Bill Gates unhinged with Apple envy; Microsoft on path to become high profile casualty

“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.

Related articles:
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

80 Comments

  1. Dream On thinks Microsoft is his mommy and everybody knows that a good little ducky follows its mommy wherever she goes. Good luck getting those thorns out of your butt when you fall off the edge of the cliff that’s coming up right in front of you, Dream On! But then you can’t see it, can you? Because you’re blind as well as brainless. Watch out! Ohhhhhhh, that’s gotta hurt!

  2. Lets talk about build quality then, Sure you are going to get bad production runs, some bad componants in the bunch. But as someone who has spent the last decade supporting the Dells and HP’s, Gateways as well as Macs, let me tell you Apple quality is better, I always see a higher percentage of DOA PC’s when compared to macs (Talking hundreds to thousands of new machines being rolled out at once)

    The thing that really sets them apart in my mind is SERVICE, if I had bad macs outta the box: replaced. Bad HP outta the box: refurbed. I once have a $3800 17″ HP laptop (the top of their product line) it was for the CEO of a company. We paid for NEXT DAY ONSITE SERVICE ($380) one month in dead logic board. After being lied to for a week by an HP rep (IN India) telling us that someone would be calling us to schedule an appointment they conceded that no one was in fact coming and that we would have to send the laptop in for repair, so we had to wait two days for the box to send it back in, followed by a two and 1/2 week wait for it to come back. And then they sent it back without the AC Adapter, which they required we send them with the laptop. In subsequent months the Logic died twice more, do you think HP would replace it? Nope, they offered us 512mb or ram for our trouble. It was obvious that the logic boards had some flaw, yet they would do nothing. Needless to say the CEO decided that no more HP products would be purchased by his company during his tenure.

    I do not even want to go on with the Dell and Gateway stories, but needless to say they are all similar in result. I have ALWAYS been able to speak with a native english speaking person who can actually communicate and SOLVE my issues when dealing with Apple. Fast warranty repairs, doa machines replaced quickly. So I think you are missing the boat. Apple enjoys a high consumer support rating for a reason, they actually do a good job about it and seem genuinely concered with customer satisfaction.

  3. Dream On (and others),
    My idea how Apple can enter (and dominate) enterprise – stripped-down desktop Macs with no hard drive, only a flash drive. Everything gets stored on a network server (better corporate control over network content). The flash drive is for a stripped down Mac OS X with only the bare essentials. The optical drive can have its burning capabilities neutered by not including the necessary OS components. The form factor can be something like the iMac but underpowered and with integrated graphics.

    I think Apple could make such a thing in mass quantities at an attractive price point. I think the lack of a physical hard drive that the user can access would be the closer for most IT folks.

    What do others think?

  4. If you seriously think that the quality of our Macs has not eroded, you’re not talking to the same people I’m talking to – as in the techs that are repairing these things on a regular basis. It’s getting far more common, much to their chagrin.

    I’ve bought 3 Macs in the last 3 years, and every single one of them, from my Mac Mini, to my iBook, and now my MacBook Pro, have had issues. No-one has been as surprised, or disappointed, as me. It may seem anecdotal, but for all 3 to have had problems, is a little disconcerting to me.

    I sincerely hope, (and am confident), they’ll recognize that key also to the amazing continued success of Apple, Inc., will be build quality for all their products. From iPods to iMacs.

  5. I was getting on a plane at Newark Airport in NJ the other day and had to go through
    security. It was 5:00 AM and I was catching a 6:00 flight.

    While going through the X-Ray machine a MBP and 15″ PB where taken out
    before me, I took out my MBP put it in the bin. On the other side I was putting my MBP in my bag and a iBook came through the machine.

    WOW. Four Apple laptops in a row, I turned to my wife and said you would never
    see this in the past.

  6. It’s hilarious watching all these Mac fanboys using BS logic to to try and explain that Apple will “rise and overtake MS”, or something to that effect. A bunch of pathetic hopefuls. Wow. I think Macs are better than windows, but even I doubt that will happen. Man, you guys are such arrogant jerks that it’s not even funny. Glad I’m not an Apple drone.

  7. True, Apple’s quality control must get back to the level of yesterday. Especially MacBooks seem to have too many problems. When one has been taken care of (like the overheating or the discolored handrests), a new one emerges (flickering displays in MB Core2Duos). Is it because of bad quality control? Chinese assemblers? Who knows, but it should be an imperative to Apple to maintain their glorified reputation of being all about quality. With this many defective computers, and in their most popular segment at that, it won’t last too long if nothing is done about it.

    I haven’t had any problems with my MacBook, which is from the first month after release. I know some who have had to return their MacBooks, and some of them were switchers. They like OS X but were disappointed with the defective hardware.

  8. After reading that article, I have to admitt

    Bill and MS have shown me the “WOW”

    I am doing the following and encourage others to do the same,

    Send an email with the article attached to Bill O’Riely of Fox news, doesnt matter what you think of O’Riely, but he does a weekly segment with a proffesional “Body Language” expert. would love to see her interpet Gates and Jobs body language.

    She gets pretty detailed, “he is not sincere, he is untrueful, he is very confident,ect ect

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