Why doesn't Microsoft get the love?

Let’s leave Halo 3 out of this, for now.

Yesterday Hugh Macleod wrote up his thoughts on Microsoft.

He puts out a theory that Microsoft would be more loved if it told a better story.

I’ve been studying my own reactions to Microsoft lately and I think it’s a lot deeper than that.

I have a REASON to love Microsoft. It propelled my career into a whole nother level. But lately even that hasn’t been enough.

I’ve been asking myself why?

To me it comes down to expectations. Microsoft is like the genius child who has rich and smart parents. Society holds huge expections for such people. If they don’t succeed the story is it’s a child who hasn’t lived up to his/her potential.

Microsoft is much the same way.

We see Google having fun with docs and spreadsheets.

We see Facebook and Plaxo and LinkedIn (not to mention Ning and Broadband Mechanics) having fun with social networking.

We see Flickr, Zooomr (one developer!), SmugMug, Photobucket, and a raft of others having fun with photography.

We see Apple having fun with all sorts of stuff.

We see Amazon having fun with datacenters.

And on, and on.

But where is the kid who has rich and smart parents? Yeah, Microsoft brought us the “Demo of the Year” last year: Photosynth. But what you didn’t read on TechCrunch is that it takes up to nine hours to process one set of images so, while it is a killer demo, it won’t be a product you and I can use anytime soon.

This week we learned that Google is struggling to stay relevant to the new conversation: one that was taken over this year by Facebook. But what is Microsoft doing to stay relevant? It’s like Microsoft has decided to go and spend the inheritance and not do any more work to stay on the bleeding edge. This is a much less interesting Microsoft than it was back in the 1990s, where it seemed every week Microsoft would announce something new and interesting. I remember being a subscriber to eWeek and other trade magazines and it was a rare week that Microsoft didn’t have the most important story. (TechMeme has taken over that role, and this summer how often have we seen Microsoft at the top of TechMeme? Not very often.

This week I learned another Microsoft employee is leaving to start his own company. This guy has asked me to keep it quiet until he can let all his managers know, but he’s someone who is liked and trusted both in Silicon Valley and up in Redmond. He’s a connector. An innovator. A guy who wants to SHIP innovative products.

These kinds of people keep leaving Microsoft because they see it isn’t living up to its potential and is frustrating to work inside of. It’s more fun to go join a small startup, or even one that’s fairly well along its path, like Facebook (everytime I go to Facebook I see more of the people I used to work with).

It’s been more than a year now since I left Microsoft. I really expected Ray Ozzie to come out and do lots of cool stuff for the Internet. But what did we get? A new design on live.com? Please.

The interesting thing is that Microsoft’s bench is so deep that even with the people they’ve lost over the years there still are huge numbers of amazing people working there and they still have advantages that no other company has. Deep, deep pockets. Massive numbers of customers. Profits that keep arriving everyday. A salesforce that’s well run and has its fingers in almost every country in the world.

So, back to Hugh’s post. Microsoft needs a new story. If I were on the management team I’d be looking hard at the Bungie team, the folks who brought us Halo 3.

What did they do right?

1. They stayed away from Microsoft’s politics. They work in a small ex-hardware store in Kirkland, Washington, USA. About 10 miles from the main campus.
2. They kept their own identity. They have their own security. No Microsoft signs outside. A very different feel internally (much more akin to Facebook than how the Office team works together). Each team works in open seating, focused around little pods where everyone can see everyone else and work with them.
3. They put their artists and designers front and center and obviously listen to them. The Windows team, however, fights with their artists and designers.
4. They keep the story up front and center. They work across the group to make sure they deliver that story everywhere. Translation: employees know what the story is, how to communicate it (or when not to), and they have great PR teams who work to make sure that story is shared with everyone.
5. The product thrills almost on every level. Hey, sounds like an iPhone!

The problem is that Bungie is a small exception in a sea of Microsoft.

Changing this company’s public story is going to prove very difficult. Maybe that’s why Hugh drew Microsoft a “Blue Monster” instead of something a little more friendly.

I’m sure some of my friends at Microsoft will misread this and think I’m “a hater.” You can think that if you want. It is intellectually lazy, though.

It’s interesting that since leaving Microsoft only Kevin Schofield (he’s one of the great connectors the company has over in Microsoft Research) has really done a good job of reaching out to me and tried to tell me a “new Microsoft” story.

