Jul 102012

Lucy van Pelt has nothing on Steve Ballmer.

“You just got PlaysForSure’d, bitch”


After assuring the tech press that Microsoft would not let a single market be left without one of their embarrassing consumer electronic offerings, Stevo took his football on stage at Microsoft’s Battered Spouse Support Group Worldwide Partner Conference to tell his OEMs that the tablet Microsoft designed and commissioned to compete against them was not that big of a deal (tip of the hat to reader @brianmmonroe).

Surface is just a design point. It will have a distinct place in what’s a broad Windows ecosystem. And the importance of the thousands of partners that we have that design and produce Windows computers will not diminish.

This is what OEMs should have heard:

Despite our having thousands of partners, when we chose to (finally) enter the market that many are saying is the future of computing, we couldn’t trust one of you to design something yourselves that wasn’t a total shitpile with all the corners cut. By pulling the Surface’s manufacturing under Microsoft’s umbrella in an attempt to copy everything Apple does, we are competing directly against you. But since we still need you to carry out our Windows 8 schizophrenic deathwish of an OS, we need to tell you some bullshit fairy tale while we’re fucking you with a bone saw. Not only did we not think enough of you to tell you what we were doing, once it’s launched, the Surface will enjoy an unprecedented level of support (since we made it), will be the darling of Microsoft’s tablet marketing push and will be featured in all our retail stores.

But really: what other choice do you have? Ubuntu? (maniacal laughter)

I imagine they had to haul the monkey out of his cage to say something, but that doesn’t make his actually mouthing the words any less hilarious. Using the term “reference design”, maybe Fester meant “reference device”, something that Google uses to push its molestation-free stock Android experience with devices like the Galaxy Nexus. The difference obviously being that Google gives Android away for free, while Microsoft makes OEMs pay for the privilege of squealing like a pig. I wonder if Microsoft passed out Surface-branded donut pillows to soothe the thoroughly ravaged backsides of OEMs while they got their “pep talk”. I bet a lot of them still have their PlaysForSure pillows from the 2007 Partner Conference.

 Posted by at 10:03 pm
Jul 102012

No Microsoft product announcement would be complete without CEO Steve Ballmer taking a shot at Apple. He usually gets his kicks in twice: once when Apple releases a product and 2 years later  when Microsoft releases its “competitor”. His prognostications have become the stuff of legend. There was “no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.” Then there was the “you could buy two netbooks today for the price of one iPad” statement in 2010 that basically sealed the fates of those underpowered shitboxes.

Now that Microsoft is finally ready to demo a tablet device that no one is allowed to touch enter the iPad market, the sleepy dragon has been roused to inform Apple that it. Is. On.

“I piss on Apple omens, I’ve waited 2 years to get my throne back.”

But we are not going to let any piece of this [go uncontested to Apple]. Not the consumer cloud. Not hardware software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen. Not on our watch.

I have to say as Ballmerisms go, this one’s a little less bombastic than the “WTF no keyboard?” chortle that assured his place in the history of people you laugh at for being stupid. I guess when you’re repeatedly getting the shit kicked out of you in markets Apple has created, even Ballmer is forced to feign a little humility.


 Posted by at 9:13 am
  • RSS
  • Twitter