Doc Searls says Microsoft doesn’t get it

Doc Searls says Microsoft doesn’t get it. This is a very astute post. It’s actually a smaller part of a bigger post that makes the point that companies can’t change their DNA.

Doc calls me a voice in the wilderness. Oh, there are other voices, believe me. MSN this week did something spectacular. They had Raymond Chen (one of the world’s top Windows programmers) spend a day with some of the top bloggers.

Yes, MSN is working on time-based search. Will it be any good? Well, we sure told them how to make it good. And if MSN doesn’t do it, someone else will.

Michael Arrington is telling us all about Sphere. Says it’s blog search done right. I can’t wait to see that!

And, Doc, I’m not the only voice here in the Microsoft Web World. We’re increasingly getting listened to. Watch what happens with Start.com, for instance. I can’t tell you what’s coming, but the Microsoft ship is starting to creak and moan again as powerful forces are pushing on our rudders.

Oh, and all it would take to completely remake Microsoft’s image? One acquisition. I hear we have $60 billion in the bank. I don’t want all of it. Just a small percentage. In fact, it’ll cost far less than it cost us to settle with Real to get in this game.

16 thoughts on “Doc Searls says Microsoft doesn’t get it

  1. Hey, Robert.

    First, I didn’t say you were the *only* voice. As you know, I’ve often given Microsoft props for welcoming blogging by employees, and listening to them as well.

    Second, you’re right that what I said was about DNA. Not image. Specifically, it’s about where companies come from. It’s to Microsoft’s enormous advantage that it comes from PC software. From the desktop.

    As for Start.com and the rest of it, I’m eager to see what shakes out.

    Meanwhile, we’re still very early in the history of the Net, of search, of syndication, of countless services that have yet to appear — and we will come to regard as essential to civilization.

    Right now, in the U.S. at least, the phone and cable carriers are holding back the evolution of those services. That, fundamentally, is what my post was about.

    Calling on Google to break that logjam is more a bet than a vote. I hope somebody does it. Or more than one somebody, so there’s competition. Microsoft is certainly a candidate. Though I have seen little so far, besides your blog and a few others, that encourage me to bet on Microsoft (at least on this issue).

    So, surprise me. :-)

  2. Hey, Robert.

    First, I didn’t say you were the *only* voice. As you know, I’ve often given Microsoft props for welcoming blogging by employees, and listening to them as well.

    Second, you’re right that what I said was about DNA. Not image. Specifically, it’s about where companies come from. It’s to Microsoft’s enormous advantage that it comes from PC software. From the desktop.

    As for Start.com and the rest of it, I’m eager to see what shakes out.

    Meanwhile, we’re still very early in the history of the Net, of search, of syndication, of countless services that have yet to appear — and we will come to regard as essential to civilization.

    Right now, in the U.S. at least, the phone and cable carriers are holding back the evolution of those services. That, fundamentally, is what my post was about.

    Calling on Google to break that logjam is more a bet than a vote. I hope somebody does it. Or more than one somebody, so there’s competition. Microsoft is certainly a candidate. Though I have seen little so far, besides your blog and a few others, that encourage me to bet on Microsoft (at least on this issue).

    So, surprise me. :-)

  3. “Watch what happens with Start.com”

    Scoble, you’re such a tease.

    Peter -

    You’re right, an acquisition isn’t going to change Microsoft’s image. Nothing is going to do that overnight. But let’s talk in the Spring and you can let me know then if you think Microsoft’s image is changing.

    There is one truth in the common Microsoft-as-Borg analogy. Microsoft adapts. Microsoft adapts to changes in its environment like nobody else. I think it’s one of our greatest strengths.

  4. “Watch what happens with Start.com”

    Scoble, you’re such a tease.

    Peter -

    You’re right, an acquisition isn’t going to change Microsoft’s image. Nothing is going to do that overnight. But let’s talk in the Spring and you can let me know then if you think Microsoft’s image is changing.

    There is one truth in the common Microsoft-as-Borg analogy. Microsoft adapts. Microsoft adapts to changes in its environment like nobody else. I think it’s one of our greatest strengths.

