I don’t know if you’ve seen this logo before, (it’s been around for almost a year now) but it’s kind of the symbol of something that started in Microsoft UK. A guy I know, Steve Clayton, created with cartoonist Hugh MacLeod, this thing they called "The Blue Monster".
It’s a symbol of the resurgence of the driving renegade mentality amongst some of the more "independent thinking" employees to stop letting everyone else (particularly our own Marketing & PR departments) talk about what we think is cool and start doing the talking ourselves.
I have to admit, it does symbolize a lot of the reasons I myself blog. I’m tired of the ungodly spin that "others" put on our products. I would simply prefer to interpret the products myself in the context of my customer’s business needs and make my thoughts public.
I mean, the proof is in the pudding: From a corporate marketing perspective, no one ever reads our product datasheets any more. Why? Because they aren’t clear, to the point, and there’s too many words to describe what should otherwise be a few sentences and some screen snapshots.
Then there’s people like Walt Mossberg who believe they’re the face of reality. The fact is, I haven’t read an article from him that reflects either my own opinions or those of my customers in YEARS. But unfortunately, he’s in the Wall Street Journal which makes him an unavoidable force to be reckoned with because those who make decisions often don’t know any better and form their opinions on the basis of his own … err… questionable views.
No, I prefer to talk about our technologies and identify what’s cool on my own. I think that’s the power of the blogosphere. And if you don’t agree, it’s not like I’m published in every issue of WSJ: Simply, switch off and don’t read. It’s that easy.
Take for instance, Softgrid – the technology we acquired from Softricity:
This is some of the coolest stuff we’ve ever gotten our hands on.
However the spin on the product is COMPLETELY WRONG:
- APPLICATION VIRTUALIZATION?
There’s nothing "virtual" about the applications when you use SoftGrid. What SoftGrid does is it virtualizes the Windows operating system and provides a synthetic interface to all of Windows APIs and libraries. What SoftGrid ultimately is, is OS VIRTUALIZATION, in the same way that Virtual Server is MACHINE VIRTUALIZATION by presenting synthetic hardware to Windows operating systems.
- STREAMING & MOBILE DELIVERY?
I’m so tired of people (mostly ex-Softricity) trying to pitch Softgrid as a mobile delivery framework for laptop users that streams applications to machines first and foremost. Folks – NO ONE USES IT THIS WAY. At least none of the customers I know of.
SoftGrid’s primary selling point is as a means for eliminating compatibility issues between applications. Every application runs in it’s own memory space as if it were the only application running in Windows. You can have Word 2000, Word 2001, and Word 2003 all running at the same time, and run a couple JavaVMs while you’re at it. This mechanism reduces the cost of ownership of applications in a dramatic fashion that is readily obvious to customers.
…the value of streaming applications to laptop users is arguable when most customers already have existing desktop management solutions in place. Why would you want to incorporate a completely new management framework into your organization? (We are in fact making the SoftGrid streaming capabilities a part of System Center Configuration Manager so in the future, these features will be available to existing SCCM customers, but that’s a ways away)
All I can say is that the more bloggers we have from Microsoft coming out of the woodwork, talking about our stuff and talking about it with the verve and passion that our products and strategies deserve, then the better off Microsoft will be. Breaking down the barriers of monolithic culture will be what carries Microsoft forward in the future.
Vive la Revolution!