They are now demanding the kill-off of the desktop outright!
These dolts are worse than Sinofsky and Ballmer.
Isn't it stunning? In my 2nd comment on this very thread ( see Post #417
) I noticed this very insanity. Our so-called allies have become the very iSheep they claim to despise and never miss a chance to ridicule in every comment section. It is the most blatant case of cognitive dissonance imaginable. But they are far, far, far worse than those stereotyped iSheep.
Something occurred during the Vista debacle I think. I remember at first there was some friendly debate on the official Vista Team Blog
during the beta phase. And then suddenly the issue of DRM and protected content path burst into the spotlight, sides were drawn, Microsoft hunkered down into a bunker mentality and and the baby sheep ( MicroLambs? ) were already saying stuff like: 'go ahead Microsodt, do it to us!'
. In amazement I watched a grass roots groundswell of anti-Microsoft and anti-Vista sites and memes sprout up ( BadVista
, etc ) . Then we saw the cynical and self-serving Mojave Experiment
from Microsoft. But what I didn't notice was the breadth of the astroturfing campaign. By accident or design they nurtured these MicroLambs into MicroSheep and here we are.
I'm from the old days, I remember Microsoft before they got into Operating Systems and Apple when they were still competing with Commodore and Atari in a very small and new field. When IBM dropped its nuclear bomb with their PC and the "Little Tramp" Charlie Chaplin things began to move into the general publics' eye and the early battle lines were drawn between the open PC ( mostly IBM ) and proprietary Apple. The common perception is that Apple nurtured a radical unkempt base of loyal rabid fans made up of artists and musicians while IBM and Microsoft nurtured a following of uptight conservative business types ( and yes, this is decades before "I'm a Mac, I'm A PC" ). In my experience this view was pretty accurate to a point. I interacted with the "enemy", having many creative friends that only would use Macs, however there was no personal animosity that I can recall. Most of it was directly due to the Apple commercials and other things emanating out of Cupertino. IBM and Apple were certainly competitors to an extent, but there was much less potential customer overlap than people like to believe. Most Apple users would not buy IBM because they were not looking for DOS or Quasi-DOS command line applications preferring the more object oriented WYSIWYG approach from Apple. On the other hand we business types would rather be stuck with DOS and its 1000:1 ratio of applications compared to Macs and were happy to dispense with the frills to get the job done. It was classic Style versus Substance. In truth, IBM and their clones on one side and Apple on the other had the entire 1980's to their respective fan bases and customers all to themselves, a clear playing field. And it should be pointed out here that Microsoft played both sides effectively, supplying critical applications to Apple which in my opinion saved the company several times by giving them some credibility in the business arena, but not quite enough to make them a serious player in the market. Mac versions of Word and Excel and some other things sufficed for small or home business environments, but they were not enough to touch enterprise or even the average office. In fact I'm not sure that Apple ever really tried to become a business computer company at all ( they would run petty ads making fun of the competition and their user base rather than ads that showed a Mac doing everything a PC-AT could do and more ).
The 1990's with Windows 3.x and 9x brought the direct conflict, the look and feel issues, the ill will. Still I cannot recall Microsoft or any other of the "good guys" attacking Apple or evangelizing like we see today. We were too busy criticizing Microsoft and the OEMs for dragging their feet and not giving us what Apple had long had, a stable OS with a usable GUI. It wouldn't be until after 2000 that the PC and Macs were truly interchangeable IMHO, and even then the application ratio was still 1000:1 comparing PC to Mac. Apple continued with the cynical ads and I have no doubt that this ticked off lots of PC users, because it makes no sense to insult your potential customers. Even though Microsoft had long been on the receiving end of these insulting ad campaigns they failed to see this obvious mistake. Fast forward to recent Vista and current events and they have perfectly copied the obnoxious arrogant attitude that had long existed in Cupertino headquarters ( but not necessarily in the minds of Mac users ). The stunning thing to me is just how fast this occurred. We're talking perhaps 6 years total for Microsoft to create a rabid and retarded chorus of fanboys that clearly surpasses anything that the Apple amen-chorus ever did. It's not even a close call. Our so-called "friends" are the real creeps now. They are enablers of the worst kind, even demanding that Microsoft destroy Windows and become MicroApple
right before our eyes. 'Please kill Windows, all its legacy, all its utility, all its customizability, all its history. Do this so that we can have childish consumer consumption appliances to play Angry Birds and Cut The Rope, and tweet on Twitter and stalk on Facebook. While you're at it, please give us Playskool and Romper Room little colored blocks so we can relive our childhoods.'
