Keep Trying

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Microsoft Continues to Veer Off-Course

The week off with the family was great. Truly rejuvenating - ready to get back to business.

Ed Cone wrote an article in Baseline Magazine about Robert Scoble's weblog. Ed writes about Scoble:

His daily ramblings, unedited by corporate brass or media handlers, give the world a window into Microsoft, building buzz for its products such as Office 2003 and creating a human face for a company that needs all the humanizing it can get.

Note to Ed: people like/love Robert's weblog because he is a very nice guy, a great blogger and he provides lots of good links. He makes it very clear that his editorial viewpoint is strictly aligned with Microsoft. His weblog is most definitely editted by a very loyal Microsoft party-liner, namely Robert Scoble.

Note to Robert: Your company is increasingly out of touch with East Coast corporate developers. An overwhelming majority of them will not go back to rich client development and the distribution nightmares and client side conflicts that it creates. Web based applications are fine for the databased applications that constitute most of corporate development. I know that you will tell us that .Net is improving browser-based development, but we do not feel that the time savings on the development side outweigh the "locked in the trunk" costs on the implementation side. We are also dreading the high price of Longhorn upgrades and are far from convinced that improvements in GUI or file systems will outweigh those costs.

Microsoft's problems are compounded by the fact that the industry has entered a Main Street phase (see Crossing the Chasm) and the corporations will be increasingly influencing more of the market's direction. An additional Microsoft problem is that IBM is increasing its influence here at a rate not seen since the 80s.

Microsoft needs to set up a strong East Coast office to talk with corporate developers (in addition to shrink-wrappers like Joel and Eric Sink). But if you are not really listening, and it does not seem like you have, then don't waste your time. Also - Microsoft needs to address the development and implementation problems of the corporate Java developer (and the intelligence-insulting J# product makes you look extremely foolish).

Robert you are a nice guy, but don't take the statistically insignificant sample of a few emailers as evidence that Microsoft is on the right track. If you care about the corporate market, remember Habit Five - Seek First to Understand.