November 03, 2006 |
There’s some honest advancement being made on Microsoft’s part to better the chance of success for its ‘Live’ segment. God knows they have the man power to make leaps and bounds over much of the competition, but they do seem to be off a bit in nearly every web-based service they offer, don’t they? Why is that?
Some joke that Seattle and its suburbs see so little sunlight throughout the year that it’s been raining gloom over Redmond since the words ‘dot’ and ‘com’ were synonymous with ‘new world.’ But is there really reason to be so hard on MS all the time? Well, yeah, kinda.
It’s not an “everyone attack the monster!” sort of play when jabbing at the software giant, it’s simply because the giant doesn’t seem to hitting its jump shots the way it once did. It definitely isn’t easy to make a beast like Microsoft move in a sprightly manner. And when your main competition in internet-based services was born on the American telecom backbone, sometimes it is necessary to put their roles and histories in perspective. In other words, MS has one foot in the past and one foot struggling to best the present, and unless there’s an overhaul at HQ, odds are that, though they may win some battles, it’s unlikely they’ll win the war.
I’ll be honest. I haven’t used any of Microsoft’s offerings, besides the occasional foray into the Windows world, in many, many years. I remember starting with MSN for my first email correspondences, eventually moving to Yahoo! Mail after that became the more popular choice. It’s just one of those things lots of people tend to do. Then there was a phase when there were so many email clients to be tried, I eventually spent much of my after-school time (this was when I was still in middle and high school) sifting through the menagerie I came to know like one would a rolodex (insert better analogy here ____ ).
Only recently (the last year or so) was given an invitation from a relative to try out Gmail. It was a breath of fresh air. Yada, yada, yada, it’s now what I use for all my mailing needs. I even trust Google’s mail servers far more than I do those of my website’s hosting co.
What’s Here And What’s In Store
Forward to this moment, and Google really has yet to flop in any significant way. One might think some of the beta projects in their basement are, well, useless. I highlight Google, and not Yahoo! or AOL, because Google is pretty much leading the pack, and thus serves as a good benchmark for what Microsoft should’ve been, had it chosen the right path back in the 90s or made the appropriate changes following the release of XP.
What we know now is that everyone’s on the Web 2.0 bandwagon, whether they like it or not, and things are only going to get more sophisticated, hopefully more easy to use and therefore better than what came before. We know things are headed in a direction where ‘community’ and ‘collaboration’ are crucial to the success of a broad spectrum of burgeoning products, the yet-to-be-released, and especially the long-standing.
I don’t at all see the fall of Microsoft anytime in the foreseeable future, but it’ll still be acting like a wounded elephant in the web services genre in the years to follow if the old and tired thinking it’s been keeping on hand for a few nostalgic and stubborn veterans isn’t given the boot. Hopefully, Ray Ozzie will do a decent job of that.