[By Nic Lindh on Sunday, 26 October 2003]
It looks like Robert Scoble is getting a lot of attention for his blog. Which is as it should, as he’s really an incredible blogging machine, and is, I’m sure, going be held as the prototype for the Corporate Blogger. He does a really good job of putting a human face on the Microsoft Machine. So hats off to him.
Reading him is fascinating in many ways, but one of the most enthralling pieces for me is the massive opacity of his pitcher of Kool-Aid. It must be great to be able to so complete merge oneself with the Collective.
Lately he’s been posting about the rampant industry hatred against his employer. According to Scoble, Things are Changing at Microsoft. Microsoft cares about its customers. Microsoft wants to be Your Friend. Microsoft is Staffed With Great People. Microsoft Does Not Beat Its Wife. And that’s great. I for one would really like to see things change at Microsoft.
As I see it, there are two discrete things causing the industry revulsion toward Microsoft:
Their technology is very often sub-par. Not much anybody outside Microsoft can do about that, apart from buying from the (few) competitors they haven’t bought out or sent running for the hills.
Their business practices are heinous and piranha-like. For goodness’ sake, how rapaciously do you have to act to be convicted in Federal court? even when everybody is so afraid of you that they don’t dare testify against you?
Longhorn looks like an attempt at resolving problem one. But let’s face it, problem one doesn’t really cause that much fear and loathing. Indeed, it is one of the driving forces behind what’s left of the IT industry–companies still need platoons of people to kick the Exchange server and clean up after the viruses.
In my humble and ignorant outsider’s view, it’s point two that really needs addressing. Stop holding your customers at gun point and allow competition.