Microsoft's Gambit: A New World

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Ondennik, May 19, 2016.

  1. PNWKing There's Still Hope Out There!

    Oct 19, 2016
    Whatever happened to Samsung ITTL?
  2. Ondennik Active Member

    May 19, 2016
    Samsung is selling phones for both platforms (Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7) since Windows Phone 7 hasn't yet totally replaced Mobile. Microsoft still supports the Windows Mobile OS, as support hasn't been dropped for it yet.

    Along with this, of course, Samsung is also considering Android or Palm's webOS as an alternative. Which is chosen remains to be seen.
  3. Ondennik Active Member

    May 19, 2016
    Part X: Windows 7 Desktop and Mobile: Platforms Rising

    Early 2009 saw Windows 7’s consumer beta continuing to receive refinements and tweaks. Windows Vista adoption, on the other hand, remained sluggish at best, and Microsoft wanted to move away from the tainted Vista branding as soon as it possibly could.

    After several months, the Windows 7 beta ended, and by July 2009, Windows 7 was released to manufacturing. In short, OEMs could start installing it on computers that they would sell to consumers, but consumers couldn’t go out and buy a copy of it at that moment. Consumers would have to wait until October 22, 2009, when Windows 7 was officially released to the public.

    On that date, copies of Windows 7 were made available on Microsoft’s website and at technology stores across the country. Microsoft engaged in a massive publicity campaign for Windows 7, and consumers began to adopt Windows 7 en masse. By the summer of 2010, it had already surpassed Windows Vista’s market share, and its usage share had become the largest of any desktop operating system. Microsoft's desktop operating system was on the rebound.

    This was helped by the fact that Windows 7 was made available in six different versions: Windows 7 Starter, for cheap and low-powered computers like netbooks (which were popular at the time), Windows 7 Home Basic, which was more powerful than Starter but not as full-featured for emerging markets, Windows 7 Home Premium, with the full subset of features of Windows 7 for consumer usage, Windows 7 Professional for small businesses, Windows 7 Enterprise for large corporations, and Windows 7 Ultimate for tinkerers and enthusiasts.

    Windows 7 version packaging

    Along with Windows 7, Windows Phone 7 was also doing incredibly well. By January 2010, it had surpassed iPhone OS in market share, and managed to capture a third of the market.

    Developers clamored to develop for the platform, and as Windows Phone 7 continued to increase in market share, Microsoft announced that they would stop releasing new versions of the Windows Mobile operating system. Windows Mobile OEMs had by this point largely switched to Windows Phone 7, which was a far more popular, successful, and profitable platform. To get rid of inventory, carriers and OEMs slashed prices on Windows Mobile phones. Along with these reductions in price, Microsoft and its OEM partners released a wide range of new Windows Phone 7 phones. Microsoft unveiled the Kin 2, and other manufacturers released devices of their own. There was one manufacturer, however, who departed from the Windows Phone 7 platform—Samsung.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This was a Windows Mobile phone released by HTC on the AT&T network. Notice the difference between it and a Windows Phone 7 phone.

    However, while the desktop became more firmly enveloped in Microsoft’s embrace, mobile remained a battlefield.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
    Ameck16, FireIvory and luis3007 like this.
  4. luis3007 History amateur

    Aug 6, 2007
    The Grey City, South America
    So will Samsung take the OTL path of Android or launch its own OS?
  5. Ondennik Active Member

    May 19, 2016
    Samsung is interested in launching in its own OS. How it finds its own OS is a subject I will explore in a later post in this timeline.
  6. Ondennik Active Member

    May 19, 2016
    Part XI: The Mobile Market Changes

    By early 2010, Windows Phone 7 had surpassed iOS to become the largest smartphone platform. Windows Mobile was no more, and Symbian and Blackberry were rapidly declining.

