Courtesy of Rixstep:Spontaneous Shoplifting @ MSFT StoreWords don’t often fail me, but the sight of a dozen minor-geeks, awkwardly clapping and trying to dance, under the guise of spontaneity… well I don’t know what to say or where to begin.Microsoft, you’re making a complete fool of yourself. You really don’t know what (hopefully) irreparable damage you are doing to your brand (such that it is) and your public image.Years from now, when Microsoft are long, long gone, people will look back at the YouTube video and say that this was one of the 10 or so key moments where severe blows were dealt that added to this company’s downfall.The reason why Microsoft have survived and prospered this far, is because of the army of Windows IT Professionals that have propped up this loose assortment of sloppy hacks and ass-backwards ‘me-too’ and ‘just good enough’ coding.They have survived because of the mass-ignorance of your average PC-buyer, who needed their hand held whilst buying their computer.But now things have changed. Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook and dozens of others have caught up whilst Microsoft were sleeping, and Microsoft’s customer has changed – they are armed with geek-knowledge and they know how to use it.Ballmer, like the captain on the Titanic, tried to ignore it, but now, with market-share and mind-share slipping he has to do something.He calls on his troops, but more and more of these troops are bringing in laptops with Apple logos on them. They have iPods, and iPhones, they use Google instead of Bing, and Office is the last thing on their mind with free alternatives readily available.So he does something – Vista. A total failure that would have finished most companies – but Microsoft isn’t ‘most’ companies.He tries ‘new’ and ‘different’ advertising campaigns. They are met with derision, confusion and worst of all – laughter, the ‘at’ kind, not the ‘with’ kind.Plan B. If you can’t beat them – join them. Or copy them. Copy them in exactly the same way you’ve copied them before, back when that ‘computer for the rest of us’ was first released.Copy it backwards and upside down. In such a way that although all the pieces are there, they just don’t quite fit together.What you are seeing in this poor, poor, sad video above, is Microsoft in the raw. When the support from all the IT professionals has gone.They have to compete. On their own. This is who they really are.I’ve often thought Microsoft were indestructible and I would be writing this blog to the end of my days with them always there, always copying, always getting it totally wrong.You know I’m beginning to see, at last, the end of this once never great company.