Microsoft: Scared and Confused
Honestly, I can’t help but think that the once great software giant has begun tumbling from the inside out.
And no, I’m not going on about what may-or-may-not be legitimate comments over at the Mini, but damn. This is pathetic.
One of the best questions Mini asked was “Are there any Microsoft zealots?”
My answer: Not anymore.
You know why? Because Microsoft still acts like a mid-90’s company when the mid-‘00 companies are kicking their ass. Remember attention being #1? Guess how long our attention spans are?
About as long as it takes you to read this sentence. Now beyond that, you’re going to have to get us in there and using and working with what you have shown us in those 10 seconds or so.
Let’s take for example Office 2007, because I’m as tired of beating the dead Vista horse as everyone else. Now can you name me one thing, including the hardest of the hard-core geeks who read my daily diatribe, just one feature that you’re excited about and looking forward to Office 2007.
And…I can’t think of one. Seriously. When I think of the XML file formats I go blah. I’ll never dig that far in and honestly I don’t care beyond the “oooh, XML!” factor. When I think of the ‘Ribbon’ UI, I say blah. It’s just another way of going to View – Toolbars except now it’s automatic and intuitive.
With that said, evolution is fine by me. I like evolution. I just don’t think another $500 for a few enhancements is really necessary here. They’re planning, of course, on some Super Duper Mondo Sharing Server O’ Love, which will (if you believe them) do all but manage your projects for you.
What do I see? A shared drive on some server with a web interface.
Now let me tell you about something I thought was cool: AjaxWrite. This debuted last Friday and has basically defined for me why Microsoft sucks: They don’t put out the early cool stuff. And I’m not talking about Live.com, though it’s certainly better than the train wreck that is MSN. It’s noble that they’re willing to put out new code that isn’t 100% done. For example, Firefox wasn’t capatible with live.com when it first came out.
Whoa-whoa-whoa. I think we found another problem!
Compatibility and Standards should be at the forefront for online endeavours. That is to say the most important thing. Yet, when the biggest software company on the planet Earth released a Cool New Thing, it didn’t have it.
Let me tell you: Every college kid has gotten Use Firefox Use Firefox drilled into them by their geeky friends and local admins. Why? Because it stops the shady Java installers. It stops the Punch The Monkey pop-ups. It stops the intrusive spyware and it does not have huge gaping holes that are found on a bi-monthly basis to wreck the average user’s experience.
So you would think that when Microsoft comes out with a new product for the current mid-‘00 tech mindset, they would have it be standards based and fully functional with all browsers, not just that mess that they call IE6. But it wasn’t. Sure it was fixed later—but what’s later on the web? Later is forgotten about. Later gets no headlines.
Microsoft should've been the one to introduce something as groundbreaking as AjaxWrite, but they weren’t of course. No, they left that to smaller more interesting teams who do smaller more interesting work. Work that can be built upon and doesn’t need to integrate into Super AjaxWrite Multi-User Dev Server Enterprise Edition 2006 SE.
It’s just a Word Processor people, in a browser, using technology (AJAX) that Microsoft came up with and that Microsoft, as an entity, has still not fully grasped into a successful “2.0” product.
I don’t care about their over-hyped, delayed products. I don’t care about their over-wrought Enterprise Solutions. I just care about getting my work done and helping get my users work done. I don’t feel as if I should pay ten frickin grand for the simple ability to share and use Word docs a little better than we already do (re: Sharepoint Server).
Continuous, cool improvements should be the cornerstone of their business. Vista is great, I guess, whenever it comes out. But I’d rather have a Cool Windows XP Feature released incrementally (such as their neato Spyware Detection Tool) than looking forward to Vista and it’s…3D windows. Woo. Wake me when someone actually tells me something exciting about it. This from a guy who actually has sat through some of those Channel 9 videos.
The web is about integration and baby steps. Google alone has proven how powerful concepts can be when you just get them out there and improve and not sit back and promise and promise and promise. There are some folks in MS who are doing this.
There are a wretched ton of them who are not.
Off with their heads? Sure. Whatever.
I don’t really care what Microsoft does any more. Because every time I do, nothing ever comes of it.