Top 10 not flops,1995,1977870,00.asp

How can something you DIDN’T do be a flop? Sure, Microsoft-Watch has captured some of our…how shall I put this….less great moments but not doing a version of Linux? Does that really count? Several of the others featured in PC World’s 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time so I think a more unusual list would have been the Top 10 cool stuff Microsoft has done. I suspect that doesn’t make as good copy but here is my starter for 7….wanna help me add 4 more?

  • Outlook RPC over HTTP. Okay this is a feature, not a product and perhaps one of the worst named EVER. But in terms of a revolution? Yes…I hardly ever need a VPN now.
  • XBOX 360. Have you seen it on HD and the Media Centre Extender?
  • Windows Mobile Smartphone. Okay, I’m biased here as I helped launch it with Orange a few year ago and it was less than great but it’s getting ever more popular and along with RPC/HTTP has had the greatest change (for good) in my workstyle over the last few years.
  • Messenger – okay we didn’t invent it first but Messenger allows me to keep in touch with friends and family around the world easily and for free
  • ClearType
  • SharePoint. I worked on it back when it was called Tahoe and it just gets better and better. We learnt from Lotus πŸ™‚
  • Windows. Okay, not until 95 but it changed things (largely for good) and created a whole new industry.
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?

[UPDATE 1] nice to see The Guardian agrees with me πŸ™‚
[UPDATE 2] well this little post has generated a good bit of interest. What do I add….ummm, Flight Sim Pivotal Tables, .NET Framework, intellisense, Small Business Server. Choices, choices. I’m going to sit on them for a few days and then decide which to add. (hoping I get more!!). Maybe folowing that I’ll do the list Matthew asked for on ten worst Microsoft things. Does the speed that free fruit from our pantrys disappears πŸ™‚ ?

Comments (7)

  1. Adam says:

    Yup, tunneling everything (including email over RPC) over HTTP is great! It lets you get around all those pesky security measures like firewalls and VPNs! Woohoo! They only get in way, and what to the security experts and network administrators know anyway? I’m sure that their refusal to open an IMAP over SSL port to the mailserver was just their way of trying to let you know how important they are.

    And the fact that HTTP is almost completely unsuitable as a lower-level layer for connection (as opposed to datagram)-oriented protocols, such as those that you’d normally have to your mail server so it can inform you when you have new mail, meaning that most applications have to reinvent all of the connection-state-maintaning parts of TCP themselves (often badly, and without the "connection" being automatically closed when one side terminates unexpectedly by the networking stack), is also neither here nor there.

  2. Kdbertel says:

    Pivot Tables.

    Should I say it again? Pivot tables.

    How about a third time? Pivot tables.

    Probably the coolest thing in spreadsheets since…the spreadsheet.

  3. Jeff Parker says:

    well how about the .net framework. I mean come on that is one of the greatest things out of MS.

    Direct X? Where would a lot of games be without Direct X

    Visual Studio 2005, or at least intellisense since every VS just gets better.

  4. You’re blog’s really getting good.  Enjoying it a lot at the moment.

    Are you going to do a ten worst Microsoft things at some point?  It would be a traffic monster but perhaps a career-limiting post! <grin>  My vote would be the way Word exports HTML with all the crap tags in it – absolutely unusable.

    Here are my votes for the remaining three slots:

    1) wavy underline spell checking.  A people say Microsoft doesn’t get usability.

    2) Small Business Server.  If XP is like a fighter jet, SBS is more like a stealth bomber.  It’s an amazing amount of technology and capability for very little money.

    3) Flight Simulator.  The best selling computer game in history.  My favourite story about this was that Bruce Artwick who wrote the original version back in the late 70s said that he let Microsoft publish the game because he liked its small company atmosphere!

  5. Following on from Steve’s blog entry the other day,&amp;nbsp;after listening to James’ musings at the roadshow…

  6. stevecla01 says:

    thanks Eileen – how did I forget the mouse?? another thing we didn’t invent of course but did a pretty good job of perfecting I reckon. I just got a replacement for my favourite of all Microsoft mice – the Starck – which sadly has been discontinued πŸ™ I’m going to add it to my final Top 10 though!

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