Ok, I need to vent for a moment.

As a Microsoft evangelist, you have to develop “thick skin”. And with all the competitive loving going on, and all the news going on, people come to the conclusion that Microsoft is not doing well.

At a local university

As an example, I was down at Mississippi State this week for my son’s college orientation. Yes, there were iPhones everywhere. One of the school officials has an iPad in his presentation. And there was a student promoting his Apple club. Every time, I walk past one of these events, my family and friends look at me and grin. They think it’s funny – but they don’t understand that it’s personal for me. I’m betting on Microsoft! And I don’t think it’s as lopsided as folks think. 

Ignorance at Barnes & Noble

A week ago, I went to Barnes & Noble at a mall in Collierville, TN. As soon as you walk in the front door, there is a table set up and they are pushing their new e-reader, nook. So, I walked up and took a closer view. It has a nice look, seems responsive, even has a browser and wi-fi. So, I asked the young lady a few questions about the $149 device. Then this conversation turns like this:

She says “if you are computer savvy, then I’d recommend the iPad”. Really?!?  My kids look at me, and duck away. I graciously said “thank you for the information” and walk away. But, I couldn’t take it – not sure if it’s the evangelist in me, or that I’m defending a member of my family. So, I go back to her: “maim, why do you recommend the iPad?”, and her reply “because it has touch, which makes for a great reading experience”. So, I can appreciate that, but then I asked her again, “but why iPad”, and she responds “because Apple invented the first touch device in the iPad”. I exhale or sigh, and point out the following:

  • Microsoft had a Tablet PC long before the iPad – like 2001. Apple had a previous attempt too (in the Newton). But touch computing was invented well before that.
  • if you have a PC and want to look at a e-reader, Barnes & Noble offers a free PC e-reader as well as other Apple devices.

The point here is that ignorance leads to more ignorance. That’s why winning “perception” is a big deal. I’d like to hear some customers touting Microsoft positive statements. Better yet, I’d like to hear some facts!

Microsoft by the numbers

Well, I’m glad to see that Frank Shaw, our corporate vice president of Corporate Communications, has created a recent blog post titled Microsoft by the numbers. It’s a great read, and contains some interesting industry metrics. He touches on windows, slate / iPad, cloud computing, Xbox, Office, Bing, smart phones, Hotmail, Live Messenger, etc. I don’t want to quote the entire article here – but I’d like to have it on a poster board or t-shirt.  Here’s an excerpt from the beginning:

You probably saw the news this week that we’ve sold 150 million Windows 7 licenses in 8 months. That's more than 600,000 per day. And, perhaps fittingly for a product called Windows 7, it adds up to 7 copies every second of every day since launch.

As a communications guy, I’m generally most comfortable with words. But since Microsoft is a pretty numbers-driven company, the Windows 7 milestone got me thinking about some *other* numbers, too…

So, read the rest. It’s impressive, and makes me proud to work at Microsoft. I emailed Mr. Shaw today, thanking him for standing up for us. We always take the high road and keep quiet, but not responding to any of the anti-MS rhetoric is not a good thing either.

And then to top that , take a look at what TechCrunch has to say about the blog post in their article, Decoding Microsoft’s Fantastic Passive-Aggressive Numbers Post. We can’t talk the way that Mr. Siegler does, but I enjoyed his interpretations. Here’s the end of the article:

Sure, Apple passed us in market cap. That means nothing. You know what matters? Making money. You know what matter even more than that? The money you can keep. Income. Apple and Google are doing great — we have more income than they do combined. That’s not 5 years ago, that’s not 10 years ago. That’s right now.

And you know how everyone is bashing our CEO, saying that he has to go? Look at the numbers when he started versus where we are now. Yep, he’s more than doubled revenue. Other companies can only dream of being so “stagnant.”

Yes, I WORK AT MICROSOFT.