Dennis already weighed in on this one, but I couldn’t let it pass without opening my yap and chiming in.So warning rant ahead.
You knew it was coming. You just knew. With the announcement of The Transitioning of Bill Gates, (I’m betting that is going to become some sort of Channel 9 web documentary or something some day) folks were going to start looking back. Not quite writing the obituary, mind you, but looking back. And you knew that a part of that looking back was going to examine the successes and of course the failures. (Side note: Its always more fun to write about the failures than the successes.) And you knew that in certain quarters when the list of failures started being compiled that there were some who still don’t get Tablet PCs that were going to include them on their lists.
Ok, maybe you didn’t know, but I did. In fact, I would have bet on it. I would have laid odds at 3 to 2 that Mary Jo Foley would be one of the first to create a list of failures, and even money that Tablet PCs would be on her list. She never met a Tablet PC she liked. If she’s even picked one up. Her pickings and pokings are so predictably punctual that you can set a clock by them.
Mary Jo is right on one thing. There is a vociferous contingent out there that doesn’t see eye to eye with her on this one. Primarily because they are two busy enjoying the freedom and mobility that Tablet PCs offer rather than being hunched over a keyboard all day, hunting and pecking like a deranged hen in a barnyard looking for scraps. These are the folks who understand the potential of Tablet PCs, live that potential everyday, and shake their heads in amazement at the really smart folks who don’t get it.
That said, I’m no Bill Gates fan boy. I recognize his and Microsoft’s achievements and I surely recoginzie the failures. Regardless of how you feel about him, his record, and his choices, I certainly think trying to define his legacy by his flops is a bit er um supercilious from someone who seems to have made a living solely by sitting in the bleachers, watching and waiting, leeching of Microsoft’s every move.