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As Apple Prepares to Report, Microsoft Story Still Pathetic

Tickers in this article: AAPL DELL MSFT
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- This morning, I wrote about reports that Microsoft (MSFT) will help bail out Dell (DELL) .

Positive media reaction to the prospects of this deal starts from several faulty premises:

  • Steve Ballmer has a formidable long-term vision for Microsoft
  • He can actually execute this vision and
  • Somehow, it's acceptable to insinuate that we can hold Dell responsible for Microsoft's hideous performance, outside of Xbox and the blind resigning of Windows licensing deals, over the last five years.

    But John Don't Call Me Radek Dvorak's article takes the cake for comfortably numb living in an alternate reality. Granted, it was in PC World , but still, even those guys should know the score.

    Dvorak presents his case as if there's nothing wrong. Like there was just some sort of setback or obstacle -- the type of "misstep" Reed Hastings made with Qwikster at Netflix (NFLX) -- Ballmer and Microsoft need to overcome. And Dell provides the answer -- picked out of the ether by some director or maybe the CEO himself -- to this benign riddle.

    Here's the CliffsNotes of Dvorak's take culled straight from his article:

    My readers know my thesis about the future of Microsoft and that future is hardware. The Surface tablet is only the beginning . . . As a part owner of Dell, the company would not have to worry about Dell getting irked by the channel conflict. It's a dream come true for both companies.

    Sounds like it's straight from a Saturday Night Live sketch. But it gets better.

    Dvorak makes the same argument I hammered this morning, that Dell's ineptitude has been holding Microsoft back. It's not Microsoft's fault that it stinks, it's its "channel" partners. If Microsoft only had control over it's entire ecosystem -- you know like Apple (AAPL) -- everything would be so much different. That's all. Just a simple logistical problem that, all of a sudden, about a decade too late, Microsoft can fix in a flash by (hold your laughter) taking kind of, sort of control over a newly private Dell.

    Really, it keeps getting better.

    This is all part of the Microsoft grand strategy of rolling out retail operations across the world to sell branded Microsoft products in much the same way as Apple Stores . . . In the future you'll be shopping at the Apple Store and the Microsoft Store and that will be that. At least until a better idea comes along.

    With all due respect, is he stoned? Grand strategy . In the future we'll have two choices -- the Apple Store and the Microsoft Store (though I would not capitalize the 'S' in 'store" just yet after Microsoft's name). As far as I'm concerned, given the company's performance, it ain't proper.

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