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.