Robert Scoble recently wrote a bit called, Why doesn’t Microsoft get the love?:
It’s been more than a year now since I left Microsoft. I really expected Ray Ozzie to come out and do lots of cool stuff for the Internet. But what did we get? A new design on live.com? Please.
This reminded me of a point I wanted to mention here…
I’ve had a theory for a long time now about how, for many people, there’s a single fact that you can point to that will explain many things about them and the situations they end up in.
For example, years ago, I got into a conversation with a couple of Apple employees about Gil Amelio, Apple’s then-CEO. I thought then (and still do now, although to a much lesser degree) that he was doing a good job, and said so to the Apple employees.
“He doesn’t like us to call him Gil.”
“He prefers that we call him Dr. Amelio.”
I knew, in a flash, that Gil was not long for that job—if he didn’t understand that Apple employees needed to be on a first-name basis with their CEO, he was never, ever going to fit into the culture. That became the “one thing” I needed to know about Amelio to be able to predict just about everything he did with Apple from then on.
But this blog post was about Ray Ozzie and Microsoft, not Amelio or Apple. So, what’s the one thing that explains what Ozzie has (and hasn’t) done in the two-plus years he’s been at MS?
In my opinion, it’s this:
Ray Ozzie has never in his life,
shipped software that an end-user wanted to buy and install on their computer.
No, Groove was not an end-user product, and I never heard of anyone run Lotus Notes by choice. Vista is just more of the same. Why should anyone expect something different from Ozzie from what he’s done for most of the last four decades?
A bonus link… The XP alternative for Vista PCs:
While Microsoft is still pushing Vista hard, the company is quietly allowing PC makers to offer a “downgrade” option to buyers that get machines with the new operating system but want to switch to Windows XP.
Got an opinion on this? Tell me in the comments.