Microsoft tells MVPs “we’re in it to win” — Really?

Look at my last post. Now read this one over on LiveSide. It’s a short report that Microsoft executives are bragging to MVPs that “we’re in it to win.”

I don’t think Microsoft is. The words are empty. Microsoft’s Internet execution sucks (on whole). Its search sucks. Its advertising sucks (look at that last post again). If that’s “in it to win” then I don’t get it. I saw a bunch of posts similar to the one on LiveSide coming out of the MVP Summit. I didn’t post any of them to my link blog for a reason: All were air, no real demonstrations of how Microsoft is going to lead.

Microsoft isn’t going away. Don’t get me wrong. They have record profits, record sales, all that. But on the Internet? Come on. This isn’t winning. Microsoft: stop the talk. Ship a better search, a better advertising system than Google, a better hosting service than Amazon, a better cross-platform Web development ecosystem than Adobe, and get some services out there that are innovative (where’s the video RSS reader? Blog search? Something like Yahoo’s Pipes? A real blog service? A way to look up people?) That’s how you win.

Oh, and Ballmer, if I ran Google your speech at Stanford yesterday would be plastered on every door on every campus Google has. Why? It’ll motivate Google employees the same way a coach will motivate an opposing team during the Superbowl by taking trash in the press. You’re up against a formidable competitor and one you’ve never seen before that has some real, significant weapons that you can’t deal with (and YouTube isn’t even close to it). Google’s secret weapon? It controls the entire stack in the datacenter. Google writes its own hard disk drivers. It has its datacenter hardware built to its spec. Ever wonder why Live.com is slower than Google? Hint: it’s cause Google is out executing Microsoft in the datacenter.

This isn’t Netscape you’re talking trash to, Steve. Have you really studied Google? It doesn’t sound like you have.

Again, Microsofties, you’d be better served not to talk trash until you have something YOU CAN SHIP!

I sure hope they don’t show up at Mix07 with this kind of “we’re in it to win” talk. The MVPs might be easy to talk into doing some cheerleading but the rest of us are over that now. We’re looking for signs of leadership and so far we don’t see it.

Sigh.

548 thoughts on “Microsoft tells MVPs “we’re in it to win” — Really?

  1. It’s Jordan with an a. Basketball player, river, country, almond, Back Street Boy, department store, Great Gatsby character…all with an a.

    Sorry; pet peeve. :)

    But thanks. To be fair, Apple did cut a deal with Google, which is why the Google search is built right into Apple’s Safari browser.

  2. It’s Jordan with an a. Basketball player, river, country, almond, Back Street Boy, department store, Great Gatsby character…all with an a.

    Sorry; pet peeve. :)

    But thanks. To be fair, Apple did cut a deal with Google, which is why the Google search is built right into Apple’s Safari browser.

  3. “Apple’s engineers are all on the same page, which translates directly into a smooth and simplified user experience. I’m not making a tech point; I’m making a “corporate discipline” point.”

    Bet they don’t ship with Google desktop either….

    ..and Jordon ..yup the OEM experience will be the death of Microsoft.

  4. “Apple’s engineers are all on the same page, which translates directly into a smooth and simplified user experience. I’m not making a tech point; I’m making a “corporate discipline” point.”

    Bet they don’t ship with Google desktop either….

    ..and Jordon ..yup the OEM experience will be the death of Microsoft.

  5. When I look at Apple’s forced migratons (6080×0 –> PowerPC; OS 9 –> UNIX; Moto/IBM to Intel; Jukebox –> music store –> video store –> living room entertainment hub) what I see is discipline.

    In other words, setting aside the formidable technological hurdles, I see clear evidence of a company that (regardless of its comparative size, corporate complexity etc.) is able to coherently focus its attention on a goal and carry it out with a unified, simplified effort.

    When the iPod was introduced, Apple “bundled it” with the EXISTING iTunes application, rather than doing what every other maker of a peripheral does (namely, write a new application for that purpose). Any other company tech I can think of would probably have made shiny new “iTunes software” and it would be your problem to deal with migrating your music library or doing whatever you wanted to do.

    That these are abstract software systems that communicate with each other but they map out to concrete-and-steel buildings and groups of people who correspond directly to those abstract components and communicate effectively.

    Everybody’s got their own brilliant theories about why Apple does well. (My own favorite nonsensical ones are “brilliant marketing” and “religious fans,” as if every damn street and mall and bus and train in the world was filled with white headphones because of “marketing.” Nobody can market that well! It’s impossible. The iPod actually is the proverbial better mousetrap.)

    But I digress. I only claim to have one salient point here: that Apple (and probably Google, but I’m not familiar enough with their systems to feel comfortable weighing in) seems to have a consistent and coherent overall planning architecture that forces a disciplined approach to problem solving. Their “dogfooding” (iTunes store runs on WebObjects etc.) is just one part of this approach.

    With Apple, the customer gets the sense of a bunch of people working together to proceed in a sensible, logical manner, avoiding the clusterfucks that come from bad inter-corporate communication and undisciplined project management.

    I’ve worked several places where two groups at opposite ends of the company were doing very, very similar things and yet were not in contact with each other or were not communicating effectively, so the “equasion never reduces” and the redundancies and complexities silt up the products.

