Newsletter #375 Preview: Microsoft and the Ministry of Silly Decisions

February 5th, 2007

It’s a well known fact that Microsoft user focus groups with which to test product features. Apple? Well, they aren’t saying, although the general perception has it that Steve Jobs is the focus group of one who makes all the decisions, even the minutiae that some might not consider terribly important.

Sure, Apple makes mistakes. Take the Cube, which was widely regarded as underperforming and overpriced, something with which I must totally agree. But Steve Jobs evidently has a thing for cubes, since his crew cut it in half (roughly speaking of course) and, more or less, morphed it into a Mac mini, which is priced just right. Then he split it yet again and begat the Apple TV and the newest version of AirPort Extreme. So there is indeed life after the Cube.

But Microsoft seems to have a penchant for repeating its mistakes, all in the name of “innovation.” That’s their buzzword, the excuse they used when they confronted the Department of Justice in that infamous antitrust action. How can the government possibly break up Microsoft and prevent them from building innovative new products.

Now it’s fair to say that the Zune isn’t particularly innovative, since its based upon a failed Toshiba music player. The software is built upon the most recent editions of Windows Media Player, or built down, since it removes some of the features of the latter.

Was that all decided by a focus group?

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.

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One Response to “Newsletter #375 Preview: Microsoft and the Ministry of Silly Decisions”

  1. Mark E. Strauss says:

    I personally hold the belief that, ‘none of us is ever as dumb as ALL of us.’

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