Microsoft Writes Itself out of CE

This morning I thought I’d look around and see what bombshells Microsoft dropped at their CES keynote last night but I really couldn’t find much, and what I could find seemed really insignificant in light of things like this, this and this.

Ballmer is driving the company into the ground.  I don’t know if it is zealous focus on “winning Search” or his love of the cash cow that is Microsoft in the Enterprise but all of their Consumer Electronics seem to be flagging or flatlining.

Off the top of my head.

  • Did they even mention Windows Media Center?  What was once the centerpiece of Microsoft’s attempt at taking over the living room has been completely overshadowed by cheap set top boxes and game consoles.
  • Hardly touched on WinMo 7 and Zune, out of what I can only assume is embarrassment.  They have nothing even approaching Android let alone iPhone OS and they know it.
  • Their Xbox announcement wasn’t really the “game changing” user interface breakthrough Project Natal, but a pay-to-play MAME ripoff for old people?
  • Their game lineup for 2010 is pretty lackluster (not including Mass Effect 2)
  • They even kind of waffled on their “Slate” announcement.  For good reason though- no one really has any idea what Apple is up to with their new tablet concept, and from what it sounds like, “iSlate” is so far removed from the tacked on uselessness that was Microsoft’s Tablet PC initiative that they might as well not show anything at all.
  • Huge focus on Windows 7?  That’s all well and good but “Windows Everywhere” ain’t exactly what it used to be and we’re seeing Linux (Android, embedded, etc) ALL OVER THE PLACE at this show.

Bottom line: Microsoft’s corporate inertia has rendered them unable to keep up with the ecosystem they had a huge hand in creating.  Blame Steve Ballmer, blame their org chart, whatever, they’re done.

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