Loosing The Plot

It's interesting that Microsoft seem to be pushing what they call 'mobility solutions' at their partner base. They clearly regard the cellphone, mobile, PDA, etc.. market as the next battleground as their attempts at owning the living room flounder badly and their traditional markets stagnate or are even overtaken by open source competitors.

Microsoft have always had a weak grasp on the creative community - I find it hard to think of any creative department in any design company, web development company or ad agency that uses Microsoft platforms or products.

From all of their marketing you can see that Microsoft see this as a minor sector compared to the sales they manage in, say telco, pharma or financial services. Unfortunately for them , this is also a highly influential sector that punches way above its weight and is increasingly influential in the TV 2.0 world as they get asked to develop creative solutions for their clients based on TV over IP technology.

Silverlight is welcome, but late, and lags seriously behind Flash, and the tools in the Expressions range are still unproven - and don't run on a Mac, so don't expect to be stampeded by a hoard of goatee bearded designers trying to get at these products just yet.

But, the real bad news for Microsoft was their inability to buy Doubleclick. The world is moving towards web services and hosted solutions and Microsoft is totally in denial.

The world is also moving towards free software which is 'sponsored' by advertising not ludicrously expensive software that verges on profiteering. The creative community is, perhaps, the best example of how Microsoft have lost the plot.

Microsoft should have chosen this as the moment to take on Google. IMHO $10 billion would not have been too high a price for them to pay. Instead they have, without any irony (although quite rightly in my view) tried to get the deal referred to the competition authorities (pot, kettle, black, anyone ?).

Microsoft needs a total overhaul of its strategy and needs a new CEO who is more sympathetic to the increasingly embattled companies flying the Microsoft flag, has a stronger grasp on where technology is going and the balls to do the deals that need to be done.