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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.

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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?

Use the comments below to respond…

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  1. I agree with some things, but how does Romney’s campaigne compare with Microsoft?

  2. Saying Romney’s campaign was “well intentioned” might be a stretch. Their intentions were to win but other than that their intentions were extremely questionable.

  3. I think MS are doing great, Surface, Win-8, Windows Server 2012, all great products that work and do as promised. What else do U want ???

  4. RT must allow the install of other browsers. Many mobile sites and apps are based on webkit. If IE 10 will not support webkit, step aside and let others be installed.

  5. Finish the tablet (METRO) UI. RT should not be switching to the desktop or legacy looking UI elements. While the power behind RT is Windows, strict tablet users should never see it.

  6. In Windows 8, allow booting to the desktop as a configuration option, and bring back the start button. If not for a third party app that did this for me, I would have dumped Windows 8 altogether. Microsoft is heading in the right direction. Stop pouting when told things are quite right and make the changes your users demand.
    Remember Microsoft, it’s not about you, it’s about your customers.

  7. Were I an MSNBC pundit, I would label Win 8 as the first battle in “Microsoft’s war on the Start Menu.” As the various Win 8 third-party Start Menu alternatives demonstrate, there’s plenty of room for the old start menu and new start screen to co-exist. It seems like MS has gone out of its way to offend users when it had no need to do so. Sort of like Romney espousing “self deportation” for “illegals,” and thus alienating a key bloc of voters.

  8. Oh, one last rant…
    Can we hire some folks at the Microsoft on-line store that have a clue???
    Returned my RT days after it arrived. Still waiting for refund on the Type Cover. No response, no refund, no clue!!!

    • Their telephone tech support is equally clueless. I had a problem with my RT system that they were unable to solve over the phone. I asked if they had a “genius bar” at the Microsoft store that might be able to take a closer look. They put me on hold to check, and came back ten minutes later to say they couldn’t find any Genius Bar app in their list of applications. This individual had never heard of Apple’s genius Bar, although they did admit to owning an iPod.

  9. I bought win 8 pro for the $15 offer, besides hating it had serious issues , wiped drive and reinistalled Win 7 Pro and happy

  10. I think these are very good conversation points about 2 well intentioned campaigns that were managed and ran very badly. What is sad … is in the past everyone knew what the next Microsoft product was going to be! Now, when I mentioned the Microsoft Surface I would say 75 percent or more people I speak to have NO IDEA what I’m talking about!!!!! That is VERY BAD MARKETING!!!!!!!

  11. disqus_uIWDwrMIxO / December 18, 2012 at 3:43 am /Reply

    They sold a basketball game called basketball, it was minesweep, it boggles how many arcade games don’t even exist anymore that, “portend”, to be on Mime arcage. The professionalism, the pride, the down right gold bar funding of a real williams 8 way joystick, its like missing Vegas Barbie, no brain washing, PsHsSH! XPPP

  12. Yes indeed. I noticed the similarities as you may remember, I had been commenting on your blog about the similarities between the Windows 8 and Republican campaign – especially the money part.

    Sigh. Unfortunately you are right. Unfortunately, I bought in, but as the song says, you gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.

  13. So in other words, the masses will swallow the shiny crap that is overhyped, overpriced, doesn’t amount to any real work being accomplished or do a damn thing to make life easier. Ooo, it’s The Messiah and his court jester Joey Hairplugs, they are like an ipad and ipad mini. Have fun enjoying Santa Clause 365 morons, that is until it all collapses. Then you can ask siri what the hell happened and maybe the robot can explain it to you in dumbed down english

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