    It’s quite clear (from using Office or Windows) that Microsoft cannot coordinate itself the way I’m describing. Over and over again, the Microsoft
    approach seems to be to have dozens and dozens of slightly different versions of the same thing, all going at once, all superceding and overcorrecting each other, with the patches and last-minute-fixes painfully visible, all smoothed over beneath an intrusive and decorative corporate shellac that’s supposed to fool me into thinking that I’m using integrated solutions.

    I don’t think Steve Jobs is the Messiah or anything; I’m just pointing out what I see, which in my opinion is fairly obvious: Apple’s engineers are all on the same page, which translates directly into a smooth and simplified user experience. I’m not making a tech point; I’m making a “corporate discipline” point.

  6. When I look at Apple’s forced migratons (6080×0 –> PowerPC; OS 9 –> UNIX; Moto/IBM to Intel; Jukebox –> music store –> video store –> living room entertainment hub) what I see is discipline.

    In other words, setting aside the formidable technological hurdles, I see clear evidence of a company that (regardless of its comparative size, corporate complexity etc.) is able to coherently focus its attention on a goal and carry it out with a unified, simplified effort.

    When the iPod was introduced, Apple “bundled it” with the EXISTING iTunes application, rather than doing what every other maker of a peripheral does (namely, write a new application for that purpose). Any other company tech I can think of would probably have made shiny new “iTunes software” and it would be your problem to deal with migrating your music library or doing whatever you wanted to do.

    That these are abstract software systems that communicate with each other but they map out to concrete-and-steel buildings and groups of people who correspond directly to those abstract components and communicate effectively.

    Everybody’s got their own brilliant theories about why Apple does well. (My own favorite nonsensical ones are “brilliant marketing” and “religious fans,” as if every damn street and mall and bus and train in the world was filled with white headphones because of “marketing.” Nobody can market that well! It’s impossible. The iPod actually is the proverbial better mousetrap.)

    But I digress. I only claim to have one salient point here: that Apple (and probably Google, but I’m not familiar enough with their systems to feel comfortable weighing in) seems to have a consistent and coherent overall planning architecture that forces a disciplined approach to problem solving. Their “dogfooding” (iTunes store runs on WebObjects etc.) is just one part of this approach.

    With Apple, the customer gets the sense of a bunch of people working together to proceed in a sensible, logical manner, avoiding the clusterfucks that come from bad inter-corporate communication and undisciplined project management.

    I’ve worked several places where two groups at opposite ends of the company were doing very, very similar things and yet were not in contact with each other or were not communicating effectively, so the “equasion never reduces” and the redundancies and complexities silt up the products.

    It’s quite clear (from using Office or Windows) that Microsoft cannot coordinate itself the way I’m describing. Over and over again, the Microsoft
    approach seems to be to have dozens and dozens of slightly different versions of the same thing, all going at once, all superceding and overcorrecting each other, with the patches and last-minute-fixes painfully visible, all smoothed over beneath an intrusive and decorative corporate shellac that’s supposed to fool me into thinking that I’m using integrated solutions.

    I don’t think Steve Jobs is the Messiah or anything; I’m just pointing out what I see, which in my opinion is fairly obvious: Apple’s engineers are all on the same page, which translates directly into a smooth and simplified user experience. I’m not making a tech point; I’m making a “corporate discipline” point.

  7. But the accountants are listenting to them

    (messed that up)

    Should be “But the accountants aren’t listenting to them”

  8. As a USA based MVP I’ve NEVER gotten my airfare covered. Ever. It’s always been on my dime. And this year overseas folks didn’t get any sort of help or stipend and yet they still came.

    But the accountants are listenting to them…. They are blogging for other bloggers. The vast number of CPAs in the trenches don’t look at blogs. Right now they are just talking to each other and not talking to the trenches.

    And consultants consult…they don’t do.

    Don’t get me started on that either.

  9. As a USA based MVP I’ve NEVER gotten my airfare covered. Ever. It’s always been on my dime. And this year overseas folks didn’t get any sort of help or stipend and yet they still came.

    But the accountants are listenting to them…. They are blogging for other bloggers. The vast number of CPAs in the trenches don’t look at blogs. Right now they are just talking to each other and not talking to the trenches.

    And consultants consult…they don’t do.

    Don’t get me started on that either.

  10. >Do I remember that you got a tablet by being a MVP or am I too way overgeneralizing and forgetting?

    Nope. Never got free hardware when I was an MVP.

    I didn’t know that MVPs didn’t get airfare covered this year.

    I didn’t say blogs were the ONLY thing that showed up in Google. But they certainly show up often and high.

    Blogging is coming to other fields big time. Why? SEO’s are bringing it to other industries. I’m seeing a ton of Accounting blogs. Watch for more.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=Accounting+blog&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    Businesses have always listened to single voices. Just ask consultants whether they mind that.

    I know Microsoft listens to consultants a lot more than they listen to anyone on the street too (and even MVPs).

  11. >Do I remember that you got a tablet by being a MVP or am I too way overgeneralizing and forgetting?

