Forbes Slams Microsoft

Forbes picked up on the same vibe from Microsoft I was talking about earlier, only managed to articulate it a whole lot better:

No one mentioned the fact that in 1997, Microsoft held a similar event in New York City to declare that IBM’s “big iron” was dead, because Windows NT–remember Windows NT?–was going to “scale up” and replace the mainframe. I wonder if Ballmer ever feels like the guy in Groundhog Day, reliving the same press conference, over and over. I know I do.

Oddly enough, some of the language of the Microsoft event was eerily similar to language about innovation in the new huge advertisements that IBM started running a few days later in newspapers. Did Microsoft somehow get wind of the ads? Who knows. But the event seemed thrown together to blunt the new ad campaign from IBM.

Worst of all, I can’t believe Microsoft actually held this big nonevent “event” only a few days before announcing another screw-up in Vista. If Ballmer knew he was about to announce a delay and still had this event, he’s crazy. If he didn’t know Vista was about to slip again, then Microsoft is in worse shape than anyone realizes.

I wonder if 2006 will be looked back on as the year that was the beginning of the end of Microsoft. They’re facing a perfect storm from the likes of Google and Apple, with the Open Source community finally making major inroads and producing usable (often superior) stuff. When you realize just how badly Microsoft is blundering with getting their flagship product out the door, I am honestly wondering if Microsoft is prepared to weather the storm.

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