Microsoft: “We’re in it to win!”

By Matthew | In News | Posted March 16, 2007 10 comments

We can’t disclose a lot of what we saw [or even if we saw anything at all] at the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Global Summit [isn’t that a typical Microsoft name?].  However, consistently we heard that Microsoft at all levels are committed to win.  Both Steven [not Steve] Sinofsky and Chris Jones were very aggressive about driving that in, regardless of what’s happened in the past.  Although Microsoft might be more private about what they’re planning or what’s going to happen in the future, I think that’s because of the criticism they’ve encountered in the past.  The Internet industry is such a fast, always changing field that Microsoft’s management is attempting to morph with it.  They’ve realized that the first wave of Windows Live was a little rocky, but they’re learning from it for wave 2.  Just like Google is now becoming so large that they’re being criticized as well, Microsoft is going back to basics.  Ideas are going to be well developed inside the company before pushing them out to the public, where confusion can become rampant as we’ve seen.  There’s going to be a clear distinction between what’s a Windows Live product and what’s an MSN product, as well as what’s a beta product, or a technical preview product.  For example, Gary Flake emphasized that Live Labs products like PhotoSynth are Technical Previews and may or may not be developed into a beta or product.  We’ve seen this with alpha products like PC Satisfaction Trial, which later developed into Windows OneCare Live beta, and now Windows Live OneCare.

Overall I was pleased with what I’ve heard and can say that no, Windows Live isn’t dead, or will be for anytime soon [even MSN is still alive and kicking, and that started in 1995].  I think we’re all going to hear a clear explanation of what Windows Live is, and what it will be for the future.  It’s an exciting time for the industry, and Microsoft is going to win!  Go get them Steven!


Update: Please read the follow up post that can be found here.

Posted March 16th, 2007 at 9:51 am
  • Khristopher

    It’s nice to hear someone say that Windows Live isn’t dead. I don’t have a lot of faith left in it, but I’d like it to survive and do better.

  • Matthew

    Scoble made a post about my post:

    My reply is on his web site, as well as below:

    Scoble: To clarify, I think specifically what Microsoft is trying to say is that they’ve learned from the past and are going to correct mistakes for the future, and that’s how they expect to win. I’m going to be critical as well, just like any MVP or even a Microsoft employee should be, but additionally I like the optimism. I think part of the reason Google is winning is they have confidence that they can, and wave 1 of Windows Live has taken a beating, management needs to make some changes, as well as increasing morale.

    I know I’ll be disappointed in not being able to see more stuff before release, but just like Allchin was hammered for “taking things out of Vista”, no one else at Microsoft wants to hear any crap anymore. Thus they’re going to keep quiet and go back to the basics of releasing great products and services, and concentrate on listening to feedback.

    Something we can all do is offer Microsoft constructive criticism. I think some press/blog sites want to make outrageous claims that Windows Live is dead, or whatever, and that doesn’t help anyone. Microsoft is building some great products that we’re all going to love, which increases competition in the industry. We will all benefit from an even faster moving industry where all companies think “we’re in it to win!”

    As always, thanks for your comments Robert.


  • Matthew

    Thanks for your comments phunky.


  • IndigoMoonSystems

    If you have to come out and TELL people you are committed, doesn’t that indicate some sort of problem in the first place? Wouldn’t we be seeing results if the committment was really there? The proof is in the pudding, and as Scoble points out, there isn’t much of it to point to at the moment. It’s hard to say if this is a renewed effort, or just a PR smokescreen for a lot of confusion and awkward posturing inside the company right now.

    I think the thing is, Microsoft is so big and there are so many pots bubbling, that it’s easy to pick out a few and be optimistic about them. I’ve liked a lot of what I heard about Live and OneCare six months ago; but they haven’t developed into compelling products in that time. Too many cooks, I think, and a lack of clear vision. It isn’t clear to me that management has done anything decisive to clear up that issue–without doing so, I’m forced to be more skeptical than optimistic when I hear these things now.

  • Hb8

    I want to believe that the whole Live initiative will become a strong, cohesive, whole again, but…I’m not inclined to believe it just yet. Some great things were started, there is vision, but no cohesion. I keep going back to listen to Moz’s interviews and he speaks of really great things for the user. But until they can get it together, work together and deliver a product to the user that pulls it all together and works well and is useful, I just don’t see it yet.

    focus and deliver.

    I’ll keep hoping, but I’m not going to hold my breath just yet, and I’m already a pretty devoted Live user.

  • TheViewMaster

    I Believe We Have To Credit a Declining Microsoft (MSFT) Stock Price, Currently $27.33/Share, For This, Uh… ‘Good News’???


  • jamiet

    Hi Matthew,

    Do you now if there is an MVP newsgroup for Live-related stuff?


    P.S. I’m the guy who stood up in Chris Jones’ session and said “I’m a SQL MVP and I think is rubbish”.

  • Kip Kniskern

    Thanks for reading LiveSide! I sent you mail re: the newsgroups.

  • Matthew

    A correction note to everyone, Microsoft did not say “we’re in it to win”, and even if they did, I would not be able to disclose discussions since they’re under NDA. However, I can say that the “feeling” I got from Microsoft is “we’re in it to win” as in a sense of commitment, nothing more. As I said in the beginning of the post, I cannot say anything about what we did or didn’t see. I did go, but that’s all I’ll admit too.

    The point of this post was to convey a positive feeling I took back from Microsoft. I think a little bit of positiveness about Microsoft would be nice for a change.


  • DBL

    “Ideas are going to be well developed inside the company before pushing them out to the public, where confusion can become rampant as we’ve seen.”

    So Microsoft thinks their winning strategy is to delay products even longer?

    Am I the only one having to choke back peals of laughter here?

    Everyone who ever lost went all the way down thinking they had a winning strategy. Talk is cheap. I want to hear something that a reasonable person might actually think is a good strategy.

    Hasn’t happened yet.