I figured there would be some strong disagreement in this article, so I made y'all a graph of how Microsoft is doing against Apple financially these last eight years on Google Finance. Here it is:
That looks great. A few more years of Steve Ballmer's fine leadership ought to take Microsoft to where I want them to be.
Courier was less than a prototype. It was vaporware of the worst kind. It wasn't even a mockup. Its only purpose was to give Windows Fever types hope that there was some salvation coming, so they wouldn't be forced to adopt iPad in the enterprise. Same with the HP Slate, which delivered mere thousands of units to sad Windows faithful the world over, and disappointed them all.
We'll have the same at CES, and whatever comes after in February (World mobile congress or something). Hugely expensive advertising campaigns and a fawning press that works for press companies paid by such, dishing the advantages of going back to 2005 as if it were a good thing. Hot chicks, open bar. They'll tell you how much fun it is to dance with the devil, but they won't tell you that if you dance with the devil you WILL pay his fee.
Courier as a strategy failed horribly. iPad wasn't just the number one Christmas gift for 2010. It's also the preferred thin client for Citrix amongst people who close deals at a nice table. That fight is over and iPad won. It turns out people will buy good stuff. We'll go again in March, but to quote the magic 8-ball, "outlook not so good".