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April 21, 2010


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bye bye Courier!


In poker terms, Microsoft is a mediocre large chip stack player who does not know how to properly leverage its position to stamp out competitors. In contrast, Apple focused on tight short stack play and doubled up at the right key opportunities.

In terms of market cap, they may be roughly equal, but in terms of household name with today's mobility generation, Apple wins hands down!

If you look at the iPod, iPhone, iTV, and iPad, it's easy to see how they slowly evolved to where they are now. Each product adoption paved the way for its successor, and iTunes is a game changer in terms of content delivery. Apple's vision and focus was pure genius.

Microsoft is never has been as strategic in the way it releases products. Its products are rarely (if ever) first to market, and when it does bring something to market, it relies on its platform to give them a wide install base.

(The classic example of this is their release of Internet Explorer, and we see this again with its partnership with Facebook. Instead of developing something truly revolutionary [e.g. Google Docs on steroids and then tying together with hotmail], MS relies on Facebook's fan base and cloud infrastructure to help it catch up.)

To truly compete, Microsoft would do best to take a few more risks as the chip leader, particularly risks that get its competitors to back down. One such risk might be to open up its platform.

If they didn't want to release their source code to the public, they could at least take the initiative and roll their own Linux distribution which would give them a platform for selling other services on.

La Cucina

Absolutely agree that SteveB needs to leave. He's an operator. Not an innovator. Furthermore Microsoft employees are bitheads that like formulas and complexity. But the biggest problem is Microsoft does not know how to eat its own children. It needs to do so, otherwise others will. In fact they are doing it right now. If things keep going this way, then Windows will not matter any more. Neither will MAC OS/X. Those days will be long gone. When you buy an XBox or PS3, do you ever ask what OS is it running??? Never. You ask "What kind of games can I play on this and are they awesome?". That question is coming to an OS near you (worded a little differently...).

Martin Suter

Jamie D - Thanks for your comments and the link to the video. I've seen Steve B fire up the troops at Microsoft events, and there is a place for it, but maybe as VP, Sales - not CEO.

One of the other videos that came up as "Suggested" was this one ( Watch how he completely doesn't "get" the iPhone threat. He mocks its cost and contrasts it with all of the great things that Windows Mobile has to offer. Maybe he should have been a little more respectful of a game changing device, or more likely, he couldn't see it.

Thanks again for visiting...Feel free to share!


Jamie D

Good overview Martin. I couldn't agree more. It's really the ability to create the right culture based on value focused innovation which is driven from the top- Jobs vs. Bulmer. After the monkey boy dance i don't think Steve B stood a chance in driving any culture-

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