One thing I did at Microsoft was reach out to the haters and see if I could tell them a new story.

So, I’m game. On Monday night I’ll be at the Halo 3 launch party. I’ll be looking to show my video camera a new Microsoft story.

But until I find it so far it just seems like that rich and smart kid who hasn’t lived up to the potential that we all see in her.

Am I missing something?

Comments

  1. I’m not sure it is about story with Microsoft. I do believe in the importance of these stories (Apple’s recent dirvurgence from their story has left many people feeling a bit strange).

    I think it’s more that they’ve become the Ma Bell, the face of the computer world that so many people don’t understand and don’t get. They are the face of those files they lose, the viruses they get, and the identities that are stolen. And, for many people, the face of their work and the work that has changed so very much over the past twenty years. Now, this is, of course, the popular culture’s “Microsoft Story.”

    What about people in the tech field? Well… I think you guys nailed it. But I believe there is a lot of seepage from this popular culture idea to the specialists – Microsoft exists as this strange behemoth that has set the stage so many are going to work from, and yet makes such collossal blunders and at times seems to have such a narrow vision. What are we to make of the OS and browser that can’t seem to ever “just work” or offer us the slightest bit of security, or the Zune, or 30% of Xbox 360′s dying, or the Zune being.. well, the Zune.

    The story is part of it, sure. But there’s more to it than that. Microsoft has become an agent of our zeitgeist, and for many it has come to represent that new technology that constantly betrays us and seems to hurt more than it helps (though that is certainly not the case, in reality.)

  2. I’m not sure it is about story with Microsoft. I do believe in the importance of these stories (Apple’s recent dirvurgence from their story has left many people feeling a bit strange).

    I think it’s more that they’ve become the Ma Bell, the face of the computer world that so many people don’t understand and don’t get. They are the face of those files they lose, the viruses they get, and the identities that are stolen. And, for many people, the face of their work and the work that has changed so very much over the past twenty years. Now, this is, of course, the popular culture’s “Microsoft Story.”

    What about people in the tech field? Well… I think you guys nailed it. But I believe there is a lot of seepage from this popular culture idea to the specialists – Microsoft exists as this strange behemoth that has set the stage so many are going to work from, and yet makes such collossal blunders and at times seems to have such a narrow vision. What are we to make of the OS and browser that can’t seem to ever “just work” or offer us the slightest bit of security, or the Zune, or 30% of Xbox 360′s dying, or the Zune being.. well, the Zune.

    The story is part of it, sure. But there’s more to it than that. Microsoft has become an agent of our zeitgeist, and for many it has come to represent that new technology that constantly betrays us and seems to hurt more than it helps (though that is certainly not the case, in reality.)

  3. with such remarkable insight on how to solve
    MS problems why didn’t you stay and execute on
    them? It’s pretty easy to Monday morning quarterback.

  4. with such remarkable insight on how to solve
    MS problems why didn’t you stay and execute on
    them? It’s pretty easy to Monday morning quarterback.

  5. No, you’re not a hater. You’re spot on. I’m a softie in the director ranks. I have 2 gigs outside the company lined up. Were it not for a very onerous alimony/child support obligation I’d be gone today. And who knows, as soon as I get to numbers with those two gigs, maybe they’ll bridge that gap.

    The fact is that you’re right. Nobody is interested in GETTING THINGS DONE at the MSFT anymore. They’re about process and empire building and protecting their huge bonuses. The people who want to get things done are in the middle (Sr. PM, Sr. Dev) and even the junior ranks. And they’re the ones leaving. Because a political layer of scum is floating above them not allowing innovation. It has nothing to do with talent, available funds, ability or even desire of the rank/file. It has to do with MANAGEMENT and executive misdirection.

    All that said, I’m with you…Halo 3 party and hoping that wakes people up a little bit.

    P.S. “a whole NOTHER…”??? Try “another whole”

  6. No, you’re not a hater. You’re spot on. I’m a softie in the director ranks. I have 2 gigs outside the company lined up. Were it not for a very onerous alimony/child support obligation I’d be gone today. And who knows, as soon as I get to numbers with those two gigs, maybe they’ll bridge that gap.

