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


Tags: , , , , , ,


Share this Post

  • Did anybody say Microsoft is not a safe bet? That column said “consumers should stick with Apple (for hardware), Google (for Web-based software and services) and Amazon (for media).” Microsoft is a software company, clearly it is a safe bet for operating system and productivity applications.
    After all, Microsoft is mostly an enterprise player. Who would think Microsoft is not a safe bet in enterprise software and services, incl. cloud services?

    • TeaPartyCitizen

      If you want to know if Microsoft is a safe bet just ask the London Stock Exchange about TradeElect which ran on Microsoft servers. They had to rip the whole system out and replace it with Linux. Ask the people at the International Space Station about Microsoft’s OS. They replace all Microsoft software with Linux. Microsoft stock may be safe but their operating system should never be used on mission critical services.

      • Oh, yeah, London Stock Exchange is the largest Exchange in the world!! Microsoft’s OS can only power small exchanges like Nasdaq??
        And who wants to use Microsoft’s OS? It is only 91% of computers installed with Microsoft’s OS, and it is such a dangerous bet; it is so much safer to bet that 1% Linux os.

        • TeaPartyCitizen

          All exchanges have gotten rid of Microsoft since 2009.

          • On the contrary, it only proves how reliable Windows server is, and how often it is maligned by people like you.
            Read it carefully: the news was published just a couple months ago, that Nasdaq critical system was running on Windows Server 2003. Even an outdated 11-year old Windows Server 2003 was so reliable to power Nasdaq for 10 years up to now (actually even longer, as Nasdaq used Windows Server before Windows 2003).
            Don’t tell me 11-year old version of Linux can power Nasdaq, and don’t tell me that London Stock Exchange never had any problems, and certainly don’t tell me that new Windows server 2012 or 2008 cannot power Nasdaq.