Microsoft PR guy trash talks Apple

Ahh, now you know why I still read my feeds. TechMeme doesn’t catch stuff like this, invaluable as it may be.

Frank Shaw works for Waggener Edstrom and heads the Microsoft account and has his take on Apple’s week at MacWorld.

I agree with his analysis and I too had the reaction “Apple’s doing a book reader” after Steve Jobs told a reporter that the Kindle would fail because no one reads books (he said the same thing about video on the iPod, remember?)

Along these lines, I can’t believe how some companies treat bloggers. Target, for shame! I guess I’m not a “core guest.” Funny enough I once had a Target credit card cause I spent so much money in Targets.

Comments

  1. Looks like the guy is a PR wanna-be. Not good enough to make it in to Apple’s PR so he works for Microsoft. ;)

    Microsoft PR should spend less time blogging and more time improving their dodgy PR. You don’t see Apple PR people blogging. Check out the second great ad from Apple in the NYTO.

    And to compare the MacBook Air to the Cube? The guy has no idea right there.

  2. Looks like the guy is a PR wanna-be. Not good enough to make it in to Apple’s PR so he works for Microsoft. ;)

    Microsoft PR should spend less time blogging and more time improving their dodgy PR. You don’t see Apple PR people blogging. Check out the second great ad from Apple in the NYTO.

    And to compare the MacBook Air to the Cube? The guy has no idea right there.

  3. At the time, I thought Jobs was right about video on an iPod…and I still do…given the realities of that time. Who knew that Apple (and its partners) would be able to put together a device that a) could replay video under battery power without crapping out in the middle, and b) make a large enough and bright enough display that wouldn’t help the processor drain the battery before the movie finished. And, unlike music CDs that we all can rip ourselves, Apple at that time was in no position to convince the movie industry that it was in their best interests to make their wares available digitally.

    But when Jobs says he isn’t making an eReader, I believe him. An eSpeaker? Well, we already have that.

  4. At the time, I thought Jobs was right about video on an iPod…and I still do…given the realities of that time. Who knew that Apple (and its partners) would be able to put together a device that a) could replay video under battery power without crapping out in the middle, and b) make a large enough and bright enough display that wouldn’t help the processor drain the battery before the movie finished. And, unlike music CDs that we all can rip ourselves, Apple at that time was in no position to convince the movie industry that it was in their best interests to make their wares available digitally.

    But when Jobs says he isn’t making an eReader, I believe him. An eSpeaker? Well, we already have that.

  5. Diego: he’s far from the only one to make that comparison. Lots of people I have talked with think the Air is a joke. Underpowered and overpriced.

    I’m still buying one, though. Which makes Bob in #1 right. Sigh.

  6. Diego: he’s far from the only one to make that comparison. Lots of people I have talked with think the Air is a joke. Underpowered and overpriced.

    I’m still buying one, though. Which makes Bob in #1 right. Sigh.

  7. David: well, only 20% of the American public owns a passport. Since the Air is aimed at people who travel and since Americans don’t travel, the Air should be a huge flop. ;-)

  8. David: well, only 20% of the American public owns a passport. Since the Air is aimed at people who travel and since Americans don’t travel, the Air should be a huge flop. ;-)

  9. Ah Jeez,

    We go through this every year.

    Was it 2 years ago macworld that bloggers were speculating Jobs was tired looking and he wasnt going to last much longer.

    Wasn’t it the same as ipod announcement years ago?

    Blogging about the live keynote blogging like this MS guy you linked to is like the telephone game.

    He hasnt seen the product (air book but it doesnt matter what the product is) but dismisses it outright. yeah right, dude (not you scoble).

    And his comment about putting lipstick on a pig re:apple tv is just ignorant-renting videos is a long term proposition and could be a real success.

  10. Ah Jeez,

    We go through this every year.

    Was it 2 years ago macworld that bloggers were speculating Jobs was tired looking and he wasnt going to last much longer.

    Wasn’t it the same as ipod announcement years ago?

    Blogging about the live keynote blogging like this MS guy you linked to is like the telephone game.

    He hasnt seen the product (air book but it doesnt matter what the product is) but dismisses it outright. yeah right, dude (not you scoble).

    And his comment about putting lipstick on a pig re:apple tv is just ignorant-renting videos is a long term proposition and could be a real success.

  11. My hunch on the Air: first 90-120 days they sell a boatload of em to Marketing/Sales Execs and CEOs, then they retool em, drop one to $1599 and introduce a few more powerful versions at the same price points.

    I also think we’ll see a new MB Pro in the next 90 days.

