The Macalope Weekly: Trying too hard

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Apple’s Get a Mac ads may be over, but Microsoft’s finally got its response ready! Wait! Where’s everyone going?! Meanwhile, iPad competitors can’t win for losing and Rob Enderle knows who should really take a lesson from the ousting of CEO Mark Hurd at HP: Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison! Why? Because, that’s why!

Feel the manufactured excitement!

Hey, anyone remember Microsoft? Yeah, yeah, right! That company from the ’90s! Did you know they’re still in business? It’s true! The Macalope did kind of a double-take himself.

Apparently Microsoft’s kinda chapped because some of their users have been jumping ship to the Mac, so they’re setting the record straight. Sort of like a reverse of the old Power Computing ad, they’re fighting back at Mac!

The web page they’ve set up is quintessential Microsoft in that it feels like a paunchy, balding, Corvette-driving divorcé giving you advice on “keepin’ it real.” Just look at the coolness dripping off the page! The vaguely Mediterranean stock photo girl with an indoor hammock is smiling at you so you know a PC is better than a Mac, dude! Join the soft rock party!

Indoor hammocks are awesome.
And when the Macalope said “setting the record straight” he actually meant “setting the record so vague as to not even mention their own products.”

Apple’s productivity suite file formats won’t open in Microsoft Office on PCs.

Oh, no! If only they exported to Office formats or there was a version of Office for the Mac!

Ever the company to catch a trend two years late, the “What the buzz is about…” frame shows what people are saying about Windows 7 on Twitter right now! Well, OK, not exactly right now, because the Macalope decided to track down one tweet that said “Sick of application unresponsiveness in my Win7” and after a lot of scrolling found it was posted on November 14th of last year. Hey, last November’s buzz is still technically buzz, OK?!

The saddest part, however, is this:

The computer that’s easiest to use is typically the one you already know how to use. .. PCs running Windows 7 look and work more like the computers you’re familiar with, so you can get up and running quickly.

“Baby, don’t go! It’s gonna be different this time!”

Sure it is, Microsoft.

Short answer: No, it’s not!

Hey, readers, it’s time for another game of “Is It Competition Yet?”!, the game show that asks the non-musical question “Where’s the iPad competition?” In this edition two challengers attempt to compete with the iPad. Can they do it? Let’s find out!

MACALOPE: Let’s have a big Macworld welcome for contestant number one, the Dell Streak! [smattering of applause] Tell us about yourself, Streak!

STREAK: Well, Macalope, I’m $300 with a two-year contract. I have a 5-inch screen, a memory slot you can only put up to a 32 GB card in that you have to buy separately and I ship with a year-old operating system!



MACALOPE: Contestant number two!

STREAK: Am I done already? Hey, Rob Enderle said I was better than the iPad!

MACALOPE: Contestant number two is the WebOS-based HP tablet!

STREAK: I guess I’m done.

MACALOPE: HP tablet, what are you all about?

HP TABLET: Well, I can’t tell you a lot about myself because even I don’t know much about me yet! Ha-ha! See, I won’t even be available until some time next year, so…

MACALOPE: Well, that’s all we have time for this week on “Is It Competition Yet?”

HP TABLET: Hey! Don’t you want to speculate on what my feature set will be?!


STREAK: Yeah, me either, dude.

MACALOPE: Why are you still here?

STREAK: [shrugs] I got nothin’ else to do. I’m not shipping yet either. I’m just available for pre-order.

MACALOPE: Oh, for…

HP TABLET: Hey, do you validate parking?

HP is rubber, Apple and Oracle glue

Hey, speaking of Rob Enderle, this will come as a surprise to exactly no one, but he’s still at it. HP’s firing of its CEO for having “a personal relationship with a contractor who received numerous inappropriate payments from the company” has gotten Rob thinking. Are Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison next?

Really! That’s what Rob’s thinking! The title of the piece is “Mark Hurd falls, could Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs be next?” It’s an incomprehensible leap of logic that almost defies being typed up and put on a web page, but there it is!

So while it would be far more difficult to fire Larry or Steve, they should take Hurd’s situation as a warning and avoid pushing the envelope on their own respective behavior.

Right! Because HP’s board and shareholders have sent a clear message to other CEOs out there: we suck at picking CEOs! Why that’s relevant to Apple and Oracle, the Macalope has no idea.

Given Steve Jobs, for instance, is critical to Apple’s success is there anything short of eating live babies on national TV that he should be fired for?

Rob, Rob, Rob. Don’t be silly. Steve’s not going to eat babies. He’s a vegetarian.

Where would you draw that line or should he be held to the same rules and laws that the rest of us are held to?

Well, that kind of depends, Rob. Just how succulent are these babies?

You’ll find a lot of hand-wringing in Rob’s article, but what you won’t find (surprise!) is a clear disclaimer stating that one of these three companies is a client of his (you have to go to his home page to find that).

Can you guess which one?! Can you?! The Macalope will give you a hint: it’s not Apple!

Aaaaaand it’s not Oracle.

Surely Rob would have no vested interest in trying to create some kind of moral equivalency between his client, HP, and two companies that have nothing to do with this debacle.

Of course not.

(Disclosure: the Macalope holds an insignificant number of Apple shares and once had an inappropriate personal relationship with an LC II. He has never been paid by Apple other than that time he got a rebate on a G4 tower he bought two weeks before faster models shipped.)

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