I usually try to re-title my posts from the originator but on this occasion I felt the title of a recent post had to stay.
There is a whole load of commentary in Rob’s post that is of course music to my ears, and on Apple in particular he was joined this week by a hard hitting post from Michael Arrington. What really caught my eye in Rob’s post was this part where he talks about Microsoft Equipt
A subscription model also focuses companies more on services than core technology creating a better balance between features that only developers love and experiences that consumers' need. Finally, a subscription ties the vendor and the consumer into a long-term relationship, which tends to both improve information going to the vendor and makes them more responsive to the consumer.
As Microsoft moves increasingly in to a services world this got me thinking and I think there is something on both of the positions Rob outlines here. Services affords you the opportunity to focus on servicing customer needs more quickly - though you could say the Internet does that already - and folks like Google with perpetual betas are the best at that. Definitely something we can learn from I think.
The second point really grabbed me though - that direct connection to customers is a subtle but important change and even though many of the subscription services we'll launch will be delivered through partners, that ongoing and closer relationship changes things I think. You could argue that it's not different from an enterprise agreement where we have a long term relationship directly with a customer but this shift makes those relationships possible with all customers, not just the largest.