    Nope. Never got free hardware when I was an MVP.

    I didn’t know that MVPs didn’t get airfare covered this year.

    I didn’t say blogs were the ONLY thing that showed up in Google. But they certainly show up often and high.

    Blogging is coming to other fields big time. Why? SEO’s are bringing it to other industries. I’m seeing a ton of Accounting blogs. Watch for more.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=Accounting+blog&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    Businesses have always listened to single voices. Just ask consultants whether they mind that.

    I know Microsoft listens to consultants a lot more than they listen to anyone on the street too (and even MVPs).

  12. VR: what’s your point?

    I say lots of things about Microsoft. Some right. Some wrong. Some nice. Some nasty.

    But I reserve my right to say something different tomorrow than I said today.

  13. VR: what’s your point?

    I say lots of things about Microsoft. Some right. Some wrong. Some nice. Some nasty.

    But I reserve my right to say something different tomorrow than I said today.

  14. Straight googling gives you information overflow now.. to the point where I just had someone join a yahoolistserve to ask the questions and get the answers directly because google isn’t working anymore. It’s too much feedback from google.

    The Microsoft.public. newsgroups are now exposed as webforums too. You hit the same thing as newsgroups by the way.

    When you google, you don’t just hit blog real estate. You hit web sites, web forums, you name it. Blogs are one voice. Man I HOPE people aren’t listening to one voice if that voice is not fully informed.

    You said earlier the MVP program doesn’t get it? Well SeanO is blogging and twittering http://communitygrouptherapy.com/2007/03/12/are-you-curious-enough-to-be-a-web-20-leader/ so maybe there’s hope ‘eh?

    And Robert… this part of your post was so wrong it wasn’t funny:

    “Oh, and by paying MVPs way, and giving out lots of goodies (I saw some MVPs admit that they got free Tablet PCs by going), everyone is unwilling to say anything anti-Microsoft because you want to get invited next year.”

    Oh Robert…oh please.

    Let’s do the full disclosure shall we as to what in the MVP world gets paid?

    What was paid for the summit? The hotel room. Oh yeah the $9.99 a day internet connection. Everyone flew up there on their own dime. The teams do not pay for airfare these days. As far as handing out Tablet pcs to MVPs they only went, I heard to Tablet MVPs and are HOW many Tablet MVPs out of the 2,800 MVPs? They sound like the only group that got “ooh ahh” stuff.. Talk about brush stroke Robert. Do I remember that you got a tablet by being a MVP or am I too way overgeneralizing and forgetting?

    I flew up the weekend before on my own dime, stayed in a hotel on my own time and flew back before the summit so I could meet up with the community folk from around the world. And then on patch Tuesday I yelled at Microsoft for not telling us that SP2 was coming down. I blogged about it dude. Go google on that?

    There is no “everyone”. And you need to realize that blogs are not effective feedback channels and SOMETIMES that feedback is better served in a more productive manner by sending emails to people that we have contact with then sticking a rant on a web billboard.

    Dude, you have no idea how much feedback I do that never even goes near my blog. My blog is a filtered outword facing feedback. The real and true feedback is typically in more private conversations.

    Do not insult me and the others that spent hard earned money going to the summit by taking that brush stroke and painting it as you are doing. And for most of them going to Redmond is not why they do it. It’s a reason to get together with the folks with a commonality of helping computer users.

    My blog? Has no advertising, no link to a book. And I foot the bill for the web space. Microsoft has never offered to pay for it nor would I accept repayment to ensure that it is MY voice.

    In my accounting world, Robert, blogs aren’t yet there as a key influencer. Of the 100 most influential Accounting practitioners (oh and lets name drop while I’m at it … I’m one of those 100) there are VERY few bloggers in that list. Again, the tech world is not everything.

    And that’s still my concern. Blogs should not be the only input and data point that a firm should look at. They are single voices.

    Right now I’m concerned that way too many companies are listening too much to these single voices.

    That concerns me.

    Dude, you really disappointed me here.

  15. Straight googling gives you information overflow now.. to the point where I just had someone join a yahoolistserve to ask the questions and get the answers directly because google isn’t working anymore. It’s too much feedback from google.

    The Microsoft.public. newsgroups are now exposed as webforums too. You hit the same thing as newsgroups by the way.

    When you google, you don’t just hit blog real estate. You hit web sites, web forums, you name it. Blogs are one voice. Man I HOPE people aren’t listening to one voice if that voice is not fully informed.

    You said earlier the MVP program doesn’t get it? Well SeanO is blogging and twittering http://communitygrouptherapy.com/2007/03/12/are-you-curious-enough-to-be-a-web-20-leader/ so maybe there’s hope ‘eh?

    And Robert… this part of your post was so wrong it wasn’t funny:

    “Oh, and by paying MVPs way, and giving out lots of goodies (I saw some MVPs admit that they got free Tablet PCs by going), everyone is unwilling to say anything anti-Microsoft because you want to get invited next year.”

    Oh Robert…oh please.

    Let’s do the full disclosure shall we as to what in the MVP world gets paid?

