There’s no actual mention of Microsoft in the today’s Dilbert strip, but it doesn’t take a genius to see the comic taking a swing at the Redmond-based software giant.

With his latest creation, cartoonist Scott Adams has a pointy-haired character talking to Dilbert’s C.E.O. about the company’s “long slide toward irrelevance.”

“But if you redesign your logo and produce a tablet computer that no one buys, at least it will look like you’re trying,” he says.

Will no one buy the Surface, as cartoonist Scott Adams implies?

Who exactly is this guy? Tim Cook? A tech fortune teller?

Nope. He’s “The ugly truth. Most people just ignore me.”

Microsoft certainly redesigned its logo and also recently unveiled its tablet computer, the Surface. Why exactly Adams feels this way is unclear — perhaps he just thinks people are ignoring the fact that Microsoft is headed toward oblivion.

As Venture Beat points out, the claims that Microsoft will be irrelevant and that no one will buy the Surface are slightly ridiculous. But that’s certainly a topic for debate.

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: Thanks to our readers and my lack of Dilbert knowledge for pointing out that neither of the characters in the strip are Dilbert or his boss. I’ve made the changes above.

Previously on GeekWire: Confirmed: Microsoft retiring Messenger, shifting to Skype

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  • Michael van Baker

    Not a Dilbert fan, Taylor? That’s not Dilbert, that’s his pointy-haired boss’s boss.

    • Taylor Soper

      Thanks for pointing this out. I fixed the post.

  • Erno

    Seriously GeekWire, hire someone who at least pretends to be a Journalist or even a Geek, whoever Taylor Soper is, they should be sent back to reporting for the National Enquirer

    • Sam E.

      Are you suggesting that Dilbert somehow doesn’t fit into the category/ethos/whatever-you-want-to-call-it of “geek”?

  • Guest

    I love it! Everybody I talk to seems to think the same thing about M$.

    • Cpt. Obvious

      Clever(and not original), M$…implying that Microsoft is out to make $$? Hmmm….and where exactly is Apple in the financial landscape of America? What is their stock valued at right now? How much do they charge for their late to the dance technology? I applaud Microsoft for at least going out on the skinny branches and throwing their hat into the ring rather than playing it safe.

      • Tess

        “at least going out on the skinny branches and throwing their hat into the ring”

        That’s either a mixed metaphor or a really unusual one. :-)

      • James Smith

        Where is Apple? Only the most valuable company in history.

        True Apple didn’t invent computers, music players, or cell phones. They only made them what they are today and are the most copied company in the tech industry. Only a fool like you could not see that.

    • M$clown

      That’s what happens when you hang out in troll circlejerks.

  • Guest

    You know, there’s a hell of a lot of irony here. Dilbert? Who reads that any more? I take Taylor’s mistake as a sign that Dilbert has finished its slide towards irrelevance.

    Besides, Scott Adams has shown himself to be a seriously hateful misogynist ( so who really cares what he thinks.

    Anyway, this comic isn’t funny, isn’t insightful, isn’t really timely, and doesn’t really make sense. It’s just the further rantings of a bitter, hateful troll.

    • Shizuppy

      I smell MS fanboy

      • guest

        speaking of hateful trolls…

      • BigBernard

        You smell bad.

    • Tess

      For a counterargument to the claim that Scott Adams is a misogynist, see here:

      Not to say that it’s definitely right, but it’s at least an *interest* possible alternative explanation.

      • Ken Smith

        He’s certainly a misanthropist, which is sort of an equal-opportunity misogynist. As a friend of mine said, “I’m not prejudiced. I hate everyone.”

  • guest

    Pretty accurate.

  • Craig Deubler

    You don’t think it’s a bit more relevant to HP/Palm & RIM?

    • Bob Warren

      …..and when was the last time you saw someone actually buy a hot cake?

      • Newtrollshill

        Are you always this anal retentive?

        • Bob Warren

          ….are you always trolling?

      • lolguidos

        Actually, people buy them all the time. They are still quite popular. Most people call them pancakes though…

  • Guest

    Dilbert? Is that still around?

  • Kit

    Of course, it can be a veiled slap at Apple too. They think they can slap their name on anything and it will sell billions. The are finding out that that’s not always true.

  • SeattleMike5

    Dumb and untrue.

  • Art Carnage

    Yeah, I’m old enough to remember back when Dilbert was relevant.

  • albert

    No! That’s Steve Ballmer at the desk.

  • me

    The “boss” is also a bald guy, like Ballmer.

  • jax paper

    I got my hands on a Surface the other day..kicks the crap out of my iPad for the simple reason that I do more than surf the web and “like” stuff. Getting the Surface Pro when it comes out but still not going to wait in line like a child.