    The fact is that you’re right. Nobody is interested in GETTING THINGS DONE at the MSFT anymore. They’re about process and empire building and protecting their huge bonuses. The people who want to get things done are in the middle (Sr. PM, Sr. Dev) and even the junior ranks. And they’re the ones leaving. Because a political layer of scum is floating above them not allowing innovation. It has nothing to do with talent, available funds, ability or even desire of the rank/file. It has to do with MANAGEMENT and executive misdirection.

    All that said, I’m with you…Halo 3 party and hoping that wakes people up a little bit.

    P.S. “a whole NOTHER…”??? Try “another whole”

  7. One word.

    Innovation

    And not that MS have not innovated. It is that you cant create great innovation using a MS backbone without ending up licensed up the Wazzooo with all the other thirdparty apps and products required to get the job done.

    Compare this to developing on a open platform ( and for gods sake no I am not talking about desktops ! ) whre you allow the browser to be the gateway to your product and you can see the temptations for the next gen of developers.

    If MS want to feel the love they need to make like the rest of the internet and really and freely open up their APIs in a way they have never done before.

    Ive bee in the industry for as long as many of us here and can we really say we have seen real true groundbreaking Innovation come out of the desktop in the last 10 years ?

    I would still shake Bills hand though. He got me my Job I do at least owe him a beer for that. But hes never helped printers and applications get installed any easier and so for that I feel he owes me a few more beers.

    Great post and loved the Articles as ever.

  8. One word.

    Innovation

    And not that MS have not innovated. It is that you cant create great innovation using a MS backbone without ending up licensed up the Wazzooo with all the other thirdparty apps and products required to get the job done.

    Compare this to developing on a open platform ( and for gods sake no I am not talking about desktops ! ) whre you allow the browser to be the gateway to your product and you can see the temptations for the next gen of developers.

    If MS want to feel the love they need to make like the rest of the internet and really and freely open up their APIs in a way they have never done before.

    Ive bee in the industry for as long as many of us here and can we really say we have seen real true groundbreaking Innovation come out of the desktop in the last 10 years ?

    I would still shake Bills hand though. He got me my Job I do at least owe him a beer for that. But hes never helped printers and applications get installed any easier and so for that I feel he owes me a few more beers.

    Great post and loved the Articles as ever.

  9. I think Bungie is a bad example, Bungie was a independent company before, when Microsoft bought them up they agreed to basically leave them alone, so you cannot point at them as a success story for Microsoft other than as a good acquisition.

    The games industry is littered with examples of great studios being purchased, merged and basically destroyed, so certainly plaudits to them for learning from other mistakes.

  10. I think Bungie is a bad example, Bungie was a independent company before, when Microsoft bought them up they agreed to basically leave them alone, so you cannot point at them as a success story for Microsoft other than as a good acquisition.

    The games industry is littered with examples of great studios being purchased, merged and basically destroyed, so certainly plaudits to them for learning from other mistakes.

  11. great insight from a typical sv web 2.0 “I have no long term revenue plan beyond ads or hoping like hell I get acquired” mentality. How much money does Bungie make? How much money is on the table to go get by following your strategy? This is the key question the board and the shareholders will ask. Have you seen Microsofts financials? They make the majority of their money from enterprises. Your strategy fails to address that. The person you describe is not a person MS makes their money from. And the enterprise revenue stream shows little sign of drying up. You no longer appear to be MS’ target customer. That would be like me telling the NFL how to appeal to cricket fans

  12. Hi Robert,

    Good point. I work for Microsoft and I fell like I’m stuck so much in politics it blocks everything I want to do and I really want to make a change. Remember blue monster, the one Steve Clayton was talking about? We need to work like this monster would be our religion – change the world or go home! Simple as that.

  13. great insight from a typical sv web 2.0 “I have no long term revenue plan beyond ads or hoping like hell I get acquired” mentality. How much money does Bungie make? How much money is on the table to go get by following your strategy? This is the key question the board and the shareholders will ask. Have you seen Microsofts financials? They make the majority of their money from enterprises. Your strategy fails to address that. The person you describe is not a person MS makes their money from. And the enterprise revenue stream shows little sign of drying up. You no longer appear to be MS’ target customer. That would be like me telling the NFL how to appeal to cricket fans

  14. Hi Robert,

    Good point. I work for Microsoft and I fell like I’m stuck so much in politics it blocks everything I want to do and I really want to make a change. Remember blue monster, the one Steve Clayton was talking about? We need to work like this monster would be our religion – change the world or go home! Simple as that.

