Sun. NASA photo

The best comments, quotes, and random zingers we heard this week … 

“I think there are great investors and great people here (in Seattle). But if you accept the premise that we are a lesser satellite of the sun, the only way to get the sun to feel like you are a smaller sun or like a red dwarf — or whatever the analogy is — is to get some money from that market up here.”–Seattle angel investor Chris DeVore at the TiE angel investment panel discussing why they try to attract Silicon Valley investors to Seattle deals.

“These numbers show that our economy is gaining strength, and that’s great news to start … the new year.”–Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause on Washington state’s unemployment rate dipping to 8.3 percent in January.

“To be fair they could give shoppers earphones. But still, any crowded store would resemble a huge bumper-car ride at the amusement park.”–A GeekWire reader responding to Microsoft’s “shopping cart of the future” which uses a Kinect sensor to follow shoppers throughout the store.

“One thing about Microsoft is we compete with everybody these days, it seems. There’s good news and bad news. Integrating these ecosystems together and making sense out of it, that’s going to be an asset. But to do that, you can’t leave a huge gap in any one area. And that’s why we fell in a hole in terms of the phone stuff a couple years ago.”–Microsoft research and strategy chief Craig Mundie at a press event in Redmond. Full comments here.

“This meme that MS will catch up and surpass over the long term is worn out. We’ve been hearing those promises from Ballmer, Mundie and others for more than a decade. Instead, every year the company’s competitive situation becomes more precarious and its growth slows.”–A GeekWire reader responding to the comments from Mundie.

“And it’s been this hidden tragedy of this dropout level that I think only in the last five years or so are we even looking at. I was stunned when I first found out about it. It kind of blew my mind.”–Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates speaking with author Thomas Friedman about the high dropout rate among people seeking degrees for highly skilled careers.

“I guess what cracks ME up is that Gates himself is a college dropout.”–GeekWire reader Marie Mckinsey responding to the comment.

“Google+ is getting to be a bit like a friend who thinks it’s very, very important that you attend his church.” — Technology journalist Harry McCracken on Twitter.

“And that friend slips hundreds of flyers under your door and signs on your lawn.” — Rurik Bradbury in response.

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  • ‘Red’ Russak

    “The only way to get the sun to feel like you are […] a red dwarf” via @crashdev. Are you calling me short? ;-)

  • Guest

    “And that’s why we fell in a hole in terms of the phone stuff a couple years ago.”–Microsoft research and strategy chief Craig Mundie at a press event in Redmond.”

    That statement fails to capture or even acknowledge the numerous profound mistakes MS made that resulted in their “falling in a hole” a couple of years ago and losing a decade head start in mobile. It was in fact years in the making. First they focused on securing as many OEMs as possible while ignoring the growing customer experience problems associated with that. Second, they failed to innovate and then arrogantly underestimated Apple’s chances of success. Third, they foolishly convinced themselves that WM6.5 and then 7.0 would be sufficient to make up lost ground. Four, by the time the were forced to admit that wasn’t going to be the case they had lost yet another year, and then required a year plus to develop a new OS almost from the ground up. Total time to begin responding to iPhone? Not 3 months, but 3 years.

    It really sad that this senior management team can never fully and accurately take responsibility for their numerous serious failures over the past decade. Instead they try to ignore it or minimize it. But the results speak for themselves.

    Fire Mundie, Ballmer. Gates, and start over.

    • Guest

      Don’t look back in anger. Look forward in hope. Today, Windows Phone has the support of many key OEMs and a vibrant marketplace of apps including Xbox Live gaming. Its innovative user experience has been favorably compared to all mobile phone competitors. In addition, with two major version updates in the first year, Windows Phone is moving with an alacrity one has not seen from Microsoft in more than three years.

      Has Steve erred? Certainly. We all learn from our mistakes.

      • Guest

        Hmmm…my reply was deleted.

        Here’s the recap:

        No anger, just the facts as I see them. Those people have failed repeatedly and shown no willingness to acknowledge those mistakes. As a result, they need to be replaced. “Hope” should not be the strategy a company MS’s size is forced to rely on for success. They spend $9 billion a year on R&D alone. That’s more than Google and Apple combined, as it has been each and every year for the last decade. WP is really the focus of only one key OEM, Nokia, and even then not entirely. Marketplace success has been solid, but still trails Android and iOS by a mile. Reviews have been favorable but that hasn’t translated into in sales success. Indeed, it hasn’t even been sufficient to offset the ongoing decline in WM sales and thereby arrest the continued fall of MS’s overall mobile share. The pace of updates has been good for MS, but then MS isn’t the competition; Google and Apple are. Steve hasn’t only erred, he’s been nearly consistently wrong. Be it about the payback period for new investments, the time and money required to catch a competitor, the market chances and threat posed by a a competitor, or the disruptive impact of industry shifts (almost all of which he  initially ridiculed or downplayed, only to subsequently be forced into embracing and/or emulating them).  You/I may learn from our mistakes but Steve repeatedly doesn’t. Hence the fact that after arrogantly underestimating iPhone, losing a decade head start in mobile and subsequently MS’s multi-decade lead in revenue, profit, and market cap in the process, he then repeated that mistake in near identical fashion with iPad, the associated consequences of which are perhaps even more serious for MS’s future.

  • Jason Gerard Clauss

    I’m not sure how long the economy will remain “strong” when you consider it’s built on imaginary money.

    • Guest

      Nice. Good meeting you at the Republican caucuses on Saturday, by the way. Paul Power!

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