Jun 282010

Are you one of those people who pick apart the glaring inconsistencies in political ads and hour-long network dramas? No? Then you’re probably stupid. Pop the blue pill, click ‘back’ on your browser and go back to your daytime TV.

I would say that Microsoft is the master of cherry-picked factual support for advertising, but “mastery” would imply that they do it well. I guess “most egregiously bad abuser” is more the term I’m looking for.

Last week, Microsoft got a little testy about constantly getting kicked around by everyone in the tech media for being the visionless re-hasher of decade-old technology they are. So did they make some earth-shattering announcement that would change the face of computing as we know it? Of course not. They sent out a reminder about how much money they make. In classic Redmond form, this handpicked collection of numbers by Frank X. Shaw, Corporate VP of Corporate Communications (Redundancy Division) is missing a little bit of context. Let’s see if we can add some, shall we?

Number of Windows 7 licenses sold, making Windows 7 by far the fastest growing operating system in history.

Fastest growing? By growth, you’re saying that every new license sold represents a new user. That’s not the case.

Actually interesting questions that won’t be answered: How many of these are actually new users and not people who took Vista off because it sucked so hard? And how many of these licenses are not pre-installed on computers. You know – licenses with an actual margin. I’d bet money it’s less than 10% of those 150 million.

7.1 million – Projected iPad sales for 2010.

58 million – Projected netbook sales in 2010

355 millionProjected PC sales in 2010

So you’re going to sell almost three times as many Windows 7 licenses in 2010 as you did in 2009? Fascinating optimism. Or absolute horseshit – one of the two.

Actually interesting questions that won’t be answered: How many PCs and netbooks end up getting sold in 2010? How much coin does 413 million Windows 7 licenses translate into versus the 7.1 million (LOL@that estimate, by the way) iPads being sold in 2010? Betcha it’s pretty close.

<10 Percentage of US netbooks running Windows in 2008.

96 – Percentage of US netbooks running Windows in 2009.

This year represents the time between when Microsoft thought netbooks would go nowhere (classic prescience on Redmond’s part) and the time it took for them to muscle PC makers into letting them give away XP for nothing. Another shovel-full of cash into the fire in the race to the bottom. Well played, Frank.

Actually interesting questions that won’t be answered: How much revenue was generated from netbooks Windows licensing?

0 – Number of paying customers running on Windows Azure in November 2009.

10,000 – Number of paying customers running on Windows Azure in June 2010.

700,000 – Number of students, teachers and staff using Microsoft’s cloud productivity tools in Kentucky public schools, the largest cloud deployment in the US.

I have no clue what Azure is, so I had to look it up: “Windows Azure™ is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Windows Azure platform.” OK – that clears nothing up. Here’s what I do know: 0 -10,000 customers in 7 months? Killer launch, guys.

And the 700,000 Kentucky public school users of Microsoft’s cloud productivity tools? You mean the state that has an adult illiteracy rate of 40% and ranks 47th in the nation for percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree? Congratulations on that accomplishment. I can see the wall plaque in Redmond now.

Actually interesting questions that won’t be answered: What the fuck is Azure?

16 million Total subscribers to largest 25 US daily newspapers.

14 Million Total number of Netflix subscribers.

23 million Total number of Xbox Live subscribers.

Let’s start with the first number. I’ve played “which of these things is not like the others?” on Sesame Street for years and my record is flawless. What this number has to do with the other two is beyond my skill set. Is this supposed to be total number of people who…subscribe? to? stuff? Or something?

The real comparison, I assume, is between the second and third numbers, which is indeed interesting. It’s interesting that they compare the number of subscriptions for a U.S.-only video streaming service with the global subscriptions for Microsoft’s 6 year-old online gaming platform – that also recently added Netflix as one of its services.

Actually interesting question that won’t be answered: How many times has the fighter-jet-loud XBox 360 been used to access Netflix streaming content vs. the number of times someone has just fired up a browser – or even the Netflix iPad app – to do the same thing?

21.4 million Number of new Bing search users in one year.

You mean people who used Bing to search once? This is a year?

Actually interesting question that won’t be answered: How hilariously insignificant that number is compared to Google’s. I’d also like to know Microsoft’s “new user” to “dollars invested” ratio.

24% Linux Server market share in 2005.

33% Predicted Linux Server market share for 2007 (made in 2005).

21.2% Actual Linux Server market share, Q4 2009.

Let me see if I can get this straight: you like this number because in 2005 Linux extrapolated growth to go from 24 to 33% and their market share has actually fallen 3%. Golf clap? And your sources for the 2009 data are IDC, as reported by Preston Gralla at Computerworld. If there are any 2 entities in the Windows Shillaverse who have fellated Microsoft any harder, I have yet to find them. And I look.

8.8 million Global iPhone sales in Q1 2010.

21.5 million Nokia smartphone sales in Q1 2010.

55 million Total smartphone sales globally in Q1 2010.

439 million Projected global smartphone sales in 2014.

So this is the extent to which you’ve pissed away any market share you had in smartphones? No? Oh, I get it: this is the market you’re going to totally own once the Windows Phone 7 Series 7 Phone OSey Thing comes out. We’re all holding our breaths – honest.

Actually interesting question that won’t be answered: The number of Windows Mobile device sales in 2010.

$5.7 Billion – Apple Net income for fiscal year ending Sep 2009.

$6.5 Billion – Google Net income for fiscal year ending Dec 2009.

$14.5 Billion – Microsoft Net Income for fiscal year ending June 2009.

The Apple number is linked to Hoover’s. I don’t see $5.7 billion anywhere for Apple. I do see $8.235 billion listed for net income. How can this be?

Anyone who wanted to thoroughly report a comparison of net income – as opposed to a lazy, half-assed comparison designed to make their company look better – would know that on January 25, 2010, Apple filed a Form 10-K/A to amend its Form 10-K for the year ended September 26, 2009 to reflect the retrospective adoption of the new accounting principles. The $5.7 billion number, I assume, was the originally-reported number. I say “assume” because the number was actually corrected in the Hoover’s link given by Shaw, but somehow misreported by him. Amazing how that happened.

$23.0 billion – Total Microsoft revenue, FY2000.

$58.4 billion – Total Microsoft revenue, FY2009.

$7.98 billion – Total Apple revenue, FY2000

$42.9 billion – Total Apple revenue, FY2009

I like the slope of my graph better.

And then there’s the whole market cap thingy. I heard that means something. Apple’s now worth more than you and Dell combined. Some advice for Frank X. Shaw: 1. putting the X in your name makes you look like a pretentious tool. Get fucked with that middle initial shit. 2. Instead of selecting numbers that still get it up for you and don’t fool anyone but the most naive investor, maybe try looking at some numbers that are actually relevant to your “competitive” position?

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