  15. Those things may be the problems every bigger company has so its really not microsoft specific.
    The main thing why Microsoft didn’t gets the love is much simpler. Microsoft is simply tainted evil. With sueing other peoples work or companies in an unfair way, lobbying with money and pressure (see the OpenXML ISO shit) simply noone trusts Microsoft. And it usually is not just one manager or so who is running mad, no it seems to be the company strategy to push others out of the way with all the weight big M$ has.
    I could continue with monopolism taktics and so on but I dont want to spend more energy on this topic, I guess everyone at Microsoft knows what they do wrong.

  16. Those things may be the problems every bigger company has so its really not microsoft specific.
    The main thing why Microsoft didn’t gets the love is much simpler. Microsoft is simply tainted evil. With sueing other peoples work or companies in an unfair way, lobbying with money and pressure (see the OpenXML ISO shit) simply noone trusts Microsoft. And it usually is not just one manager or so who is running mad, no it seems to be the company strategy to push others out of the way with all the weight big M$ has.
    I could continue with monopolism taktics and so on but I dont want to spend more energy on this topic, I guess everyone at Microsoft knows what they do wrong.

  17. Microsoft has never been an innovator, not even in the 90′s. They’re adept copiers, but only when they can mobilize their organization around the idea that what they’re copying is life threatening. It’s really hard to view anything as life threatening at Microsoft except boredom. Certainly the things that pass for innovation today get so far down the track before they become life threatening to Microsoft that its way too late. Hat tip to Google.

    So, instead of innovation, we have layers of product managers who do the right proper P&G (and we know how that culture got in) thing and make sure they never do anything too stupid. Unfortunately, there is nobody in charge of doing things that are very smart, and when you are the size of Microsoft, its all too easy to mistake a smart thing as being too stupid anyway.

    They rearrange the deck chairs by needlessly redoing the Office UI while small outfits like Xobni run circles around them innovating on their own tools. They can’t fix the biggest usability bug in Windows (http://smoothspan.wordpress.com/2007/09/09/the-biggest-usability-bug-in-windows/), and they are the ongoing recipient of melancholy posts like yours.

    But don’t worry. That deep bench is so deep that Microsoft will be like the East India Tea Company. Hundreds of years from now we’ll wake up to a story finally announcing they’re gone. They will leave the collective consciousness much sooner.

    Cheers!

    BW

  18. Microsoft has never been an innovator, not even in the 90′s. They’re adept copiers, but only when they can mobilize their organization around the idea that what they’re copying is life threatening. It’s really hard to view anything as life threatening at Microsoft except boredom. Certainly the things that pass for innovation today get so far down the track before they become life threatening to Microsoft that its way too late. Hat tip to Google.

    So, instead of innovation, we have layers of product managers who do the right proper P&G (and we know how that culture got in) thing and make sure they never do anything too stupid. Unfortunately, there is nobody in charge of doing things that are very smart, and when you are the size of Microsoft, its all too easy to mistake a smart thing as being too stupid anyway.

    They rearrange the deck chairs by needlessly redoing the Office UI while small outfits like Xobni run circles around them innovating on their own tools. They can’t fix the biggest usability bug in Windows (http://smoothspan.wordpress.com/2007/09/09/the-biggest-usability-bug-in-windows/), and they are the ongoing recipient of melancholy posts like yours.

    But don’t worry. That deep bench is so deep that Microsoft will be like the East India Tea Company. Hundreds of years from now we’ll wake up to a story finally announcing they’re gone. They will leave the collective consciousness much sooner.

    Cheers!

    BW

  19. I think the focus here is wrong in that I don’t think Microsoft’s problem is about “story” or anything to do with marketing. Microsoft’s problem lies in your first two items on the “reasons Bungie works” list.

    I have friends who work at Microsoft and here is how the average conversation about work goes with them…

    My MS Friend: So, I was working on xxx and I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we did [New Idea].

    Me: That would be cool, you should totally talk to your supervisor about it.

    My MS Friend: No.

    Me: Why Not?

    My MS Friend: Too much work, I’d need a VP to sign off and I’d need to convince the Product Manager and he’d have a bunch of studies saying no one wants it and it just wouldn’t be worth the hassle.

    Me: You’re kidding, I love your idea but it’s a relatively small change for god sakes

    My MS Friend: Yeah…but that’s how it is…

    Bottom line, as far as I’ve been able to tell, is that Microsoft has become a company that runs on marketing and that new features are determined by surveys, not anyone inside the company. The result is you have an entire company of people who feel disheartened and un-empowered.