    In the meanwhile, I don’t know what the heck to spend my money one! :)

  12. My hunch on the Air: first 90-120 days they sell a boatload of em to Marketing/Sales Execs and CEOs, then they retool em, drop one to $1599 and introduce a few more powerful versions at the same price points.

    I also think we’ll see a new MB Pro in the next 90 days.

    In the meanwhile, I don’t know what the heck to spend my money one! :)

  13. Actually, Target does have a point. By not responding to bloggers, they’ve taken away the self-entitlement mentality that many of us have.

    I think a lot of companies would do well to say “F U” to bloggers and focus on productive alternatives.

    Even though I blog, I agree with Target.

  14. Actually, Target does have a point. By not responding to bloggers, they’ve taken away the self-entitlement mentality that many of us have.

    I think a lot of companies would do well to say “F U” to bloggers and focus on productive alternatives.

    Even though I blog, I agree with Target.

  15. Jeremy: Target might be right to not talk to bloggers, but they absolutely are wrong for the reason that they gave. Truth is that bloggers DO talk with their core “members.”

  16. Jeremy: Target might be right to not talk to bloggers, but they absolutely are wrong for the reason that they gave. Truth is that bloggers DO talk with their core “members.”

  17. While I don’t agree with trash talking as a rule, I must agree that the Air is overpriced and under performing for the money. People will buy it because it’s thin. That’s it. I’m more impressed with some of the Panasonic laptops. Shop in Asia sometime. Some of the laptops there are so far ahead of what we have it’s a crying shame.

    Robert, I agree that Americans don’t travel. It’s their loss. I grew up with a family that worked for the government. I lived all over (US, Europe, and Asia). Americans just don’t realize what they are missing out on. Americans wonder why Europeans speak several languages, know the world better, generally are better educated, etc. The list goes on.

    Korea, for example, is so far ahead of the US in broadband penetration, for instance, it’s laughable. Americans try and monetize everything to death — that’s part of the problem. Hell, broadband everywhere but the US (UK may be exception) is getting faster and cheaper because the governments have a say.

    If you don’t believe me about the monetization of EVERYTHING, check out this article about the US medical system looking at obtaining patient credit scores before treatment to see liklihood of patient paying. http://redtape.msnbc.com/2008/01/the-doctor-wi-1.html#posts

    This country has a lot of problems, dying unions, no universal healthcare, crappy broadband plans, offshoring jobs to third-world countries to save money rather than pay Americans (after all, high salaries equal spending and taxes — a rising tide lifts all boats).

  18. While I don’t agree with trash talking as a rule, I must agree that the Air is overpriced and under performing for the money. People will buy it because it’s thin. That’s it. I’m more impressed with some of the Panasonic laptops. Shop in Asia sometime. Some of the laptops there are so far ahead of what we have it’s a crying shame.

    Robert, I agree that Americans don’t travel. It’s their loss. I grew up with a family that worked for the government. I lived all over (US, Europe, and Asia). Americans just don’t realize what they are missing out on. Americans wonder why Europeans speak several languages, know the world better, generally are better educated, etc. The list goes on.

    Korea, for example, is so far ahead of the US in broadband penetration, for instance, it’s laughable. Americans try and monetize everything to death — that’s part of the problem. Hell, broadband everywhere but the US (UK may be exception) is getting faster and cheaper because the governments have a say.

    If you don’t believe me about the monetization of EVERYTHING, check out this article about the US medical system looking at obtaining patient credit scores before treatment to see liklihood of patient paying. http://redtape.msnbc.com/2008/01/the-doctor-wi-1.html#posts

    This country has a lot of problems, dying unions, no universal healthcare, crappy broadband plans, offshoring jobs to third-world countries to save money rather than pay Americans (after all, high salaries equal spending and taxes — a rising tide lifts all boats).

  19. Not sure I understand Frank Shaw’s piece. First he says Apple’s closed-mouth approach worked brilliantly last year with the iPhone, but “not so much” this year. Is that because Apple has the wrong approach to PR, or because the iPhone is a hard act to follow?

    In any event, the last time I checked, Apple wasn’t exactly in dire financial straits, so it seems a bit early for Wagg Ed to declare the death of Apple’s approach to PR.

    As for an Apple eBook reader, yeah, the Jobs statement that nobody reads does suspiciously sound previous occasions where he doth protested too much, but I am hoping they come out with an Apple tablet instead of a dedicated e-Book reader. The best e-Book experiences I’ve had were using Microsoft Reader on a Tablet PC in portrait mode, but besides books (which “nobody” reads), you’ve got magazines over at Zinio and newspapers over at Newsstand. That plus a web browser, and iTunes…

    Who needs a dedicated e-Book reader? Certainly not a Kindle where the web browser is some kind of beta code, tacked-on afterthought, and the RSS feeds cost extra.

