By now, most people are aware of the "reality distortion field" that surrounds Steve Jobs. Folks attending his keynotes or product launches talk about how it's almost a religious experience, where he really does make you feel like the latest iPod nano is the greatest device ever invented. It's no secret that Bill Gates has a rather different personality -- but it's still quite bizarre to see the level of faint praise Gates gives the Zune
as its second generation launches:
"For something we pulled together in six months, we are very pleased with the satisfaction we got.... It was just so-so on the software side. I'm sure a year from now we'll do even better."
He does insist that the satisfaction was "superhigh," but satisfaction and passion are two very different beasts. Of course, this fits right in with how Microsoft has attacked this problem from the beginning: designing the product by committee
, rather than coming up with something that they can be passionate about. When even your CEO can't show much passion about your products (especially when those products are up against Steve Jobs' latest products), you've got a problem.