Even though Microsoft has single-handedly made itself look dumb on numerous occasions over the past decade, the company has tried its best to change public perception and look like the good guy, while attempting to denigrate the impact major tech companies have had on the world.
And yet, Microsoft never seems to be able to get it right. It's as if Bill Gates sent a memo to employees back in 1995 and said, "Ladies and gentleman, as you know, we like to make ourselves look dumb from time to time. With that in mind, please say whatever comes to mind whenever you'd like and you will certainly enjoy a promotion, raise and corner office. Good day."
Aside from Ballmer's multitude of idiotic comments on topics ranging from the iPhone to Linux, another person has joined the party and has done his part to propel Microsoft into the realm of laughable.
Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie said Tuesday that Google owes Microsoft a debt of gratitude for its success and shouldn't lose sight of the fact that before there was a Google, there was a Microsoft.
"If we didn't succeed at the PC, they wouldn't have a business," Mundie said of Google.
And in an attempt to show his age, Mundie continued by saying that, "It wasn't that many years ago that Google didn't exist." And in true Microsoft fashion, he made sure to tell everyone that his daddies (Bill Gates and Paul Allen) can beat up Google's daddies (Sergey Brin and Larry Page) any day of the week: "I don't think they can do anything we can't do."
Yikes. At this point, wouldn't you have thought Mundie would have known to shut his mouth? Unfortunately, he didn't. Mundie believes that it's Microsoft's longevity that will eventually take the day in its battle with Google and the online firm doesn't even stand a chance.
"I'd like to think we're strategically open-minded, we've made adjustments [to our business model]," Mundie said. "I'd like to see Google and someone else come up with something that really threatens our business model."
Where to begin? Aside from looking petty and jealous, Microsoft has once again made itself look like the boy standing in the corner while girls party with the cool guys. Just because Google is kicking Microsoft's butt in the online space, the latter needs to make statements about the company's age and how that somehow makes it a more solid competitor and favorite to win in the online frontier? What?
Let me get this straight. Based on that logic, couldn't it be said that Ford will win over every other automobile manufacturer because it has been around much longer? And wouldn't we assume then that IBM will be kicking Microsoft up and down the street in the long-term because it's longer in the tooth?
Where does this guy's logic come from? He not only made himself look like a joke, he effectively made his company sound even worse.
No better is this exemplified than in his assertion that Google "can't do anything Microsoft can't do." And although Microsoft can, theoretically, do everything Google can because of its huge coffers of cash, it doesn't mean that it can do it as well as Google. In fact, I would venture to say that Microsoft hasn't been able to do anything online as well as Google. Don't believe me? Compare market share data and tell me if the majority of people agree with your belief.
And finally, Mundie does a fine job of showing that Microsoft has lost its focus and has no idea where it is or how to get out from under the scourge of this online world. Microsoft is a software company. With that in mind, shouldn't it be focused on fixing its junker of an operating system and doing what it can to hold Apple and Linux back?
Now, I understand that Microsoft has become a company that focuses on other industries besides software, but if its performance is slipping at its core, how can it be expected to do well when it tries to compete in a different industry that it doesn't have a foothold in?
If nothing else, Mundie's comments show how jealous and scared Microsoft really is of Google. Instead of telling the world about the Microsoft products coming down the pipeline, Mundie instead chose to bash Google and start a PR war that it will surely lose.
Nice one, Microsoft.