    Also during this time, Microsoft had made the decision to discontinue its Zune music players. They were never very profitable, and failed to make a dent in the market, especially when compared to the juggernaut that was the iPod. Their software, however, would be kept, and used as the basis for the Music app on Windows Phone 7.


    The Microsoft Zune: very good music players, but failed to compete against the beast that was the iPod.

    Android was surging, as Google had made a deal with Sprint to distribute Android smartphones. These smartphones ranged many different price points, from affordable phones to highly expensive ones. Advertisements were quickly made to draw more publicity to the platform, and Google threw the doors open to the Android Market, its app store for the Android platform.

    In foreign countries, Google were even more aggressive, as they were determined to penetrate the foreign market by producing phones for lower-income countries, giving them larger market share.

    Several OEMs, such as Acer, Sony, LG, and Asus, had already begun producing Android smartphones, and joined the Open Handset Alliance. However, Acer and Asus also produced Windows Phone 7 devices, putting them in the weird position of selling phones with two competing platforms.


    In the meantime, Palm and its groundbreaking webOS hit the market with the Pre, and critical reception was very good. Consumers, however didn’t really take to the phone, instead preferring to purchase Windows phones and iPhones.

    Palm's webOS interface

    The release of the iPhone 4 in June 2010 further emphasized Apple’s emphasis on design, solidifying Apple as a premium smartphone maker and increasing the pressure for the Kin 3 to match Apple’s build quality.


    Also in early 2010, Apple released the iPad. It fundamentally changed what people expected from tablets, and pressure was building at Microsoft to release a tablet that could compete with the highly successful iPad.

    Things had changed in the world of mobile, and a new era was about to begin—one where nothing would quite ever be the same again.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  7. Crunch Buttsteak Supreme Thunder! Donor

    Oct 10, 2014
    Has Don Mattrick been kept away from the Xbox division or is Microsoft still on course for the OTL fustercluck that was the Xbox One launch?

    Is Microsoft still doing stack ranking?

    Did Allard somehow manage to avoid being named in the rumored Microsoft parter swapping ring that supposedly caused him to be forced out IOTL?
    Electric Monk and arjav like this.
  8. Ondennik Active Member

    May 19, 2016
    Sorry for the late response, but I wanted to think a bit more about what my response would be. To answer your questions, firstly, Don Mattrick is indeed part of the Xbox division, though there have been some murmurings of firing him from the team.

    As for the other two questions, those relate more to internal corporate politics at Microsoft. I plan on doing a post talking more about corporate politics at Microsoft, which I'll post sometime soon. There, I'll have more room to talk about Microsoft corporate dealings in more detail.

    Hope you enjoy the timeline, and say tuned!
  9. Ondennik Active Member

    May 19, 2016
    Part XII: Internal Conflicts Arise

    Even though Windows 7 was a huge hit, and Windows Phone 7 had become the largest smartphone platform, Allard's position wasn't entirely secure. Although Sinofsky and Allard collaborated together in order to see the release of Windows 7 through, neither of the two men particularly liked the other, and it wasn't very long before both men started to divide themselves into camps.

    Steven Sinofsky: represented the conservative Microsoft establishment and the enterprise.

    J (James) Allard: represented the more innovative, risk-taking Microsoft and consumer.

    Tensions flared as older, more conservative Windows employees, along with members of Office group and the more business-aligned divisions, among others, generally allied themselves with Sinofsky, viewing Allard as a rebellious upstart who was changing Microsoft too quickly and suddenly.

    Younger Windows employees, as well as those in the more consumer-based divisions such as Xbox and Windows Phone, tended to side with Allard.

    It didn't take very long before both sides started using the stack ranking system against each other. Despite the fact that Allard hated the stack ranking system, it was still in common use, and each side began taking pot-shots at the other.

    Ballmer grew tired of this feud, but knew full well that his decision could potentially change Microsoft forever.

    While he decided, he tasked both teams to continue working on Windows Phone 7, with an eye towards releasing a new software update in the fall and a tablet for the Christmas season.

