Forward, positively..

October 11, 2007

Green with a Hint of Blue…

Filed under: Work — thebestbrew @ 7:22 am

Stevecla posted earlier a question about a colour combination which he thinks might be applied to Microsoft. This having been triggered by a post from a chap called Seth Godin. (Sounds like he’s getting his retaliation in first, or maybe Seth spoke to a Microsoftie).

Now…hands-up…OK… I don’t follow Seth’s blog or read his stuff, but this is my own take on Steveo’s view and what I think this means.

Steve thinks that Microsoft if kind of blue (= innovative) for having stuff like XBOX, Zune, popfly,home server, media centre with photosynth, seadragon and surface coming through their youth academy.

Well Steve…

XBOX is a PC, which plays games, but it’s a PC – pure emerald. (Now, XBOX live I think does give you a platform for innovation in service)

Zune is a music player only a few generations removed from the tape-playing Walkman and playing catchup with the iPod, it is a dead-end innovation-wise until you can, maybe make a phone call with it or pay e-cash with it – then it becomes just another mobile phone.- lime green.

Popfly, cute name, Frontpage on the web, hacks web pages together for the Common Man – no blueness here.

Home Server – it’s cut-down Windows Server 2003, a classic marketing re-package to snag a new market – greeeeeen. (Yes the marketing text books tell you that’s innovation but not in my version of the tech industry).

Media Centre – it may be getting out of short trousers but it was available as an XP version – pick your favorite shade of green for this one.

As for the new boys: Photosynth – looks innovative, can’t tell for myself as the darn thing won’t do anything when I click install. Seadragon – I like the name, Microsoft liked it so much they bought the company – cash buys innovation, hmmm. Surface – very seductive but insufficient data to compute innovation quotient.

The real story of Microsoft innovation, for me, is about the core of the business – the flow of operating systems, server products, development products and all the software goodness. It is a bit of a bummer that so much focus has to fall on the shiny toys just because that’s what obsesses elements of the media – it really clouds the fantastic amount of stuff that Microsoft produces.


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