  20. Not sure I understand Frank Shaw’s piece. First he says Apple’s closed-mouth approach worked brilliantly last year with the iPhone, but “not so much” this year. Is that because Apple has the wrong approach to PR, or because the iPhone is a hard act to follow?

    In any event, the last time I checked, Apple wasn’t exactly in dire financial straits, so it seems a bit early for Wagg Ed to declare the death of Apple’s approach to PR.

    As for an Apple eBook reader, yeah, the Jobs statement that nobody reads does suspiciously sound previous occasions where he doth protested too much, but I am hoping they come out with an Apple tablet instead of a dedicated e-Book reader. The best e-Book experiences I’ve had were using Microsoft Reader on a Tablet PC in portrait mode, but besides books (which “nobody” reads), you’ve got magazines over at Zinio and newspapers over at Newsstand. That plus a web browser, and iTunes…

    Who needs a dedicated e-Book reader? Certainly not a Kindle where the web browser is some kind of beta code, tacked-on afterthought, and the RSS feeds cost extra.

  21. “Lots of people I have talked with think the Air is a joke. Underpowered and overpriced.”

    How many time does this happen in computing, and consumer electronics in general? In time the price will drop, the specs will change and improve and everyone will be wondering why all the talk about it being a “joke”. I can’t believe that this happens every time. And because it’s Apple these comments get magnified 1000% times, simply because it gets press.

    As for the Microsoft PR saying this. Well, would anyone expect anything else? Microsoft PR is supposed to be anti-Apple-PR. Plain and simple. Happened with this PR guy. Happened with Robbie (I’m on the losing team) Bach playing up the Zune. It’s their job. Kick the other guy and pump up your own game. Did you see the frenzy of Microsoft bloggers (either people that work for MS or make a living from them) come out and comment (most negatively) about Apple’s MacWorld? Obvious why that is, I’m sure. I guess it gave them something to comment on since there was zero from Microsoft at CES.

  22. “Lots of people I have talked with think the Air is a joke. Underpowered and overpriced.”

    How many time does this happen in computing, and consumer electronics in general? In time the price will drop, the specs will change and improve and everyone will be wondering why all the talk about it being a “joke”. I can’t believe that this happens every time. And because it’s Apple these comments get magnified 1000% times, simply because it gets press.

    As for the Microsoft PR saying this. Well, would anyone expect anything else? Microsoft PR is supposed to be anti-Apple-PR. Plain and simple. Happened with this PR guy. Happened with Robbie (I’m on the losing team) Bach playing up the Zune. It’s their job. Kick the other guy and pump up your own game. Did you see the frenzy of Microsoft bloggers (either people that work for MS or make a living from them) come out and comment (most negatively) about Apple’s MacWorld? Obvious why that is, I’m sure. I guess it gave them something to comment on since there was zero from Microsoft at CES.

  23. As for saying that Apple is coming out with an eBook reader because Steve said people don’t read anymore… you know, he could just really mean that and there’s no ebook reader. But having seeing his comments on such things as video on iPods, every time he denies something it automatically means that Apple is working on such a thing. :)

  24. As for saying that Apple is coming out with an eBook reader because Steve said people don’t read anymore… you know, he could just really mean that and there’s no ebook reader. But having seeing his comments on such things as video on iPods, every time he denies something it automatically means that Apple is working on such a thing. :)

  25. Remember the infamous /. review of the original iPod?

    “No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.”

    Yeah–prescient, not.

    We’re still hearing geeks talking to geeks, still blithely deluding themselves that they’ve got some insight, some clue, about consumer electronics.

    Instead the folks who are gonna buy the Air (and any other mass-market product) are the ones who don’t care a bit about specs & dream-features and are instead gonna ask “Will it do what I use a laptop for?” and “Will I feel good about having it?”

    End of story.

    Apple banks another billion.

  26. Remember the infamous /. review of the original iPod?

    “No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.”

    Yeah–prescient, not.

    We’re still hearing geeks talking to geeks, still blithely deluding themselves that they’ve got some insight, some clue, about consumer electronics.

    Instead the folks who are gonna buy the Air (and any other mass-market product) are the ones who don’t care a bit about specs & dream-features and are instead gonna ask “Will it do what I use a laptop for?” and “Will I feel good about having it?”

    End of story.

    Apple banks another billion.

