06.02.10

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Steve, Steve, and Steven

Posted in Apple, Microsoft at 3:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

St. Stephen
St. Stephen

Summary: Steve Jobs is anti-competitive, Steve Ballmer is being blamed for Microsoft’s demise, and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols says it’s “RIP [Windows] PC”

Steve Jobs: “We are not allowing apps that create their own desktops” [via]

The iPad App Store is going pretty well, with 8000 apps already accepted and developers quite happy with the sales results. But what about an application that’s been approved and then pulled from the App Store for some strange reason? That’s what happened to My Frame, and that’s why the developers decided to email Steve Jobs and ask.

It turns out that Apple, as usual, retains ultimate control on the kind of software that can be approved or not, but in a way that is not very clear to developers and people who’d like to develop applications. My Frame is (was) a photo frame app with some additional features, like music controls, weather info, twitter feeds and birthday reminders in the shape of “overlays” to the photos you have to manually pick.

We know that Apple doesn’t approve widget-like applications, but could you call My Frame a widget app? I guess that if it was approved in the first place, this is the kind of app that sits in between, and that’s exactly the place where Apple retains ultimate control. In between.

Microsoft’s real problem is Ballmer

Bach got the boot because Microsoft is taking it in the assets in the mobile space, and the Redmond Behemoth has (belatedly) realized that’s where its future lies.

Yes, the Windows Mobile OS sucks harder than an asthmatic at an oxygen bar, but I’m not entirely convinced that’s Bach’s fault. An interface that’s barely tolerable from 18 inches away with a full keyboard and mouse is completely useless on a 2- or 3-inch screen and a teensy keypad. And yet for years Microsoft has insisted on bringing the
Windows to Windows Mobile.

Whose vision was that? It wasn’t Bach’s. Windows on every device? Windows to control your phones and your TVs and the lights in your house? Windows in your car? That belongs to our favorite semi-retired billionaire, the churros-munching, hurricane-battlin’ Billy Gates.

So with Bach gone, Steve Ballmer is taking over Microsoft’s mobile operations. That’s a little like saying, “Son, you crashed the car, so I’m going to hand the car keys to this gorilla and let him drive for a while.”

[...]

Where did all of these products come from? You guessed it — Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division. Boy, what a bunch of screw-ups.

Pop quiz: What’s the biggest Microsoft disaster of all time? Sorry, time’s up. The correct answer is Windows Vista. Seven years in the making, and a complete and utter cluster-zune.

Yet Windows and Office are still the cash cows…They’re not the future, though. The future lives in mobile devices and the cloud. That’s now in the hands of Ballmer.

InfoWorld’s Ted Samson says this is Microsoft’s way of telling the world it’s serious about mobile. I think this is their way of telling shareholders it’s time to sell.

[...]

So Microsoft axing one of its captains may look like it’s taking its troubles seriously, but it isn’t going to solve the problem. Microsoft’s biggest problem is the big, bald sweaty guy at the top. You want to see real change in Redmond, that’s where it has to happen.

Steve Ballmer Is Driving Microsoft Off a Cliff

Even for non-techies, it’s easy to understand just how far Microsoft has fallen since Steve Ballmer was put in charge.

Ballmer — the sweatinest, spittinest CEO this side of the Mississippi — was handed the reins in January of 2000. And while his tenure has always been a little rocky, it’s never seemed as tumultuous as it has in the past week.

One Big Problem With Steve Ballmer Running Microsoft: He’s Not A Product Guy (MSFT)

• Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: “RIP PC”

Microsoft responds and Paul Thurrott at Microsoft’s spin zone cites Microsoft Enderle in the face of terrible news. Here is a good new headline to end this links roundup with:

Microsoft may be in no mood to celebrate

Microsoft Corp. is marking the one-year anniversary of the release of its revamped Internet search engine known as Bing this week, though the software giant may be in no mood to party.

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7 Comments

  1. dyfet said,

    June 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Gravatar

    The problem with Apple can clearly be isolated to the sociopaths on the top, in particular Jobs. But their problems are not institutionally company-wide, and this is why they can competently produce new products and their workforce as a whole does not engage in criminal behavior, even if said products are then delivered in anti-social and otherwise restricted ways.

    While I think an Apple without Jobs could rehabilitate to the point of at least being neither friend nor foe to freedom, the problems with Microsoft are far deeper. The company institutionally creates and supports sociopathic and criminal behavior over competence at all levels. Incompetence is institutional. It matters not whether a particular sociopath like Ballmer, or if someone else leads them, it will make little difference, including to their ultimate fate.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    I don’t think Steve Jobs is a sociopath, but he is a control freak, and that may be part of the problem. I agree that when Steve Jobs leave Apple, it would be a good opportunity to fix some problems with Apple, like it’s over-secrecy and over-control of the App Store.

  2. Dr. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 2, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Gravatar

    Exactly. In a Monday post I stated that blaming Ballmer is the wrong thing to do. As for Jobs, see what his colleagues think of him:

    WSJ: Apple director nearly resigned over Jobs’ health disclosure

    “Apple director Jerry York, who died of a brain aneurysm last week, was at least one of the people privy to Jobs’ condition who felt he should have been more upfront with shareholders and the public.”

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    And well, I don’t think MS is impossible to reform, but indeed while Ballmer did not really create the problems, they did not do anything much about the problems either.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Agreed. They might change leadership soon.

  3. NotZed said,

    June 4, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Gravatar

    The cognitive dissonance of the jobsian crowd is amusing. I know one of the lads who works with the guys who made the pic viewer, and they’re still rabid jobsian fanbois even after all this. Oddly they’re still hopeful it wont actually get removed since an old version is still available, but that seems like wishful thinking to me.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Some people judge him by his brand/s, not by his actions. It is clear that he is a proprietary software proponent.

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