Sunday, November 29, 2009

Are Microsoft Stores an Apple Store knock-off?

Intrepid blogger Joe Wilcox set off to find the answer to that very

Monday, October 12, 2009

Nice work, AllThingsD

They just ran this photo, with the headline, Danger, Will Robinson! Do Not Approach the SideKick, and a brief post (sourced from this CNET article) saying the Borg has pulled the SideKick off the market for the time being. We really don’t care about the SideKick. We just wanted to run this photo. Nice work, John Paczkowski.

Borg to Sidekick owners: Sorry, but you’re totally screwed

Bad news, Sidekick owners: If the frigtards at Microsoft haven’t retrieved your data yet after that massive server outage, it’s probably lost for good.

That’s the bad news. The good news is, they’re offering you a free month of their service that doesn’t work. The really good news is that there’s still this.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The people have spoken: Scoble for Borg CEO

Well our poll about who should be the new Borg CEO has closed and much to our surprise King of All Bloggers Robert Scoble has emerged as the people’s favorite to replace Steve Ballmer. Scoble got 786 votes, or 39% of the total, compared to 534 for Gates and 507 for Ozzie. Much love to all who participated. And congratulations, Robert Scoble.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Larry Kudlow rants about his Windows PC. Monkey Boy, you are a dead man.

See the Kudlow and Company gang here. Skip through the stuff about oil at the beginning and you’ll get to the love for Apple and the utter hatred for Microsoft. I mean these dudes really unload on the Borg. One dude bashes Ballmer for not completing the Yahoo deal. Kudlow talks about having “computer rage almost on a nightly basis” because his Windows machine sucks so bad. “I’m sick of it,” he says, and then says he’s fed up and is going to switch to a Mac.

There’s something really scary in the voices here. It’s in the tone. You know what I’m hearing? It’s disgust. Nobody comes out and says it, but these guys are fed up with Microsoft. They’re not even angry. They’re just fed up. They’ve had it. They stuck by the company during the DOJ trial and the antitrust mess, because hey, what investor doesn’t love a monopoly. The guys on Wall Street don’t care if you lie, or cheat, or bully your rivals — as long as you’re winning, and making money, and as long as the stock keeps going up.

What they won’t stand for is fuck-ups. Incompetence. Mistakes. And the Borg has been nothing but fuck-ups for what — three years? Listening to these investor dudes talk I’m reminded of a time in the late 1980s when Wall Street guys began ranting about Digital Equipment Corp. For years DEC had been their darling. Ken Olsen walked on water. But suddenly Ken Olsen was a doofus, an idiot. The company which once had been so powerful and so admired almost overnight came to be seen as a loser that couldn’t adapt and change.

You know what? I just realized something. Ballmer is a dead man. Maybe not right now. Not this week. Maybe not even this year. But he’s a dead man. The only thing keeping him around right now is that they don’t have anyone else who could take over for him. Mundie? Ozzie? Please. But the fact is, Ballmer’s investors have lost faith in him. And they will drive him out. Yes, Steve and Bill go way back. Doesn’t matter. At this level, when there’s this much money at stake, hurt feelings don’t matter. As a Wall Street guy once told me, during my time of darkness, “You need a friend? Get a dog. You need a shoulder to cry on? Hire a shrink. After what we’ve paid you, you can afford it.”

Monday, May 12, 2008

Now XP updates are blowing up machines too.

See here. The Vista pollution apparently is spreading backward to XP. Some users of AMD-based machines are installing an XP update and their machines go into “an endless reboot cycle.” You know what? The Borg must die. Honestly. Their time has come and gone. They are no longer able to control their own software. Their business model — a general purpose OS distributed on OEM hardware — is no longer tenable. Stop the madness. Buy a Mac.

FWIW, if you do believe that we’re headed toward a cloud computing future, can you imagine the cloud that Microsoft will run? What will they call it? TardVille? Who in their right mind will choose to get on that cloud? I suppose the poor dopes who currently use AOL on dial-up will end up being shuffled over onto that platform through some Borg-AOL “partnership” or merger.

You know what? I despise those people. Nevertheless I also weep for them.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ballmer’s brilliant move

Well I’ve said it before and I know I’ll say it again — no matter what you may think about Steve Ballmer, whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit he’s probably the most brilliant CEO in our industry and maybe in any industry today. This fantastic bait-and-switch maneuver on Yahoo just proves it. In one fell swoop Ballmer has upended this entire market space, roiled up everyone, forced all of his competitors into more difficult positions — and none more so than Jerry Yang of Yahoo who looks more foolish than ever right now. How long till Yang comes crawling back looking — nay, begging — for a deal with Microsoft? Three months? His shareholders are already preparing an uprising against him. When the dust clears, Ballmer will scoop Yahoo up on the cheap.

Naturally a lot of the filthy hacks and shitbags on Wall Street are getting it all wrong, saying that if Ballmer didn’t have the stomach for a hostile bid why did he bother launching this in the first place, since it was obvious (or should have been anyway) that Yahoo management was never going to negotiate in good faith. Some idiot in the Financial Times says the failure of the deal is “a black eye for Ballmer.” Excuse me? A black eye? This is a triumph for Microsoft. It is perhaps the company’s finest moment. Certainly it marks the high point in Ballmer’s career.

