Microsoft still doesn’t get why iPhone and iPad succeeded

“About two weeks, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella penned a detailed memo to Microsoft employees, a mission statement of sorts, outlining the company’s vision and strategy for the future,” Yoni Heisler writes for TUAW. “Upon reading the memo, along with a subsequent interview Nadella conducted with The Verge, I was struck by the fact that Microsoft still doesn’t get it.”

“The iPhone demonstrated that people want to do work on the devices that entertain them,” Heisler writes. “Microsoft’s strategy is seemingly the opposite; telling consumers that work-oriented Microsoft devices can also be used for entertainment… Consumers primarily buy mobile devices that make their lives easier and more fun, work be damned. Microsoft Office wasn’t available on the iPhone until June of 2013. An iPad version wasn’t released until four months ago! And guess what, hundreds of millions of consumers bought iPhones and iPads anyhow.”

Heisler writes, “[Here’s] a story about Steve Jobs’ view of the enterprise as told by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger: ‘I went with (former Intel CEO Paul) Otellini to meet with Jobs and his lieutenants. We go into this meeting and say Steve, let’s work together to make your Macs better for enterprise customers. Jobs looks at us and says ‘Why would I do anything for that orifice called the CIO?” said Gelsinger. ‘At Intel we’re aghast; two-thirds of our business is that orifice called the CIO. He went on to say ‘I’m going to build devices that are irresistible for consumers, and CIOs will just have to deal with it.””

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we explained back in October 2012 in yet another prescient Take that even Microsoft could have read, long before they were forced to swallow a $900 million write-off over their Surface flop and chose exactly the wrong CEO to try to clean up Ballmer T. Clowns mess:

That dumbass kickstand is yet another ill-considered, misguided, corporate committee-driven “differentiation” squirted out of Microsoft’s back door unbidden onto the public.

Microsoft is staffed with stupid and/or lazy people. There’s no other explanation besides crippling narcissism – which is a very real possibility. Most people use iPads while lounging around. All Microsoft’s Surface “team” had to do was buy some real iPads and use them for a few weeks. Steve Jobs himself even demonstrated the iPad while reclining in a comfy leather chair, not sitting upright at a friggin’ desk. Microsoft was shown the way and, once again, they failed to properly follow Apple’s lead. By now, that’s just stupid and/or lazy.

Microsoft suffers from delusions of grandeur. They think they matter and that people will buy their pretend iPad over other pretend iPads because it’s from Microsoft. Microsoft does not matter. Microsoft no longer has the power to sell superfluous products. The world already has iPad. The thinking world finally woke up and moved on from Microsoft’s soul-sapping dreck. That clueless Microsoft haven’t figured this out years ago (Zune, Kin, how many total face-plants do they need?) is illustrative of the depths of their delusions.

As with Zune, Kin, and Surface, Microsoft is unnecessary in today’s world. Their rapidly retiring/expiring IT Doofus firewall is the only thing keeping them around today.

And that’s not going to last much longer, either.

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

Related article:
Years after being shown by Apple, poor Microsoft still doesn’t understand what tablets are for – September 24, 2013
The IBM partnership makes Apple a real enterprise player in retail – July 19, 2014
Apple + IBM: Connecting the dots – July 18, 2014
Why Apple’s deal with IBM is the biggest tech news of 2014 – July 18, 2014
Apple’s deal with IBM is a strategic strike in a larger war – July 17, 2014
What Apple gets from its new iOS partnership with IBM – July 17, 2014
The one huge thing missing in Apple’s big enterprise deal with IBM or something – July 17, 2014
Apple+IBM: Winners and losers – July 16, 2014
Cringely on Apple+IBM: Meh – July 16, 2014
Apple: Morphing into a beautiful masterpiece – July 16, 2014
Don’t fall for those who claim Apple’s new deal with IBM isn’t important — it’s huge – July 16, 2014
Apple+IBM take on the enterprise: Beleaguered Blackberry another big loser – July 16, 2014
Apple puts IBM rivalry to rest with paradigm-smashing corporate sales deal – July 16, 2014
Tim Bajarin: Apple-IBM deal is bad news for Google and Microsoft – July 16, 2014
Jim Cramer: Apple wins again – July 16, 2014
Apple’s IBM alliance kills Google in the enterprise – July 15, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s memo to employees: IBM deal builds on Apple’s incredible momentum in the enterprise – July 15, 2014
Apple, with IBM, aims to transform and dominate enterprise computing – July 15, 2014
Apple and IBM forge global partnership to transform enterprise mobility – July 15, 2014
Microsoft to begin axing thousands of employees as soon as this week – July 15, 2014


