I realised today what Microsoft’s main problem is. Simply enough, they don’t think things through properly. If it seems like a good idea at first they’ll run with it, and no-one will to have the courage to pipe up and say ‘hang on lads, is this really such a good plan?’ until after it’s too late.
Take their purchase of Skype, for instance. Is there anyone besides Steve Ballmer who thinks that Skype is worth $8.7b? Or the Kin phones, cancelled only six weeks after they were launched.
The Kinect too. It may be doing rather well, but as a gaming tool it is cripplingly ineffective compared to a good old-fashioned controller and the sort of games that are coming out are awkwardly twisted around this control interface. Impressive it may be, practical it isn’t.
Or, for instance, the Windows 7 FAQ. I took a look today trying to find out the system requirements for Windows 7 for work. One of the questions caught my eye.
Wow. So in order to find out what version of Windows you are running on your PC, you have to already know what version of Windows you are running. Fantastic logic, and a worrying sign of what to expect from Microsoft’s tech support. You’ll be on the phone for ages with the same cyclic argument.
A little further down, the section about drivers seems to be getting increasingly panicked:
It’s almost as if this is a transcript of an actual support call, where it is becoming increasingly apparent to the caller that they don’t know as much about computers as they thought they could get away with.
Knowing this planet however, that caller is probably an IT manager somewhere.