    The irony is, most customers don’t know what they want until you show it to them. The list of companies that started this post is made almost completely of companies that made products that no one would have even known to ask for.

  20. I think the focus here is wrong in that I don’t think Microsoft’s problem is about “story” or anything to do with marketing. Microsoft’s problem lies in your first two items on the “reasons Bungie works” list.

    I have friends who work at Microsoft and here is how the average conversation about work goes with them…

    My MS Friend: So, I was working on xxx and I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we did [New Idea].

    Me: That would be cool, you should totally talk to your supervisor about it.

    My MS Friend: No.

    Me: Why Not?

    My MS Friend: Too much work, I’d need a VP to sign off and I’d need to convince the Product Manager and he’d have a bunch of studies saying no one wants it and it just wouldn’t be worth the hassle.

    Me: You’re kidding, I love your idea but it’s a relatively small change for god sakes

    My MS Friend: Yeah…but that’s how it is…

    Bottom line, as far as I’ve been able to tell, is that Microsoft has become a company that runs on marketing and that new features are determined by surveys, not anyone inside the company. The result is you have an entire company of people who feel disheartened and un-empowered.

    The irony is, most customers don’t know what they want until you show it to them. The list of companies that started this post is made almost completely of companies that made products that no one would have even known to ask for.

  21. Ahh Robert…remember when you posted this?

    “I’ve been reading a bunch of blogs about Halo 3 and most of the bloggers aren’t giving it rave reviews. Here’s Blake Snow’s review over on GigaOm.

    If I were Robbie I’d worry a little more about controller innovation, gameplay, and coming out with a few more killer games that keeps our attention on the Xbox system.

    http://scobleizer.com/2007/05/13/the-wii-isnt-hurting-xbox-really/

    It might be off-topic, but it’s proof you sometimes talk about things you have no idea about as Post #9 is alluding.

  22. Ahh Robert…remember when you posted this?

    “I’ve been reading a bunch of blogs about Halo 3 and most of the bloggers aren’t giving it rave reviews. Here’s Blake Snow’s review over on GigaOm.

    If I were Robbie I’d worry a little more about controller innovation, gameplay, and coming out with a few more killer games that keeps our attention on the Xbox system.

    http://scobleizer.com/2007/05/13/the-wii-isnt-hurting-xbox-really/

    It might be off-topic, but it’s proof you sometimes talk about things you have no idea about as Post #9 is alluding.

  23. Lets see, slow traffic to the Blog Robert? So outside of it’s add revuenue Bizz Model what has Google done to light the world on fire, I don’t see the whole docs thing taking off anymore than it has before, Apple makes Beautiful hardware and the iPod is still king, But what has Cupertino done to address the internet is the computer thing,nothing,.Mac doesn’t count and is a joke.

    I think MSFT should be held up the harsh light every day,but this double standard that Apple and Google can do no wrong is typical of the echo chamber that seems to prevail in your part of the world.

    Like any big Multinational, MSFT has to fight the urge to become complacent, but regardless, Redmond is still a highly profitable and successfull Company that’s growing, not stagnating it’s market share in the enterprise.

    For all the desire of the armchair buisness anylists to declare otherwise,Microsoft still manages to sock millions in the bank every day.

    They apparently have something figured out.

  24. Lets see, slow traffic to the Blog Robert? So outside of it’s add revuenue Bizz Model what has Google done to light the world on fire, I don’t see the whole docs thing taking off anymore than it has before, Apple makes Beautiful hardware and the iPod is still king, But what has Cupertino done to address the internet is the computer thing,nothing,.Mac doesn’t count and is a joke.

    I think MSFT should be held up the harsh light every day,but this double standard that Apple and Google can do no wrong is typical of the echo chamber that seems to prevail in your part of the world.

    Like any big Multinational, MSFT has to fight the urge to become complacent, but regardless, Redmond is still a highly profitable and successfull Company that’s growing, not stagnating it’s market share in the enterprise.

    For all the desire of the armchair buisness anylists to declare otherwise,Microsoft still manages to sock millions in the bank every day.

    They apparently have something figured out.

  25. Why doesn’t Microsoft get the love? I’m not aware that they ever ask for love.
    They ask for revenue and that’s what they get. Plenty of it. Can you run an OEM and Enterprise business by asking for love?

