I had been at a MS internal conference at Bürgenstock in Switzerland. For me the name Bürgenstock was something new, my parents just knew it and asked about celebreties. As far as I learned the last celebrety there was Yul Brynner. The area is a little charming diamond, the hotels have the charme of a mid-eighties museum. That's why they will shutdown the hotels for four years and rebuild it completely. I can understand that, the view is breathtaking.
But what did we as Microsofties do there? Well, we met and talked about the future and some trends we see. Certainly what is called the next web caught our attention but - and that really blew my mind - in a somewhat different way. We were colleagues from all over EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africe). We found that MS certainly shoud and will be part of the next Web (our idea, let's live the web!) and that this will take time and effort but we are well prepared.
On the other hand this movement gives the regions an unique opportunity. Microsoft as a platform company will continue to define itself as a partner driven company. We want to provide a platform for partners and they can choose what to use and what to replace or extend. Now its getting even more interesting since the partners can and certainly will bring a local flavour. For example in my area there is a local myspace.com called PafNet. They are successful because they have the local flavour.
But - and this really got my attention - what about a whole continent still struggeling with the basic infrastructure to take part in the game: Africa.
And yes, it is true. The African culture is somehow under represented in the web. We got to change this. This sounds just like the size of a task right for Microsoft.
This sounds like a senseful task to be fulfilled.