‘Microsoft Needs to Say No to Web 2.0’


I simply have to have a quick rant regarding Mary Jo Foley’s best anti-Web 2.0 shot:

“Redmond is looking to extend its applications with Web-based services. But that’s as much Web 2.0-ness as Microsoft needs.

Microsoft wants, in the worst way, to be cool. Apple and Sony and Google kind of cool.

To Microsoft’s credit — at least so
far — the company hasn’t made the mistake of trying to get an instant
infusion of coolness by jumping on the Web 2.0 bandwagon.

Only a few
Softies seem to be all caught up in the Web 2.0 hype. The majority of
them seem oblivious to the weak business ideas, buzzwords and
bloviation that make me think “Bubble 2.0” every time someone mentions
“Web 2.0.”

Here’s the kicker:

“But Microsoft doesn’t need to snap up a bunch of Web 2.0 startups, out-scour AJAX or invent the 38th signal
to do this. The Redmond software maker just needs to stick to its
knitting by developing new ventures that mesh with its established
businesses. Microsoft needs to just keep saying no to Web 2.0, at least
until Web 2.0 means something more than just “we want venture funding.”

At risk of repeating myself on this subject,
I think Mary is confusing two things: the dotcom mentality (this second
round is referred to Bubble 2.0 mentality) and the Web as a Platform,
or Web 2.0. Will Microsoft, at least at the ‘official’ marketing level
call ‘it’ Web 2.0? Probably not, and probably a wise thing thing too
(that said, IBM did pretty well ‘owning’ the term and concept of
‘e-business’ through the millions of marketing dollars they spent. This
arguably was one of the most sucessful b2b marketing plays in
years).

But my point, I think, is that
there is an ‘it’  Does the ‘it’ only mean getting $$$ from VCs?
For a small number of people this maybe the case, but for the vast
majority involved in whatever ‘it’ is, ‘it’ is not about money: ‘it’ is
about something much more grounded in the development of our social
evolution – our desire to communicate with one another, our desire to
help each other and to make a better world of it all. It just so
happens technology can really help us do all these things and it just
so happens that the web is the platform that it will happen
on…Microsoft has a huge part to play in that, but just because we
don’t term it ‘Web 2.0’ doesn’t mean we don’t get ‘it’.

(thanks to Philip for te pointer to Mar’s article).

Comments (3)

  1. Scott Quick says:

    Interesting take on Mary Jo’s post. I’m reading her concerns a bit differently. The ‘socialization’ of technology must be more than it aspires to be right now. It must serve a foundational purpose: either a business purpose that produces or saves dollars … or a societial purpose that makes our lives significantly better. Blogging, wikis and the like are so nuvo-cool right now that they represent only a grand experiment. In other words: we are doing a thing because we can do a thing. We have yet to demonstrate the why we can’t live without it. Example … I can’t live without internet search (or more exactly, without Google). I can very easily live without RSS, blogs and wikis.

    //

    SQ

  2. MSDNArchive says:

    Thanks Scott: This scares me: "I can very easily live without RSS". Wow…not me 😉

  3. Mike says:

    I’m not sure about living without RSS but I could live without blogs. Too much useless crap to wade through just to get to the good stuff.