  26. Why doesn’t Microsoft get the love? I’m not aware that they ever ask for love.
    They ask for revenue and that’s what they get. Plenty of it. Can you run an OEM and Enterprise business by asking for love?

  27. Like you, but for different reasons, I love(d) Microsoft … in the 90′s. What has changed though is how to hold on to customers.

    - old way: create enough friction, that makes it too expensive and hard to leave
    - new way: make really good products

    The old way works until someone comes along with something better and easier. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is moving to open, common standards.

    Forget Bungle … if MS were to scrap IE and adopt Firefox, that would renew the company and centre it around a common view of the technology future.

    I think Bungle is precisely what MS ought not to do.

  28. Like you, but for different reasons, I love(d) Microsoft … in the 90′s. What has changed though is how to hold on to customers.

    - old way: create enough friction, that makes it too expensive and hard to leave
    - new way: make really good products

    The old way works until someone comes along with something better and easier. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is moving to open, common standards.

    Forget Bungle … if MS were to scrap IE and adopt Firefox, that would renew the company and centre it around a common view of the technology future.

    I think Bungle is precisely what MS ought not to do.

  29. I disagree with Spot on in comment #3; “a whole nother” is a genius phrase that I use often ;)

    I think the problems with Microsoft are what plague most behemoth companies. For one, it is much harder to move an elephant than a bird, and often riskier. This is why SBUs like Bungie are usually a good bet.

    Second, humans naturally distrust people (or companies or governments) when they reach a level of power/wealth that threaten their own sense of fairness. Your rich child analogy is a good one.

  30. I disagree with Spot on in comment #3; “a whole nother” is a genius phrase that I use often ;)

    I think the problems with Microsoft are what plague most behemoth companies. For one, it is much harder to move an elephant than a bird, and often riskier. This is why SBUs like Bungie are usually a good bet.

    Second, humans naturally distrust people (or companies or governments) when they reach a level of power/wealth that threaten their own sense of fairness. Your rich child analogy is a good one.

  31. One Thing About Ray Ozzie

    Robert Scoble recently wrote a bit called, Why doesn’t Microsoft get the love?: It’s been more than a year now since I left Microsoft. I really expected Ray Ozzie to come out and do lots of cool stuff for the…

  32. Having been a Lotus accolyte for many years, watching Ray has been a bit of a preoccupation. His style has been no news until he is absoloutely ready to shout (in a Ray’ish sort of way) about it. This may be good for Ray but deadly for MS. I hope not, I am still a fan.

  33. Having been a Lotus accolyte for many years, watching Ray has been a bit of a preoccupation. His style has been no news until he is absoloutely ready to shout (in a Ray’ish sort of way) about it. This may be good for Ray but deadly for MS. I hope not, I am still a fan.

  34. My take on Microsoft: They don’t innovate, all they seem to know how to do is buy their way in front on eyeballs. They buy company after company because apparently they are not creative enough to think up anything themselves. Secondly they appear to have very little culture. They are like the uncool kid in class that nobody wants to hangout with. How many people would admit they use hotmail or Microsoft OneCare? Seriously really…not any in the know geek. Apple, Google and many of the web 2.0 stuff has a culture that makes people want to be apart of….Microsoft is the boring ugly duckling that is all about enterprise and all that corporate stuff. I don’t think microsoft can ever be the cool kid everyone wants to hang out with. The closest thing will be Silverlight, but I can guarantee that Adobe isn’t going down without a fight.

  35. My take on Microsoft: They don’t innovate, all they seem to know how to do is buy their way in front on eyeballs. They buy company after company because apparently they are not creative enough to think up anything themselves. Secondly they appear to have very little culture. They are like the uncool kid in class that nobody wants to hangout with. How many people would admit they use hotmail or Microsoft OneCare? Seriously really…not any in the know geek. Apple, Google and many of the web 2.0 stuff has a culture that makes people want to be apart of….Microsoft is the boring ugly duckling that is all about enterprise and all that corporate stuff. I don’t think microsoft can ever be the cool kid everyone wants to hang out with. The closest thing will be Silverlight, but I can guarantee that Adobe isn’t going down without a fight.

  36. I think that you are missing that MS has a more global think, and they don’t ship thinking “en-US”. Also, they can’t afford breaking any flavor of Windows or Office, so their testing isn’t fun.

