Microsoft trial balloons Web strategy?

Ahh, the prepare-for-Ray Ozzie’s-speech-at-Mix-7 events have already started. Adam Sohn (he was the PR guy in our group when I started at Microsoft) is quoted on Redmond Developer saying that Microsoft is preparing a Live Development Platform. Ahh, an API that’ll do it all? Hmmm. I’m worried about the boil-the-ocean approach. Web developers like small, discrete APIs (I was just over at Redfin today and saw how they are using Microsoft’s Virtual Earth maps) that don’t take dependencies on other things (which is why Windows Vista itself was so late). Oh, and they like to see lots of iterations, er, small improvements in the service over time that demonstrates a team’s commitment (Virtual Earth got dozens of little, and some major, improvements over the past three years).

Translation: Microsoft is still not speaking the Web’s language. It’ll be interesting, though, to see what Ray does say when he comes out of seclusion.

16 thoughts on “Microsoft trial balloons Web strategy?

  1. To me, the fact that Microsoft employees like Chantu Thota have left the building is more telling than any Mixocrap paid-for Microsoft me-too mediocrity.

    Let them feel the dust.

  2. To me, the fact that Microsoft employees like Chantu Thota have left the building is more telling than any Mixocrap paid-for Microsoft me-too mediocrity.

    Let them feel the dust.

  3. I don’t understand this blog entry. On the one hand it’s “Microsoft doesn’t get the Web” (which is a refershing change from your old more personalized “Gates doesn’t get the Web” rhetoric), yet puts up Microsoft Virtual Earth as something that *does* “get” the web?? Which is it?

  4. I don’t understand this blog entry. On the one hand it’s “Microsoft doesn’t get the Web” (which is a refershing change from your old more personalized “Gates doesn’t get the Web” rhetoric), yet puts up Microsoft Virtual Earth as something that *does* “get” the web?? Which is it?

  5. “I’m worried about the boil-the-ocean approach. Web developers like small, discrete APIs”

    You think MS will ever learn that lesson?

    Imagine a government agency. 45 THOUSAND PCs most of which are not general purpose desktops, but run a single homegrown application. Oh, but one particular function of the application (used by a small fraction of those machines) makes an API call to an Office text formatting function.

    Imagine the hungry MS sales rep for this agency calling weekly to get the governments management to “do the right thing” and buy a 45K user site license for Office. (On top of which a 45K user site license for Windows, even though Windows comes pre-installed on the hardware).

    Now imagine that the government is so complicated that ordinary taxpayers will never be aware of this ridiculous waste.

    Multiply by every government agency, and many large companies.

    MS has it’s fists buried in a tar-baby of their own making. A small, and technically valid change like unbundling their API can have devastating impact on their next-quarter results.

    Maybe Ray Ozzie has been so quiet lately after sitting with the accounting department trying to figure this all out: How do you get from here to there?

  6. “I’m worried about the boil-the-ocean approach. Web developers like small, discrete APIs”

    You think MS will ever learn that lesson?

    Imagine a government agency. 45 THOUSAND PCs most of which are not general purpose desktops, but run a single homegrown application. Oh, but one particular function of the application (used by a small fraction of those machines) makes an API call to an Office text formatting function.

    Imagine the hungry MS sales rep for this agency calling weekly to get the governments management to “do the right thing” and buy a 45K user site license for Office. (On top of which a 45K user site license for Windows, even though Windows comes pre-installed on the hardware).

    Now imagine that the government is so complicated that ordinary taxpayers will never be aware of this ridiculous waste.

    Multiply by every government agency, and many large companies.

    MS has it’s fists buried in a tar-baby of their own making. A small, and technically valid change like unbundling their API can have devastating impact on their next-quarter results.

    Maybe Ray Ozzie has been so quiet lately after sitting with the accounting department trying to figure this all out: How do you get from here to there?

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