It’s been a while, but wacky statements from Steve Ballmer made it inevitable. Yes, it’s time for another chat with the Winotaur.
MACALOPE: Dude, your guy is starting to sound like he needs an intervention.
WINOTAUR: What are you talking about?
MACALOPE: Ballmer. “We are in the Windows era—we were, we are, and we always will be.” Yeesh. Delusional.
WINOTAUR: How is that not 100-percent accurate?
MACALOPE: Buddy, your biggest innovation over the last ten years has been tricking Google into making a new revenue stream for you.
WINOTAUR: Ha-ha! That was pretty good, wasn’t it?
MACALOPE: Oh, totally. The Macalope tips his antlers to you. But, you know, he kind of assumed you were just, well, you know…
MACALOPE: Oh, you know. A company reaches a certain age…it starts thinking about retirement.
WINOTAUR: Retirement? Blogger, please! We’re just biding our time! Lulling you into a false sense of confidence…before we strike! Like a cobra!
MACALOPE: OK. OK. Stop…stop doing the cobra thing with your arm. It’s embarrassing. You’re like the Uncle Rico of technology company mythical anthropomorphisms.
WINOTAUR: Windows Phone 7 is going to take off any day now! And just wait until Windows 8 comes out! Oh, man! Then you’re gonna see how retired we are. Retired like a fox.
MACALOPE: “Retired like…”? I’m not sure what that means.
WINOTAUR: It means not retired at all is what it means!
MACALOPE: Huh. But, the saying is “crazy like a fox.”
MACALOPE: Well, see, “crazy like a fox” makes sense because foxes are crazy smart but “retired” doesn’t make sense because foxes don’t…
WINOTAUR: Forget about the foxes, already! The point is, enjoy your head start, because this race is just beginning. Like Ballmer said, this tablet and smartphone trend is only helping us.
MACALOPE: Uh, yeah, helping you right in the eye. By the way, you know you can’t count all Windows 8 installs as tablets, right?
WINOTAUR: I can do anything I want!
MACALOPE: Anger, denial, addictive behavior… You’re the complete package, you know that? Just like your sweaty boss.
WINOTAUR: Hey, it’s hot under the lights at those developer conferences!
MACALOPE: This pendulum isn’t exactly swinging in your direction, buddy, even in your traditional strongholds. The Macalope was just reading how the bring-your-own-device policy is getting more popular; either IT departments are just smarter than they used to be, or they aren’t as able to rule with an iron fist. You really think there are a lot of Mac-only corporations with employees who are just dying to bring in their Windows laptops? Their giant, clunking, steam-powered Windows laptops?
WINOTAUR: Next year’s going to be the year of the ultrabook! You’ll see!
MACALOPE: You don’t see a problem with the “just copy what Apple’s doing except do it in plastic” strategy?
WINOTAUR: I am going to hit you so hard with a Windows 8 tablet.
MACALOPE: Right. Sometime next year.
[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]