Saturday, February 13, 2010

What Should Microsoft Do?

I haven't read it yet, but this is meant to riff off "What Would Google Do?". Which is meant to riff off "What Would Jesus Do?" I'm thinking. Which is meant to be guidance for life.

I don't mind giving Microsoft advice, because, pretty much like giving Attila the Hun advice, he's just going to look at it, maybe with a kind of curiousity and then carry on raping and pillaging, because, like the scorpion on the frog's back, it's what monopolizing corporations do.

But clearly, it's all about rugged multi-touch. It's all about holding in one hand. It's all about free access to the Internet. It's all about easy reading and easy input. In other words, there's something to be made of a combination of the Kindle, the iPad, the iPhone, the netbook. I mean, think of the opportunity. The iPad has staked out a $600 slot for a $300, max, product (judging against the netbook market). The Kindle gives you internet access for free, slanting heavily in the direction of buying their reads. The Kindle is as easy as reading a book. The multi-touch is a no-brainer, because, well, it takes not brains, and no instruction, to make the machine do what you think it should do.

And the only thing in the way of Microsoft entering this market is their greed. Obviously, they can't let go of the revenue stream from Office and Windows, and that means that they will remain wedded to the absurd notion that people still have to or want to or can be tricked into getting that kind of functionality for a price when it can be had so trivially for free.

They want to retain the software hardware divide, when there is none anymore. It's all machine vs. human, with the software/hardware on the same side of the diff-e-q. The machine is a photo-reproduced schematic, plain and simple (what, you thought they engineered these things the way that they once did railroads and spaceships??). And you need a machine to design it, because it's too damned intricate for humans to draw. Expand out the schematic so you and I could see it and it would fill football fields now.

But no machine can, any more than can a corporation, do human. It's just not possible. Any more than a scorpion can refrain from killing when it has the opportunity. Even when the killing drowns itself. I'm standing by for your call, M$, whenever you want to know how to repair your fortunes. But, you'll have to cede control, power - the greed thing - and actually want and need to compete on a level playing field in the open market which has never, so far, existed. And with all your money, I am betting you're far far too chicken. You're afraid you can't win on your merits, because you know you never have. You're like all the rich people now, afraid that they will be exposed for having won the lottery instead of earning the slot by honest work.

Best wishes, though. Really. It's not like I'm rooting for Google. They're just plain evil.

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