I really do not want to be hard on Microsoft regarding the only bit of relevant innovation in the past six years, but Microsoft Mesh outlines why Microsoft as a company is essentially, and for the lack of a better word, fucked. I am not sure if there is any other visual way to emphasize that so here is what I mean in the very cordial, proper English:
Microsoft Mesh is an online reporting, sync, management and access Web 2.0 framework and application from Microsoft. This amazing company, with billions of dollars invested in software creations supported and utilized by tens of thousands of partners worldwide has decided to scap all that and provide yet another incomplete synchronization framework to live in complete void of all its desktop applications existing sync features. I suppose the sync, presence, and access in Grove, SharePoint, Outlook, DFS, ActiveSync, Exchange ActiveSync, Live.com Office Live, FolderShare, Spaces, Live Messenger and Office Communicator was just too perfect that it needed no improvement, but a better way of unintegrated document-based sync was neccessary.
This from a company whose new slogan is “Better Together”?
Dear Steve, this is why your partners are abandoning your platform.
At the most senior levels of your company, Ray Ozzie & Co, you have no vision. You have what I can best describe as Schizophrenia, a confused company with no control over its creations and a new direction with each passing day. It demonstrates a core Microsoft frustration that partners, developers and now even customers are avoiding Microsoft for:
Series of incomplete and incoherent solutions for general information technology use.
Be it product development, where one product team does not interact with another product team even if they are on the same product group, or in licensing where we have half a dozen licensing options for the desktop OS alone, Microsoft is making a loud and clear message that it has lost cohesion of its solutions and even it does not know anymore who and what it is competing against.
Hint: It is Google. It’s Apple. I sell your software and solutions, Apple and Google are the solutions your potential customers are comparing you against. But for both Apple and Google, even though products are clearly in Beta stages at best, they at least play well together and have an integrated purpose in the platform. Microsoft does not.
Over the past two years Microsoft has become a mee-too company, imploding on its size and ambition, focused on “competing” with it’s partners and not on what the customers actually need and ask. While I appreciate the 300 brand logos you can put on a “FY Shipping Schedule” PowerPoints, as they indicate a variety growth and opportunity, to me and to my customers they paint a portrait of a company that has no vision but a collection of overambitious middle managers and a fear based direction influenced by the competition that is clearly outinnovating Microsoft.
I wish for your sake, and the sake of people that still have any hope for Microsoft, you remember that its really about pleasing the customer and providing open and integrated solutions, not about trying to dominate the world one competitive response at a time. Your customers already bought the software, how about focusing on improving those products instead of throwing 5 hippies and 95 B2 Indians in a bucket and cranking out logos and solutions that are clearly against even your own best interests.
Irony here is that DOJ wanted to split Microsoft into Applications and OS businesses. Who knew that Microsoft would crumble on its own due to the lack of leadership and direction. Dear Steve, “we will compete” is not a vision, it appears to be your doom.