Microsoft Vista is a watershed in the eyes of Redmond – it appears to be the point when Redmond can finally say, after 20 long years, they have dotted all the is and crossed all the ts in corporate IT ab”-ilities” for their Windows OS:
scalability – declared a target in 1996s Scalability days, doable in clusters and 64bit, grid works still pending.
reliability – NT is first kick, 2000 Server gets closer, 2003 Server is best yet – Desktop still farther behind because registry, COM, ActiveX, and all that unmanaged code is still alive in Vista; similarly Server 2007 is still to be field proven.
availability – wrenchingly hard to do because of all the Windows desktop gotchas; but server side has improved.
maintainability – goes in fits and starts in Windows; after leading in interfaces, now has to play catch up to automation by Sun, HP, IBM and others.
usability – usually Redmonds trump card, is losing shine with bloat and complexity of Vista and apps; but competitors not pressing.
interoperability – Redmond will define and declare this problem solved whether end users like it or not(see below)
security – after 2 promises of trustworthy computing, Vista over the next 6-8 months will tell the tale.

So now Steve Ballmer feels empowered to go on the offensive – and that is exactly what he will do. One might be able to just make out the Ballmer Manifesto …

“In Vista, Windows has achieved the Microsoft ultimate in meeting customers needs and demands. You demanded better scalability, reliability, and security – and we delivered. This is the tough stuff. The enterprise caliber qualities. And we are no longer winning on glitz and just a pretty interfaces alone. Delivering security, reliability and scalability is shit-bricks work. But we have done it. And Vista, Vista is leading the charge into the 3D world. Sure Apple and the gamers got there first. But we are a player in gaming. And we are going to be the future player in gaming. Sony is going to fumble one too many times. And as for Apple – those dilettantes are coming in for a big surprise and Zune.”

“Sure we are not the best. But the mark for the best is always changing and so is the measure of who is closest. Maybe IBM now on these enterprise factors – and maybe not. Who can tell when the marks and measures are are always changing. But we are close – and when you have a monopoly like we do, close is more than just good enough. Now listen up. We have a monopoly because you and developers, developers, developers gave us one. We have the most apps on the desktop and on servers – and that is why even free and Linux cant break in.”

“Dont give us this Interoperability demand. Dont give us this bull crap.”

“Dont you understand – we are the standards makers. We govern IT. We set the standards defacto or otherwise. Not Armonk, not the US government and not Open Source. You have given us the power and the monopoly.90%++ market share in half a dozen key sectors is not chicken feed. You have said you are willing to pay the Microsoft Premium because you believe that we will lead where we need to and stay close, just good enough everywhere else when it counts. We may let others innovate – take the big investment risks and hits; but we will be close enough behind, have enough cash in the till and top-notch manpower working in the field to know who to buy and who has to be controlled. ”

“We know how to gain yards out of bounds. Only Larry know how to run and gain yards out of bounds like us. But we will deal with Larry – again if he doesnt do himself in. He has a lot to chew on and digest. We think he may be losing internal control. God I know how hard it is to herd these developer cats. But he is running way out of bounds on RedHat but providing great interference for us. So we do our Novell deal and provide one more nail for the Linux/LAMP coffin – and we cant be anti-trusted because Larrys running even further out of bounds than us.”

“And so what have we done for the past 10-15 years – earned that Microsoft Premium. Novell beat us to the network so we refused them entry into our markets and heh heh heh … beat them with the TCP/IP standard. Sybase beat us in gaining late entry into the database market – so we bought them out. Netscape got first entry advantage and innovated like mad – so we had to cut off the oxygen. We ran a bit too far out of bounds on that one. But in the end George Bush won and so did we. W3C started to be high and mighty and think they could set Web standards; so we stopped all feature improvements to IE and Web standards adoption other than an XML short set(thank you, thank you, thank you again IBM for shielding us again). Now we will roll out Web standards at our own pace and with all our proprietary extensions intact. And yes, even Suns Java beat us on runs anywhere on Windows best and started to prop up the Unix game – so we poisoned the well with a corrupt version of Java. Like I said, you have to gain yards out of bounds. But when the Internet bubble burst, who won – Open Java (thanks you, thank you, thank you NYSE, IBM and Open Source Purists) or the Microsoft Premium players ?”

“So dont give us this guff about interoperability. You gave us the dominant shares in every market that counts. And you paid the Microsoft Premium for a lot less than what Vista and Server 2007 and Office 2007 are going to give you. And stop this nonsense about Vista and Office 2007 not being People Ready. We have to differentiate to innovate and bring you the next round of collaboration and IT sharing on our terms. Remember as the dominant players – we get final say on standards. And no – we are not the lowest cost or best price/performance in our markets. But tell me who can beat Open and free ? But you and I know that free only works so long – and we will be showing that shortly. Besides, we are only low cost at the entry and start up of a market. Once it matures you have to pay the Microsoft Premium to get the benefits of the risk reduction that is nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft and our consistency in always being just good enough.”

“So dont give us any guff about no longer being the lowest cost provider – otherwise I will have to slap you all over the face with another Get the facts campaign. No, stick with us. We are about to gain some pretty significant market share at the expense of Google, Intuit, Firefox and Linux/LAMP. Let me tell you that the Board is behind us and we are going to make the Microsoft Premium really pay.”

So where did we hear this une manifeste petite de M. Ballmer”. Was it published or did we have another source? Or is it a deep throat communication ? Well this party is not saying other than to note that actions speak louder than words and as the Man said …

(c)JBSurveyer 2006
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