Microsoft, stand up to Apple!

For a moment there I got really excited -- that Microsoft had pulled a brilliant marketing maneuver -- only to be disappointed. Within the hour I received email from the company's PR agency with subject line: "Microsoft announces Windows 8 global availability". Holy cow pies! A day early! Stop the presses. Sure enough the official press release proclaims: "Windows 8 arrives". Except it hasn't. You still have to wait until Midnight tonight. Bummer.

I knew there was trouble when rushing to Microsoft Store online that Surface RT tablets and Windows 8 are still pre-order. When going back to actually read the fine print, sure enough the press release qualifies "beginning Friday". Excuse me for nit-picking semantics, but doesn't "arrives" mean now? (Granted, it's Friday somewhere in the world and has been for more than six hours. But the announcement and New York prelaunch don't coincide with anything like Midnight anywhere in the world.)

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I got excited, because it looked at first like Microsoft had pulled a nice work-around dirty Apple marketing tricks. Say, Microsoft, you blew a great opportunity give to Windows 8 -- and surely logistical headaches aligning the retail channel -- an early arrival.

See, those bastards cunning marketers at Apple pulled a marketing coup on Microsoft. The software giant announced Windows 8's launch date and venue months ago. Last week, Apple suddenly invited the news media to a special October 23 event, where iPad mini debuted. Windows 8 is Microsoft's response to the post-PC era, where iPad leads the charge to another way of computing.

So just before Microsoft's big day, Apple steals thunder and assures most blogs or news stories written about Surface or Windows 8 over the next couple days will mention iPad mini; seeing as how Windows 8 is so much about touch and tablets. Apple sure knows how to spoil a party, eh?

But it's worse. Why would Apple be so kind as only preempt Windows 8's arrival? Same day the new operating system goes on sale, October 26, iPad preorders start. Considering just how much has been written about Apple rumors or news on the InterWebs, iPad mini will be gravity pulling stories away from Windows 8. Hey, blog networks and news sites only have so much staff. Apple splits the coverage, when Microsoft planned to rule the day.

BUT...Early arrival would have put Microsoft front and center, catching bloggers and journalists off guard, and compelling editors to punch up the Surface and Windows 8 volume -- and hours ahead of Apple's quarterly earnings announcement. Perhaps in another universe, Microsoft has the last laugh, and buyers and TV news crews are rushing right now to retail stores.

In this universe, modern Microsoft is too damn nice. Whatever happened to the killer instinct that made Microsoft great (and loads of enemies along the way). Meanwhile, Apple, which has a sweet-as-grandma-knitting-mittens public image, chops heads like some surly Samurai.

Say, Microsoft, pull Office for the Mac and kill that skunkworks project for iOS devices. You've got no friends in Cupertino. Ban all Apple devices, except for those used to research the competition, from your Redmond campus. Ring up your patent attorneys and give Apple a little litigation to fight. Surely your huge patent portfolio has the chops to make Apple's "swipe to unlock" patent look like something a five year-old would doodle on a cereal box. Seriously, are you just going to bend over and take this?

Photo Credit:  tankist276/Shutterstock

12 Responses to Microsoft, stand up to Apple!

  1. GoTWhisKeY says:

    I got your back MS.

  2. mshulman says:

    While Apple certainly did steal some attention from Microsoft this week, I'm not really convinced pre-orders really take anything away from Microsoft tomorrow. For starters, if someone pre-orders a mini tomorrow, there's a 99% chance that they had no interest in buying anything related to windows 8 anyway.

    And a pre-order takes a few minutes online. Microsoft's event starts at midnight and will likely involve the entire day tomorrow with people possibly buying windows 8 or windows 8 devices throughout the day.

    So I think any attention Apple took away from Microsoft has probably passed.

  3. Avro says:

    Microsoft isn't nice, just clueless and clunky.

  4. woe says:

    "Say, Microsoft, pull Office for the Mac and kill that skunkworks project for iOS devices. You've got no friends in Cupertino. Ban all Apple devices, except for those used to research the competition, from your Redmond campus."

