Finally, something realistic


As of late the word out of Microsoft has been nothing short of idiotic fanboyism: Don’t look at others, we’re changing the world man!!! So it’s nice to see some realistic stuff come out from Microsoft that actually addresses the concerns – by the head cheese himself. You can read the whole note in its entirety here.

Some notable excerpts:

· Windows: The success of Windows is our number one job. With SP1 and the work we’ve done with PC manufacturers and our software ecosystem, we’ve addressed device and application compatibility issues in Windows Vista. Now it’s time to tell our story. In the weeks ahead, we’ll launch a campaign to address any lingering doubts our customers may have about Windows Vista. And later this year, you’ll see a more comprehensive effort to redefine the meaning and value of Windows for our customers.

For what it’s worth, lingering doubts is a little soft. People hate Vista and Office 2007 enough to ask for illegal or old copies of XP/2003 or abandon your entire platform and application to head over to a Mac.

Apple: In the competition between PCs and Macs, we outsell Apple 30-to-1. But there is no doubt that Apple is thriving. Why? Because they are good at providing an experience that is narrow but complete, while our commitment to choice often comes with some compromises to the end-to-end experience. Today, we’re changing the way we work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises. We’ll do the same with phones—providing choice as we work to create great end-to-end experiences.

It’s nice to see that they actually recognize this now. For years Microsoft’s stance was: “Apple is not really our competition. IBM is.”

I’d like to propose something here. Take the $300 million and take $150 out of it and go by a webcam. Record Steve saying that out loud. Seriously. Add a soft voiceover: “Mac. Great for indulgent douchebags and toddlers that think the computing world revolves around myspace. For the other 97%, come take a look at Windows.” Invest the remaining money in the “Vista: Sunk Ship” campaign you were going to go with.

Seriously, how is it that a guy that runs f’n Microsoft can put together the reality of the business computing so eloquently in one paragraph but nobody thinks to run with the message on the actual facts?

Looking ahead, I see an incredibly bright future for our company. As I said at the June 27th Town Hall for Bill, we are the best in the world at doing software and nobody should be confused about this.

Nobody arguing that. We just wish that was what Microsoft focused on again.

You cannot be all things to all people. Or you turn into a Walmart. I for one think Microsoft is better than a Walmart, I hope Steve realizes that and figures it out before they lose even more ground. That’s the big Microsoft problem – it’s trying to be everything to everyone and everywhere all the while it’s competitors are getting better and better.

Oh, and for some Dilbert levity, kudos for the PHB quote:

5. Focus on employee excellence.

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