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Microsoft's Missing Chromosome

By on Nov 14, 2008 in Brand and Identity Design, Web Design

Hell froze over the other day. Well, momentarily anyway. Steve Ballmer, in an apparent moment of befuddlement and rare “truthiness” seems to have opened the door a crack to the possibility that there’s something about open source that may actually not be a commie pinko plot.

Seriously, I’d love to eat crow about this, but despite the glimpse of web development utopia this moment may have conjured for many in the industry, (Ooooo delicious WebKit!) I’d be awestruck if Microsoft ever actually saw it through. Culturally, Microsoft just doesn’t seem to have it in them to fully embrace anything open source. Evidently, they are missing the chromosome which would otherwise help them acknowledge their actual challenges instead of attempting to ham handedly market their way out of their problems. Exhibit A, their recent, much ballyhooed, $300 million (not at all ostentatious) marketing campaign which lamely attempted to reposition Microsoft as “cool” as if that was the real problem with Vista and Windows Mobile and the failure of the Zune and so on.

If only the mucky mucks in Redmond, WA could ever admit that the success of the iPod/iPhone/iTunes juggernaut, and the increase in Apple’s computer market share year over year can’t possibly be due only to great marketing.

As it turns out, consumers have to actually be provided a satisfying experience that is then reinforced by skillful marketing. Anything else is simply lipstick on a pig. Chrysler, Ford and GM are currently suffering for essentially the same reason. When you’ve spent over the last 20 years ignoring energy efficiency and continuing to make cars that look and perform like ass in comparison to all of your competitors, it seems more than a bit presumptuous and entitled to then come begging for a bailout from taxpayers! That’s a whole other article/rant however, so for now I’ll wrap up by saying, c’mon Microsoft! Prove humble little ole front end web developin’ me wrong. Adopt WebKit as the rendering engine for IE.

I dare you!

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