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I love Rick, but...

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October 03, 2007 – Comments (3)

He's so far off on Facebook, it's not even funny. Rather than taking offense on behalf of adidas-flipflopboy, and resorting to the easy putdown on the Zune, he might have taken a look at the numbers.

Facebook is underpants gnome personified. 40 million users, only meaningful source of revenue is Microsoft's ad deal. But people want us to believe it's worth $15 billion?We've all seen how this goes. Remember 2001, anyone? These businesses turn out to be worthless (skype anyone?) while those who declared them must-haves fade into the woodwork.

Balmer did the right thing by facing facebook. If he throws any more money at the ridiculous fad (yeah, that's what it is... Geocities 2.0) I'll run to Redmond and deliver him a personal dopeslap.

3 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On October 03, 2007 at 6:45 PM, chk999 (99.97) wrote:

Yup, I keep wondering how those social networking sites are going to make money. And yes, this does look like a replay of things like boo.com. Someone is going to get left holding the bag.

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#2) On October 03, 2007 at 9:28 PM, TMFBent (99.81) wrote:

Make money? But why bother? All that matters is that the ill-shaven wunderkinds (or metrosexual spectacles-sporters) get their IPO or their buyout from someone big, then let them worry about something as trivial as profits.

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#3) On October 04, 2007 at 12:15 PM, ByrneShill (73.64) wrote:

I'm a programmer. I can tell you 2 things:

1-Building a new facebook from scratch would be as hard and costly as developping the basic Windows calculator. I think I could write a basic version of facebook between breakfast and lunch, and probably have some spare time to do actual work. I'm kidding, but development cost for such a tiny things is very low, especially for a company with deep pockets such as MSFT. Running the thing is more expensive than building it. But then again, MSFT has pockets deep enough to run it without any impact on financials.

2-The problem with microsoft running a social networking site (wheter they build one or buy one) is that it's microsoft. With the amount of Mac zealots and linux junkies all around the globe, any social networking runned by MSFT will be called "bad", "buggy" or "sucky" on every slashdot.net clones of the internet. So even if it was worth 15 bilions (or whatever balmer is willing to pay), as soon as MSFT would put it's hand on it, the usage will drop, the publicity revenue will drop, and of course, the value will drop.

MSFT should keep focusing on what it does bests: end-user softwares. Windows and Office bring in money from the consumers/buisness. Visual Studio and SQL server bring in money from application developpers. Keep improving these products, make sure you stay head of the herd (Whenever I have to use anything other than Visual Studio to program I get in a bad mood). And for god's sake, make a Rational Rose type of software, we'll all happily spend the 2-5 grand it will cost to get rid of subpar products like Rose and Togheter.

Also, some internals tools (disclaimer: I've worked at MSFT in the past) should be polished an released. Some of them worked better than any avalaible product, and a lot of people would be willing to pay for them.

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