Former Microsoft COO: ‘Apple era may be on its way out’

“Former chief operating officer of Microsoft, Bob Herbold, said in an article Monday that he doesn’t believe Apple has the vision and leadership that it once had and the ‘Apple era may be on its way out,'” Mark Knapp reports for Wall St. Cheat Sheet.

“Herbold said that Steve Jobs had what it took to lead the company in the right direction,” Knapp reports. “He named off several industry leaders that he thought fit the profile: IBM’s Lou Gerstner and Sam Palmisano, Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs, and of course the late Steve Jobs. Notably omitted from the list was Apple’s current CEO, Tim Cook.”

Knapp reports, “In his opinion, the company could turn it around if it launches something revolutionary in the next 6 to 9 months, but otherwise, there may be little future for Apple as an industry leader.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wishful thinking from a former exec at a badly beaten company. Tim Cook has more leadership in his pinky than Microsoft has had for the last 13 years.

Herbold’s comments have been iCal’ed for future use.


  1. Well, if this nobody says so, then it must be true. Actually he’s in a long line of Apple doomsayers, so he certainly deserves his turn. Thank you, Mr. Herbold, for your expert opinion about all things Apple.

  2. “Former Microsoft COO: ‘Apple era may be on its way out’”

    Well isn’t this a case of the pot calling the gleaming stainless steel espresso machine black.

  3. Speaking as an Apple fan for several decades, Herbold could be right, in the sense that the biggest nemesis now could be Samsung and not Microsoft.

    Apple is too besotted with pandering to the needs of what makes money, i.e. the consumer customers. Too much dumbing down of iOS and OSX, e.g. no filing system in iOS. Rather than simplifying features and making features easy to use, Apple now deletes those features. That is not the same as simplification. That is dumbing down. Android and Samsung cater to the smart user. Apple caters for the village idiots who cannot figure out how to use a filing system.

    For the above reasons, Herbold could be right. And I feel sad that some people who read this website have made Apple so much into their religion that they cannot even accept this as a possibility.

    1. I don’t disagree with your points, although I’d have phrased them a trifle more charitably. It would not be a cakewalk for anyone following a high-wire act like the one put on by Steve Jobs. And few besides a zen master could resist the lure of certain profits—the textbook business motivation—even at the cost of losing loyal customers—by baptising in a larger pool.

      And no one need feel sadness, or opprobrium, for fans stubbornly clinging to cherished memories of greatness. But you do both, showing that you are a rare realist among decades-long Apple fans, but one prematurely impatient with your slower cousins.

      Herbold is undoubtedly right. No startup continues to expend amazing energy for decades, and build a cultish following (unless they are an acknowledged, tax-exempt religion). The instilled corporate culture should not matter, only the genuineness of the holy water.

      It was only a dream, after all, and people should just wake up and smell the Folger’s coffee.

    2. Wrong.
      Filing systems are for – and are still available for – PCs, including those running OS X. Apple has removed easy access to power-user features to help the average stock clerk and beautician use iDevices without confusion. Apple is catering to “the rest of us,” (village idiots who cannot figure out how to use a filing system) which has been the goal all along. If you’ve been an Apple fan for several decades and you don’t get that, perhaps you need to rethink what “village idiot” means. Or maybe you’re just a troll. That happens.

      1. MM’s comment was a breath of fresh air and should happen a bit more often on MDN

        Answering with “he’s a troll” because he didn’t unconditionally praised Apple is just stupid.

        Now about the the point he and you raised about file system.
        Hiding power user functions (Like access to the file system) can (I’m not sure it is) be good for the joe user as it makes the global usage of his mobile device more accessible (That also is open to discussion).

        On the other side Apple is not hiding them in a menu somewhere it doesn’t come in the way of a normal user… Apple puts an awfull amount of energy in simply locking these functions completely out. They do not want power users tu have such kind of access at all.

        And sorry… But that’s really a pain in the a$$

  4. Where’s the Apple TV? I kind of agree with this guy.

    The Mini is a Retinaless piece of shit.
    Maps was a disaster.
    iMac launch terrible.
    Final Cut, Mac Pro, iOS long in the tooth, slow marketing, no Apple TV in sight, on and on.

