News Analysis: Microsoft's top PR official, Frank Shaw, in his blog post "Microsoft by the Numbers" holds no punches as he goes after the software giant's chief rivals. The message? "We're here. We're Microsoft. We have the numbers to prove it. Get used to it." It's about time.
I typically try to stay
above the fray when it comes to company cheerleading and trumpet tooting, but
Microsoft's Frank Shaw has posted a piece that simply demands attention.
In a post titled "Microsoft
by the Numbers,"
Shaw, Microsoft's top public relations official, delivers
a strong example of what the term "PR" is really all about. Shaw's
post will be alternately scrutinized, analyzed, criticized and praised. And it
will likely be used as slide show fodder by more than one news outlet (I must
admit that I damn near did one myself!). But the bottom line is Shaw stood up
and did his job. He did the hell out of his job.
He took some swipes that
Microsoft has been reluctant to overtly take in the past. Sure, the company has
made many of these points before, but it has done so a bit more passively. Or it
has done it through proxies or with partners-as if to give the impression that the
so-called heavy hand of the software giant was not behind the jab.
However, with his post, Shaw
makes no pretense that anyone other than Microsoft is behind the message. And
the message is: "We're here. We're Microsoft. We have the numbers to prove
it. Get used to it."
Citing what he referred to
as "a few of my favorite numbers," one of the first things Shaw did in
his post was talk about the success of Windows 7. And he should. He listed
150,000,000 as the "Number of Windows 7 licenses sold, making
Windows 7 by far the fastest growing operating system in history."
That was potent, but perhaps
his best stroke was ending with some revenue figures. Shaw simply said:
- $5.7 Billion: Apple net income for fiscal year ending Sep 2009
- $6.5 Billion: Google net income for fiscal year
ending Dec 2009
- $14.5 Billion: Microsoft net income for fiscal year ending June 2009
Shaw calmly asserts a position that stands up to all the hype and furor
over Apple's cool and market cap, Google's ascendance to supremacy, and trash
talk that Ballmer's no longer the guy, and he says: Look at the numbers.
This stance is long overdue from Microsoft. The company needs to fight back
and be proactive amid the onslaught of smacktalk.
Shaw also puts the iPad craze into perspective. He said: "1 million Projected
iPad sales for 2010. 58 million Projected netbook sales in 2010. 355 million Projected
PC sales in 2010." And he noted that although less than 10 percent of the
netbooks sold in the United States in 2008 were Windows based, by the end of
2009 96 percent of the netbooks sold in the United States were running Windows.