News and notes from the Microsoft beat … 

Linux no longer a Windows threat? Microsoft’s latest annual report with the SEC no longer refers to Linux as a competitor for its PC Windows business. Ed Bott at ZDNet does a good job explaining what has changed in the document since last year, and analyzing what it says about Microsoft’s competitive mindset — not only vs. Linux but also vs. Apple and Google.

For the record, Microsoft still lists Linux as a Windows Server competitor.

Back on the blog: Windows chief Steven Sinofsky launched the new “Building Windows 8″ blog and @buildwindows8 Twitter feed for the company today, with the stated intent of opening of a dialog about the company’s plans for the next version of the PC operating system.

Steven Sinofsky

One of the more interesting tidbits, in a vague sort of way, is Sinofsky’s reference to Microsoft’s plans to come out with a pre-release version of Windows 8 “over the coming months.”

The company previewed Windows 8 and its tile-based interface in June, and is expected to provide more details at its Build conference in California next month. It’s expected to come out sometime next year, although Microsoft hasn’t given a timeframe.

Microsoft Reader going away: A message on the Microsoft Reader site says the company will be discontinuing the free e-reader application as of Aug. 30, 2012, after a long period of little or no development, officially ceding the market to the likes of Google, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others.

TechCrunch reported the news earlier today.

Comments

  • Guest

    “A message on the Microsoft Reader site says the company will be discontinuing the free e-reader application as of Aug. 30, 2012,”

    yet another failure on Ballmer’s watch.

    p.s.

    Your second link has the wrong URL

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Thanks, I’ve fixed that. (The link, that is.)

      • http://www.facebook.com/kmorrill Kevin Morrill

        Any ETA on a fix for Ballmer?  ;-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1198150213 Joe Murray

      I wouldn’t exactly call it a failure.  Why do they need to have their own ereader?  They don’t sell any of the books, it’s just an application that costs them money for nothing.  Hell, I didn’t even know MS had an ereader and I’m a diehard MS fan. 

      • GW fan

        Microsoft once had a strategy to provide the platform for electronic books. However, that strategy failed to gain any group. Success here would have been to sign up the press (newspaper, magazine, and book) publishers or at least Amazon, but for whatever reasons there were alternatives these people adopted. So it is one more arena where an early investment was made, but it didn’t pay off. I believe in part because like tablet PC, the company didn’t go all in on this. But you could argue that the people they had to sell weren’t interested. Contrast to Apple’s ability to control much of the publishing industry in the same way they do the music industry, getting them to comply with their conventions. Microsoft was never able wield that kind of leverage. 

        Maybe you are right they didn’t need to.

    • GW fan

      eReader represents the difference between Gates and Ballmer in terms of management style. eReader was hatched primarily under sponsorship/approval by Gates who had a larger appetite for investing in speculative new areas of technology. It is natural to expect that Ballmer would shut it down considering that it wasn’t helping drive revenues into the company as Gates likely hoped, in large part because the players did not choose to invest in Microsoft’s publishing platform. That might seem obvious at this point, but it was not so clear when eReader was initiated.

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    I believe in part because like tablet PC, the company didn’t go all in
    on this. But you could argue that the people they had to sell weren’t
    interested.

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