Steve Gillmor thinks that the way for Microsoft to get to the next stage is for Bill Gates to leave the stage. For some reason he thinks that Gates is holding back innovation within Microsoft.
Give me a break. Microsoft has too many engineers inside to stop anything. Now whether the company capitalizes on it is another matter.
It’s precisley because you see things like TouchWall–which Gillmor suggest Gates is “hyping” up–that I have confidence that Microsoft is at least is in motion and not floating.
Here’s the thing. Microsoft isn’t going to be able to “hold” all our connected data or be a conduit for it. People would scream bloody murder. It’s not going to happen. Now they might enable an enterprise to do so or maybe a group within their network or maybe help Facebook to do so. But there’s no way Microsoft is going to become the conduit–at least not now. Also, don’t forget, Microsoft, not Google, invested in Facebook. So Google has the motivation and mindshare to be able to “devalue” Facebook. Microsoft is caught in the Facebook garden and unlikely to do so. I’m with you though in that I think Microsoft made the wrong move, in that Microsoft should be doing what it can to devalue Facebook–or put more politely enabling others to do what Facebook does. They should have taken this move rather than investing in Facebook. However, they didn’t. So oh well.
What you might see, maybe, are Facebook specific tie ins on Microsoft properties or Microsoft ads on Facebook properties. Not revolutionary, more MSN like than Google like.
Whether Bill Gates encourages research into new models of interacting with computers or not has almost nothing to do with where Microsoft goes next in its networking strategy. The company is way to big for that.
Here again, I fully appreciate Gillmor’s stated implication that Microsoft is lagging in social computing, but it’s having to shake a lot of AOL think.
It’s not technology that’s the issue. It’s business decisions.