It's supposed to be Windows 7's big week, but other news just seems to keep getting in the way. And it's not just competitors like the news coming out of Apple this week, it's big announcements coming from inside Microsoft too. You would think that Microsoft could at least keep its own house in order, but that doesn't seem to be the case this week.
Apple's Earnings Surprise
As Joe Wilcox writes in Beta News, the timing of Apple's news this week was not coincidental. On Monday Apple released its quarterly earning reports and it blew analysts' expectations away. Not only did they do well, they did freaking incredible scoring their best quarter ever. In the middle of the biggest recession in 50 years, Apple generated a whopping $1.67B profit.
Consider that Apple sold more than 3 million Macs and 7.4 million iPhones in the quarter. The only bad news was that iPod sales were down 8 percent as people gravitated toward the iPhone. Beyond that, the only thing Apple has to worry about is unrealistic expectations for next quarter.
Apple Releases new Toys
As though the outstanding earnings report weren't enough, Apple released a new line of Apple products on Tuesday generating yet another wave of publicity. There was the new Mac Book, the updated iMac, the new Mac Mini server and of course, the superbly named, Magic Mouse (who wouldn't want one, so much cooler sounding than Mighty). The social networks were buzzing with folks talking and talking about this new line and it continues today, but it wasn't just Apple stealing that spotlight from Windows 7. Microsoft has had some news of its own.
SharePoint 2010 Anyone?
Meanwhile, in a case of poor corporate planning, Microsoft was holding a major conference in Las Vegas this week announcing their own upcoming SharePoint 2010, which includes a cloud and server versions. Steve Ballmer gave the keynote, and as I wrote the other day in Ballmer Gets that Sidekick Issue a Matter of Trust, he gave interviews afterward to ward off the bad publicity generated around the Sidekick data loss incident.
Oh And Bing Makes Deal With Twitter
As though all this weren't enough to cause the folks in charge of Win 7 publicity to be biting their finger nails down to bare knuckle, today Microsoft announced a major deal between Bing and Twitter with a rumor that one with Facebook is not far behind. This is of course great news for Microsoft, but it's a day ahead of the Windows 7 release party. You would think that this week of all weeks, they probably wanted to keep the company focus on one thing and that's Windows 7.
In the context of all this news, suddenly the Windows 7 release seems pretty anti-climactic, doesn't it? If it were competitors alone trying to undermine the big release, you could understand it, but when the publicity competition comes from inside your own company, you have to wonder why there wasn't a little bit better coordination here. Windows 7 should have the spotlight to itself and now it's sitting backstage all alone and feeling blue watching everyone fawn over SharePoint and Bing (and magic mice).