    1. Friends of mine worked for Microsoft and I’ve been on their Redmond campus a couple of times. (I love the awful looking brown sculpture on the campus referred to by employees as “Shithenge.”) My friends (no longer) were clueless about what ailed the company and everything I’ve told them needed to be done (Ballmer drop-kicked out) has come true. Except for that complete bottom to top Windows rewrite. Still they are blindly loyal. Loyalty is fine, stupidity is not.

      Needless to say the especially doofus uber-libtard wife owns a Windows phone and Windows 8 tablet even though she no longer works there. That says it all doesn’t it? Stupid is as stupid does.

      1. I love the pointless political jab there. What if I told you I know some “uber-libtards” who own iPads, iPhones and iMacs? Would your head explode? This cuts across political lines. Unbelievably, perhaps to you, intelligent Republicans aren’t the only people who own Apple products. Intelligent Democrats own them too. Do you see the commonality there? Look hard. There’s one word (it’s an adjective, right before the name of the political party) that describes said owners. I would be willing to bet that there are even Republicans who own Surfaces! Imagine!

        But why bother trying to reason with somebody who infuses their comments with political hate. In today’s political climate it’s pointless, so screw it.

        1. The point of an uber anything, if you had understood my meaning, with politics is being obnoxious & ridiculously over the top. Get it? She just happened to be a liberal of the bleeding heart variety and not a gun toting conservative or however the cliche goes. Not a comment on intelligence or party affiliation so much as off-putting political zealotry in any form. But I do think anyone who identifies too heavily with any one party is a bit daft. Think for yourself as the Beatle tune goes.

            1. I wasn’t talking about my wife but an ex-friend’s wife and yes there is no love lost. It happens. Don’t presume to know who I love and respect and I’ll do you the same courtesy.

            2. Perhaps you should try a little harder to understand first than being a knee jerk endless diatribe hyper-critical critic? I have to say I can’t stand your apparent type. I’m sure the feeling is disingenuously mutual.

  1. The essence of it all is distilled into that one sentence:

    “I’m going to build devices that are irresistible for consumers, and CIOs will just have to deal with it.”

  2. Nadella is in a heavy psychedelic hallucination involving right-sized synergy fairies and other managerial mystic toads. In a nutshell, no one anywhere really knows what the fsck he’s talking about.

  3. I think a company has a problem when they actually believe their rivals are selling TOYS by the tens of millions of units. There’s no way an iPhone or iPad can be classified as toys. They’re more like flexible tools and are as useful depending on the skills of the programmers and users.

    I always used to have this attitude that a manual transmission was best because although it was a little more complicated to master the results were better in terms of performance.

    However, with the latest computer controlled automatic transmissions with 8 and 9 speeds are probably better than even a skilled driver can manage. The latest prototype race Audi R18 e-tron quattros have 6-speed automatics and even skilled race drivers say those those automatics are a dream to use with multiple computer mode settings.

    My point is that Apple has taken devices that would be hard for the average person to use and made them into relatively simple devices that don’t require a lot of expertise to get good use out of. Microsoft still thinks it’s better to make devices more complicated than they need to be for the skilled user. It’s probably a waste of time except for nerds.

