Over on GapingVoid, the following story is told;

During my time in Korea it was relayed to me that Burnett Chicago had a shot at the Microsoft advertising account. Having created icons for some of the most prominent brands in history, Marlborough, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s and the Keebler Brands to name a few, it seemed only natural that Burnett would desire the Microsoft name in their stables, not to mention the billings.

As the story goes, Bill Gates visited the agency and was treated to a pitch owing to the spirit of P.T. Barnum. Creative teams showed storyboards, sang songs and put on a show extraordinaire, in keeping with the finest Burnett traditions. After the pitch Mr. Gates was reportedly treated to the customary agency tour, replete with aisle upon aisle of pristine offices looking more like those of a Japanese bank than an American creative powerhouse.

At the end of his tour I was told he exclaimed, “Excellent presentation gentlemen, but as I see it, you don’t use computers and that would make it impossible for you to understand my business.”

Seems to me that in the short time since that alleged event occurred, things have gone full circle and its now Microsoft that doesn’t understand the world it exists in. It’s become so monstrous, corporatised and inwardly focused that it’s forgotten that, in essence, it is a simple tool maker. As Hughsays;

Microsoft’s current schtick is, “Unless we can get 75% plus of the world’s computer users buying our product, we’re not interested.” I think if they could change their schtick to, “Unless we can get 75% of the world’s computer users LOVING our product, we’re not interested,” I think they will do just fine.

What do you think – can Microsoft do what is in essence an Apple, creating product, and by extension a company, of desire?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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