    What was paid for the summit? The hotel room. Oh yeah the $9.99 a day internet connection. Everyone flew up there on their own dime. The teams do not pay for airfare these days. As far as handing out Tablet pcs to MVPs they only went, I heard to Tablet MVPs and are HOW many Tablet MVPs out of the 2,800 MVPs? They sound like the only group that got “ooh ahh” stuff.. Talk about brush stroke Robert. Do I remember that you got a tablet by being a MVP or am I too way overgeneralizing and forgetting?

    I flew up the weekend before on my own dime, stayed in a hotel on my own time and flew back before the summit so I could meet up with the community folk from around the world. And then on patch Tuesday I yelled at Microsoft for not telling us that SP2 was coming down. I blogged about it dude. Go google on that?

    There is no “everyone”. And you need to realize that blogs are not effective feedback channels and SOMETIMES that feedback is better served in a more productive manner by sending emails to people that we have contact with then sticking a rant on a web billboard.

    Dude, you have no idea how much feedback I do that never even goes near my blog. My blog is a filtered outword facing feedback. The real and true feedback is typically in more private conversations.

    Do not insult me and the others that spent hard earned money going to the summit by taking that brush stroke and painting it as you are doing. And for most of them going to Redmond is not why they do it. It’s a reason to get together with the folks with a commonality of helping computer users.

    My blog? Has no advertising, no link to a book. And I foot the bill for the web space. Microsoft has never offered to pay for it nor would I accept repayment to ensure that it is MY voice.

    In my accounting world, Robert, blogs aren’t yet there as a key influencer. Of the 100 most influential Accounting practitioners (oh and lets name drop while I’m at it … I’m one of those 100) there are VERY few bloggers in that list. Again, the tech world is not everything.

    And that’s still my concern. Blogs should not be the only input and data point that a firm should look at. They are single voices.

    Right now I’m concerned that way too many companies are listening too much to these single voices.

    That concerns me.

    Dude, you really disappointed me here.

  16. This is complete crap.. go through your previous posts here and channel9 and see what you have been saying so far..

  17. This is complete crap.. go through your previous posts here and channel9 and see what you have been saying so far..

  18. Susan: I’ve done thousands of Google searches (at Google.com) and I’ve rarely come across an answer on Google Groups integrated there.

    What you don’t realize is most people have no idea about Google Groups. Only geeks and nerds know that.

    I disagree with you about finding answers on Google, by the way. Throw an error message into Google and the answer usually comes right back.

    Ask it for a driver. Answer comes right back.

    Ask it how to do something in code? Answer usually comes right back (and if it doesn’t, most coders know how to get the answer from Krugle, or Google Groups, like you said).

    The problem for Google is most people have no idea about the other services Google provides. To them the world IS google.com.

    Which is why blogs are so influential.

  19. Susan: I’ve done thousands of Google searches (at Google.com) and I’ve rarely come across an answer on Google Groups integrated there.

    What you don’t realize is most people have no idea about Google Groups. Only geeks and nerds know that.

    I disagree with you about finding answers on Google, by the way. Throw an error message into Google and the answer usually comes right back.

    Ask it for a driver. Answer comes right back.

    Ask it how to do something in code? Answer usually comes right back (and if it doesn’t, most coders know how to get the answer from Krugle, or Google Groups, like you said).

    The problem for Google is most people have no idea about the other services Google provides. To them the world IS google.com.

    Which is why blogs are so influential.

  20. #191, TanNg: well, that attitude certainly matches what I heard executives saying internally at Microsoft. Steve Ballmer never says he’s in it to build a great user experience or build the best Internet services in the industry. That attitude has rubbed off on the culture inside Microsoft. That’s why what Matthew originally wrote resonated.

    And, maybe it’s time for Microsoft to stop holding secret meetings with customers where they get them all hyped up about futuristic things that probably won’t ship for years.

    It was an MVP Summit meeting where I got hyped up about Longhorn (with prototypes that never shipped). That was a major mistake. That meeting was what caused the hype.

    Oh, and by paying MVPs way, and giving out lots of goodies (I saw some MVPs admit that they got free Tablet PCs by going), everyone is unwilling to say anything anti-Microsoft because you want to get invited next year.

  21. #191, TanNg: well, that attitude certainly matches what I heard executives saying internally at Microsoft. Steve Ballmer never says he’s in it to build a great user experience or build the best Internet services in the industry. That attitude has rubbed off on the culture inside Microsoft. That’s why what Matthew originally wrote resonated.

    And, maybe it’s time for Microsoft to stop holding secret meetings with customers where they get them all hyped up about futuristic things that probably won’t ship for years.

    It was an MVP Summit meeting where I got hyped up about Longhorn (with prototypes that never shipped). That was a major mistake. That meeting was what caused the hype.

    Oh, and by paying MVPs way, and giving out lots of goodies (I saw some MVPs admit that they got free Tablet PCs by going), everyone is unwilling to say anything anti-Microsoft because you want to get invited next year.