    1. Hey there. I’ve been really enjoying reading your posts over the last while and this one is no exception.
      You are right about Apple making things simple, and that’s the way it should be.
      User friendly to Microsoft means you need a lot of friends to figure out how to do something and that’s the toy. Microsoft and by extension their hard to wear partners say that they are about productivity but really it’s about having a few beers over the weekends with fellow geeks and jargonizing about the VUWR-38974 vs. the XL-5 hard drives while replacing the Y4RKU-69 video card with the new improved RUNUTS-007 one so that the latest version of whatever flavor game can be finally played without lagging.

      Tinker toys to open up, fiddle around with and show off to friends.

      1. Fine contributions to mythical computer lore, you have made. Your new definition of user-friendly, and acronyms like RUNUTS? — genius.

        Me. After hours I’d be found pounding beers with American engineers & we’d make stuff up just like that, and laugh and laugh, until I’d drunk those clods under the table. My way of making a statement, Road Warrior.

        1. I figured you were not American a while back. I’d say British but not totally sure. Drinking Americans under the table is easy and fun to do, just as long you don’t drink American beer. Why anyone would drink American beer is beyond me, but perhaps it’s an acquired taste although the extreme, a total lack of taste would not surprise me either.

          Disclaimer for some of the other readers: This is a joke and appropriate /sshjt tags will be inserted at the end of it.

          My definition of user-friendly has been used before and unfortunately it has thwarted many a Mac sale. I guess it’s all right to talk about this now, but you’ll forgive me if I tremble while writing this. It was years ago, during an introductory keynote speech at an uber geek conference that the first and correct definition of user-friendly as it applied to Mac Operating System vs. DOS was being presented to the crowd in attendance.

          I was cutting my teeth back then, helping my mentor behind the scenes, an Einstein brilliance with more letters after his name than most people have in their alphabet soup bowls.

          I had never seen anything like the presentation room before. It was a gym, full of attendees who were sitting in front of a computer, a sea of beige boxes. There were others in attendance relegated to the token chairs left at the far back, away from the inner circle of those who no doubt have marked their place in history of the IT gods.

          It was more than a gym, it was a shrine, built up in the days before the conference, wires and cables laden on the ground in an extended web held together by kilometers of duct tape. Something big was going to happen here.

          The presenter I was working with was brilliant during that keynote speech. I peered out from beside the side of the curtain so I could to see the effect of his flowing words evoking loving insight and illumination to the crowd as one would give out fish and bread. It was potent, there was a riveting silence amongst the crowd as he completed his speech.

          Apple is increased productivity.
          Apple is increased accuracy.
          Apple is…

          You’ll have to excuse me at this juncture if I get a bit misty eyed. I knew the speech, he had practiced it with me so often I could silently recite it on my lips. I anticipated the words… user friendly, but it was drowned out by a loud cry from one of the members of the audience:


          Then another repetitive shout from elsewhere… DOOM! I listened as dumbfounded as the presenter while the word like a mantra echoed from one attendee after another, DOOM, DOOM, DOOM.

          It became the origin of how the mantra “Apple is Doomed”. I was there. I heard it, I saw it, the swaying of geeks in front of their computers as if some malefic force had taken their bodies over. It was only until much later of course that I found out that the DOOM those in attendance were yelling about was not about Apple, but rather about this:

          Inserting sarcastic, satire, humor joke take /sshjt here.

          Until next time Hannahjs.

  4. “As with Zune, Kin, and Surface, Microsoft is unnecessary in today’s world. Their rapidly retiring/expiring IT Doofus firewall is the only thing keeping them around today.

    And that’s not going to last much longer, either.”

    Hello IBM!

  5. Gosh, Nutella is a tough read and as I like to keep it simple here is what it sounds like to me.

    Gates built and steered the Titanic while Steve Balmer rearranged the deck chairs and now Nutella will incorporate parts of the iceberg into the structural integrity of the ship to keep it afloat.

    All I await now is MDN to come up with some really nice photo of Nutella.