  5. One minor acquisition won’t change Microsoft’s image by much (although it might twist some opinions of the few hundred blogosphere A-listers or something) sadly. That’d take some real clout from above. Image is set from the top down, and while I love the grassroots stuff Microsoft is doing these days.. with the “top” of Microsoft still being such sticks in the mud, the image isn’t going to change much.

  6. One minor acquisition won’t change Microsoft’s image by much (although it might twist some opinions of the few hundred blogosphere A-listers or something) sadly. That’d take some real clout from above. Image is set from the top down, and while I love the grassroots stuff Microsoft is doing these days.. with the “top” of Microsoft still being such sticks in the mud, the image isn’t going to change much.

  7. Speaking of “a voice in the wilderness”: Windows Mobile division in Microsoft has just released new version of Windows Mobile: 5.0 and they removed (!) ActiveSync over Wi-Fi feature that many thousands people used. Instead of making it “switched off by default” they removed it.

    So sometimes it is really very bad with Microsoft and Microsoft is not listening – and I mean: also to listen to all people/analysts/journalists, not just to their MVPs that in most cases are too uncritical to be useful.

  8. Speaking of “a voice in the wilderness”: Windows Mobile division in Microsoft has just released new version of Windows Mobile: 5.0 and they removed (!) ActiveSync over Wi-Fi feature that many thousands people used. Instead of making it “switched off by default” they removed it.

    So sometimes it is really very bad with Microsoft and Microsoft is not listening – and I mean: also to listen to all people/analysts/journalists, not just to their MVPs that in most cases are too uncritical to be useful.

  9. Doesn’t get it? An international software solutions company and you and Doc are cry-babying over the fact they aren’t doing RSSy blog searching? (Rolls eyes). And just on a pure theory basis, it’s smarter to wait until the froth churns itself out, moving in for a kill, buying at firesale prices. Buying during the hype hot zone, is a very bad investment.

    But ‘doesn’t get it’ is the classic, pointlessly circular argument. Good old JCD said it best….

    “The giveaway that cult thinking is present in any environment is how responses are given from possible cult members to probable nonbelievers. If you disagree, then you ‘don’t get it. Werner Erhard of EST (the über-cult of the 1970′s) used to use this phrase over and over. Tell Erhard that something makes no sense. ‘You don’t get it.’ Tell him that something is self-contradictory. ‘You don’t get it.’ Tell him that something is just plain stupid. ‘You don’t get it.’ This is the level of debate you can expect when cult thinking is present. But, of course, ‘I don’t get it.’

  10. Doesn’t get it? An international software solutions company and you and Doc are cry-babying over the fact they aren’t doing RSSy blog searching? (Rolls eyes). And just on a pure theory basis, it’s smarter to wait until the froth churns itself out, moving in for a kill, buying at firesale prices. Buying during the hype hot zone, is a very bad investment.

    But ‘doesn’t get it’ is the classic, pointlessly circular argument. Good old JCD said it best….

    “The giveaway that cult thinking is present in any environment is how responses are given from possible cult members to probable nonbelievers. If you disagree, then you ‘don’t get it. Werner Erhard of EST (the über-cult of the 1970′s) used to use this phrase over and over. Tell Erhard that something makes no sense. ‘You don’t get it.’ Tell him that something is self-contradictory. ‘You don’t get it.’ Tell him that something is just plain stupid. ‘You don’t get it.’ This is the level of debate you can expect when cult thinking is present. But, of course, ‘I don’t get it.’

  11. “They had Raymond Chen (one of the world’s top Windows programmers)”.

    Raymond is a great guy, but don’t you have enough of this starification system, especially when you put it so much to the extreme : I think you mention Raymond every 100 posts. I am sure many people at Microsoft are doing just as great. Just have a thought for the unnamed.

  12. “They had Raymond Chen (one of the world’s top Windows programmers)”.

    Raymond is a great guy, but don’t you have enough of this starification system, especially when you put it so much to the extreme : I think you mention Raymond every 100 posts. I am sure many people at Microsoft are doing just as great. Just have a thought for the unnamed.

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