A Desperate Microsoft Courts Disaster -- and Finds It

Ask any of my colleagues what it means to criticize Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and they'll tell you it's a two-step process:

  1. Hit the publish button.
  2. Watch as commenters and emailers hurl insults.

But that's Apple. Passionate fans come with the territory. Android fans aren't nearly so sensitive, right? Wrong.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) risked their ire last week with a Twitter marketing campaign featuring the new hashtag #droidrage. Here's the missive that started it all:

Source: Twitter.

Android enthusiasts weren't amused. Or maybe they were. Some responses positioned Microsoft's attack as absurd when Mr. Softy hasn't yet shown Windows Phone 8 to be a top choice among prospective smartphone buyers.

Source: Twitter

Ouch! But also a fair point, I think. Cryptic hints are all we have when it comes to Windows Phone 8 sales. During last month's annual shareholders' meeting, CEO Steve Ballmer said the newest handsets were selling four times faster during their "launch period" than the previous generation had. How many units that actually amounts to remains anyone's guess.

Meanwhile, new figures from researcher IDC find that Samsung -- the leading vendor of Android devices -- accounted for 21.8% of "smart connected device" shipments worldwide in the third quarter. Apple ranked second at 15.1%, followed by Lenovo at 7%, and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) at just 4.6%. IDC counts "smart devices" as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.

Which leads us back to Microsoft. Why attack now? Is it because Mr. Softy is slowly seeing its world upended? Who cares if the software that drives your business (i.e., Windows for PCs) isn't as meaningful when devices vastly outnumber traditional computers?

We'll need years and more data to answer these questions properly. In the meantime, Mr. Softy's Twitter missive smells an awful lot like Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) taking shots at Facebook (NASDAQ: FB  ) for being top dog in a market (i.e., social media) it wants to own.

Microsoft wants to own mobile, and Android is in the way.

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Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 11, 2012, at 8:08 PM, H3D wrote:

    It's laughable the way commentators hurl abuse at companies and products and then get all sensitive when readers throw some back.

    Try checking to see if you've got a well argued case on a foundation of evidence before you press the publish button.

  • Report this Comment On December 11, 2012, at 8:12 PM, H3D wrote:

    So Android activate a million consumer monitoring stations / advertising display boards a day.

    Just goes to show how many suckers there are out there.

  • Report this Comment On December 11, 2012, at 10:31 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @H3D,

    >>It's laughable the way commentators hurl abuse at companies and products and then get all sensitive when readers throw some back.

    Sorry, did I miss the abuse?

    >>Try checking to see if you've got a well argued case on a foundation of evidence before you press the publish button.

    Certainly. Here you go:

    Cryptic hints are all we have when it comes to Windows Phone 8 sales. During last month's annual shareholders' meeting, CEO Steve Ballmer said the newest handsets were selling four times faster during their "launch period" than the previous generation had. How many units that actually amounts to remains anyone's guess.

    Meanwhile, new figures from researcher IDC find that Samsung -- the leading vendor of Android devices -- accounted for 21.8% of "smart connected device" shipments worldwide in the third quarter. Apple ranked second at 15.1%, followed by Lenovo at 7%, and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) at just 4.6%. IDC counts "smart devices" as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.

    Thanks for writing and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    Tim Beyers

    TMFMileHigh, Motley Fool Rule Breakers Analyst, Supernova Odyssey I Portfolio Contributor

    Web: http://timbeyers.me

    Twitter: @milehighfool

    Tumblr: http://timbeyers.tumblr.com/

  • Report this Comment On December 11, 2012, at 11:10 PM, techy46 wrote:

    Which leads us back to Microsoft. Why attack now?

    Why attack now? Microsoft has a mobile W8 and WP8 that make Android and iOS look just like what they are, ancient Unix shareware clones.

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