Don't you just want to hug everyone you see and shout "YES! It's
finally happening! The Beast of Redmond is wounded - our
salvation is near!" ? I sure do.
Retail stores? Really?
Microsoft's announcement that they'll be opening retail stores
truly makes me chortle with glee (exactly how does one "chortle"?).
It's impeccable timing: here they are at the onset of an economic
downturn with a well hated product, diminishing sales and diminishing
margins, and they are going to open retail stores - I love it!
I have to wonder if they'll be dumb enough to follow the Apple store
model of letting the customers use machines freely. A more typical
Microsoft approach would be to charge you by the hour, but that
would probably piss off a few customers. On the other hand, if they
just let people hack around as they please, that's just what people
will do: legions of Microsoft hating hackers will be trying to exploit
the store's security every hour of the day.
Of course Microsoft will
load up the machines with extra security (and thereby slow them down
even more and interfere with some apps) and be ever watchful for
cyber-punks. At first they'll probably just kick them out if they
find tampering attempts (assuming they even are smart enough to notice!).
But as it gets worse, they'll probably have little choice but to
start prosecuting.. and won't THAT be good publicity, especially
if one of the hackers is a little smarter at misdirection and
a Microsoft manager ends up calling the cops on an innocent grandmother..
Microsoft's 2011 motto: "Who will we arrest today?" I'll be chortling for sure (as soon as Google teaches me how).
Obama's "Ulcers for Microsoft" program
The Obama Team is apparently mostly Mac users and seems to recognize
the value of open source. Can you imagine the ulcers that gives
Microsoft execs? I'm sure most of them are staunch
Republicans anyway, but now they have even more reason to hate and fear
the current administration. It makes me beam with pride to think that
my vote helps Microsoft execs sleep poorly!
There's Apple gaining percentage points on Microsoft, Linux chomping at the Netbook market that caught the brilliant Microsoft folks by surprise (anything with "net" in it catches Microsoft by surprise), there's the wonderful gift of Vista.. and the Great Beast stumbles around shedding employees. At "Microsoft realises it's in trouble" (link dead, sorry), Robert Munro notes:
Thus, by not having had to face any serious competition in its earliest years, Microsoft did not learn how to compete fairly on the intrinsic merits of its software products. As the company grew larger, Microsoft's corporate culture grew up lacking clear focus on developing truly excellent products that delivered good value, because its customers had to buy whatever it decided was "good enough" to release.
Oh, I want to hug that man! He goes on to say:
It got away with that for so long because - even after a couple of competitors appeared - the combination of manufacturer preload agreements and other anticompetitive actions, network effects, and strategic errors by its competitors shielded it from competition. As a result, Microsoft has only recently started learning how to compete on a level playing field, and it is finding that difficult.
Microsoft got some kudos recently for that ad with the cute little kid saying she's a "PC". Yeah, cute kids are great and even I like that ad. But I have to wonder where it goes from here? Will they hire more cute kids? How soon would we get sick of that? Probably wouldn't take long.. and cute kids really don't make up for a crappy OS. I have to wonder about the wisdom of that anyway: is it really smart to have three year olds trying to convince us that Vista is wonderful? Cute, yes, but do I want her advice on computers?
Never fear, the stores are going to change everything. Will they have the
employees dress casual or button down? Will they leave you alone and let you play? How WILL they deal with virus and hacker threats? Can we bring in precocious three year olds and let them plug in their cameras? Will they let us hug the employees?
Oh, please oh please oh please: open a store near me!
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