  27. 1) The Air: IF I were a “road warrior”, the Air’s the only ultralight portable worth considering.
    2) I DON’T believe Jobs is planing a Reader. Besides, an iPod Touch does everything the “Kindle” does, but better.
    3) I don’t mind going to the video store. I don’t think I’d mind the Netflix-by-mail thing. But the idea of streaming movies to my home– yea, that sounds pretty convenient. If I watched more movies, Id; definately be interested. And Appel has NO competition in this arena right now. ComCast VOD is regional– not available everywhere. Walmart downloadable video is defunct. XBox is not suitable as a movie platform. Netflix downloadable and AMZN UnBox are utterly worthless– neither a) plays on portable devices b) plays on a Mac an all. Perhaps there are services I’ve missed? I don’t know much about VUDU.

  28. 1) The Air: IF I were a “road warrior”, the Air’s the only ultralight portable worth considering.
    2) I DON’T believe Jobs is planing a Reader. Besides, an iPod Touch does everything the “Kindle” does, but better.
    3) I don’t mind going to the video store. I don’t think I’d mind the Netflix-by-mail thing. But the idea of streaming movies to my home– yea, that sounds pretty convenient. If I watched more movies, Id; definately be interested. And Appel has NO competition in this arena right now. ComCast VOD is regional– not available everywhere. Walmart downloadable video is defunct. XBox is not suitable as a movie platform. Netflix downloadable and AMZN UnBox are utterly worthless– neither a) plays on portable devices b) plays on a Mac an all. Perhaps there are services I’ve missed? I don’t know much about VUDU.

  29. “Microsoft PR guy trash talks Apple”
    “invaluable as it may be.”

    Right, you wouldn’t want to miss any opportunity to trash Apple, no matter how cheap or poorly informed. No matter what the credentials or experience of the “guy” is, as long as it’s negative and ugly.
    For those of you who want Robert to mention your blog, here are some tips:

    Always refer to Mac users as “Fanatics”. Always refer to Steve Jobs as: “control freak” Steve Jobs. Always call Mac people “smug”.

  30. “Microsoft PR guy trash talks Apple”
    “invaluable as it may be.”

    Right, you wouldn’t want to miss any opportunity to trash Apple, no matter how cheap or poorly informed. No matter what the credentials or experience of the “guy” is, as long as it’s negative and ugly.
    For those of you who want Robert to mention your blog, here are some tips:

    Always refer to Mac users as “Fanatics”. Always refer to Steve Jobs as: “control freak” Steve Jobs. Always call Mac people “smug”.

  31. One more thing while I’m here…some tips for Mac people blogging about Robert:

    Always refer to Robert as “The phony PodTech blogger who really works for Microsoft” or “The braying Microsoft donkey Robert Scoble” or “The Alfred E Neuman of tech, Robert Scoble”.

  32. One more thing while I’m here…some tips for Mac people blogging about Robert:

    Always refer to Robert as “The phony PodTech blogger who really works for Microsoft” or “The braying Microsoft donkey Robert Scoble” or “The Alfred E Neuman of tech, Robert Scoble”.

  33. “Always refer to Mac users as “Fanatics”.”

    Or the gentler form, “the Mac faithful”. We buy Macs to fulfill some inner emptiness; not because the products work damn well. Right. I’ve always thought Windows people were the cultists. How many Vista service packs is it going to take before they just give it up? It’s not going to get any better. MSFT has NO incentive to put serious effort into their products, with 90% market share and shills in every IT department.

  34. “Always refer to Mac users as “Fanatics”.”

    Or the gentler form, “the Mac faithful”. We buy Macs to fulfill some inner emptiness; not because the products work damn well. Right. I’ve always thought Windows people were the cultists. How many Vista service packs is it going to take before they just give it up? It’s not going to get any better. MSFT has NO incentive to put serious effort into their products, with 90% market share and shills in every IT department.

  35. I am a pc guy and even i agree with the first comment you guys are both tools! BUT I STILL HATE ITUNES THE SOFTWARE SUCKS AND UNTIL MAC LETS THE PEOPLE THAT PAY GOOD MONEY FOR AN IPOD CHOOSE THEIR MEDIA SOFTWARE CONTROL FREAK JERK IS THE NAME I USE!!!!

  36. I am a pc guy and even i agree with the first comment you guys are both tools! BUT I STILL HATE ITUNES THE SOFTWARE SUCKS AND UNTIL MAC LETS THE PEOPLE THAT PAY GOOD MONEY FOR AN IPOD CHOOSE THEIR MEDIA SOFTWARE CONTROL FREAK JERK IS THE NAME I USE!!!!

  37. Zato, do you need a hug? – Look, as you said above and as the headline states “Microsoft PR guy trash talks Apple”.

    All the relevant details to the integrity of the piece by Frank Shaw are in that headline … ’nuff said.

