“Trends in the data that have to be massively disconcerting to Microsoft management (not to mention its external shareholders). Dripping, gloppy Apple envy coming from the top. Incredulity at the public’s lack of understanding of Vista’s greatness. These are not signs of a company, of a culture, of a management team doing well. They are failing. Failing to understand their customers. Failing to understand the tone of the market. Failing to understand the kind of messaging that is necessary to get people excited about their products. And yes, failing to transition into the Consumer Era of Computing,” Roger Ehrenberg writes for SeekingAlpha.
Ehrenberg writes, “And I’ve got to say that this latest leg in the Microsoft/Apple battle bears stunning similarity to the duel (although it is hard to have a duel when one of the participants is already dead) between Sony and Nintendo in the PS3/Wii war, while a story that still needs to be fully played out looks increasingly like the nimble, adaptive, consumer-focused company kicking the crap out of the Grand Dame of Gaming. And I am sure over the ensuing months and years we will see more of this stuff happening, where the more consumer-centric, lighter, friendlier applications will dominate the legacy titans of yesteryear. It is all just beginning, and the first and highest profile casualty may well be Sony, closely followed by Microsoft.”
Bill Gates “has not been doing Vista or Microsoft any favors with his recent performance. Contrast this with his alter-ego, Mr. Jobs, who even in the face of controversy surrounding the Apple options backdating scandal can get up on stage and wow his employees, his customers and the technology community at-large. Steve is a rock star. Bill looks as if he’s been living under a rock,” Ehrenberg writes.
Ehrenberg recounts some choice moments from Gates’ February 1st interview with Steven Levy of Newsweek. See related article: Bill Gates has lost his mind: calls Apple liars, copiers; slams Mac OS X security vs. Windows – February 02, 2007
Ehrenberg writes, “Are you kidding me? Bill sounds a little like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, and that he is getting ready to boil Steve Jobs’ bunny. First off, Bill, after having spent an amount exceeding the GDP of several sovereign nations – $500 million – to launch Vista, don’t you think you could have spent even a little of that on media training? THAT is your elevator pitch? Sorry, Bill, but you’re not getting the VC funding you desire. You’re not even getting out of the elevator. Your answer on security: poor. Your paranoia and irritation at Apple’s successful branding and image-making? Nauseating. You’re the richest guy in the world. You do lots of great things with your money. You’re a brilliant man. The Apple threat and a changing world is making you become unhinged. Do something about this. Fast. For your shareholders sake. Please.”
MacDailyNews Take: Gates was much more lucky than brilliant. In fact, we don’t see much brilliance in Gates, past or present.
“And if you think that’s bad, our friend Bill a/k/a Mr. Malaprop is getting the crap kicked out of him by former friends in the media – everywhere. For some reason Microsoft and Bill just don’t get the props they used to,” Ehrenberg writes. “The world has changed. Bill either doesn’t see it or doesn’t want to see it… What do you get when you take arrogance, a ton of cash, an enterprise software-laden culture and fierce competition? Microsoft. People (and what are companies but conglomerations of people, anyway?) react to fear in different ways. Some clam up and stick to what feels comfortable. Others challenge this comfort by acknowledging that something has changed and recognizing that they need to make decisive change. Microsoft, unfortunately, appears to be in the former camp… Bill’s got a bunch of reasons to feel pretty lousy. Microsoft has never been as vulnerable as it is right now.”
MacDailyNews Take: See related story: The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson.
“We may be witnessing an historic changing of the guard, which takes place in every generation. Remember IBM? They were invincible. How could they be beat? By a couple of geeks in a dorm room, that’s how. Microsoft rises. And then another snot-nosed kid with a great idea and a dorm room made it happen in the box business, enter Dell. Then others got wise and squeezed their efficiency-based margins to nothing. Apple rose like a phoenix, crashed and rose once again, by virtue of innovation and a customer-centric ethos. Sony was like IBM. Now they’ve been bloodied by the customer-centric and community-oriented Nintendo,” Ehrenberg writes. “When put in this context Microsoft just seems so big and slow and old, hidebound by 30 years of culture and organizational silos that seem impregnable. And it appears that Vista – the product, the PR, the marketing approach – is the result of such an organization.”
Full article – a must read with much, much more – here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Macaday” for the heads up.]
MacDailyNews Take: Back on ,January 10, 2005, we took a bit of flack from some readers for our Take, in which we have always believed and therefore reprint here: As we have always said, even as many short-sightedly waved (and continue to wave) the white flag, the war is not over. And, yes, we shall prevail. For the naysayers: In 1929, Ford held just over 61% of the U.S. market for automobiles. GM’s market share stood at just 12%. Ford was thought to be invincible, with GM regarded as a niche auto maker. Probably, some analyst at the time said, “The reality is, long term, GM will always be a niche player.” But, in 1936, just seven years later, Ford held just 22% of the market for new automobiles while General Motors held a 43% share. No company is invincible. Not even Microsoft.
Apple takes dead aim at Microsoft’s Windows Vista in latest ‘Get a Mac’ ad (with video) – February 06, 2007
Bill Gates has lost his mind: calls Apple liars, copiers; slams Mac OS X security vs. Windows – February 02, 2007
Net Applications: Apple’s Mac market share continues rise, hits 6.22% in January 2007 – February 01, 2007
Bill Gates lists Microsoft ‘innovations’ that Apple has offered Mac users for years – January 30, 2007
Apple larger than Microsoft by 2010? – January 29, 2007
Gates bristles over Vista, Mac OS X comparisons – January 29, 2007
Microsoft about to lose the software business just as IBM lost the PC business in ‘80s – July 26, 2006
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ ultimate goal: ‘to take back the computer business from Microsoft’ – June 16, 2005
Apple vs. Microsoft rivalry heats up again – January 10, 2005