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On the Creation of a Microsoft Clock

The Ballmer brainwashing quote has already gotten a bunch of attention, but I’m interested in the interview for a different reason than most folks:

[Ballmer] It’s going to take an innovative proposition. In five years are people really going to carry two devices? One device that is their communication device, one device that is music? There’s going to be a lot of opportunities to get back in that game. We want to be in that game. Expect to see announcements from us in that area in the next 12 months.

Yet another “just you wait, we’re going to totally change the rules of the game in n months” quote coming out of Microsoft. This one is just promising “announcements,” at least, but it’s part of a freakish, masochistic cycle that MS just can’t seem to escape. They’re pushing out a lot of good software and ideas these days, but there’s something in the Redmond water coolers that compels management to make big predictions about how soon things will happen, and how earth-shattering the impact of those things will be. In print. Repeatedly.

So in recognition Microsoft’s continuing commitment to trounce its competitors in any and all arenas, approximately 12 months from any given intervew date — in the face of a history of apparently insurmountable odds, no less — idle curiousity dictates that I start tracking this phenomenon.

When I get a few spare hours I’ll put together some code to track and display the data in some exciting, Web 2.0 fashion, but before that I’ll have to ask for the assistance of my loyal readers: if you come across any quotes…or rather when you come across quotes where an MS exec notes that the company will do something, release something, and/or 0wnz0r some market in a specific number of months, pass them along to me. And let your friends know, while you’re at it — the more data there is, the more fun there is for everyone.

del.icio.us or technorati tagging the articles with “msclock” would be ideal, but if you’re old school you can just email them to me.

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