    Even Google don’t have all their apps localized in foreign languages.

  37. I think that you are missing that MS has a more global think, and they don’t ship thinking “en-US”. Also, they can’t afford breaking any flavor of Windows or Office, so their testing isn’t fun.

    Even Google don’t have all their apps localized in foreign languages.

  38. @26 well, cool apparently doesn’t pay. Let us know when ANY of these web 2.0 start turning a sustainable profit and can resist being acquired. Again,while these sv companies are cool,the majority lack a sustainable business model

  39. @26 well, cool apparently doesn’t pay. Let us know when ANY of these web 2.0 start turning a sustainable profit and can resist being acquired. Again,while these sv companies are cool,the majority lack a sustainable business model

  40. Au contraire…

    I’d say that Google is the rich, smart kid (age 9) who has inherited money (IPO).

    Microsoft is a single thirtysomething man who’s worked and played hard all his life, achieved success and a few scars on his face. And now, he realizes it’s the perfect time to find a partner with whom to produce offspring and give birth to something totally different!

  41. Au contraire…

    I’d say that Google is the rich, smart kid (age 9) who has inherited money (IPO).

    Microsoft is a single thirtysomething man who’s worked and played hard all his life, achieved success and a few scars on his face. And now, he realizes it’s the perfect time to find a partner with whom to produce offspring and give birth to something totally different!

  42. “It’s been more than a year now since I left Microsoft. I really expected Ray Ozzie to come out and do lots of cool stuff for the Internet. But what did we get?”

    We got some web version of the clipboard. Where is that thing now anyways? And that’s about it. Now, back to google.com…..

  43. “It’s been more than a year now since I left Microsoft. I really expected Ray Ozzie to come out and do lots of cool stuff for the Internet. But what did we get?”

    We got some web version of the clipboard. Where is that thing now anyways? And that’s about it. Now, back to google.com…..

  44. “Apple excels at makes things you want to use. ”

    Hmmm, is that why last week Forbes labled AppleTV as the “iFlop”?
    http://www.forbes.com/free_forbes/2007/1001/046.html

    As for making things you want to use vs things you need to use, I’s guess the latter results in long term steady income and the former results in short bursts of high income. Both are good to be about.

  45. “Apple excels at makes things you want to use. ”

    Hmmm, is that why last week Forbes labled AppleTV as the “iFlop”?
    http://www.forbes.com/free_forbes/2007/1001/046.html

    As for making things you want to use vs things you need to use, I’s guess the latter results in long term steady income and the former results in short bursts of high income. Both are good to be about.

  46. A large (and money making) part of Microsoft’s target is not YOU Scoble. You’re only interested in gadgets and web services, so you miss anything that falls outside of that.

    Let me ask you a question: When is the last time that IBM released a product or service that excited the general populace? Never? Yet they make plenty of money. And their products and services are NEVER covered on your blog, because they don’t make (or excel) in the stuff you’re interested in.

    Your last sentence of your post was “Am I missing something?” The answer is a big fat YES.

    BTW, you need to get the hell out of “The Valley” if you want a broader perspective on things.

  47. A large (and money making) part of Microsoft’s target is not YOU Scoble. You’re only interested in gadgets and web services, so you miss anything that falls outside of that.

    Let me ask you a question: When is the last time that IBM released a product or service that excited the general populace? Never? Yet they make plenty of money. And their products and services are NEVER covered on your blog, because they don’t make (or excel) in the stuff you’re interested in.

    Your last sentence of your post was “Am I missing something?” The answer is a big fat YES.

    BTW, you need to get the hell out of “The Valley” if you want a broader perspective on things.

  48. You are right…if Microsoft told a better story then people would trust them more. It’s kind of like having a friend that tells you a story about something crazy that happened over the weekend, but forgets and tells you twice with two different endings. One might be true, but you don’t know which one, so you distrust both endings.

    There ARE people working on this…

  49. You are right…if Microsoft told a better story then people would trust them more. It’s kind of like having a friend that tells you a story about something crazy that happened over the weekend, but forgets and tells you twice with two different endings. One might be true, but you don’t know which one, so you distrust both endings.

    There ARE people working on this…

  50. Bob wrote: “Hmmm, is that why last week Forbes labled AppleTV as the “iFlop”?”

    And Microsoft makes the XBox, which is quite popular. But, for the most part, these are exceptions, not the rule.

