This is why Microsoft are uncool

Robert Scoble argues that Microsoft has lost its cool on today’s Sydney Morning Herald website. I actually found Joseph S’ pro-Microsoft comments below the article to be a better illustration than Scoble’s.

This discussion is ludicrous. Microsoft is not solely a one dimensional consumer app or gadget company. It remains the world leader in business applications and platform support. The Office suite is still used every day in most businesses around the world. SQL Server has made major inroads into industrial strength datbase markets. Azure is a major leap forward in cloud service delivery and in the developer space tools like MVC Entity Framework and Silverlight are far more comprehensive and feature rich than competitor products. Sharepoint has become the leading business content repository. The world still uses Microsoft as the core business delivery platform. It seems the readers of this article are unaware of that. 

Firstly let me say I am not a Microsoft employee or acolyte but I have to disagree with some of your comments. I am a developer and I recently evaluated Java FX and .NET MVC for a complex multi layered browser based UML diagram modelling system. .NET MVC was selected so I don’t agree that Java is taking over. Corporate and Government Azure uptake is slow because of concerns about data sovereignty. Microsoft has introduced a network utility to incorporate inhouse database servers. They are also building an Australian data centre. I dont understand the comment about SQL Server being stagnant. SQL Azure has hundreds of new instances a day. Windows 8 will take a while for Corporates to appreciate the benefits. With BYOD growing exponentially Win 8 offers a uniform OS across the desktop and the device. When you get into the service delivery area in Microsoft’s development suites there are countless quite brilliant innovations happening all the time. These are largely unobservable to the public, but to claim that Microsoft do not innovate is simply nonsense.

Joseph is right that Microsoft is still heavily used in business and indeed it does have some good products (but not necessarily all those listed above). But I’ve found that those developers who have grown up within the Microsoft ecosystem struggle to understand that users may want to do things outside the Microsoft way. Maybe they don’t want to build an enterprise app or invest in a year of Microsoft Certified training to write a simple program or website. Or maybe they want their application to interact with non-Microsoft products and data. Take his mention of Sharepoint – we use it, but it’s a usability nightmare and traditionally doesn’t play nice with non-Microsoft browsers and files.

Microsoft is not cool because Microsoft doesn’t support diversity and choice. It’s not agile or interested in letting users drive it’s developments. Instead Microsoft wants to make those decisions for you and it doesn’t understand any other way.

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