Saturday, September 11, 2010

Microsof't Funeral

Posted by Hidayat Hidayat at 7:17 AM
There's really not much fun in bashing Microsoft any more. Although they're still firmly entrenched in the desktop space and profitable as a company, their attempts to make inroads into emerging markets have been less than stellar and in what's arguably the most important emerging market – mobile – they've gone from being a moderately strong player to an almost non-existent fringe player in just a few short years.

You may not believe this, but I'm actually rooting for Windows 7 Phone (though I still hate the name). I really want it to be good, and it has the potential to be good, and even the potential to be better than Android out of the gate. Microsoft's problem has never been lack of good engineers; their problems are almost exclusively management making it impossible for the engineers to deliver something awesome. A lot of Microsoft products have had the potential to be good, but weren't.

But, maybe this is the product that will turn the tide. And if Windows 7 Phone can get some traction, there are a lot of developers out there familiar with C#, .Net, and Visual Studio who will jump aboard their market. I've actually been hearing a lot of good things about the Windows 7 Phone SDK and tools from people. I'm not sure I'd like them - I've never really liked the high-level approach that .NET takes - but a lot of people do, so there's a large pool of potential developers if they can get the platform off the ground.

I'd really love to see the mobile space avoid the quasi-monoculture problems that the desktop space has had thanks to the dominance of Windows. Real competition is good.

So, yeah… I'm kinda rooting for Windows 7 Phone even though I know there's at pretty good chance that Microsoft Management Idiocy™ has ruined another potentially good product. I'm cautiously optimistic based on what I've been hearing from people with access to the tools.

Given that, then, I found yesterday's news of Microsoft's RTM "parade" for Windows 7 Phone very sad. Who throws a victory party before the race has even started? Hell, who even throws themselves a parade?? In the words of Wil Shipley, it's just gauche.

I think the funeral was really for Microsoft's last shred of dignity.

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