Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Microstiff – More Ray Ozzie, Office Live and...Hope

Mini-Microsoft posters…do you hear what you are saying?

Ray has stepped back to reassess his commitment to put some sanity into the Live strategy.

To wit: Office Live is a disaster. Usability sucks, support sucks, and there is a lot of infighting between them and the rest of the Live services. Also, it is beset with many of the same problems as previous projects like NetDocs and Hailstorm: not enough focus on what the customer wants and too much focus on fancy code. Coincidentally, many of the same leaders from those projects are now leading the Office Live project.

The product is a good one. I know, I’ve used it and developed databases using it. It’s not fancy code it’s just ideas to organize and promote small businesses under one roof. Office Accounting 2007 is terrific and...free! What could be simpler?

This all has to stop. You're killing your company. This product must be evangelized. Where is the leadership? Take the few people responsible for support, usability, marketing, CRM and R & D and sit them down in one room. Agenda: Mission and Policy. Two hours, no more. No polictics. Moderated by a strong leader. Edict: you WILL PERFORM THIS MISSION AND ITS POLICIES…IMMEDIATELY or…you will be OFF THE PROJECT! PERIOD! Your behavior will be monitored and subject to modification training sessions…no matter who you are.

Examples: There will be instantaneous fulfilling of customer needs…within a day…period. You will have at least one (1) maven responsible for the user experience of the the entire Office Live. His/her word will be God re: changes and updates. Each subsystem will be put in place when and only when it is operational for the customer. Transitions to and from Accounting 2007 will be smooth and transparent. It will be simple to copy an existing web site to the new, Microsoft-hosted web site. There will be no forums until customers can be deemed reasonably happy. Forums will be monitored for inappropriate and negative remarks.

Windows Live is just the MSN pig with some lipstick. Teams are writing code with no real coordination or focus, and no idea how their projects are going to make money. Blake Irving is the perinneal absentee VP, and has no control over his world. Berkowitz has already about had it with the disarray, and will likely be leaving real soon now.

Projects and goals will be simplified and prioritized. Flow charts will be presented to all so they can see the “big picture” and their part in it. Daily updates will be MS Projected to each team. Everyone…support, usability, marketing, CRM and R & D and top management must know exactly where we are and where we’re going…daily.

Live" is .Net all over again. No one knows what the hell it means, even those who are supposed to be leading the effort. Ray wasn't around during the .Net days, so he is getting a dose of what it is like and he doesn't like the taste.

Since no one knows what Live is…rename it. Here’s an idea: Internet = Cloud. Desktop = Desk. LAN = Server. MS Cloud. MS Desk. MS Server. I am sure there are other ways to do this but Cloud tells you it’s Internet based; Desk tells you it’s not. Now, isn’t’ that simpler? Search? Desk Search, Cloud Search, Server Search. Why not? I did this in 1 minute. You think of some.

You people are so confused, from the top down that you literally don’t know what to do next. Now, even Ray Ozzie is in the headlights. This has got to stop.

You want me to help you do this? I can be on a plane in one day. Email me at Microstiff@aol.com. Jeeze! Let’s get started. Carte Blanche.


Mini-Microsoft: Where's Ray? Where's the Vista Campaign?

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