Who is to blame? Ballmer and Gates I think. Ballmer because he is a lifelong under-achiever and a classic product of the Peter Principle, and Gates because he lost his programming mojo long ago and after reading books about Carnegie and Nobel decided to spend his time buying himself a reputation. The Vanity Fair story
offers one glimpse of the Microsoft disaster, and the Mini-Microsoft blog
fills in some of the blanks in those comments by Softies and ex-Softies. There is no lofty goal there, no pretense of perfectionism, just pure business and marketing from a company that is a mere shell of the original. I'm not sure Gates and Allen ever had lofty goals anyway, but I believe that many of the 1980's and later programmers did. Unfortunately the crew cannot prevent the Titanic from crashing into an Iceberg if the Captain and first mate decide to race full steam ahead despite all warnings.
How did it happen? Well again, all over this thread we have long expressed the obvious that Microsoft, in particular Ballmer has a childish case of both Google-envy and Apple-envy. It is the most basest of instincts, jealousy. The "Lost Decade" article describes it well, especially the Google angle with throwing chairs: "He threw a chair against the wall. “F*cking Eric Schmidt is a f*cking p*ssy!” Ballmer yelled, according to the court document. “I’m going to f*cking bury that guy! I have done it before and I will do it again. I’m going to f*cking kill Google.”"
. Now if you realize that sometime after that craziness while Ballmer is fixated on Google ( and almost dumped $45 billion to buy Yahoo! ), Apple comes along and drops the iMacs, MacBooks, iPods, iPhones, and iPads onto the marketplace and gobbles up all the pent-up customer base while fathead is still obsessing over the other guy. This caused even more fury, more envy, more jealousy. Ballmer cracked at this point I believe and just decided to give in to Apple-envy and become MicroApple
by copying every single thing he could copy. Obviously him ( and Gates ) should have been removed in the Google-envy period, but the stock market is comprised of idi0ts if you watch the analysts and the day-to-day happenings. They are oblivious to these facts.
This, I believe is where we come in. Speaking for myself, I avoided the Apple-universe precisely because it was an arrogant, petty, locked-down walled-garden model of shallow consumerism. Ballmer's moves can only offend those on the "PC side" who have a moral compass, value freedom of choice, and possess personal integrity. I see his actions as a direct attack on me, no different than the cynical Cupertino ads of the past. They are similar because they are really the same. Earlier I said: "Steve Jobs did not die, he is haunting the halls of Microsoft possessing the body of Sinofsky"
. Actually he is possessing all of their management upper levels, Gates, Ballmer, Julie, Jensen and others. This is exactly why there is such an outcry these days. Many people see what is happening. Some fixate on the Start Menu, others on Aero Glass, others on the Store, others on UEFI, but it is all part and parcel of the big picture, Microsoft's cynical move to become Apple and believing they can just sheppard us along like a herd of mSheep. Ballmer is so thick headed he ignores others like Electronic Arts and Sony ( to name just a couple ) that took a giant crap on their veteran users and loyal customers at his own peril. What is most offensive to me is the attempt to cash in on their near total monopoly of x86 computers, folks that mostly did not ask for Windows but got it by default due to their OEM backroom maneuvers, a grand scheme to convert this current and future captive audience to their own private field of cows to be milked at will. They should be broken up just for this alone.
So back to the mSheep. These are the enablers. For every drunk or drug abuser out there you will find enablers that shirk their responsibility and scratch their heads when the subject wraps their car around a tree later. NeoWin and The Verge are over-run by them these days, largely because the operators ( yeah, I mean you Steven ) would rather enjoy large click counts than take a firm stand on integrity. Whatever. So lots of us that were there from the early days just left. You cannot argue with children ( they have no faculty for logic ) or the wild-eyed Windows 8
religious cult evangelists ( they've been saved and are headed for the promised land of
good and plenty
Angry Birds ). But we can scorn them and ridicule them. And when they help Microsoft complete their slow steady march to corporate suicide we can criticize them for accomplishing what Steve Jobs could never even dream of doing in his own lifetime.
It may now be inevitable because when you have an amen chorus supporting every move no matter how insane, the ability to effect course correction is overwhelmed by sheer momentum. But we can still try. Hey, at least there is entertainment value in this. I am really hoping that Microsoft adjusts their plan and restores the Start Menu just so we can watch fanboy heads exploding at those forums. If that happens it will be easy to push them over the ledge into complete insanity.