Now the artist formerly known as RIM is fading faster than the Toronto Maple Leafs' playoff chances.
First, from the above-linked article:
We never asked for all-in-one devices. Steve Ballmer pulled that from one of the random Microsoft rear ends without a clue. Quite possibly his own.
Desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones aren't like motor vehicles.
Most of us only have the money, time, space and patience to deal with one car. So, let's say, 90% of what's on the market pretty much works for everything most people require an automobile for. You only need one car ...
Electronics -- computing machines, gadgets and mobile devices -- are smaller and less expensive. Not sure about you, but I like having more than one. I like that a company such as Apple thinks of their products as distinct, specialized vehicles for productivity, creativity and consumption.
There's no need to roll them all into one. In fact, it would be pretty disappointing if that happened. My life would be less rich. But, more importantly, I reckon we would see quite a few jack of all trades, master of none devices that cut seemingly small corners on a whole bunch of operations, producing a weaker all-encompassing experience.
That's critically important to consider.
The notion of an all-in-one strategy simply isn't resonating with consumers. And I reckon I have explained at least some of the variance as to why.
So, it's within this context, you have to consider Microsoft's present situation as it pertains to the future. And it's anything but comfortable.
In 2011, Blackberry ardents told me the company would be OK because of its installed base, a base that couldn't leave -- especially in the enterprise -- because of RIM's apparent security advantage. I countered with BYOD (bring your own device) is real and it would win out, making the enterprise market look a lot like the consumer one with respect to device(s) of choice.
The Blackberry people responded with IT departments will never let what you're saying happen. I told them -- with a straight face -- that the cats in IT departments are powerless losers, who take orders from executives in the rest of the company. It's not the job of an IT lackey to object; it's his or her job to implement what he or she is being told to implement.
We all know what happened there.
So, not by the same, but by a similar token, that's what we have happening at Microsoft.