The company was on the brink of destruction and perhaps oblivion when co-founder Steve Jobs began his historic resuscitation effort. It was Jobs himself who said Microsoft won, so it was time to move on to the next great thing (paraphrasing, of course).
How would one describe Microsoft today?
The Beleaguered Behemoth
Seasons change. So do a company’s fortunes. Apple went through and survived a near death experience but carried the beleaguered monicker well into the 21st century.
Apple vs. Microsoft is as much a story of cultural differences, as it is with the tortoise and the hare.
Apple as the tortoise does what it does, continually moving forward, sometimes in leaps, often in inexorable increments.
Microsoft plays the role of the hare, full of bravado and hubris, with plenty of resources, content to rely on speed (money) over wiles. Look what has happened to the computing landscape since Steve Jobs helped to rescue Apple after it was beaten down by Microsoft and self inflicted wounds.
iTunes, iPod, iTunes Store, Intel Macs, iPhone, iTunes App Store, Apple TV, iPad, Mac App Store, and more cash than can be safely counted in the U.S.
What of Microsoft during the same period?
Windows XP, Windows Mobile, Zune, Windows Vista, and, in response to Apple’s success with the iPhone and iPad, Microsoft Stores, a new Windows Phone OS, Windows 8, and Surface tablets.
While Apple cannot keep iPhone and iPad in stock and struggles to meet demand, Microsoft’s latest ventures have met with a collective yawn from tech pundits and customers.
Yes, friends, despite the Windows and Office cash cow, Microsoft is indeed beleaguered. The trend has already begun. Personnel layoffs, executive exodus, anemic sales of new products, and a flatlined stock price.
Microsoft has been losing money in venture after venture for years, losses which have been disguised by the high profits of Windows and Office. Xbox. Bing. Zune. Windows Phone. Surface. Hundreds of millions of computer users have figured out they don’t need Windows or Office to use a computer.
Apple has shown them a better way with computers that are friendly and secure, easier to use, and actually fun. Indeed, it is Apple that has heralded the mobile era as the post-PC era. In this era it is the tortoise that is winning the future, while the beleaguered hare remains asleep.