Well, today was tons of fun for Stacy and me.
In response to our story called “Microsoft is a dying consumer brand," not only did we get an earful from the company’s PR team on the phone, not only did I get an earful from the PR team in person, but we had a Twitter campaign launched against us!
Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s PR director lambasted the story on Twitter today, saying he was “gobsmacked by the misses in this article. …so much wrong/so much missing don’t even know where to start.” He then created a hashtag #notdeadyet, calling on Twitter users to enumerate the reasons why Microsoft isn’t dead. And he called out CNNi for some reason.
Some of the blogs picked up the story — if you can call it that — including Silicon Alley Insider, DailyTech and TechFlash. Reuters also published a much longer version of the same story today, and that story even quoted several Microsoft insiders who confirmed the assertions in our story.
First, let’s be clear: Microsoft as a software company is not dying. I wrote as much a few months ago in a story that Microsoft actually retweeted, calling it “very reasonable.” So I’m not just a Microsoft hater or an Apple Fanboy, as many commenters suggested.
Still, as a consumer brand, Microsoft has swung and missed so many times and has fallen behind on so many products, that we felt it deserved to be written about. I mean, this is Microsoft we’re talking about! The company that almost single-handedly brought the PC into every home. With so many bright minds, how could they fall so far behind on so many products? Innovators’ Dilemma? Complacency?
The company felt that we should have written about all of the new, exciting consumer products like Windows 7, Bing, Windows Phone 7, Xbox Kinect and IE9. All of those were included in the story.
So what did we do wrong? We should have given Microsoft an opportunity to respond in the story. As Mike and the Mad Dog would say, that was a bad job by us.
But, we absolutely stand by the story and all of the facts we present. Microsoft could well prove that it’s never too late to make great products, and Internet Explorer, Windows Phone 7, tablets, and Bing will take off in the coming years. It would make one hell of a story, that’s for sure.
In the meantime, we thought the fact that mighty Microsoft is struggling to find its way in the consumer market it once dominated is also quite a story. -David