Jul 012009

Everyone’s favorite Microshill Mary-Jo Foley continues to build her case for a Microsoft entry into the mobile phone hardware business: Project Pink.

Not to be confused with a fundraiser for breast cancer‚ the interface for the Project Pink phone is supposedly being designed by the Danger‚ Inc. folks that M$ picked up via acquisition last year.  Who are they?  Aside from being creators of how-to videos that make you want puncture your eardrums with something sharp‚ they were the masterminds behind the Sidekick phone software.

Ed: Danger pulled said eardrum-splitting video.

So it’ll be based on WinMo‚ but with a whimsical Danger overlay?  Maybe smartphone hardware with hip software?  Sounds about as well thought-out as any piece of consumer electronics M$ has put out to me.  Microsoft may also slap their name on the hardware.  Sweet Christ let that please be true.

Even though Microsoft is capable of announcing products that look finished – complete with appearances on late-night TV and star athlete endorsements – 18 months prior to their promised ship dates‚ Mary Jo is having a hard time pinning Redmond down on details.  One thing that is known:  McCann Erickson has been hired to manage the ad campaign for the PinkyPhone.  You may remember them as the firm who directed the Halo 3 campaign for the 360.  In that campaign‚ according to the firm‚ the challenge was changing the question from “how do you pull $40 million of milk from a dried-up titty how do you market a video game?” to “how do you honor a hero?”.  In Pink’s case‚ the challenge will be changing the question from “what the fuck is Microsoft thinking?” to “you guys made the Sidekick?”.

When it comes to shitty follow-ups to competitors’ successful products‚ no one walks into a punch quite like M$.  Here’s to another billion-dollar capital spigot!  Cheers!

Jul 012009

One of the recurring themes here at TMA is that most tech writing on the Tubes today sucks.  Badly.  The 2 major shitty writing contingents are: analysts who don’t know their industry and bloggers pretending to be industry insiders who don’t know their industry.

Present company excluded‚ of course.

One of the most telltale signs that you’re reading a spiraling soft-serve turd of tech journalism involves the use of certain phrases that let the author say stupid shit while at the same time let the author off the hook for saying stupid shit.  So‚ as a service to the analyst and blogging communities‚ and all overlaps therein‚ below are two common terms to avoid when talking about technology – or really anything for that matter:

“May or may not.”  Well‚ that doesn’t leave a whole lot of other options does it?  The first person that wrote or uttered these words should have been hit so hard that anyone witnessing the brutality would be strongly deterred from being the the 2nd person to write or utter them.  This is the excremental cornerstone of writing that is supposed to be based on facts or intelligent speculation – which is another way of saying it is the most commonly used term in tech blogging.

“Only time will tell.”  Yes‚ I imagine those things that are not yet known have the option of revealing themselves in the fullness of time.  Was I a horrible analyst whose only claim to fame was the diametric relationship between my predictions for company x and their eventual reality?  Only time will tell.  I propose use of the term as written by any member of the media be punishable by having the author shot in the face.

Man up‚ tech writers.  If you’re going to sling crap‚ don’t throw like a girl.

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