Gilmor Gigs The Scobleizer Bunny

May 29, 2005


One of the more interesting events in blogging is the tendency to “make news” via cross-linking referrals. Well, that may be happening between Scoble and Gilmor. In a recent Gilmor posting, Steve gently chides Robert (and other Microsoft notables) for their late start in the RSS game. At the same time, he applauds them for the fabulous OneNote product (with some props for the TablePC as well).

But the intereesting exchanges highlight a curious discussion about who should be fired. Steve thinks that someone on the Office team should be fired (for missing the boat on RSS and collaboration technologies). Scoble responds that such a thing is ridiculous.

Personally, I think they are both right. Scoble is clearly correct that you can’t fire someone for being in charge of one of the most succesful product lines in software history. At the same time Steve and Robert must agree that Microsoft must make some new steps to challenge folks in the collaboration business – lest Microsoft exchange its market leadership for technological mediocrity.

In a lot of ways, I would love for Microsoft to pull off the FrontPage coup once more. For those who don’t remember, FrontPage was originally created by Vermeer Technologies. To see this for yourself, take a look at the filenames used by Frontpage. Ever wonder where the _vti stuff comes from? Try Vermeer Technologies Incorporate! Microsft could have built their own tools. But they acquired a good product as a starting point. From that start, Microsoft has built a fine product.

But my point is not to note history. Instead I want Microsoft to repeat the feat. Microsoft has a sizable war chest. And it could buy a whole lot of good technology. Could Microsoft build it from scratch? Of course. But it might make sense to “jump start” its RSS and collaboration features with a bosst from outside Redmund. After all, isn’t that what was done with Giant and the anti-spyware tools? And isn’t that what they did when they brought Robert Scoble on board? 😉




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