Microsoft CEO

Steve Ballmer Speaks at Web2.0 Conference in San Francisco, CA.

Q: “Can you convince me to buy something from Microsoft v. Apple?” Did I mention we are going to sell 350M Windows devices. We aren’t going anywhere we are winning, winning, winning. – paraphrasing

Except I have been buying, selling and integrating PC’s and Windows for 20yrs. 2 months ago I switched from a PC laptop to a MacBook Air, so maybe its only 349M devices, plus I am not buying a Windows phone. I may be forced to buy a new Xbox 360 because my kids like it but the hardware doesn’t last.  Every Xbox I have every owned has ended in the red ring of death. As a consumer that makes me feel ripped off. That is interesting because that’s one of the main reasons I bought an Apple over a PC. I wanted something that would last and make me feel like I made a smart investment. When I listened to the video Steve made me feel like I have to buy Microsoft because he says so and that turned me off. Then he touts SharePoint as a $2B chunk of revenue.  SharePoint its free, at least WSS is free but if you really want to use SharePoint in the enterprise here is our price list, take a while sit back and try and figure it out.  Because it takes a full time position just to understand how to license Microsoft products in the enterprise.  Then you will need to buy several third party software products to actually make SharePoint do all the great things the pinwheel says it can do.  I am not saying this isn’t smart business because obviously it is, $2B can’t be wrong. Developers love it and the partners and ISV’s who focus exclusively on Microsoft love it.  Do all the customers love it?

I sat in front of the Microsoft Store for 30 minutes a few months ago and nothing made me want to go in, the only thing that looked exciting or fun was a kid playing with Xbox connect. Everyone else in the store looked like they were trying to be the guys at the Apple store but they weren’t very stoked about it. Then I went down to the Apple store and it was filled with genuine joy and excitement about technology. I guess as a consumer and a technology professional I just don’t feel joy and excitement when I think about Microsoft.

I am not trying to hate on Microsoft, I am just sharing my POV.  Microsoft will be a dominate player for many years to come and I will admit that I did buy Office for my Mac.

Q: What would it take for Microsoft to put joy and excitement back into the mix?


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