For better coverage, check out the real experts like Mini Microsoft, who’s cheering his ass off (see here) and Borg expert Mary Jo Foley who says the deal “restores my faith in the future of the company” (see here) and Joe Wilcox who says the Borg comes out looking better than Yahoo.

Here at Apple we’ve started a betting pool here about two data points — Yahoo’s stock price on the first trade of the day tomorrow, and its price by the end of the day.

Namaste, Steve Ballmer. I bow to your genius.

Ballmer now looking for other companies to not buy

So Peter Oppenheimer has been our point man watching the Microhoo deal, and he’s predicted all along that it wouldn’t ever take place, for reasons I first pointed out in my now-classic essay entitled Monkey Boy’s three-legged race.

The truly scary take-away from all this, however, is what this botched attempt says about Ballmer as a CEO and Microsoft as a company. The Borgflacks have spent the better part of the past decade trying to change the image of their monstrous overlord. They’ve worked their asses off to make the Borg appear more friendly, more open, more willing to learn from others. This is straight out of the PR 101 playbook, which says that big companies are scary; big evil companies are even scarier; but big evil clumsy companies are the scariest of all. Nobody wants a big teetering giant stumbling through their market threatening to topple over and wipe out entire neighborhoods by accident. But that’s what Microsoft has become — the big stupid retarded giant lurching into the Valley, like King Kong with a lobotomy and a shotgun and a bottle of tequila, stomping around and beating its chest and then stumbling away, having wiped out most of the city.

And what of Ballmer himself? I’ll try to put this politely. He looks like a fucking idiot. The assault on Yahoo was first and foremost an admission that Microsoft has totally fucked up its attempts to build an Internet business. Everybody knew that, of course, but it’s still usually not a good idea to draw attention to your weaknesses.

Then just last week Ballmer started saying that he’d just figured out that his rank and file didn’t like the deal and were dreading it. Like, dude, shouldn’t you have realized that three months ago, before you gathered your army and made noise of war only to shrink away? It’s like Caesar getting all his dudes lined up on the Rubicon and then going, Um, you know what? Let’s not do this after all. Or to use a polite version of the metaphor that Larry used with me on the phone this morning, Ballmer looks like a guy who’s in need of a little Viagra.

The papers reported this morning that maybe this is all part of some nefarious master plan and Ballmer is just trying to crater Yahoo’s stock and drive them back to the table. I doubt it, but if so, we’re back to problem #1 — the image of the Borg as this big stupid giant that has nothing better to do than to lurch into the Valley and wreak havoc and tamper with the stock prices of other companies and send everyone into a kerfuffle. This is now what passes for the Microsoft business plan?

What seems more likely to me is that Ballmer launched this dumbass takeover offer without thinking it through well enough. This, then, is what Microsoft has become. A pathetic, impotent, washed-up old giant, easily rebuffed. It might almost be funny if it weren’t so sad. I mean come on. Stirring up the shit and wasting everyone’s time and then walking away? Out of all the things you could do as a company, that’s the best idea you have?

Others are reporting (see CNET story here) that Monkey Boy may have other victims in his sights. Top targets are Facebook, MySpace and AOL. Not to acquire them, mind you. Just to make a dumb offer and fuck things up for a few months and then walk away.

Great work, Monkey Boy. You’re the laughingstock of our industry. Turns out this video was a lot more prophetic than we knew:

Monday, April 28, 2008

Shameless Borg uses Mother’s Day gift to win customers

Just when you thought the Borg could not be more cheesy, they outdo themselves. This time it’s a Windows Live portrait studio on Union Street in San Francisco, not far from our Chestnut Street store. Deal is you get a free Mother’s Day portrait if you sign up for Windows Live. Talk about customer acquisition costs. Question: Does anyone even know what Windows Live actually is? I mean it’s been out for years and I still don’t get it. I’ve tried reading their Web site to get info and it just makes me more confused.

And now, just in case you weren’t baffled enough already, they’ve introduced Live Mesh. Or Live Mess, as we call it in Cupertino. What is it? Who knows? Who cares? All I know is it’s exactly what you’d expect to get if you took Ray Ozzie, the father of Lotus Notes, and put him in charge of a giant dysfunctional software company. Crazy complicated systems that can’t be described in a single sentence, or even a single page for that matter. Remember how many years Lotus spent trying to explain what Lotus Notes was? Then after about a decade they said, “It’s email.” Whew. Okay. Got it.

You know the big joke among Lotus insiders when Microsoft acquired Ray Ozzie’s company, Groove Networks, was that at long last Lotus had triumphed over the Borg. The phone calls went something like this: Good news, comrade. We’ve finally got them just where we want them!

Back then it was just a joke but you know what? It’s starting to sound not so funny. I’d almost believe IBM somehow set it up to get Ozzie planted into the Borg just so he could wreak havoc inside there. One thing is certain — Microsoft now has contracted a serious case of Ray Ozzie Disease, aka Featuritis Creepionis Complicationibus. And this is only the least of their problems.

But I digress. Good luck with that Mother’s Day promo, frigtards.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dell vows to keep shipping XP until 2012

So if you were wondering when the successor to Vista will actually appear, and maybe you were a little skeptical when Beastmaster said the world would see Son of Vista by next year, well, you had reason to be skeptical. Dell apparently has told users it will keep shipping XP until 2012. Honestly I can’t believe how lucky we are. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Microsoft. Mwah.