When I interviewed Steve Ballmer a few years back he said Microsoft is in the game to win.
But when you’re inside Microsoft the employees use different language. Many projects there are simply defensive ones. To keep a competitor from getting more inroads into one of its businesses. iPod, for instance, isn’t threatening to Microsoft directly, but they started the Zune project up when they noticed that a decent percentage of people, after buying an iPod, would switch their computers from Windows to Macs. THAT threatens Microsoft’s core business.
The problem is that whenever you do something just to defend another business you don’t do it from a position of love. Or a position of strength.
I’m totally uninspired. Yawn.
Where’s the 16:9 wide screen? Where’s the super-dooper-podcasting features (and why weren’t these announced last week at the Podcasting Expo? Talk about a blown opportunity)?
Michael Gartenberg says that the features are actually pretty good but the marketing/messaging sucks. Again, this is a defensive product. It’s not a visionary one like the Tablet PC that Gates came up with on his own. The execs probably told the Zune team “stop the bleeding” or something metaphorically equivilent and the fact that they did a good job is surprising to Gates.
On the other hand, Apple HAS pissed off many of its most rabid evangelists lately. This Gizmodo post is one artifact of that. Apple’s treatment of developers and early adopters has opened up a marketing hole that Microsoft COULD take advantage of.
But only if Microsoft is in this game to win. It’s not. So we get uninspired product. Uninspired messaging. Uninspired launch dates.
Yawn. Wake me up when Macworld is here in January.