One of my longstanding problems with Microsoft has been that they seem to want to be all things to all people, instead of limiting themselves to possibly 3 things, and really excelling at them (dominate and excel are not synonymous, look it up).

When you have so many balls to juggle, each ball is not in hand much of the time.

But because Microsoft wants to dominate in operating systems, with Windows, in productivity software with Office 2xxx, in console gaming with the Xbox, and in the cloud with the Live Essentials and other initiatives, the company is spread a little thin.

Fortunately, one area that Microsoft, and Mr. Ballmer in particular, has said no to is a digital reader device.

Bravo, Steve! (I’m betting you thought I would never be in accord with any of Mr. Ballmer’s assessments…  See you were wrong.)

No, Mr. Ballmer stated that Microsoft was already helping the world read digital documents and books –

from PC World

All of Silicon Valley may be Cupertino dreamin’ of Kindles and other tantalizing tablets, but Microsoft says it wants nothing to do with the ever-expanding electronic reader market. The always-enthusiastic Steve Ballmer dropped the bomb while visiting a Netherlands university Thursday, according to a report published by Reuters.

“We have a device for reading,” the big B is quoted as saying. “It’s the most popular device in the world — it’s the PC.”

Ballmer reportedly said Microsoft has no need for its own separate e-reader device, going as far as to add that he wished Amazon and other digital book providers would make their content available on PCs, too.

The news is likely to rain on the parade of analysts and pundits who have been predicting an upcoming lap by Microsoft in the great e-reader race. The company has been rumored to be developing a “top-secret” tablet called the Courier for some time, and — as is the case with Apple’s thus-far-mythical device — many have been calling for the Courier to revolve around core e-reader capabilities. Some speculation has suggested the Courier would even look like a book, though other reports have surmised it may act as more of an electronic journal of sorts.

Perhaps the first and last time that Mr. B and I will ever be in full agreement, but it happened.

Actually, I have no problem with a reader device, but I have a really big problem with one that has no way of storing (call it backup, call it whatever you wish) data that would get pushed aside or have to be removed when new content is wanted.  As I have plainly stated, I don’t like to pay for something that goes into thin air. after all, it’s not gasoline, it’s information.

But if we all used netbooks, fitted with Linux, that had no onboard DRM, and books, periodicals, and other information were available to be used that way, I’d be first in line to get one. It would be just the impetus to get that shiny netbook I’ve been wanting.


We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.

Ronnie D. Laing


of course, we’d have to have one of these in all digital content


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