I have written my share of blistering articles about Microsoft over the years, but I just read this one by market research analyst Roger Kay and all I can say is, "Wow." Kay has been around for a long time. He used to run the PC research group at IDC, and now has his own firm, called Endpoint Technologies Associates. The point is, he knows his stuff. And he knows Microsoft incredibly well. And boy did he just go ballistic in a column published on Forbes.com.
The gist of his article is, Let's stop beating around the bush and just say it - Windows 8 is a dud. So is Windows Phone 8. Everyone in the world knows this, except Microsoft.
"Microsoft has reached an Orwellian impasse, in which it cannot tell the truth - even to itself," Kay writes. "It is blinded by its own hallucinations about how the market is operating. The result is that its public pronouncements entirely lack credibility."
He cites a bunch of whoppers from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, including Ballmer's assertion that Google is a "house of cards," and his prediction that the iPhone would be a flop. Ballmer, he says, "has made a buffoon of himself," and points to the mockery that gets heaped on Ballmer in videos like this one:
Why Does Microsoft Still Exist?
The biggest question, Kay says, is this: "What is Microsoft's useful function now?" Basically it's to keep charging people "monopoly rent" for using products that people keep buying only because it has become a habit. "This situation," he writes, "is not going to last forever."
Developers are already getting frustrated by Microsoft's lack of direction, he says. And the only way Microsoft can recover is to put someone else in charge. Ballmer, he says, "has had ample opportunity to turn the ship around and hasn't done it." At this point, Bill Gates "needs to step in and ask his friend of many years to step down."
Will that happen? I used to think it might. Now I'm not so sure. What do you think? And seriously, check out the whole article on Forbes.com. It's kind of amazing.
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