Microsoft’s head of communications Frank Shaw is much more entertaining than any other company’s head of communications on Twitter.
Unlike his rivals, Shaw isn’t scared to mix it up a little. For instance, he trash-talked Google over patents on Twitter. He also talked smack about the FT for a story it ran about Google ditching Windows.
He was at it again last night.
Google decided to kill a bunch of products, including iGoogle. So, Shaw wrote, “Saw that [blogger MG Siegler] was mourning for iGoogle, made me think about other G products that are no more. How to keep track? Then I had an idea … Pinterest to the rescue! A moment of silence, please…introducing the Google Graveyard.”
He then linked to this Pinterest page of Google products that have been shut down over the years. It’s a cute idea, but it shows an incredible lack of self-awareness.Just a day earlier Microsoft had to take a $6.2 billion write down due “mostly” to its $6.3 billion purchase of digital ad company aQuantive in 2007. We’re pretty sure none of those Google products cost the company $6 billion.
Then there’s the Microsoft Kin, which was the result of a $500 million acquisition. Microsoft killed that pretty quickly. In fact, if you flip through this list of Microsoft acquisitions you can see a lot of expensive mistakes.
In response to Shaw’s Google Graveyard, Time Magazine’s Harry McCracken built a Pinterest page for “Microsoft’s Morgue,” and it’s filled with products Microsoft killed.This is just how the tech industry works. Microsoft tries a new product, if it does well, it continues to invest. If it founders, then it gives up on it and moves on. No big deal. Google does it, Facebook does it, Apple does, everyone does it.
This is the risk of being entertaining on Twitter. You can make fun of your rivals, but it can quickly come back to embarrass you.