7 ways Microsoft is comparable to the Romney Campaign

Romney at Microsoft

I haven’t written an article in a while (been busy) but I have been keeping an eye on things and this has been a rough couple of weeks for Redmond.

First Julie Larson-Green goes out there and says they were working on Windows 8 when the iPad was released (thanks for sharing). Then Google indicate that they’re cutting off support for Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync Protocol.

Google also announced no plans to build out any form of robust Windows 8 apps, Dell say they thought the Windows RT name was a mistake and Tom Warren from The Verge suggested it was time to drop the Windows brand name.

Umm wow.

Well first of all, I strongly disagree with Microsoft dropping the Windows name anytime soon. Windows is a fantastic brand that is instantly recognizable worldwide. The brand is not the issue.

I respectfully would suggest that maybe the people that make up the company behind the brand might be the issue.

In the United States, we just got done with an EXHAUSTING Presidential Campaign between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. You (hopefully) all know how the story ended but I see similarities between Microsoft and the Romney camp.

Let’s get started…

Well Intentioned

I think Windows 8 is a good faith attempt at reinventing the future of computing. One that the company hopefully will continue to refine with time.

Foot in mouth disease

I thought foot in mouth disease was largely limited to Steve Ballmer in that company but it might not be the case. Executives from Microsoft tend to say things that just sound absolutely ridiculous but seem to have no self awareness about them. From the comments from Larson Green about the iPad to Ballmers comments about, well there are so many to pick from.

Let’s not even talk about how they pretend that the entire Metro thing was a Dallas Bobby Ewing In The Shower All A Dream moment.

Slow to recognize trends

Mobile, iPad, iTunes, Macbooks, Phones, Browsers. No need to say more.

Slow to recognize and handle problems

Romney it seems never let go of his Svengali – Stuart Stevens and based on the results, probably should have. The entire Steven Sinofsky thing is an example of sloppy leadership from Mr. Ballmer. Not one thing that has come out about Mr. Sinofsky is a) new or b) surprising. He didn’t play well with others – what a shock.

As a CEO, Ballmer should have told Mr. Sinofsky to play well or leave. Half way through Windows 8, he should have followed up on that. Based on the TERRIBLE timing of that departure, it just feels like the chief advocate of Windows 8 is gone.

Access to Resources

The worst part of the issue is, they have lots of money. Money is no object. They have access to talent as well. Year after year it’s one of the most desirable places to work.


Seems like the company is not really willing to look outside of existing paradigms to solve problems. Start Menu and starting in the start screen are two examples. Those two issues are eating Windows 8 alive and the company refuses to budge.

Down the street, Apple just raised the white flag on maps and let Google maps back in. One company listened to consumers and the other….

Out of Touch

No matter how many times they say they get it, it really doesn’t seem like the company does. While the enterprise side of the house generates way more revenue, Windows as a consumer product is the soul of that company.

When Windows isn’t doing well, it feels like the entire company isn’t doing well even though (once again) the numbers don’t correspond.

It’s just puzzling to watch this company struggle with so many concepts that seem so obvious to pundits and watchers alike.

Before the haters begin, I like Windows 8 and want it to succeed but it has it’s share of tweaks that need to be made before it’s a must have OS. I think the tweaks are relatively easy to make and hopefully Microsoft will make them.

The main problem is, just like in politics, you have a finite amount of time to define yourself. Time is running out before consumers write off Windows 8 and start to look to Windows 9.

At that point, it will be too late.

What do you think Microsoft’s main problems are?

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