[LINK] "MS Sucks"

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Mon Mar 19 09:12:17 AEDT 2007

Not my words and you may not guess who did say it:

 From The Sunday Times
March 18, 2007
‘Microsoft sucks’, says top blogger
Paul Durman

MICROSOFT’s formerly tame blogger has bitten the 
software company that made his name when it 
employed him as a “technology evangelist”.

Robert Scoble writes the Scobleizer web log, one 
of the most-read sources of technology commentary on the internet.

He owes his status to the three years he spent at 
Microsoft, where he was given free rein to 
comment on the company’s affairs from the inside. 
The Economist magazine has credited Scoble with 
playing a significant role in softening the 
software giant’s former reputation for monopolistic bullying.

In the past, Scoble has tended to be sympathetic 
about Microsoft’s failings. However, he was 
provoked into stinging criticism last week after 
a series of triumphalist remarks, including some 
disparaging comments about Google made by Steve 
Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive.

At a “global summit” of its most-valued software 
developers, Microsoft repeatedly declared that it 
would “win” in search and other parts of its Windows Live internet strategy.

“The words are empty,” Scoble responded. 
“Microsoft’s internet execution sucks (on the 
whole). Its search sucks. Its advertising sucks. 
If that’s ‘in it to win’, then I don’t get it.”

He continued: “Microsoft isn’t going away. Don’t 
get me wrong. They have record profits, record 
sales, all that. But on the inter-net? Come on.

“Microsoft: stop the talk. Ship a better search, 
a better advertising system than Google, a better 
hosting service than Amazon, a better 
cross-platform web development ecosystem than 
Adobe, and get some services out there that are innovative.”

Scoble’s comments reflect wider concerns — shared 
by some Microsoft insiders — that the poorly 
understood Windows Live initiative is failing to 
make the impact expected when it was unveiled 18 months ago.

Windows Live was pitched as the centrepiece of 
Microsoft’s response to Google and other 
companies offering web-based services. It was 
seen to be a key focus for Ray Ozzie, who has 
replaced Bill Gates as Microsoft’s chief software architect.

Talking to Stanford University business school 
students in California, Ballmer said Google had 
built only one good business and “everything else 
is sort of cute” — in other words largely irrelevant.

This also provoked Scoble’s ire. “You’re up 
against a formidable competitor and one you’ve 
never seen before that has some real, significant 
weapons that you can’t deal with.”

LiveSide, a website that tracks the development 
of Windows Live, is among those who are 
unimpressed. “Windows Live isn’t making much of a 
dent in the marketplace,” it says on its Our View 
page. “It’s a nontopic. Market research shows 
Live Search to be losing share if anything, and certainly not gaining.

“What Windows Live lacks, specifically, is an 
identity. No one can describe it, no one from Microsoft has even tried.”

Jan Whitaker
JLWhitaker Associates, Melbourne Victoria
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com
personal: http://www.janwhitaker.com/personal/
commentary: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/

'Seed planting is often the most important step. 
Without the seed, there is no plant.' - JW, April 2005
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