Some good news and some bad news for Microsoft this week, even if the company’s CEO doesn’t see it that way.
First, the company announced that it was adding LG to the collection of Android OEMs that must venture forth upon bended knee to pay tithing to the pharaoh of Redmond. That was tempered, however, by the company’s warning that fourth quarter Windows PC shipments missed projections (tip o’ the antlers to Daring Fireball).
But CEO Steve Ballmer got a nice write-up in BusinessWeek.
In 2012, he says, “we will have a reset moment.”
Well, it’d know all about those, wouldn’t it.
(The Macalope is now required, by law, to say “Zing!”)
The question is, when the machine boots up again, will anyone be sitting in front of it? Let’s illustrate Microsoft’s problem with an anecdote from the piece:
He’s running an early version of Windows 8 on a tablet and living an old digital dream. “I’ve gone paperless,” he boasts. “Zero! I get pissed when people have paper in meetings now.”
Well, that’s fine for Steve Ballmer, but the rest of you Microsoft fans are going to have to wait. While rumors had placed the launch of Windows 8 as early as April, word has it the update won’t be shipping until October.
Here’s Microsoft’s director of public relations of the Windows Business Group (at Microsoft, a job title’s not done until it’s long enough to lull you to sleep) Janelle Poole, as quoted by Pocket-Lint:
“One of the things that I think is a good guideline though is we’ve always said that Windows releases come round about every three years and this year will be three years in October since we launched Windows 7. So I think that’s a good guideline to consider.”
So, sorry, everyone. Looks like you’re going to have to push your Windows 8 parties out a bit. No, no, the Macalope hears you. It’s incredibly disappointing. You had the caterer booked and everything. And the magician? Sure, sure. Pony rides for the kids. Uh-huh. That’s a lot of planning down the drain.
But what’s more important? Your party planning or that Microsoft really nails its (most recent) answer to a tablet operating system, which will be entering a market that basically left the company for dead two and a half years earlier? The iPad came out in April of 2010 and Microsoft will finally ship ThisIsATabletOSForSure in October of 2012. So, by the time Windows 8 tablets ship, you would have been able to have gone paperless with an iPad literally years before.
This, then, is Microsoft’s problem. The Macalope hopes for its sake that the reset comes with a really awesome startup chime.
As a side note to BusinessWeek’s Ashlee Vance, your article on Balmer contained not one word about the sweating problem. Way to shy away from asking the tough questions.
[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.]