    Think they would like run a contest for it?

  6. Microsoft is afraid to let go of Windows. They’re afraid that once people see that WINDOWS is not necessary, it will open the doors to competing platforms.

    That’s why the version of Office on all non-Windows machines is not compatible with the Windows’ versions. And it just so happens to be the feature that IT counts on the most – Visual Basic.

    1. Microsoft still makes healthy profits, but they are a huge hindrance because they have a use by date. The margins are still very high, so whatever replaces these old, profitable products has to be just as profitable – but that’s never going to happen. Copying Apple has been a disaster (they don’t have the evil smarts of Samsung – not that Samsung’s thievery isn’t now coming unstuck), so the only real course of developing new products that are actually innovative will cause an investor meltdown, because it will take too long to build the margins. It’s hard to see anything but obscurity in Microsoft’s future, though it will take a long time.

  7. macnificentseven48 above has it about right, but let me amplify.

    I love my iPhone/iPad/iMac because all of the things the computer needs to do to BE a computer is done is a totally unobtrusive way, frequently in the background or at night. What I do with each of those devices is do what I want to do with confidence that it will work the first time, without security headaches and if I need a backup of either the whole the device or just one file, the backup is there easy to get to.

    In contrast, EVERYDAY I need to do something “sytem wise” on a windows machine. Today, I messed with an XP, yes an XP machine from 8:45 to 12:05 and got no work done. It is Friday,in the middle of summer, and I’ll be working until 7pm to make up the time to get done with I need to get done. Does anyone over at Microsoft really think I’ll forget about what happened today and run out and buy a Win 8 machine, a win tablet, or a win phone? Really? Do you think I’ll forget?

    PS: my post yesterday was about how reliable my iPad 1 is after 4.5 years……… still 10 hour battery life. still completely backed up under iCloud. A Virus on it? Oh, please. a stupid “security warning” like “you computer might be unsafe” warning? Yeah right.

  8. Here’s the real problem: Microsoft (and obviously Intel) still believe that there is a difference between consumer mobile/desktop products and enterprise mobile/desktop products. That may have been true 10 years ago, when hardware and software was not capable of handling both.

    But no longer. What hardware could you possibly add to the iPhone that would make it better for enterprise? Sure, there are little add-ons, like credit card readers, but the iPhone has hardware-based encryption, TouchID, full email/web/app capabilities, etc. etc.

    This is what IBM realized — that the iPhone and iPad ARE enterprise hardware, they just need great apps written for them that make them even better. And that’s the easy part.

  9. Microsoft is burdened not by it’s corporate culture (though that is a huge problem) but by their hardcore chip-head customers. The MS fanbois simply won’t stand for a re-write of the code base. All they care about is that their X86 spaghetti code be forever supported, DLL hell and all. MS is not stupid. They know what they need to do – they just can’t.

    1. You’re right! There is a market, albeit an ever shrinking one, for tech-heads that want to tinker with the hardware and software for some kind of computer alchemy.

      For Microsoft, there are probably tens of thousands (or more, but who really cares what the number is) of these hardware and software ‘hackers’ out there who love nothing better than swapping out PCI cards and updating drivers. These ‘customers’ will be around for a long time. And that’s ok.

      On the flip-side, Apple has the larger consumer population that couldn’t give a rats ass about tinkering with the inner workings of their devices. The same thing has happened with cars – most people just want to get from A to B – but they want to do so in comfort. The same can be said for Apple devices. People just want the damn thing to work day after day without intrusive reboots and endless updates.

      With every release of Windows, Microsoft says ‘This is the most secure Windows yet’. Sure. What they don’t tell you is that only want to make it SLIGHTLY better. Not completely secure as to void any reason to purchase future versions.
      So yes, you are absolutely correct. Microsoft is not stupid – they know exactly what they are doing. The trouble is the market in which people are willing to put up with their games is dwindling and fast.

Reader Feedback

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