Dear Microsoft, it’s time to start acting like a leader again
October 6th, 201562
Microsoft, please sit down.
Look, I know you’ve had a hard time lately. Vista was a huge distraction, allowing Apple and Google to sneak in to dominate phones and tablets with their lightweight and finger-friendly operating systems. Even your Nokia mole couldn’t salvage things. Then there was that $900 million accounting charge to write-off unsold Surface inventory back in 2013. It’s been a tough decade.
But you’ve got a winner with your Surface Pro 3 and Windows 10, having finally seen Windows RT for the folly that it was. Your Surface product line is now turning a profit after sales finally exceeded manufacturing costs last year. And with tablet sales continuing to decline in the so-called "post PC" era, the competition is responding with the Apple iPad Pro and Google Pixel C. It’s time to buck up and double down, Microsoft.
With the improved Surface Pro 4 (and a second, mystery Surface) launching later today, you need a new marketing message. Stop calling out the competition by name. Stop directly comparing your category-defining hybrid to the MacBook Air, iPad, and Galaxy Tab in your advertising. You’ll never hear Coke name Pepsi in its ads. Coke is the "real thing" — it’s the original. Pepsi is the implied imitator — we all know this without Coke ever having to say it. That’s how winners talk.
So let’s see some confidence, Microsoft. You're a leader again, it’s time to start acting like one.
Five stories to start your day
To Twitter CEO and back again: a timeline of Jack Dorsey’s rise
Jack Dorsey manages to represent the modern tech industry ethos in all of its complexities. He is visionary, enigmatic, and revered while also being a self-styled icon and a central player in one...
Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 and Lumia event: what to expect
Microsoft is kicking its holiday season off with a press event in New York City next week. Normally you’d expect the company to announce a couple of devices, but this event is going to be unusually...
Landmark EU ruling says US privacy protections are inadequate
Europe's highest court today ruled that Facebook cannot send personal information on European users to data centers in the US, invalidating a 15-year trans-Atlantic data transfer agreement. In a d...
Roku 4 supports 4K video and a new way to 'follow' favorite shows
Roku, one of the earliest players in the over-the-top video streaming market, has just announced its newest device, the Roku 4. The announcement should come as no surprise to anyone who has been...
Reddit is launching its own news site called Upvoted
Reddit, the social aggregator countless publishers already crib news from, is starting its own news site. The new venture is called Upvoted, and when it launches on Tuesday, will dig out...