  22. BUT:
    Microsoft did not say “we’re in it to win”
    http://liveside.net/blogs/opinion/archive/2007/03/18/on-winning-windows-live-and-a-new-world-order.aspx

    One of our writers, Matthew Weyer, posted about that enthusiasm, and what appeared to be a quoted statement from the Summit. Well that didn’t go over too well. Matthew issued a clarification in a comment:

    A correction note to everyone, Microsoft did not say “we’re in it to win”, and even if they did, I would not be able to disclose discussions since they’re under NDA. However, I can say that the “feeling” I got from Microsoft is “we’re in it to win” as in a sense of commitment, nothing more. As I said in the beginning of the post, I cannot say anything about what we did or didn’t see. I did go, but that’s all I’ll admit too.

    The point of this post was to convey a positive feeling I took back from Microsoft. I think a little bit of positiveness about Microsoft would be nice for a change.

    @Matthew

  23. BUT:
    Microsoft did not say “we’re in it to win”
    http://liveside.net/blogs/opinion/archive/2007/03/18/on-winning-windows-live-and-a-new-world-order.aspx

    One of our writers, Matthew Weyer, posted about that enthusiasm, and what appeared to be a quoted statement from the Summit. Well that didn’t go over too well. Matthew issued a clarification in a comment:

    A correction note to everyone, Microsoft did not say “we’re in it to win”, and even if they did, I would not be able to disclose discussions since they’re under NDA. However, I can say that the “feeling” I got from Microsoft is “we’re in it to win” as in a sense of commitment, nothing more. As I said in the beginning of the post, I cannot say anything about what we did or didn’t see. I did go, but that’s all I’ll admit too.

    The point of this post was to convey a positive feeling I took back from Microsoft. I think a little bit of positiveness about Microsoft would be nice for a change.

    @Matthew

  24. John: interesting how we have different memories of the 1990s. I remember using Macs and crashing every hour with QuarkXpress (and I can back that up — I kept pointing it out to Steve Sloan and Steve Broback) and NT 4.0 wouldn’t go down for weeks.

    But we already established that you’re not anything close to a network person. I’d have LOVED to have seen the configs on these machines. Somehow, I think your extension march was a wonder to behold.

    Actually, that is ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE and anyone who deals with the Internet better realize that silence DOES equate agreement.

    No, silence only equates apathy. Either assumption is incorrect, and an attempt to manufacture a conclusion. The plural of speculation is not data.

    Any PR professor will tell you the same.

    Their job is teaching you how to spin results from insufficient data. Not exactly what I’d call a reliable source.

    It’s not about you, though. MOstly about LayZ and Coulter and John Welch. They see those commenters as insufferable and inable to demonstrate a world view other than “anti-Scoble.” Which, I guess, if you are here, gets old after a while.

    Wah. The world is not here to agree with anyone. People who only want yes-men in their world are clueless in the extreme.

    Office 2007 makes people want it once they get over the learning curve and I’m ripping out Google Desktop because I don’t appreciate the revenue sharing deals that Intuit and Dell are making without my approval.

    To the corporate world, Office 2007 is nothing more than a new file format and a training pain in the ass. There’s no compelling reason to mass upgrade, or even allow it in the building. Hell, Microsoft can’t even keep the UI consistent in the suite. Outlook 2007 is a nice example of this.

    “Heck, Microsoft closed down the Internet Explorer team for about five years and most people didn’t even notice.”

    This should go down to internet history. AJAX is born thank to this 5 peaceful years. And this also explains why Microsoft is falling off the Internet trail. They pay no attention to the web.

    The MORE important part of that was the fact that the IE team was shut down in a fit of “FINE, YOU ALL HATE US, WE’LL JUST TAKE OUR BALLS AND GO HOME”. It was shut down in the same manner of an emo teen throwing a hissy and slamming the door to his room. Lame.

  25. John: interesting how we have different memories of the 1990s. I remember using Macs and crashing every hour with QuarkXpress (and I can back that up — I kept pointing it out to Steve Sloan and Steve Broback) and NT 4.0 wouldn’t go down for weeks.

    But we already established that you’re not anything close to a network person. I’d have LOVED to have seen the configs on these machines. Somehow, I think your extension march was a wonder to behold.

    Actually, that is ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE and anyone who deals with the Internet better realize that silence DOES equate agreement.

    No, silence only equates apathy. Either assumption is incorrect, and an attempt to manufacture a conclusion. The plural of speculation is not data.

    Any PR professor will tell you the same.

    Their job is teaching you how to spin results from insufficient data. Not exactly what I’d call a reliable source.

    It’s not about you, though. MOstly about LayZ and Coulter and John Welch. They see those commenters as insufferable and inable to demonstrate a world view other than “anti-Scoble.” Which, I guess, if you are here, gets old after a while.

    Wah. The world is not here to agree with anyone. People who only want yes-men in their world are clueless in the extreme.

    Office 2007 makes people want it once they get over the learning curve and I’m ripping out Google Desktop because I don’t appreciate the revenue sharing deals that Intuit and Dell are making without my approval.

    To the corporate world, Office 2007 is nothing more than a new file format and a training pain in the ass. There’s no compelling reason to mass upgrade, or even allow it in the building. Hell, Microsoft can’t even keep the UI consistent in the suite. Outlook 2007 is a nice example of this.

    “Heck, Microsoft closed down the Internet Explorer team for about five years and most people didn’t even notice.”

