Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind

Monday, February 26, 2007

Microstiff – Denial Alert: Mini-Microsoft, Don Dodge, others…

Alert # 1 - Don Dodge, Director of Business Development for Microsoft's Emerging Business Team, says a few denial-laden statements worth hammering:

Microsoft will do everything possible to preserve these businesses while transitioning to the new Live strategy. The technical vision is to give users the best of both worlds. That is the business strategy too. No Innovators Dilemma here.

Reeeeaaaaaly? Let me see…legacy MS Office and Office Live (thanks to Google and a few others). Late to the party and groggy from Kool–Aid, the utterer of this grandiose statement can only be described as a "wishful thinker" and dead wrong. Ain’t no stinking innovation here, just $35 billion to throw at what others are already doing. It’s a simple mash up. Only difference is that Microsoft doesn’t have the luxury of the other party - Google - having achieved immense success (reads…the returns aren’t in yet) from online services.

And…virtually NO ONE KNOWS if the subscription model will work vs. the ad model. Gut says yes but gut don’t play that game so well.

This is more than a technology battle, it is a battle of perceptions. And right now Google has the perception of being the innovator, even though there is nothing new in Google Apps. Not to worry, remember when Nintendo dominated the game console business? Xbox came out of no where and is now the percieved innovation leader. Never count Microsoft out.

No, never count Microsoft out, just call them STOOPIT! My cat could have come out with Xbox after Nintendo's punching a wide open hole in that market. What did MSFT have back then…$25 billion to throw at it? With all the HARD WORK DONE by Nintendo, in come the Pirates of the Caribbean to rape, pillage and plunder. It was timing, the only thing Microsoft seems to have a reasonable handle on but...NO CONTROL OVER.

And, puleeeeeze, “…This is more than a technology battle, it is a battle of perceptions…” This means you lose on two, count ‘em, two counts: Count 1 – In the marketplace, Perception Rules! It’s your job to change it. Count 2 – Reality is that Google IS THE INNOVATOR. They started it, they developed it, they marketed it, they’re selling it. You, dear Don, are standing by the sidelines with your duffel bag full of money waiting to get in a game that you are woefully ill-prepared to play in.

Ray’s (Ozzie, "VaporWhere?") heads down not talking and, anecdotally, he’s starting to move past the “forgiveness” point. He better have something good. It’s doubtful though, because…IT HAS TO GO THROUGH 10 levels to get a signoff. Tsk.

No, Don, your battle is from within and...it looks quite grim.

Denial Alert # 2 Robert Scoble, One-time Microsoft Evangelizer Par Excellence:

But, I’ve learned never to bet against companies with billions of dollars in its pocket and tons of smart people still working there.

And those OTHER companies would be? Once a Softie always a ….?

Denial Alert # 3 – Mini-Microsoft – Noted Microsoft Employee and Purveyor of Truth and Voice of All Softies of Any Spiritual bent:

The comment stream is interesting, too, though to hmmm me up and say that Mini-Microsoft is to blame for any malaise at Microsoft is, in my opinion, like taking a ol' big bite from the dumb-ass tree fruit and saying, "Hey, let's beat that kid up that pointed out that the emperor is naked!" Things were not right. People moved on. Change happened and is still happening. More change is needed, but I'd say the company is in a far better position than it was two-and-a-half years ago.

Can’t speak but for only about two years of this process but…I am not willing to give you kudos for pointing out the emperor is naked. Hear me out. On some level, everyone KNOWS the emperor is naked. Even MORE IMPORTANTLY, you have, day-in-day-out, gently revealed the truth so as to make their vision clearer. If this is the same thing that you are saying, so be it.

Also, it’s doubtful your good works have put the company in a far better position than it was two-and-a-half years ago. Why? Because the truth tends to tear down before it can build up, IMHO. People DO leave; only to be replaced by more “People of the Lie”. That tearing down is going on, right now. Witness the stock value, the chaos, the rage of the Mini Bloggers.

So, continue the good works, Mini, and some day we’ll all be able to say, on your behalf, “…the company is in a far better position than it was two-and-a-half years ago.”

Update: Bringing up Ray "Vaporwhere?" Ozzie got me to thinking...IMHO, people who are glib can spin even the worst of situations into a hopeful one. Ray, who is not glib, hates public speaking and is more of a "hall walker", hands on guy, wouldn't think of spinning something...again, IMHO.

Therefore if things were real good with him, he'd tell us. If they are real bad, he wouldn't... because he COULDN'T BRING HIMSELF to put lipstick on those little "Live" piggies. Therefore, regarding the "Live" initiative...things is bad...things is real bad!

Update 2:
Go here for more fuel-to-the-fire-Microstiff rants. And, here.

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