Friday, July 29, 2005

Why Microsoft innovation founders in the education market

A post for SJSU Alum and Microsoft Evangelist Robert Scoble


You know I have huge respect of what you have accomplished in your blog and at Microsoft. One of the greatest assets that Microsoft has is you and your blog. You are an army-of-one, a huge voice, a genuine and informed source, in my opinion a spike on the distribution curve, informing the world with voice and heart of all the cool things Microsoft is doing. You are a great friend and the list of things I have learned from you is very long!

In my opinion Bloggers and most Mac evangelists, such as myself, exist out here on the long tail. Out here is an army-of-many Mac folks (often quietly) passionate about tech and very often about all things Apple and they are all over the place.

When it comes to unit sales of OS's and computer hardware the vast majority of our students are in the Wintel camp. But, when it comes to initiative efforts, like tablet computing, Apple has the clear edge.

As you know I work at San Jose State and I am frustrated about the fact that we can't buy (or even see) a decent tablet in our university's bookstore. Most of the students I talk to don't even know about tablet computing. Yet, in the same bookstore you can buy all sorts of cool Apple hardware, software and related products.

I do not know if it is the same at other universities, but I suspect it is. So, what does Apple have that Microsoft doesn't? Apple has that army-of-many that are conduits of information between Apple and its customers. Because Microsoft lacks that, in my opinion, the big problem for Microsoft (in my education market world) is that neither the company nor its OEM's know how to reach my world. Apple has marketing savvy and marketing reps that cultivates that army-of-many often obscure folks who are as passionate as about their favorite platform as you are yours.

What else is my opinion? Well, I am typing this on a Mac Powerbook, but I could just as easily using a PC. Really I think it matters less and less what brand OS or laptop computer you are using. I think a tablet is great for some things and I use one and move files back and forth with my Macs. No problem.

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