    This should go down to internet history. AJAX is born thank to this 5 peaceful years. And this also explains why Microsoft is falling off the Internet trail. They pay no attention to the web.

    The MORE important part of that was the fact that the IE team was shut down in a fit of “FINE, YOU ALL HATE US, WE’LL JUST TAKE OUR BALLS AND GO HOME”. It was shut down in the same manner of an emo teen throwing a hissy and slamming the door to his room. Lame.

  26. Google groups Robert.

    I search on google and I find myself heading over to google groups where answers are.

    Because quite frankly web searching without being targeted ends up with a whole bunch of unfinished threads with no resolutions. I generally don’t find that single voice blogs giving me consistent solid tech advice for current products. They give me buzz for future stuff that may or may not occur. Or perhaps a blend of tech support and current stuff, but it’s only one person’s view and voice. A blog is not the proper venue for a tech support incident. I’m sorry but I don’t find my core tech support on blogs… and believe me I blog. I bubble up my tech content from other sources and filter it out so that the blog can be a tech source.

    I make my blog to have tech content and be a filing cabinet from all the other resources I see. But it’s not in watching one blogger or getting answers from a blog, it’s from those larger community resources.

    And Robert, there you go again with that “MVP program” again lumping the entire thing/all participants into one basket. Given that you aren’t in the program anymore, nor at Microsoft, I don’t think you are in a position to know what the program understands, nor what MVPs grok. Have you talked to all of them? I haven’t talked to you in a long while.

    On the one hand you are saying bloggers are the only “it” crowd, but then saying the bloggers at the summit didn’t post anything you wanted to link to so they are not. So what is it?

    For the record I help admin and host a bunch of mvp bloggers on a joint site. That doesn’t mean that I believe that the joint blog site I help run is the best venue for seeing the bigger picture of the real world. It’s not.

    There’s connections and then there is support. I don’t know what connections Buzz has but you know what I’ll take support ones over Dev any ol’ day. Support work in the now. Dev are already onto the next thing.

    Why do I offer to help Buzz? Just because. Because that’s what I do for all the people that aren’t the Buzz’s in the world. Because the vast majority of computer users aren’t Buzz. Don’t have the connections and go to a web forum or newsgroup for help. I’m not here to cheerlead but to help.

    For the record when I help, find that Google Group searches give me much better answers than a Google search. It’s too “buckshot” approach on plain web search and even the gang in our SBS community complain about it. Google isn’t good enough anymore. We need more targeted searching. Blog searching comes back with bogus results. All of us in the real world are beginning to complain that the lack of information we use to have is turning into information overload and we can’t find the good information anymore. We need it filtered and targeted.

    Besides, what webforums ARE newsgroups.. it’s the same content just a different way to navigate.

    I blog, I newsgroup, I web forum. But a blog is a single person’s voice. It does not replicate the same experience as looking over a web forum and seeing trends. And the sooner you and the rest of the industry “grok” that a blogger is a single voice and not a trend, not a group, the more I’ll stop worrying about this industry. Because right now we’re listening too much to the single voices out here.

    There’s still folks that see the value in looking at more than one forum… http://www.edbott.com/weblog/?p=1628 and I’m one of those people that think that if you just get your input from one place, you may not see that bigger picture.

    And Second Life and Twitter, that’s the incrowd for you… that’s not necessarily the incrowd for all.

    But getting back to the original point of this… it’s about looking at the larger view and right now you are still apparently have this view that nothing but the blogosphere needs to be watched for trends and that all MVPs that you care to pay attention to do nothing but cheerlead.

    That’s your view, Robert. I find that looking at more than just the blogosphere gives me a much bigger picture.

  27. Google groups Robert.

    I search on google and I find myself heading over to google groups where answers are.

    Because quite frankly web searching without being targeted ends up with a whole bunch of unfinished threads with no resolutions. I generally don’t find that single voice blogs giving me consistent solid tech advice for current products. They give me buzz for future stuff that may or may not occur. Or perhaps a blend of tech support and current stuff, but it’s only one person’s view and voice. A blog is not the proper venue for a tech support incident. I’m sorry but I don’t find my core tech support on blogs… and believe me I blog. I bubble up my tech content from other sources and filter it out so that the blog can be a tech source.

    I make my blog to have tech content and be a filing cabinet from all the other resources I see. But it’s not in watching one blogger or getting answers from a blog, it’s from those larger community resources.

    And Robert, there you go again with that “MVP program” again lumping the entire thing/all participants into one basket. Given that you aren’t in the program anymore, nor at Microsoft, I don’t think you are in a position to know what the program understands, nor what MVPs grok. Have you talked to all of them? I haven’t talked to you in a long while.

    On the one hand you are saying bloggers are the only “it” crowd, but then saying the bloggers at the summit didn’t post anything you wanted to link to so they are not. So what is it?

    For the record I help admin and host a bunch of mvp bloggers on a joint site. That doesn’t mean that I believe that the joint blog site I help run is the best venue for seeing the bigger picture of the real world. It’s not.

    There’s connections and then there is support. I don’t know what connections Buzz has but you know what I’ll take support ones over Dev any ol’ day. Support work in the now. Dev are already onto the next thing.

