“Several years ago a Microsoft honcho fired off a 2,000-word e-mail to let me know I was a blockhead,” Charles Cooper reports for CNET News. “In my column I had suggested that Microsoft owed its amazing success more to persistence than to technical prowess. That really got under my interlocutor’s skin. I wasn’t looking to hurt anyone’s feelings, but the history of flubs and duds was there in black and white. Over the years, Microsoft proved that it eventually gets it right by incorporating customer feedback and repairing mistakes. But how many times has it simply dazzled users the first time out with a new product? The best that one could say was that the company succeeded despite the mediocrity of its products.”
“Had I opted to pursue the debate, I would have drawn the obvious comparison with Apple Computer. Founded within a year each other, Microsoft and Apple are forever going to be twinned–the Bird and Magic of the tech industry. But in terms of sizzle, it’s a comparison in which Microsoft has nearly always come up short,” Cooper reports. “Apple… has had sizzle for most of its three-decades-long history. To be sure, there were dry spells, but under Steve Jobs there were many more good times than bad. Though a company is undeniably bigger than any single individual, Apple’s product pipeline has flowed best when its co-founder was in control.”
Read the full article here.
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