Human Beings

MG Siegler responding to a comment about how Microsoft is in deeper doodoo than they realize (I think they might be starting to realize, but maybe I’m giving them more credit than I should):

Kids of my generation grew up with PCs. Those were the only computers we knew from an early age. Where are the kids today going to get that initial Windows PC exposure? Their computers are iPads. Their schools are filled with Macs — and those will probably be replaced by tablets in the not-too-distant future.

Like MG, I too, grew up with Windows. My father bought the first IBM PC in 1981. Windows 1.0 wouldn’t come out for another 4 years and we wouldn’t be regularly using Windows in our home until version 3.0 in 1990. Why did we use Windows on our home computer? Because that’s what everyone’s parents used at work.

As I’ve mentioned before, Microsoft doesn’t know how to sell to consumers, they only know how to sell to businesses. Their enormous (yet now slowly dwindling) wealth is thanks to the alliances and relationships they made with businesses in the 80’s and 90’s. Yes, Microsoft has kicked ass with XBox, but their XBox division brings in chump change to their bottom line compared to Windows and Office.

Starting with the shit-brown Zune in 2006, Microsoft made their first attempt to speak to human beings with a new product for consumers, not businesses. Then in 2010, from the ashes of the Zune rose the phoenix called Windows Phone 7. Then 7.5. Now 8. And also Surface.

Microsoft is in a battle where they’re not gaining much traction with consumers, while Apple continues to encroach on their business territory with iPads and MacBooks and iPhones. With the new Surface and Windows 8, we’re going to see if all the human beings out there understand what Microsoft is trying to sell them.

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