    Yeah do that.....and go down faster than you are now. Remember the iPhone makes more money than ALL Microsoft products combined. Office on the Mac is nothing fantastic and if it never comes to iOS it wont even matter.

  5. TheCyberKnight says:

    Windows 8 launch event was boring, uninspired, lacking passion and missing puches. Why didn't they show the great bundled applications?
    Meanwhile, the Surface launch was much more exciting, talking and showing the devices great and unique features without ever bitching at the competition. Very clever keynote.

    • derekaw says:

      The surface is the same old OS with a slick looking overlay. Windows desktop is till useless on a tablet with touch and that's why MS has put so much focus on the keyboard covers. The Surface tablets are laggy, buggy and too expensive. RT will confuse the hell out of consumers. When the consumer feedback heats up even less developers will make 'metro' apps.

  6. IT advisor says:

    Microsoft never had "killer instinct".

    All Microsoft had was a monopoly of the PC operating system which it used to hit other companies over the head with. Now that the majority of people are leaving the PC behind, Microsoft is left with no clothes, and a monopoly that only controls one segment of computing.

    Microsoft promotions and PR have always been bad. From Bill Gates shaking his backside with Seinfeld, to Windows Phone TV advertisements showing phones being dropped into urinals (sorry, Joe, I know you liked that one). It's no surprise that Microsoft got outsmarted with its latest effort.

    Microsoft also ain't that "damn nice", either. It launches legal action every bit as aggressively as Apple does, suing every Android handset maker with frivolous claims.

    Windows 8 (or derivatives) will eventually be adopted by PC users, but the Metro interface (or whatever they choose to call it) and the Surface tablet will be epic failures, right out of the gate. We know how this will end up. Microsoft will go quiet on sales numbers (which always indicates a failure), so it will take some months before the general press realise how bad sales were.

  7. Xuanlong says:

    Microsoft doesn't need to resort to dirty tactics to tear its competitors down. As much as people love to hate on Microsoft, they do come up with some quality products. The proof of that is the fact that they have dominated the industry for decades now. Honestly, if there was a better OS or office suite out there, people would be using it. But it's Office and Windows where ever you go. Despite having the capability to inflict some major hurt on Apple and it's customers, why would they? It's not like that would endear them to anyone. If anything it would just bring back that image of an evil, cutthroat, monopolistic, anti-competitive corporation.

    Interestingly enough, Microsoft's path to victory in the tablet market may be the very same one used in the PC market years ago. Apple offers one option: their iPad with their locked-down iOS. Take it or leave it. Microsoft on the other hand, despite their recent foray into hardware, makes and licenses the software, which is then put onto devices of all shapes and sizes, from low-end budget models to the high-end ones with all the frills. Once Windows 8 adoption starts, tablet buyers will finally have a real decision on their hands. They'll have Windows 8 and Windows RT tablet options that meet their unique needs better than the one-size-fits-all iPad.

    Microsoft has a plan, a strategy. They have bigger fish to fry than worrying about keeping score of Microsoft and Apple blog coverage for the day. I'd love more than anyone to see Microsoft knock Apple in the dirt, but they really don't need to lash out like that. It just goes to show you that Microsoft isn't run by a bunch of d-bags like Apple is.

  8. ilev says:

    Even Viagra won't help Microsoft to stand up with 50% of Apple's revenue and profits.

    • chanjith says:

      All you Apple fans that are blind to changing market conditions, start doing trend analysis on Apple's financials over the last 12 months on margin and product lines. You will be better informed rather than shooting from the hips. Apple is not going to relinquish is leadership soon in the tablet wars, but just as there are more Android phones out there, there will be more Windows/Android based tablets out there...as the market share slips eventually revenue and relevance will go, and you will all be sent back to your little MAC/i worlds....until the next cycle.

  9. Roger_Ramshit says:

    Why do you confuse niceness with ineptness. MS is inept....one thing they have never been is nice.

  10. rauckr says:

    Clearly, Joe is off his meds again. Microsoft may not want to start a war with Apple. They no longer own the world. In a Post-PC world, Office needs all the customers it can get.

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