    SJ does have a history of his thoughts regarding the education system in America, which might relate to his thoughts about book reading and an iBook.

    I would have thought it wold be a no brainer to build an iBook along the lines of a larger iPhone, who the heck would not want all the worlds libraries in their pocket.

  38. Zato, do you need a hug? – Look, as you said above and as the headline states “Microsoft PR guy trash talks Apple”.

    All the relevant details to the integrity of the piece by Frank Shaw are in that headline … ’nuff said.

    SJ does have a history of his thoughts regarding the education system in America, which might relate to his thoughts about book reading and an iBook.

    I would have thought it wold be a no brainer to build an iBook along the lines of a larger iPhone, who the heck would not want all the worlds libraries in their pocket.

  39. Well, Jobs trash-talked the Tablet endlessly, and they never did one, six years later, so that theory doesn’t always stand up.

    As far as Target, you should respond to anyone that inquires, housewives from California, customers from the New York Islands or ego-headed bloggers from the Valley. Playing media favorite games, always backfires. Isn’t that what PR is for? Responding to those that took TIME to write in, regardless of whom they might be. All that effort, to say nothing?

  40. Well, Jobs trash-talked the Tablet endlessly, and they never did one, six years later, so that theory doesn’t always stand up.

    As far as Target, you should respond to anyone that inquires, housewives from California, customers from the New York Islands or ego-headed bloggers from the Valley. Playing media favorite games, always backfires. Isn’t that what PR is for? Responding to those that took TIME to write in, regardless of whom they might be. All that effort, to say nothing?

  41. Michael: The difference between the original iPod and the MacBook Air is that the iPod did bring a better user experience. The MacBook Air is just another laptop, which might be lighter and smaller than previous MacBooks, but doesn’t stand that far from other offerings in that market space. And where the iPod turned into a money-printing machine for Apple, I can’t see the Air do the same for them.

    Karim: I totally agree with you on the TabletPC. I used one during my final years at Leiden University and it was perfect for that. Reading PDF documents was much easier than on a normal laptop and saved me from printing them. And Zinio has a number of great magazines and some great offerings, especially for Europeans. With Zinio I’m paying the same as an US subscriber would, now try to get that with a print subscription.

  42. Michael: The difference between the original iPod and the MacBook Air is that the iPod did bring a better user experience. The MacBook Air is just another laptop, which might be lighter and smaller than previous MacBooks, but doesn’t stand that far from other offerings in that market space. And where the iPod turned into a money-printing machine for Apple, I can’t see the Air do the same for them.

    Karim: I totally agree with you on the TabletPC. I used one during my final years at Leiden University and it was perfect for that. Reading PDF documents was much easier than on a normal laptop and saved me from printing them. And Zinio has a number of great magazines and some great offerings, especially for Europeans. With Zinio I’m paying the same as an US subscriber would, now try to get that with a print subscription.

  43. @9. Huh? I think the point Target was making is that their core consumer, across the board, likely does not have a blog. So, they are saying that feedback coming from blogger is not very representative of their customer base. And that’s likely very true. Same would apply to Wal-Mart. Now, if it were Fry’s Electronics, Best Buy, or the like, you have more of a case.

  44. @9. Huh? I think the point Target was making is that their core consumer, across the board, likely does not have a blog. So, they are saying that feedback coming from blogger is not very representative of their customer base. And that’s likely very true. Same would apply to Wal-Mart. Now, if it were Fry’s Electronics, Best Buy, or the like, you have more of a case.

  45. Question – back in 2005, you met with some “PR and marketing folks” at Target and told them about the influence of bloggers. What do you think happened? Why do you think the message never reached the person who originally responded to Amy Jussel?

  46. Question – back in 2005, you met with some “PR and marketing folks” at Target and told them about the influence of bloggers. What do you think happened? Why do you think the message never reached the person who originally responded to Amy Jussel?

  47. I don’t think I would classify that as “trash talk” but I do think PR guys should concentrate on their own companies instead of other companies. It’s like all the presidential candidates slamming each other and calling it a campaign.

  48. I don’t think I would classify that as “trash talk” but I do think PR guys should concentrate on their own companies instead of other companies. It’s like all the presidential candidates slamming each other and calling it a campaign.

  49. The irony here is, of course, that Steve Jobs implied someone was drunk for saying the new Zune was quite good.

    Sauce for the goose…

  50. The irony here is, of course, that Steve Jobs implied someone was drunk for saying the new Zune was quite good.

    Sauce for the goose…

  51. Remember when Steve Jobs dissed the Newton but then went ahead and produced the iPhone? Then Ballmer says the iPhone will fail. Big egos I think.