There is a lot of interesting reporting going on about Microsoft the moment - much of it sensationalist and uninformed so two recent articles have helped restore my faith that there is some balance out there. Both of the reporters recognise that Microsoft is in fact a very large organisation so the bloggers and others who are calling for Microsoft to change on a Web 2.0 dime are perhaps a little naive. With the breadth of customers and partners Microsoft has, change takes time - sometimes it's too slow because of internal politics and organisation but others times it's because it's prudent to keep your existing customers and partners happy rather than make radical changes for the sake of getting to the top of Techmeme or getting a blip in the stock price.
In the International Herald Tribune a piece by Conrad de Aenlle included some wise commentary and quotes from analysts.
"Microsoft is doing a lot of good things that don't get enough positive coverage," he said. "It's a much more diversified company. They've realized that they can't cling to their first child, the operating system." said Brent Thill of Citigroup
Yep, our product range is somewhat wider than when I joined the company and significantly wider than the two companies we're most often compared with - Apple and Google.
Next up is Joe Wilcox at Microsoft Watch who is edging Mary Jo out at my favourite commentator at the moment, particularly with his Oct 1st piece titled A Little More Blush: Microsoft's Makeover. He's got more to come beyond his initial assessment and it'll be interesting reading with commentary such as:
Today's Office Live and Online services announcements are directionally foreshadowing. Last year, Microsoft moved its Server and Tools operation to the Business division. While Live services are organizationally part of the Platform & Services division, new server-based, hosted services are coming for Office. Overlap and organizational shifting will continue as Microsoft begins to properly align its business divisions with its broader business objectives.
Okay, both of the quotes here are from so called Microsoft "faithful" but they're balanced and respected. They don't suffer from some of the intellectual laziness (to quote two bloggers) that I see more often. Thill puts a little more thought and analysis in to his closing comment in the IHT
It's easy to pick at them and say they're not innovating," he said, "but they have innovated at the core and are not turning their back on new business. "
I'm biased which is clear for anyone who knows me and reads my blog. I'm passionate about this company and the reason I'm still here 10 years on is because I believe in our future. I'm fortunate at times to see more of that future than others both internal and external and that's why I continue at Microsoft. I've had some very nice offers over the last few years to go do exciting new things outside of Microsoft and earn more money doing so, but trust me, it's way more fun and challenging to stay here and be involved in the next version of Microsoft.