According to this Computerworld article Microsoft long time Windows development chief James Allchin wrote an internal memo in January 2004 about the product quality policies within Microsoft:

“I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products.”

The e-mail was presented as evidence late last week in the Iowa antitrust trial, Comes v. Microsoft Corp. Later in that mail Allchin states that he would buy a Mac if he would not work for Microsoft. And in fact Marketwatch.com reports that Apple sales currently rise four times faster than the rest of the global PC market.

There are so many designers using Macintosh computers not only because the products itself, but also because Apple serves the argument, that substantial investment in design is not a “nice to have” for a company, it can likely become a life saver. I sense that marketing and design is working hand in hand within Apple. Any management concept that defines marketing as “legislative force” and design as “executive force” has a tendency for failure. Marketing alone rarely “translates visions into great products” as Allchin demands.

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