In the Pulitzer prize winning "The Soul Of A New Machine" , Tracy Kidder wrote of an ad that Data General produced but never ran. It read "They Say IBM's Entry Into Minicomputers Will Legitimize The Market. The Bastards Say, Welcome"
Sage Software which publishes a number of accounting and other software for the SME market like Peachtree ran an ad this week as Microsoft launched another initiative to energize its business solutions group - it reminded me of the DG ad.
Of course, IBM fumbled and persisted in the mini-computer market and built a solid franchise around its S/36, 38 and AS/400 products. DG ended up being acquired by EMC which only salvaged its storage products.
Microsoft can similarly afford to fumble in this market segment and eventually get it right. The role based approach they have introduced is a neat one, me thinks.
Reminds me of other ads where Jim Koch of Samuel Adams used to say "the big beer companies spill more beer than I brew each year".