    Why do I offer to help Buzz? Just because. Because that’s what I do for all the people that aren’t the Buzz’s in the world. Because the vast majority of computer users aren’t Buzz. Don’t have the connections and go to a web forum or newsgroup for help. I’m not here to cheerlead but to help.

    For the record when I help, find that Google Group searches give me much better answers than a Google search. It’s too “buckshot” approach on plain web search and even the gang in our SBS community complain about it. Google isn’t good enough anymore. We need more targeted searching. Blog searching comes back with bogus results. All of us in the real world are beginning to complain that the lack of information we use to have is turning into information overload and we can’t find the good information anymore. We need it filtered and targeted.

    Besides, what webforums ARE newsgroups.. it’s the same content just a different way to navigate.

    I blog, I newsgroup, I web forum. But a blog is a single person’s voice. It does not replicate the same experience as looking over a web forum and seeing trends. And the sooner you and the rest of the industry “grok” that a blogger is a single voice and not a trend, not a group, the more I’ll stop worrying about this industry. Because right now we’re listening too much to the single voices out here.

    There’s still folks that see the value in looking at more than one forum… http://www.edbott.com/weblog/?p=1628 and I’m one of those people that think that if you just get your input from one place, you may not see that bigger picture.

    And Second Life and Twitter, that’s the incrowd for you… that’s not necessarily the incrowd for all.

    But getting back to the original point of this… it’s about looking at the larger view and right now you are still apparently have this view that nothing but the blogosphere needs to be watched for trends and that all MVPs that you care to pay attention to do nothing but cheerlead.

    That’s your view, Robert. I find that looking at more than just the blogosphere gives me a much bigger picture.

  28. “Heck, Microsoft closed down the Internet Explorer team for about five years and most people didn’t even notice.”

    This should go down to internet history. AJAX is born thank to this 5 peaceful years. And this also explains why Microsoft is falling off the Internet trail. They pay no attention to the web.

    This is a good waking call for Microsoft. And you Robert is very good at shouting out loud.

    Good point on warning Ozzie. He may end up going home to Kansas before he gets to see the Oz. Can he become the Wizard? We do want Microsoft around so Bill Gates can save the world.

  29. “Heck, Microsoft closed down the Internet Explorer team for about five years and most people didn’t even notice.”

    This should go down to internet history. AJAX is born thank to this 5 peaceful years. And this also explains why Microsoft is falling off the Internet trail. They pay no attention to the web.

    This is a good waking call for Microsoft. And you Robert is very good at shouting out loud.

    Good point on warning Ozzie. He may end up going home to Kansas before he gets to see the Oz. Can he become the Wizard? We do want Microsoft around so Bill Gates can save the world.

  30. Susan: you misunderstood me. Buzz already has better contacts inside Microsoft than most MVPs. So do I. He’s being helped by Microsoft folks on the IE team who are aware of this particular bug and are working on it — why would he need to deal with an intermediary when he already has contacts inside of Microsoft?

    I use the word “influencer” to mean anyone who tells other people about something. Bloggers are just easy-to-study influencers. And, thanks to Google (er, Live.com) bloggers have bigger audiences than other kinds of influencers, which makes them more likely to get ideas around the word of mouth networks faster.

    Normal people, as you call them, DO use Google. What do they find for most problems? Bloggers helping out. They might not even realize they are reading a blogger, but it’s Google that’s bringing the traffic.

    This is what the MVP program doesn’t understand (and most MVPs don’t grok). Most Google searches won’t bring you to newsgroups, but rather will bring you to Web forums and blogs.

    The “in crowd?” That’s all over on Second Life or Twitter anyway now.

  31. Susan: you misunderstood me. Buzz already has better contacts inside Microsoft than most MVPs. So do I. He’s being helped by Microsoft folks on the IE team who are aware of this particular bug and are working on it — why would he need to deal with an intermediary when he already has contacts inside of Microsoft?

    I use the word “influencer” to mean anyone who tells other people about something. Bloggers are just easy-to-study influencers. And, thanks to Google (er, Live.com) bloggers have bigger audiences than other kinds of influencers, which makes them more likely to get ideas around the word of mouth networks faster.

    Normal people, as you call them, DO use Google. What do they find for most problems? Bloggers helping out. They might not even realize they are reading a blogger, but it’s Google that’s bringing the traffic.

    This is what the MVP program doesn’t understand (and most MVPs don’t grok). Most Google searches won’t bring you to newsgroups, but rather will bring you to Web forums and blogs.

    The “in crowd?” That’s all over on Second Life or Twitter anyway now.

  32. What Robert points out here is the same issue I have with all software vendors. Do they listen too much to the geeks?

    Are they getting feedback from the RIGHT people?

    Sometimes I don’t think they are. “Influencers” (and I use that loosely) are not normal folks. And are we/they really influencing the normal people?

    I’m not convinced that bloggers should be so religiously seen as the “in crowd” to watch.

  33. What Robert points out here is the same issue I have with all software vendors. Do they listen too much to the geeks?

    Are they getting feedback from the RIGHT people?

    Sometimes I don’t think they are. “Influencers” (and I use that loosely) are not normal folks. And are we/they really influencing the normal people?

