Microsoft’s Web 2.0 Manifesto

In case anyone is wondering whether Microsoft has been paying attention to the disruption that some call (I do) Web 2.0...

The most recent Memo from Bill and Ray makes interesting reading to say the least (courtesy of Dave Winer). Ozzie's Memo is called The Internet Services Disruption.

As part of the landscape Ozzie describes, he calls out the API-enabled emerging environment that is driving a lot of the innovation and disruption (the end results are known as mash-ups):

"Many startups treat the ‘raw’ internet as their platform.  At the grassroots level, such projects actively use standards such as vCards and iCal for sharing contacts and calendars.  Most all use RSS in one way or another for data sharing.  Remixing and mashing of multiple web applications using XML, REST and WS is common; interesting mash-ups range from combining maps with apartment listings, to others that place RSS feeds on top of systems and data not originally intended for remixing.  Developers needing tools and libraries to do their work just search the internet, download, develop & integrate, deploy, refine.  Speed, simplicity and loose coupling are paramount."

Microsoft's CTO then goes on to outline the areas of focus for moving forward. There's a lot of good stuff in the Memo, but I'd like to highlight what I consider to be a key success factor in execution:

"LIGHTWEIGHT DEVELOPMENT – The rapid growth of application assembly using things such as REST, JavaScript and PHP suggests that many developers gravitate toward very rapid, lightweight ways to create and compose solutions.  We have always appreciated the need for lightweight development by power users in the form of products such as Access and SharePoint.  We should revisit whether we’re adequately serving the lightweight model of development and solution composition for all classes of development."

One small detail I love: Ray Ozzie asked the senior execs to subscribe to an RSS feed of an internal blog that will help continue the Memo conversation going. This isn't guff - internal blogs have been in use within Microsoft for a while now. Subscribed 😉

Lots of reaction of course. Memeorandum is doing a great job of keeping track of posts discussing what it all means, but here are some of my initial picks:

If you're wondering what all this Web 2.0 stuff is about, I suggest these :

Comments (5)
  1. Dug Falby says:

    Hi Alex,

    Read about the memo in the FT this morning. Amusing comment, the article claims that Bill Gates was responsible for Microsoft’s wholesale embracing of the internet ten years ago.

    I seem to remember a comment by BG about how the internet was never going to have a serious impact on business:-)

    It’s great, Web2 is all the stuff we hoped would happen actually happening. It’s a great time to be active online.



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