  51. Bob wrote: “Hmmm, is that why last week Forbes labled AppleTV as the “iFlop”?”

    And Microsoft makes the XBox, which is quite popular. But, for the most part, these are exceptions, not the rule.

  52. Personally, I believe people just need to move on. When is the last time someone called IBM innovative? Or hold them comparable to Apple, Nintendo, or Google? Sure, Microsoft is causing their own problems by trying to compete with all three of those “innovators”. Microsoft just needs to understand they are like GM and IBM now. They are a huge (and I mean HUGE!) company that isn’t the up and coming love child of IT anymore. People need to understand that time is long behind Microsoft.
    They are still a major force in the IT industry. If you don’t think so.. still look at IE being the #1 browser, XP being the #1 OS, XBox Live (how did I ever play games before this), XNA for independent game developers, C#, and a handful of other cool new products.
    They are the cornerstone (or even the foundation) of the IT world. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
    But, as Scoble characterized, if they don’t change spending their inheritance… (How much $$$ did they lose in the failing Xbox game systems?), they will, by their own hand, work their way out of relevance.
    And personally, I think that would be a shame. To see a company come in and scare/shock Sony in the videogame market, force Apple and Nintendo to go in crazy new directions (which definitely helped both companies), it a great thing.
    I stopped being a MS hater a long time ago. Now, I just keep getting annoyed at the people that can’t get past the pre-bubble bust MS days. It is over. Move on.

  53. Personally, I believe people just need to move on. When is the last time someone called IBM innovative? Or hold them comparable to Apple, Nintendo, or Google? Sure, Microsoft is causing their own problems by trying to compete with all three of those “innovators”. Microsoft just needs to understand they are like GM and IBM now. They are a huge (and I mean HUGE!) company that isn’t the up and coming love child of IT anymore. People need to understand that time is long behind Microsoft.
    They are still a major force in the IT industry. If you don’t think so.. still look at IE being the #1 browser, XP being the #1 OS, XBox Live (how did I ever play games before this), XNA for independent game developers, C#, and a handful of other cool new products.
    They are the cornerstone (or even the foundation) of the IT world. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
    But, as Scoble characterized, if they don’t change spending their inheritance… (How much $$$ did they lose in the failing Xbox game systems?), they will, by their own hand, work their way out of relevance.
    And personally, I think that would be a shame. To see a company come in and scare/shock Sony in the videogame market, force Apple and Nintendo to go in crazy new directions (which definitely helped both companies), it a great thing.
    I stopped being a MS hater a long time ago. Now, I just keep getting annoyed at the people that can’t get past the pre-bubble bust MS days. It is over. Move on.

  54. Speaking of scrapping IE for Firefox, ex-MSFT Dave Massy and I have both been taking the IE team to task on our blogs for stopping any real outward facing discussions concerning the future of IE. After IE7 shipped, the IEBlog went into cruise mode and they killed Borgzilla (the Connect site) by taking it offline “temporarily” (more than a year ago).

    This seems to be exactly the kind of thing Microsoft seemed so keen on not doing a couple of years ago yet here it is doing it again…

  55. Speaking of scrapping IE for Firefox, ex-MSFT Dave Massy and I have both been taking the IE team to task on our blogs for stopping any real outward facing discussions concerning the future of IE. After IE7 shipped, the IEBlog went into cruise mode and they killed Borgzilla (the Connect site) by taking it offline “temporarily” (more than a year ago).

    This seems to be exactly the kind of thing Microsoft seemed so keen on not doing a couple of years ago yet here it is doing it again…

  56. [...] advertising » Affiliate Freebies and Marketing Ideas ???? Blog Archive ???? Microsoft &… wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptAfter IE7 shipped, the IEBlog went into cruise mode and they killed Borgzilla (the Connect site) by taking it offline “temporarily” (more than a year ago). This seems to be exactly the kind of thing Microsoft seemed so keen on not doing … [...]

  57. I really love Microsoft because without them the IT industry was not so high! i really can’t imagine a world without microsoft products.

  58. I think Bungie is a bad example, Bungie was a independent company before, when Microsoft bought them up they agreed to basically leave them alone, so you cannot point at them as a success story for Microsoft other than as a good acquisition.

  59. I think Bungie is a bad example, Bungie was a independent company before, when Microsoft bought them up they agreed to basically leave them alone, so you cannot point at them as a success story for Microsoft other than as a good acquisition.