Quoted: Is Microsoft a 'safe bet'?

“You are discounting the possibility that the best antidote to extinction is actually betting on players who are innovating today, not simply monetizing the products they invented 5 or 10 years ago.”

Frank Shaw, chief of communications for Microsoft, takes issue with the New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo, whose debut column recommended that to avoid “tech extinctions,” consumers should stick with Apple (for hardware), Google (for Web-based software and services) and Amazon (for media).

Ouch. Or, what a difference about a decade makes.

In a letter addressed to Manjoo but sent to Business Insider because the New York Times doesn’t allow online comments, Shaw says: “So while your readers could take your advice and blend in with the current crowd, we’d encourage you (and them) to take a look at some alternatives that offer even better ways to get things done. And with a cross-platform connected ecosystem that spans the workplace to the living room featuring best in class products like Office, Skype and Xbox, we’re a pretty safe bet too.”

Is Shaw’s letter just a passionate defense of his company, or does it underscore Microsoft’s shortcomings? Matthew Yglesias of Slate writes about the letter he calls “angry”: Microsoft could make something way better in the future. But for now, the fact remains that an iPad is better than a Surface.”

For the record, Shaw says he wasn’t mad. He tweeted at Yglesias today:


Photo of Microsoft logo from Reuters archives

Levi Sumagaysay Levi Sumagaysay (4265 Posts)

Levi Sumagaysay is editor of the combined SiliconBeat and Good Morning Silicon Valley. She also helps take care of SiliconValley.com, the Mercury News tech website. Email: lsumagaysay@bayareanewsgroup.com