    “yes, i want to live in a world where there’s only one phone, tablet and computer. i shun new technology and emotionally lash out at anything not Jobsian”

    pathetic… bask in your ever diminishing glory fanboy.

    “ho hum the workplace is so bad, dumb, boring, aren’t bosses/co-workers stupid, isn’t this futile..” a cartoonist who has been beating the same dead horse that’s half buried beside a deserted highway, hates the Microsoft enough to put his circulation at risk. if I was MSFT, I’d pull advertising away from any venue or outlet that published this kind of crap.

    • Eric

      So much anger… show us on the doll where Jobs touched you… I hate Apple too, but the cartoonist’s first job is to be funny, which this accomplished.

      Apple, Google, and Microsoft all share some qualities, namely being so super-successful that they can afford to fail and do incredibly stupid stuff and survive, I think this is more of a “ghost of christmas future” type of thing, that if you change, you don’t have to be doomed, just don’t be so sure you’re right all the time… good advice at pretty much any point…

  • Fuji Trek

    Windows 8 actually makes OSX look dated, this one could go either way

  • BlueCollarCritic

    Theres supposd to be 4 slides/frames. the last one shows the boss saying “Maybe elsewhere but this is Microsoft, You’re fired!”

  • Scott Moore

    Of course the surface will sell; MSFT will sell many of them, and they’ll continue to be successful, even if their stock price is still what it was ten years ago. But that’s not the real question. The real question to ask is “are they leading, or are they following?”

    As near as I can tell, the surface is a me too product, and not best in class. Just like the Windoze phone and everything else. Kinect? Wii figured that one out. MS Money, a knock off of Quickbooks. Surface, a me too ipad. Windows, a poorly designed, insecure knockoff of the Mac.

    The reality is that MS has not been a technology leader ever. It’s a follow on company, and will always survive with its massive marketing machine as long as it makes OK products that don’t kill people.

    • Nick

      “Windoze” – are you still in the Linux kindergarten? Also, since what time Wii could do full body tracking (have you even seen Kinect btw?) and since when iPad was not a follow up to Microsoft Tablet OS from 2000-2001? Short memory… or really in the kindergarten?

      • sdzen

        something tells me his facts got twisted

  • Nick

    hmm.. funny. People who joke about Microsoft Surface should at least see it in person first and use if for 5 mins and then comment about it. We got 2 iPads and 1 Surface at home. Somehow Surface gets all the attention and iPads don’t get as much. Decided to get a Windows Phone for XMas and could not, because they were all sold out (blue Nokia). Ask your kids what they like and they all say XBox! (this is the next generation of customers right there). So claiming that Microsoft is going to oblivion given what is really happening in 2012 is just plain dumb… Be at least 1% objective.

  • Jason Gerard Clauss

    Microsoft is a big ship and takes a while to turn around. To be sure they’ve had some embarrassing failures in the last few years (*cough*kin*cough*) but I don’t think there’s anything fundamentally wrong with MS. Hell, for the first time since the mid 90s, Microsoft has a sexier UI idiom than Apple. I mean, that is a coup if ever I saw one!

    But where I think Microsoft has the potential to really take the lead is that they are making some serious if awkward strides toward a seamless experience of tablet and PC.

    Of course, I say this having just bought a MacBook Pro. I have no loyalties to anyone.

  • DaveHolden

    Replace sleek UI in classic XP with bloated, chunky, and cumbersome one in Win7. It is like they are trying to fail.

  • Adam Gering

    Did HP redesign their logo too? Change their CEO and produce a tablet no one bought, just variations of the same playbook apparently.

    • Adam Gering

      Maybe HP should change their logo and Microsoft their CEO; three’s a charm.

  • JWS

    I already have an iPad. I did not buy Surface … I bought a Windows 7 Slate from Samsung. Guess why?

    I won’t be getting Windows 8 on my own, but I will likely have it forced upon me at work. I won’t be getting a Windows Phone… been there, done that. Kinect – maybe – when I find I have time and space for games. Likely my next big tech buy is a MacBook Pro…

    Its never clear that we should infer what Scott believes. Maybe he just needs to get another strip out – and controversy makes people write articles. (Its nice being talked about, Right Scott?)

  • Dan Colasanti

    Some truth there regarding the Surface RT, but the Surface Pro changes things. Surface Pro is a real laptop and a tablet in one for $1000. Compare that to buying a $1000 MacBook Air and a $600 iPad ($1600). And it runs all of your existing software. People are going to buy it – I see a lot of value there.

  • Frank Kaufmann


  • Windows3.5Rox

    Where’s the pointy-haired character? I don’t see no pointy hair. Hmmmfpft. Lied to again. (how ’bout that Windows 8 kill-switch? Seems like the ultimate way to ensure OS sales!)

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