The New Deal and the Great Depression II
Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?

Annals of Computing


Microsoft Watch - Operating Systems - Allchin's "Buy a Mac" E-mail Exposed: Jim Allchin's "I would buy a Mac" statement now has context. The e-mail is publicly available.... Yesterday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs used the quote during his Macworld keynote. What an opportunity for Jobs, to quote the Windows executive saying he would buy a Mac. The quote was taken out of context, not that Jobs probably had any context to give.

Ummm... I don't think so. I think Allchin said "I would buy a Mac today if I were not working for Microsoft," and gave reasons.

There's a court case going on in Iowa, where the Mac-loving e-mail appeared last month. It's now available among plaintiff's documents, but readers need go no further than the next paragraph to read the entire e-mail. Allchin, who is co-president of Microsoft's Platforms & Services Division, sent the e-mail to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer on January 7, 2004:

This is a rant. I'm sorry.

I am not sure how the company lost sight of what matters to our customers (both business and home) the most, but in my view we lost our way. I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems are customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that doesn't translate into great products.

I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft. If you run the equivalent of VPC [Virtual PC] on a Mac you get access to basically all Windows application software (although not the hardware). Apple did not lose their way. You must watch this new video below. I know this doesn't show anything for businesses, but my point is about the philosophy that Apple uses. They think scenario. They think simple. They think fast. I know there is nothing hugely deep in this.

[Note: Link is now dead]

I must tell you everything in my soul tells me that we should do what I called plan (b) yesterday. We need a simple fast storage system. LH [Longhorn, i.e. Vista] is a pig and I don't see any solution to this problem. If we are to rise to the challenge of Linux and Apple, we need to start taking the lessons of 'scenario, simple, fast' to heart. Jim