Outgoing PC Magazine editor Jim Louderback, trashed Windows Vista as he exited the magazine for his new role as the CEO of Revision3.
Thank God for Ed Bott's Microsoft Report, where he P0wned Jim and his lame assed parting shot at Vista.
There's more and sadly, less to it than that...
While Ed exposes many flaws in Jim's article, "Passing the Torch" he doesn't ask or offer reasons why the outgoing editor of PC Magazine wrote such an article, clearly contradicting himself and his earlier and consistent praise for the new Windows OS. To me it is pretty easy to understand why up to his departure for Revision3, Jim seemed to like the new OS. Jim is headed for Revision3 and a sea of young personalities that have made great sport of bashing the new OS - directly and indirectly. So for Jim Louderback, joining the Vista-Bashers is all about
re-establishing street cred with his new flock. It's that simple - Jim can't be seen as pro-Vista, or even objective. Oh no, in his new role, Jim has to be against pretty much everything established - regardless of merit, or facts. Jim will have to be edgy and cool and ditch his friendly, approachable and irrepressible harmless self - you know, the one that endeared him to millions despite his often frenetic and scattered approach to many things technical. When Jim was Jim, he was fun, spontaneous and full of surprises and it was a blast to watch him step through his almost boyish presentation of anything new. Only when Jim was forced into a more sedate character and serious presenter did he seem to lose his way and timing that was as much comedic as it was technically accurate. Stuffed into the "Fresh Gear" confines, which seemed to choke him, Jim sucked, but on his own and on the floor of the Las Vegas convention center as a co-host of DL.TV's CES 2007 coverage, he was indeed fresh, and a lot of fun - no one could keep up and even the younger co-hosts seemed stiff and off-balance as wave after charming wave of Jim, the technical court jester, came crashing in. He was smart - very smart, but a lot of fun, too.
So what's the problem?
False motivations and weak attempts to establish some cred with the kids aside, Jim is headed for Revision3 as a leader and it's leadership that is what will be expected of him. Leadership demands that well..., one leads and they had better start doing that leading from the very first second their boot hits the ground first and ahead of anyone they are in front of. One does not establish a role as a leader of great people by parroting what they assess those people want to hear. If Revision3 is to fulfill its role as one of the main activities ushering in the new media, following isn't the way to get started. Whatever one's values are one has to remain true to them and if objectivity and a sense of reality are among those Jim is best known for, he'd have been better served sticking to them. Similarly, Jim is right and proper to respect his new charges, but absolutely foolish and utterly stupid to fear them - which is what I assess his most recent remarks bashing Windows Vista to be all about. Coming from "PC" Magazine of all places, he can't just nip the hand that fed him for so many years - oh no, in order to have cred these days Jim had to turn about and bite the damn thing off entirely - or so he seems to think, as I see it and as I interpret his parting piece.
Leaders Lead, Jim!
Your new colleagues needed a dose - a serious dose - of reality and humility. The better angle might have been to speak to how Windows Vista, like any very complex and powerful operating system, performs at its best coming from the hands of equally complex and powerful people - you know, the sometimes boring, but always professional engineers that deliver and support systems based upon the new Windows. I could go on, but I know I don't have to. If Jim does read this - which I doubt, I know he'll get the point on the first pass. The question is and perhaps Jim's greatest new challenge, will his younger colleagues at Revision3 get it and can he lead and teach them if they don't?