    He also announced the abolition of the stack ranking system, which he felt was becoming increasingly toxic as both sides started to wield it as a weapon, in favor of promoting a more collaborative and innovative atmosphere with fewer layers of protocol.

    It seemed as though the rifts may have begun to heal, but it wouldn't take very long for them to ultimately surface once more.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  10. Electric Monk Does Your Believing For You

    Jun 16, 2005
    Capital Regional District
    The Steve Jobs quote of never letting the marketing guys run the company remains true. Aka I think Ballmer’s days are rather numbered because somebody is going to win and he’s papering over what he can—MS is a really huge ship and basically the rank and file don’t respect Ballmer. Because straight up the rank and file will never respect a marketing person running the place unless (like Jobs [1]) they have magic powers lol. Engineers what can I say.

    Yet Ballmer’s key problem IOTL is that he never made a choice until too late. Him running a more successful Microsoft in new fields could easily give him the confidence to make those tough choices earlier. Which is basically how MS has been acting ITTL, which makes me think Ballmer can pull off a last act exactly because he’s a marketing guy.

    Anyway I still totally enjoy this timeline and am waiting for the triumphant return.

    [1] Jobs had something better than magic powers: he knew what people wanted, though it took him a few decades to find the right level of desirability and price to make it stick (and to learn people/management skills, sort of, lol).
    James1996 likes this.
  11. Ondennik Active Member

    May 19, 2016
    Wow...time does fly. Hard for me to believe that the last post I made for the timeline will have been made almost two years ago. College stuff and other things have largely kept me busy. Couple that with me not really going on the Alternate History Forum that much, and it created a perfect storm of me forgetting the timeline. That said, I do intend to finish this timeline.

    I know that my excuses were pretty bad ones, and I totally understand if you guys aren't willing to accept them, but I do promise to post more frequently.

    Though I may have been away for a while, I refuse to let this timeline die.

    I wish all of you the very best.
    Electric Monk, James1996 and Nivek like this.
  12. Railmotive Friendly, law abiding citizen who should post more

    Jan 29, 2017
    New Aberdeen, New Britain
    Brilliant, the timeline shall live.
  13. Ondennik Active Member

    May 19, 2016
    Spotlight on: Steve Ballmer

    During this period of time, Ballmer found himself between a rock and a hard place as he increasingly became sidelined. Though he was still officially the CEO of Microsoft, which in theory gave him great power, he in practice found himself in an unenviable middle position between Sinofsky and Allard. Both men wielded great power and influence through their control of the various divisions in Microsoft.

    Ballmer knew that he had to make a choice. between the two men. He knew the situation Microsoft was in at that moment was not sustainable, and had the potential to turn very toxic. At the same time, however, Ballmer knew that regardless of who he picked, that Microsoft as a company would be forever changed, and that in this new Microsoft, he would become little more than an outmoded relic.

    He already found himself increasingly to be little more than a figurehead, but he knew that he would need to make a decision that would be about as antithetical to the role of a figurehead as one could possibly get. In his hands, Ballmer held Microsoft’s future, but he still felt that he needed advice from the man who started it all—Bill Gates.
  14. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

    May 4, 2009
    Santa Marta,Magdalena,West Venezuela
    Nice update..and what will be of the Xbox?
  15. Ondennik Active Member

    May 19, 2016
    With regards to the Xbox, I plan on doing another "Spotlight on: Xbox" focusing on the issues in the Xbox division and how the Xbox was doing overall. For now, the most I can say is that the situation the Xbox team finds itself to be in is a very tense one.
    Nivek likes this.
  16. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

    May 4, 2009
    Santa Marta,Magdalena,West Venezuela
    Why tense? even all the issue, Xbox did was making money at the time(BUT THANKS THE HIGH R+D invesment did take year to cover all the initial loses of the 360) and Xbox is as OTL, MS strongest brand alongside they could reorganized it quickly..waiting for the spotight on it buddy