MS Problems – When even Paul Thurott sounds alarms

Paul Thurott is a huge kick me doll for the Mac media the last four or five years.

Thurott is a “Windows” expert and generally does his best job to downplay any new Apple initiative as soon as possible.

He predicted the iPhone would fail

“I wrote this review for you, the fence sitter. The normal person. The guy who’s seen the constant iPhone ads on TV and in subway stations and has wondered if this thing, this expensive hunk of plastic, will actually solve some problems. The guy who, quite frankly, shouldn’t be wasting his hard earned cash on an expensive toy that, ultimately, doesn’t really solve any problems at all. The iPhone is awesome. There’s just one problem: You don’t need it.”

He predicted the iPad would fail

“There could literally be millions of first-generation iPads gathering dust in people’s home offices already. This product is the tech industry’s biggest MacGuffin yet.”

You get the general idea.

However, today Thurrott wrote a dangerously accurate picture of Microsoft current mobile disaster.

What prompted this stark realization? MS’s pathetic new FUD like marketing materials to counter the iPad. It features a number of slides that are supposed to highlight the advantages of Windows 7 tablets over the iPad.

Here’s Thurrott’s blunt response

“Microsoft, I’d like to introduce you to reality.   In reality, Apple sold tens of millions of iPads last year and is on track to sell tens of millions more next year. In reality, people are buying iPads. In reality, they’re not buying Windows 7-based tablets. And in reality, they never will.”

When your number one cheerleader is writing opinions like this, things cannot be good. What’s caused this level of crisis.

Thurrott has realized that Microsoft is perhaps 2 to 3 years away from having a meaningful tablet based OS. Apple and Google are not going to just sit around stagnant while Microsoft tries to attack a moving target. This delay combined with the lukewarm introduction of Windows Phone 7 and the headstart that Apple and Android have in the smartphone market leads to this uncomfortable conclusion.

“This year, millions of people will choose tablets. Virtually none of them will run Microsoft software.

Combined with the other evidence, this suggests that Microsoft’s dithering, this time, is going to lead to defeat in this market and, perhaps, ultimately in the market for mainstream computing. This will have long-term ramifications for the company, including diminishing the chances of ongoing success of the product it’s trying to protect the most: Windows.”

And Windows losing relevance is pretty much the end of Microsoft as we most of us know it. Microsoft biggest weapon to achieve dominance was Windows 95. It had no competitors save for a flailing Apple with a failing OS future roadmap and an old operating system showing cracks at every surface.

Windows 8 (and it’s not clear how Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 for ARM will interact) might be Microsoft’s most important OS since Windows 95 and it will face a very different landscape when it appears in 2012/2013.

Instead of a dying Mac OS 7.5 and no other relevant competitors. Here’s a quick run down of what will be out there at the very least

  • Android 4.0 – Google is not going to stop Android development for smartphones and tablets any time soon.
  • iOS 6.0 – At the very minimum this will be the threat posed by Apple a more advanced version of the iPad/iPhone OS or….
  • Secret OS “X” – The sequel to 10.7 Lion and iOS. The synthesis of the desktop modality and multi-touch environments. If you don’t think Apple is working on it, you’re kidding yourself.
  • Web OS Enhanced – HP is releasing a tablet this year, and it’s doubtful that they are going to give up on their plan of a variety of WebOS powered devices. Especially advanced internet connected printers.
  • RIM Playbook OS for tablets and smartphones – RIM’s last best shot of being relevant. It should be fully in the market by 2012/2013
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