    1. So, you read the shite written on the net and have decided that Apple is doomed. Interesting.

      Some points:
      1) Apple never said or even has hinted that it will offer an AppleTV (television)
      2) The first edition of the iPad mini is the first edition. Because Apple advances improvements to its products based upon acceptance in the market, there will be improvements to the iPad mini.
      3) Maps works great for many people, unless you read the flawgic that is espoused by the Gargle lovers. I personally have better results with Maps than I ever did with Gargle Map/Earth/Whatever.
      4) One word for the iMac launch – it was great but when it started to come in all those colours, it was magical and the transparent one was just amazing. Oh, you mean this last update – two words (you seem to not accept in business vocabulary) MARKET DEMAND – they couldn’t keep up with both personal retail purchase demand and enterprise demand. Components take time to be manufactured. I suppose you wanted one for Christmas and mommy couldn’t buy you one. So sad.
      5) Obviously, you don’t use the new version and updated Final Cut. MacPro will be updated this year, as promised – probably in June. sow marketing doesn’t even make sense (were you running out of demerol?). Please refer to comment 1 regarding your redundancy.

      Oh and all on it own: please expand your vomit regarding: “on and on”… you can go back an look up crap from the flawgic purveyors.

      Troll is too kind – wanker is more suitable.

      Obviously you don’t have a clue about business, much less Apple.


      1. I actually do have a clue about business and you sit in a basement.

        1. Apple TV is a game changer. It’s a new market and they could be playing in it by now. It does seem delayed because we’re coming up on 1.5 years since Jobs’ death. Jobs stated in his Bio that he “cracked the TV”. It’s a pretty clear sign that they have been working on the TV and likely have it all figured out.
        2. Who cares whether something is a first edition. To launch a new mobile product without a Retina screen at this stage when the rest are all Retina is just stupid. But I digress.
        3. Maps was bad, it’s getting better. But it’s been rough. This is a fact. Apple (CEO Tim Cook) even admitted that Maps was substandard and that they were working on it.
        4. Bullshit. It’s well established they just couldn’t get the yields they needed and it resulted in an irresponsible launch.
        5. Obviously, I do have the new version of Final Cut. I don’t care about anything other than what Apple did to it and it’s been a bleeding mess for months. There’s been outcry over it and for good reason. Mac Pro hasn’t has a real update in nearly 3 years and is currently discontinued in Europe. It’s unacceptable.

        You are completely delusional and it’s fun to watch bozo fanboys like you get blue in the face defending something that doesn’t actually care about you or your life.

        On that note, try to live a life away from your cult.

  5. he might be right. you don’t know how apple will go near the future. but if apple will continue to move like this, it will be ended its era like he said. it’s natural. there is no permanent NO. 1 leader in business. by the way, Tim Cook is not a right person to lead Apple. he fired all important people last year. it will cause a big trouble next decade. it was the biggest mistake. during that time what Tim did was selling most his APPL stock to make huge money. Steve Jobs didn’t even get paid ($1). of course he owned most APPL stock. but he had different mind, and had passion to lead Apple. Tim Cook only knows money, business. it will make apple just average company soon. I think that you guys don’t believe it once you hypnotized by all apple tricks. wake up. magic is over.

    1. Could you please write this in your native tongue… I may have a better translation programme than you seem to have.

      Question: How many Apple products have you ever touched, much less owned? (I can translate that for you, if you’d like).

      Com sam ie da.

    2. “Steve Jobs didn’t even get paid ($1). of course he owned most APPL stock. ”

      just from this statement i know you have no clue what you are talking about.

      — Jobs didn’t take any stock options after 2003
      — the vast bulk of his wealth was in DISNEY stock which he got from selling Pixar to them.
      He had relatively few apple shares as he sold most of them when he left apple to start Next.

  6. More notable, to me, is that he also didn’t include Bill Gates on the list. That makes me think that he may not be completely just spewing leftover brainwashed propaganda from his previous post at MS. The fact that he obviously realizes that Bill Gates was just a lucky, ruthless, and visionless hack, makes me think that he actually may have given this SOME thought.

    Of course, I also think that he is wrong about Apple, and it is likely just wishful thinking on his part, as I’m sure he still has a large position in MSFT, and he is regretting that he wasn’t able to buy a huge AAPL position back when shares were ridiculously cheap, due to him working at MS.

    Well Bob, here’s some advice – AAPL is still cheap at its currently ridiculously undervalued price, so sell whatever MSFT you may have left before its too late, and buy AAPL long – as we WILL get back to a sane valuation at some point in the not too distant future.

  7. Microsoft was introducing a business model based on dodgy licensing deals and then sold the same products again and again for DECADES just by changing the version number. And now this guy thinks Apple is going down because they don’t innovate enough and not going ‘in the right direction’? this is laughable

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