Forget about Windows Phone 7's painfully slow rate of progress until now – Microsoft's big mobile push is beginning now, with the announcement of its next mobile and desktop OSes, plus the genuinely unexpected Surface tablet launched in quick succession.
And with that comes a whole new set of problems, like hardware partners feeling betrayed, former industry bigwigs crawling out of the woodwork to give their 2p's worth, and surveys suggesting the whole exercise is a waste of time, anyway.
Microsoft already has some experience with the can't-please-everyone-all-of-the-time problem thanks to its preferential deal with Nokia on Windows Phone – erstwhile hardware partners such as HTC and Samsung clearly weren't too pleased to see Nokia swooping in to nab the prime spot on Uncle Steve's lap, despite scoring improved mapping software themselves out of the deal.
But Nokia's favourite status on Windows Phone is one thing, and Microsoft itself aiming for the heart of the Windows 8 tablet market with its own product before its partners even have theirs out the door is another.
Even Google's ownership of Motorola doesn't come close on the apple cart-upsetting stakes (not that Apple's tablet cart is likely to be even mildly disturbed, of course).
And while Steve Ballmer may have the air of a bull in a china shop sometimes, the fact that he didn't even attempt to address the awkward potential conflict of interest when announcing the Surface suggests even he realised that attempting to do so would come across as exactly that – bull.
The closest he came was the old “important piece of the puzzle, but not the only one” line and the revelation that Microsoft had told its key partners what it was doing. Tellingly, he wasn't prepared to divulge what they said in return.
One man who was prepared to weigh in on the subject, however, was former Dell CEO Kevin Rollins, who told Bloomberg he wasn't sure customers “are begging for a Microsoft-based system”, though in our experience we're not aware of anyone who ever has resorted to actual begging for anything made by Microsoft.
“They are very happy with Apple and very happy with Android,” Rollins continued, before adding: “The one thing going for Microsoft is they do have a large corporate base.”
That may be true to some extent, but Microsoft may be surprised when the dust settles and it finds out just how much of that corporate base remains after giving the iPad a near-three year headstart in today's anything-goes tablet-loving BYOD climate. Then again, Dell doesn't come out of that scenario looking too good either.
And just to top it all off comes a timely survey reported by MacTech - admittedly a decidedly unscientific one - revealing that 59% of tablet owners in the US would never even consider buying a Surface, with four out of 10 of those citing brand loyalty as the leading reason. And given the general make-up of the tablet market, it's safe to say that “brand” equals Apple.
It's all in a week's work for the crazy kids over at Redmond, and Microsoft certainly can't be accused of not trying. Is this the moment the balance of power finally starts shifting in Microsoft's direction? It's too early to say, but it can at least draw some comfort from the old saying that if they're complaining about you, you must be doing something right.