back to article The Economist de-rails Microsoft media love in

It could have been so different. Thinkers and creatives from publishing and advertising – Coke, The Economist and others - met for a Microsoft MIX07 panel, to debate and generally conclude that technology is a great way for reaching consumers. After two days of Microsoft extolling the joys of convergence and multimedia content …


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  1. Alex

    Re: Did he just say "piss off"?

    To piss someone off means you get them angry. What does the expression mean for you crazy brits? :)

  2. hugh Pym

    Bloody hell...

    ... some sense spoken at a marketing conference? I don't know about global warming but I think hell just froze over.

  3. Gerry

    Amusing Coda

    Apart from generally enjoying the de-bunking by the Economist, there's a little bit of history repeating itself in the concluding paragragh.

    Years ago (70?), Isaac Asimov was invited to define (in effect) the e-book. He then went on to carefully describe the req'd features. From a different direction he came to the same conclusion as Rassbass.

  4. Tom

    Timely comments

    It always amazes me that people working with technology don't understand that not everyone loves what they love (technology, and especially clever technology). This is a message that is repeated over and over again in the real world, in many subtle ways, but in the echo chamber of the internet it is lost.

    To paraphrase Fry: clever things make people feel stupid, and new things make them feel scared.

  5. David Norfolk

    I always did respect the Economist!

    These "heretical" remarks make a lot of sense to me - although I have been involved in a paper magazine with great (and independent) content which couldn't make any money from it....

    Specialist technology magazines on paper are struggling today and online content (obviously) has its place - if it isn't "advertorial" and if it's fun to read - but I predict a return to paper magazines as premium, paid-for, adjuncts to online info sources in a year or so!

    Paper will probably be marketed as "new technology" by then, of course.

  6. Martin

    If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger

    Superb! Sanity in a marketing forum, sanity in Las Vegas! Is Rashbass going to kill MS's shiny new technology? - of course not. Is he going to help it be used in sensible ways? - maybe, just maybe. Microsoft should be grateful.

  7. Tony


    This seems reminiscent of the exposure of Vista for what it really is. For those who have become sufficiently detached from reality to think all technology is good regardless of whether it is or not, do remember that Mr Ray Mears and many others are doing very nicely thank you from teaching people to live without technology, because lots of people are keen to do this. There may be a message there somewhere....

    Anyhow it is good to see people in positions of influence at last pointing out the bleedin' obvious.

  8. Tom

    What to do?

    Just curl up with a good book, and relax in the sun by the beach on an island in the pacific.

    Where do I sign up?

    Another margarita please!

  9. Mat

    where do I sign ...

    As a marketing ploy for the Economist, that worked a treat! I almost feel like signing up right now for a subscription. Rarely seen/heard so much sense spoken by an individual at that type of event.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Economist technology guy gives tekkies a reality-based mauling

    Well done to Andrew Rathbass. By reason of their own vested interests of career, personal fullfillment, stock options & corner offices, technology marketers are too often in denial of the abiding, irrevocable truth that the majority of new technologies - like the majority of brands - fail. Hype-merchants who populate the "Dilbert cubicles" in Redmond & elswhere fight to counter this truth, rather like salmon swimming upstream. For sticking his bear-like paw in the water and munching on the munchkins, Rathbass has provided a salutary - and certainly entertaining - spectacle.

    PS. "Winston Binch" - A real person ? Or a character from a Martin Amis novel ? Circa "Money", I'd guess..

  11. John Angelico

    Calling the Pope

    He should be instantly canonised as a saint!!

    Finally someone else (apart from 'chairs' Ballmer) who can put Bill Gates back into his box!

  12. Paul

    piss off?

    For Alex and the other US readers:

    piss someone off - annoy them

    piss off - go away (somewhat offensive when used as imperative)

    pissed - drunk (I believe it means annoyed, in the USA)

  13. marc

    Quo vadis?

    I think MS has trodden its path for so long it has lost its direction. Watch Gates talking about the Kitchen of the Future as opposed to doing a great operating system, or copying its way into every possible market, and you see how MS is simply a marketing company with crappy technology, hence the proliferation of BS MS marketing consultants each etching out a justification for their own existence. Compare Apple - a tech company with great marketing - it has a direction.

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