Mini-Microsoft Cutting Room Floor

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Beware of Shiny Objects - New comment on Microsoft FY06Q4 Results

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Microsoft FY06Q4 Results":

"Personally? I weep a little with each Xbox 360 sold."

I guess that's because someone at M$M&M (mindless management at Microsoft) enterprises decided to lose money on each box to be supported by a lame group of gaming choices. I'm still waiting for Halo II to be sold for PCs. Byte me MS, thank you very much. No way I would buy an x-box for anything other than what its good for, i.e., a modders micro ATX computer enclosure.

Which leads to the main reason for my post AND (pay attention top tier execs) why Microsoft will continue to drop in earnings and stock value until someone upstairs gets a clue.

First, MS works a deal with a number of OEM clients to make play for sure music players, using a stupid subscription system that no normal 18 year old in his or her right mind would touch let alone this 54 year old. (I don't buy Itunes or Playforsure. I buy music disks I own then put them on my player.)

Then MS says it will start competing with its own stupid scheme (Tom Sawyer would be proud) and builds a new system with its own hardware to compete with its own clients. OOOOhhhh that sits well with those who trusted you MS. What on earth (substituted word for a four letter one) were you thinking?

Am I missing something or is this about to be the most public back stabbing in history? Or, has someone concluded that because of Google, you won't be able to make money on software any more so you have to build hardware? I get so confused sometimes. It really looks from here like you are in denial: both management and ICs at MS.

I call it the shiny-object syndrome. As a product designer, I am well qualified to talk about this one. Sort of a rationalized lust for shiny objects, cool designs and gotta have it products. I don't blame you MS, but I use this example for Apple too. It goes something like this:

In Africa, there are tribes who hunt and eat monkies. One technique for catching them is to place the lid of a shiny tin can into a hole cut into a dry ant hill mound. The monkey sees the shiny object, reaches in and grabs it, but cannot remove it because his hand is around the tin lid and like a chinese jigsaw puzzle, he can't get his fist out. He won't let go either.

The hunter just walks up to the monkey in full sight and places a noose around dinner's neck.

Beware of shiny objects. If it is your long term strategy to build closed hardware systems, well, welcome to the real world of competition. I would say, even with all your cash, your clocks are about to be cleaned.

(Beware, I say!)

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