Let me preface this by saying I find Steve Ballmer to be offensive on many important levels. I'm also not so much a fan of some of the things Bill Gates has espoused. His attitudes towards digital music, when the business wasn't even a business yet, for example, always rubbed me the wrong way (he never mentioned "owning" the music in his book, 'The Way Ahead').
Anyway, Apple and Google have become so conceited they are bordering on the criminally insane. It's human nature to go mad with power, so I get it. What both of them need is to get hungry again. Look at the awesome stuff Microsoft is pumping out after getting kicked in the nuts for about six years. Six years -- an eternity in the tech biz.
Imagine Google six years from now. Android will be embedded in all kinds of crap, from kid toys to kitchen appliances to even more mobile phones and a tablet or two. Apple will have carved out a Sony-like niche in the home, but will still find the enterprise to be a tall peak that MS won many years before... And Microsoft will be chugging right along with a suite of products that just might work together -- like 3 screens and a cloud, you know?
Lately I've found better search with Bing. The Windows 7 beta wasn't some limited nerds' club release, it was a huge endeavor of public testing that withstood a barrage of feedback and looks to be a truly worthwhile product. Hell, I tried it. And I'm honestly excited that next year I'll buy a PC running Windows 7. I still want an Xbox 360, and while the iPhone is my constant companion, I have to admit the Zune HD is a worthy competitor, at last.
My rantings about Wave today still stand: this was a doofy publicity stunt and a way for Google to be the "cool guy" at the party. It's a role they revel in, frankly, and they seem to have the Marcia Brady's when it comes to events like Apple doles out. I'm still excited by the potential of Wave, and I now have a couple of people "nominating" me for a spot amongst the Chosen Pigs, but I don't know that I'll ever look at Google the same way after today. More than ever they seem to be extending without purpose, talking without speaking, and ignoring the core of their business.
But hey, if things go poorly it's a great time to buy the stock, right?
one man's journey into creating gibblybits