and when I have a problem with this company it will be almost impossible for me to find out who can help me, but even when I do get a message through I can count on an answer that is coldly impersonal and does not respect me or the business I have done with them.

    The internet is the latest bastian for bait and switch artists, deceptive practices, and trickery and even companies heretofore thought of as reputable are participating in these shenanigans. The concept of “buyer beware” has been taken to the extreme. Consumers should be able to live with a reasonable assurance that companies are not out to get them. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. I’ll give a couple of examples:

    The company Ipower (one of your competitors) has an agreement that states an automatic renewal date. Then a month or so before that date they start sending messages saying, “If the domain name(s) are not renewed during the next 5 days [or whatever time is left], they will stop working. This WILL affect all email and websites that use the domain. PLEASE RENEW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to avoid disruption to your service.” I had purchased about 15 domains and decided I didn’t want to keep them. So, per their messages, I did not contact them to “renew”. When I found out I had a charge on my bank card for $150, I was told by them that renewal is automatic and it’s in the agreement. My point is, I hadn’t read that agreement for a year, and they were sending me messages saying exactly the opposite of what was the truth, leading me to the behavior that would allow them to automatically charge for those domains. And, of course, when I contacted them they were not the least bit interested in making things right. That’s fraud at worst and piss-poor customer relations at best. Either way they will never get my business again.

    Another example is My Space. I set up an account and when I log in various boxes of information appear that look (to me) that they are part of My Space. After you click on them, about 3-5 clicks later you realize you are somewhere else and someone is trying to sell you something. I feel totally jerked around by that.

    The last example really isn’t from the internet, but a good example of how some businesses treat people. It simply is the way credit card companies handle their business. As you know, many credit card companies/banks offer 0% interest or some other low interest rate for a period of time and then it goes up. I always look at the default rates to see what they will charge if a payment is a day late just one time, and I started to see default rates in at 30+% starting in about 2003-2004. This is usury! I don’t care what the law says–our Congress is obviously too corrupt to pass usury laws to protect the public anyway–this is outrageous, disgusting, insulting, and abusive!

    I’ve taken the lengthy route to come back around to telling you that your company and you, sir, appear to be good people trying to do the right thing. That pays off. It is, in fact, a huge answer to the economic woes this country is facing. We need leaders who have solid values and who can inspire people who work for them to earn the confidence, faith, and trust of the American consumer. We need to re-build our system from the ground up and demand that the greed and sloth we have allowed to flourish be brought to an end. Thanks for doing your part and keep up the good work!
    Kara

  29. Janvier says:

    “For Make a Wish’s sake I hope they don’t.” lol

    Microsoft has been dead wrong on a lot of things. I hear you Matt

  30. Yogi says:

    I have an apple osx and vista pc. I paid 500 dollars less for my pc and prefer it over the apple every time.

    There are so many features that vista has which mac osx does not that I believe Vista is the superior operating system. Hands down. The mac leaves a lot to be desired.

  31. DJH says:

    Matt, you’re dead on cf. Microsoft. Speaking for myself, I bought a Mac about a year ago. I am now free of the usual maintenance tasks that most PC owners must take care of weekly or monthly … you know, spyware scans, defrags, etc. So I spent a little more … but I got a more trouble-free machine and no longer have to worry about a great many problems that had occupied my time previously.

    OK, so it won’t play a lot of my games. That’s what Parallels and Boot Camp are for. Windows actually runs extremely fast, when I boot to it on my Mac.

    As for the importance of Javascript, it’s mind-boggling that Hachamovitch actually downplayed JS performance in browsers. The equivalent would be for the Word product manager to say that pagination isn’t a big deal in a word processor. WTF?

  32. Bart says:

    You are totally right about the javascript. These days users only really care about their own screen, bun’t don’t care at all what is going on on the server. People tend to find their browser slow (hm… IE makes a good example here I think) if their web applications that require much javascript computing power are running slow. So yes, the performance of a browser is determined for a big deal by the speed of the javascript engine. but let’s not forget rendering speed here either. People like hopping from 1 place to the other. And they prefer doing that in the shortest time possible. I think rendering time does make a significant difference at this point.

  33. Don Xavier says:

    You guys are just bunch of whinney kids, #1 Mac has what less than 20% of population as PC’s so lets jsut say multipley that into 4 folds and then we wills ee if MAc’s will ahve same problem as PC’s and haters create so many viruses or not. You are talking about MS CEO comments, yeh very nice matt, DUHER have you seen those MAC commercial, at first they are fun and now every move microsoft makes Mac has to bitch about it, why? because they don’t have better commercials to promote their products. Any comapny who dominates the market will end up being hated by people, search on google, you got 100′s of websites that hates google and their guts. Bottom line you guys are just in a lil world called yourself, and don’t understand amrket and products. Apple IPODS are exploding, catching onf ire, their ear pieces are putting holes in joggers hands, but yeh lets ignore them and lets all follow matt comments, bunch of babies including you matt.

  34. Brit_123 says:

    My personal Steve Ballmar video: Actually… its a MUSIC VIDEO!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WChHxSIurQo

  35. Russ says:

    Microsoft is ripe for a huge takeover. Proprietary software is not the “in” thing anymore. The people want open source so that a collaboration can take place. That is why social media is as big as it is, so their fate is in the cards….

  36. Robert says:

    I think you just barely got out of a $10,000 donation! The first news I’ve heard about IE’s JavaScript performance improvements was four days ago: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2010/03/18/the-new-javascript-engine-in-internet-explorer-9.aspx

    I may have missed an earlier announcement, though.

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