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Is Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer Crazy?

Stocks in this article: MSFT GOOG AMZN RIMM

We know how that turned out. Bring your own device took off as workers got sick of fumbling with two phones in line at Starbucks. CEOs told their IT geeks -- make it happen. And they did. Blackberrys now come in just before the Woodland Caribou on Canada's endangered species list.

Advocates of Microsoft's all-in-one, work/play device argument make a similar mistake to those who pushed the RIM security argument.

In a perfect world, dominated by one PC-based Web browser and IT nerds, Microsoft and RIM supporters might be/might have been correct in their assumptions. But that's not the type of place we live in. That would be like me thinking the entire nation holds the political beliefs of coastal Northern and Southern California.

The whole Windows-dominated, IT-security bubble popped when Apple disrupted the scene. That might not seem fair or logical to the elitists -- yes, the elitists -- who dog Apple products.

Consumers love them. And, by and large, people want to get their hands on them. Don't bet against cool pop culture, particularly when the products are actually superior in practically every way.

Apple does not have to pull stunts and make free offers to get people to line up for its products. That's what Microsoft is doing in its marketing.

Even worse, the company uses slogans such as Surface: The Wait is Almost Over.

That's not marketing. That's not a reality distortion field. It's a lame attempt at creating an atmosphere that doesn't exist. Great companies do not have to use that gimmick.

They turn out solid products and, like Apple, market and advertise them in action. Being used. They don't artificially create lines or feign pent-up demand.

And let's not forget what Tim Cook said about Surface on Apple's Thursday earnings call. Simply stated, it's attempting to be a jack of all trades, but will turn out barely mediocre at some.

Why should we, all of a sudden, start believing Steve Ballmer's predictions of how consumers will behave? And how could he possibly have the nerve to expect us to? Being a billionaire is not a good enough reason.

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
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