As a resident of Washington State, I think it’s important that Microsoft remains a successful enterprise. Microsoft doesn’t seem evil anymore. Have you noticed? Back in the 80s and 90s, they were evil. Around Y2k, they were still satan, but the luster was beginning to fade a little. In 2006, when Vistasucks hit the streets as the replacement for the long-awaited “Longhorn,” they stopped being evil and became, well, comical. The viral video of sweaty armpits jumping around on stage shouting “developers, developers, developers,” locked in “comical” as their new reality for a long time.
There was Longhorn that never saw the light of day. It was replaced by Vistasucks. Vistasucks was universally despised. This was the big stuff.
Nobody remembers Microsoft’s attempts at mobile operating systems during the early part of the century. They sucked. Little brick phones with crappy versions of Windows, styluses, and slide-out keyboards. They didn’t do much, and what little they did required a manual to navigate and operate. Then they did all those things poorly at best. I had one. Surprisingly, I can’t find a picture.
Zune. Remember the first iPod killer? It squirted songs. Welcome to the social? You could get a brown one. Brown.
Then there are the failed attempts to enter the smartphone market with hardware and software that nobody remembers. There is a version of Windows for phones, still. Right now. Of course, you probably didn’t know that Giggles the Pig is running for mayor of Flint Michigan against two City Councilmen who have pled guilty to felonies, either. So, there’s that.
Then there’s Microsoft’s odd naming convention for their operating system. At first there were version numbers. Very normal and ordinary. Then there was Windows 95, Windows CE, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows XP, then almost Longhorn, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and now Windows 10. No nine. None.
But now, Microsoft isn’t really comical anymore. They’ve just gotten to be “not terribly noticeable.” And that’s sad, particularly when you see all the ads they put on TV about their tablet thingy. They’re paying a lot of money to have Russell Wilson promote the Surface. They have the Microsoft logo and SURFACE in big letters all over everything on the sidelines. And you can still hear TV talking heads call it an iPad.