Fortune published a short interview with Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer that’s drawing some fire. Titled "The Sleeping Giant Awakes" it’s a gushy little puff piece about how Microsoft is "taking the offensive". The part that’s drawing the most comment? The fact that Steve doesn’t let his kids have iPods. Kedrosky writes: "…it is typical of Microsoft that it would find no embarassment in using edicts to dictate product use. It is, of course, reminiscent of certain declining North American auto makers that demand employees only drive their cars to work."
Ignoring the fact that Steve grew up in Detroit, his reaction is in the best time honoured Microsoft tradition. It’s called eating your own dogfood. If you don’t use your own products, if you don’t provide the engineering team with feedback on how to make them better, and if you don’t have the drive to want your products to be the best, well… you deserve to lose. Steve knows that. And so should all the industry folks who think he’s wrong.