Kirk Evans Blog

.NET From a Markup Perspective

Microsoft and The Blue Monster… I Don’t Get It

Blue MonsterAs much as I hate to admit it, there are still those within Microsoft who actually embrace the V3 mentality.  You know the old saying, “Microsoft doesn’t really get it ‘right’ until V3 of any product”.  There are actually people who cite missing or broken features as a symptom of a V1 product.  Recently, a PM mentioned something to this effect, that this was a V1 product and they couldn’t get all of the features in that they wanted to, and they were met with a Blue Monster as the email response.

The change in culture is great.  I love that there is more of a push to do the right thing rather than focus on schedules. 

I have seen the Blue Monster cited several times internally as the new response to the stodgy old ways… change the culture, change the world.  Business as usual is broken, it’s time to step up.

OK, maybe I’m just seeing that from the field evangelists who don’t actually ship software. You know us evangelists… we’re the cool kids who embrace anything around Web 2.0 that we can get our hands on, whether we can explain its business value or not.  If we can’t explain the business value, we call it “social networking”, and if we can attach a meaningful business model we call it a “platform”. 

But I digress.

I saw a great writeup of the Blue Monster on Microsoft Watch.

Back to Blue Monster: The character is a clever idea, although he is ugly. I can’t imagine that the marketing gurus in Redmond would ever choose a monster to represent the company. After all, many people have accused Microsoft of being a monster, given some of its business tactics.


Ya know… I thought the same thing when I first saw the Blue Monster stuff.  I honestly don’t get the whole thing, I thought someone was making fun of Microsoft. 

Then I realized people were serious about it, they thought it was great.  I saw terms like “revolutionary”.  Revolutionary?  Seriously?  No offense to Mr. McLeod, I am sure there is something to his art that I just don’t get.  But I swear that my 7 year old drew almost this same picture this week in his elementary school art class to show what his Halloween costume would look like. 

Randy Machoman SavageThe concept of associating Microsoft as a Blue Monster is just plain laughable to me.  “ADOPT OR DIE” is really what my first reaction was.  It almost sounds like the old assimilation b0rg jokes that still fly around Slashdot.  My bizarre imagination started running, and the next thing you know I had pictures of Randy Savage screaming “BUY VISTA, DAMMIT!” as a commercial spot during Lou Dobbs Tonight.

I thought I would make a comic or two making fun of the ads.  The “Change the World or Go Home” slogan really cracked me up, since we have historically had a reputation for “embrace and extend” and have a long history of putting ourselves at odds with customers when it comes to standards.  “Change the Standard or Go Home” was my first anti-ad in the series. 

But then I realized people really thought it was revolutionary.  I decided not to touch this one.

I still don’t get it.