Microsoft sycophant Mary Jo Foley: Windows Mobile is awful; avoid it like the plague

“Mary Jo Foley [is] a ZDNet blogger who has covered Microsoft since Bill Gates first emerged from puberty,” Betsy Schiffman reports for Wired.

MacDailyNews Take: Our condolences.

Schiffman sat down with Foley on the occasion of Foley’s new book, Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft Plans to Stay Relevant in the Post-Gates Era. Here are a few snippets that we found interesting:

Wired: When do you think Steve Ballmer will give up or get kicked out?
Foley: I think he’s going to stick to what he said. He said last year he would [serve as CEO] for nine years, because that’s when his youngest son will be in college. I don’t think they’ll get rid of him before then.

Wired: So what do you think of Windows Mobile?
Foley: I’ve avoided it like the plague. Every time I get a new cellphone, everyone always warns me not to get Windows Mobile. The thing’s awful. I think Windows Mobile is a huge challenge for them.

Wired: And what do you think happens to Microsoft after Gates retires?
Foley: There’s always been this dichotomy between “Bill’s guys” and “Steve’s guys.” Steve’s guys have MBAs and their roots are in sales. Bill’s guys have been traditional technologists. The people who are more like Steve will probably get more power and will run the show, so I wonder who’s going to be the tech champion for Bill’s guys. I think that’s going to be a big cultural and noticeable change once Gates is out from his day-to-day duties.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ian K.” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Windows Mobile does indeed suck. If even Foley is saying it, it sucks hard. As for Ballmer and Microsoft, here is a very relevant excerpt from a BusinessWeek interview with Apple CEO Steve Jobs from October 12, 2004:

Steve Jobs: How are monopolies lost? Think about it. Some very good product people invent some very good products, and the company achieves a monopoly. But after that, the product people aren’t the ones that drive the company forward anymore. It’s the marketing guys or the ones who expand the business into Latin America or whatever. Because what’s the point of focusing on making the product even better when the only company you can take business from is yourself? So a different group of people start to move up. And who usually ends up running the show? The sales guy… Then one day, the monopoly expires for whatever reason. But by then the best product people have left, or they’re no longer listened to. And so the company goes through this tumultuous time, and it either survives or it doesn’t.

BusinessWeek: Is this common in the industry?
Steve Jobs: Look at Microsoft — who’s running Microsoft?

BusinessWeek: Steve Ballmer.
Steve Jobs: Right, the sales guy. Case closed.

Source: The Seed of Apple’s Innovation


  1. “Bill’s guys have been traditional technologists”

    OMG, if those are tech guys, that company has nothing. like saying that the accounting group is your R&D;group, and now that the head bean counter is out, what will do for innovation?

  2. @TowerTone

    Oh there’s no question Gates emerged from puberty. I just didn’t realize scientists had narrowed down a definite date. I’d check it out myself but MS Outlook just crashed.

  3. “Steve’s guys have MBAs and their roots are in sales . . .”

    . . . and they all have mandatory ball gags, an enormous tolerance for pain, very strong shoelaces and bobblehead necks.

  4. I’ve had email discussions/arguments with this lady…she really loves Micro$oft, and to say that Window’s Mobile is bad is not an easy thing for her to say.
    She, like many, act as if Apple is too small to matter or to be relevant on purpose in order to avoid seeing the light and having to aboutface in front of her peers. Seems the light has found her regardless.

  5. To Cubert: “Hey, it looks like she finally got off her knees and crawled out from under Ballmer’s desk.”

    For her birthday, Ballmer sent her a bib with a picture of his groin on it.

  6. For you computer historians out there Steve Job’s comments on how a monopoly is lost couldn’t be more spot on. If anyone remembers Prime Computer, this is exactly what happened. The sales guys took over and were just interested in pushing mini-computers. The development guys left and founded Apollo computer, one of the first true workstations, an idea that the guys at Sun picked up and ran with and the rest is history.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.