What Can I Say, I Have a Sweet Tooth For Schadenfreude
So no one is biting on the price of Microsoft’s Surface Pro:
Microsoft is discounting its Surface Pro tablet this weekend, following heavy reductions to its Surface RT costs recently. The 10 percent price cut to Surface Pro reduces the cost of the 64GB and 128GB models by $100 each in the US.
As I’ve said before, I don’t watch sports. I watch design and technology and Apple is my team. This doesn’t mean I can’t call out Apple when they mess up. Like when they launched their shitty maps in 2012 (they’re still pretty useless to me in cities like San Francisco and New York where I need subway/bus directions). Or when my iMessages don’t show up in chronological order on my Macbook.
Back to Microsoft. Last fall they tried to “pivot” and move from being a company focused on desktop software to one that can do desktop software and consumer-focused mobile software with Windows 8/Metro/Not-Called-Metro OS and mobile hardware with Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets.
I said the whole thing sounded half-baked (John Gruber agreed).
The Surface tablets are almost a year old, and they’re still looking half baked. In fact, at this point I’m not even sure Ballmer knows how to use the oven. It doesn’t matter. Not only is Microsoft sticking with their Windows 8/RT/Surface pivot, but they’re raising the stakes and making it even more pivot-y by reorganizing the whole company. (For what it’s worth I was talking with some ex-Microsofties a few weeks ago when I was in Seattle and I asked them what they thought of the reorg-pivot-y-goodness. They laughed.)
I laugh too. The same way I laughed at Windows Vista, the brown Zune and the Kin (you totally forgot about the Kin, didn’t you?). I also laughed at Steve Ballmer, when he laughed at the iPhone in 2007.
I laugh at Steve Ballmer and the team he’s mismanaging (even more so than Bill Gates) because Microsoft is a company built to sell software to companies. They’ve never understood how to sell software or devices to human beings with emotions.
Yes, the XBox has been a phenomenal success, but if Microsoft relied on their Entertainment division to carry the company, their upper management would probably all jump off a bridge. If you’re wondering how much money the Entertainment division makes for MS it’s not much.
Maybe I shouldn’t be filled with this much schadenfreude because at least Microsoft did try to pivot with Windows Phone 7 & 8 and Windows 8 but it’s clear people and businesses are not nearly as excited about Microsoft’s new products as Microsoft is.
I recently asked my father, who’s been a Windows user since it debuted in the 80’s, if he was planning on upgrading to Windows 8. He told me, “no way.” He said he’d likely get an Apple computer the next time he needs to upgrade. I think that’s telling. You could argue that he’s older and doesn’t “get” Windows 8 and he’s not the target demographic for Window 8, but all demographics are buying iPhones and iPads so clearly Microsoft is doing something wrong. Or maybe they’re ahead of their time. I’m serious. Ok, I’m not.
I’ve read some articles saying the XBox One is Microsoft’s last chance to gain a foothold in the consumer electronics space.
I doubt it.
What I do know is schadenfreude goes down smoooooth.