    I’m not convinced that bloggers should be so religiously seen as the “in crowd” to watch.

  34. Robert, send Buzz to the newsgroups for help.. and not blogs. Where hard core MVPs who don’t read blogs nor blog while they are at the summit are.

    The “blogging” MVPs are just one part of the MVP community and to merely gauge the “feel” of the “group” does a disservice to the over 2,800 folks that have different voices. (I say that loosely as well as there are differing views and opinions).

    We’re not all good MVPs. We’re not all bad MVPs. There are some that shouldn’t be MVPs. There are folks that should be MVPs and are. And it sure not fun sometimes being one when former MVPs gauge the entire group from the “blogging” ones when not all of us blog.

    But the good ones will continue on helping folks regardless of the title, the grouping, the whatever. I certainly don’t do what I do just for the title. I do it because it makes me learn and grow.

    BTW I don’t know Buzz as he’s never been in my newsgroups/communities but it sounds like it may be this:
    The Windows desktop may stop updating correctly after a Windows Vista-based computer has been running for a long time:
    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=932406

    Call for a hotfix (it’s a free call)… in the USA 1-800-936-4900. If he has issues, give him my email address and I can help him out.

    For the record, I don’t appreciate it when Microsoft shoves down Service packs unannounced on patch Tuesday, I don’t appreciate it when Java, Yahoo, Intuit or any other number of vendors including Micrsoft shove down software that I didn’t ask for inside their software. This isn’t “anything but Microsoft”, this is “tell me what you are shoving on my desktop that I now have to patch for”.

    Normal people don’t upgrade.
    Normal people buy their OS on computers that come with Google desktop.
    Normal people don’t read blogs.
    And businesss sure don’t install anything …whether Google, or whatever overnight. We test and make sure it solves a business need. I would hope that major businesses of the world wouldn’t make a key investment decision because of something they read on a wordpress page but that they actually did a bit of their homework and research.

    One can hope anyway. Blogging gets eyeballs.

    It shouldn’t be the determination of the final decision. And if it is.. our entire world needs to step back and do proper due diligence.

  35. Robert, send Buzz to the newsgroups for help.. and not blogs. Where hard core MVPs who don’t read blogs nor blog while they are at the summit are.

    The “blogging” MVPs are just one part of the MVP community and to merely gauge the “feel” of the “group” does a disservice to the over 2,800 folks that have different voices. (I say that loosely as well as there are differing views and opinions).

    We’re not all good MVPs. We’re not all bad MVPs. There are some that shouldn’t be MVPs. There are folks that should be MVPs and are. And it sure not fun sometimes being one when former MVPs gauge the entire group from the “blogging” ones when not all of us blog.

    But the good ones will continue on helping folks regardless of the title, the grouping, the whatever. I certainly don’t do what I do just for the title. I do it because it makes me learn and grow.

    BTW I don’t know Buzz as he’s never been in my newsgroups/communities but it sounds like it may be this:
    The Windows desktop may stop updating correctly after a Windows Vista-based computer has been running for a long time:
    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=932406

    Call for a hotfix (it’s a free call)… in the USA 1-800-936-4900. If he has issues, give him my email address and I can help him out.

    For the record, I don’t appreciate it when Microsoft shoves down Service packs unannounced on patch Tuesday, I don’t appreciate it when Java, Yahoo, Intuit or any other number of vendors including Micrsoft shove down software that I didn’t ask for inside their software. This isn’t “anything but Microsoft”, this is “tell me what you are shoving on my desktop that I now have to patch for”.

    Normal people don’t upgrade.
    Normal people buy their OS on computers that come with Google desktop.
    Normal people don’t read blogs.
    And businesss sure don’t install anything …whether Google, or whatever overnight. We test and make sure it solves a business need. I would hope that major businesses of the world wouldn’t make a key investment decision because of something they read on a wordpress page but that they actually did a bit of their homework and research.

    One can hope anyway. Blogging gets eyeballs.

    It shouldn’t be the determination of the final decision. And if it is.. our entire world needs to step back and do proper due diligence.

  36. Brian: I slammed Microsoft often when I was there.

    My traffic has more than doubled since I left Microsoft, by the way.

    Ozzie is trying to take Microsoft in a new direction: bring out stuff AFTER it’s done. I wonder if he can last at Microsoft, though. The culture is against him.

  37. Brian: I slammed Microsoft often when I was there.

    My traffic has more than doubled since I left Microsoft, by the way.

    Ozzie is trying to take Microsoft in a new direction: bring out stuff AFTER it’s done. I wonder if he can last at Microsoft, though. The culture is against him.

  38. Robert, thanks for responding and giving me “a clue’ ;-) I didn’t mean to diminish your contribution prior to MS, but your audience increased greatly because of them. The tone was a bit harsh — doesn’t look good to slam former employers like that, even with the best of intentions.

    I agree that MS execs have to walk the walk or shut up until something ships (and someone needs to throw a muzzle on Ballmer — he does more damage to their rep every time he opens his mouth than Google R&D could do in a year…). That’s why I look to Ozzie going forward. He doesn’t talk trash.

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