I doubt anyone missed the coverage of Apple's Tuesday announcements around the unveiling of the iPad Air, the cylindrically-scary new Mac PC, and making their latest OSX and iWorks freely available. The media eats up any Apple news like it's a Saturday morning, Southern helpin' of biscuits and chocolate gravy. Headlines like: "Apple Sucker Punches Microsoft" or "Apple Exploits Microsoft Hesitation in Office" to "Apple Inflicts Major Surface Damage on Microsoft" show that true innovation is lost on most media pitchmen, and bullet-points the state of the tech world these days where fashion continues to win out over function. Can you imagine if real techs spent as much time worrying if the new server color matched the datacenter décor?
There are those that say Apple's innovation is dead. And, while I don't agree with that – yet – you have to agree that what Apple announced on Tuesday was less about being innovative and more about being seen as relevant. It's almost as if Apple has conceded that iOS has already lost the smartphone war to Android so they've chosen the easiest foe to pick on to feel better about themselves (I think that's called bullying). While Microsoft is not the powerhouse it once was, there are hints here and there that competitors are starting to take notice again. The best example came from Apple's press event. Apple suggested that Microsoft is confused about what a PC is, while at the same time trying to move the iPad beyond a fancy gaming device and suggest it could somehow be used for real work.
To set things straight and lobby a rebuttal, Frank Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Communications at Microsoft, today issued probably the best, most eye-opening blog post that has filtered outside the walls of Redmond in a long while. Frank says what many inside and outside Microsoft have thought, but have been afraid to state publicly. Frank does in a single blog post what years of marketing at Microsoft has failed to do: he communicates effectively and on point. And, whether you agree with him or not, he makes a very logical case that's sure to educate many in the industry. But, only if they wipe away the fog of Apple reporting and let the lesson sink in.
The rebuttal covers Microsoft's dominance in Office, confidence in its Surface direction, and belief that it knows what customers want from a computing device because it created the personal computing revolution. This is not a fluff piece, by any means.
Read the full post here: Apples and oranges
Does Frank deserve 'hero' status?