Saturday, September 15, 2007

Interview with Craig Mundie

Craig Mundie, Microsoft's technology chief talks about everything from Vista's low sales numbers, cloud computing, competing with Google, Linux desktop, and his Spotwatch in this long interview . No surprises so far.
  • Cloud computing: He believes that the world is not black and white and that people won't ditch their desktop lients anytime soon to completely migrate to software as a service. I think this makes sense. Microsoft is significantly investing into cloud computing via their "live" initiative but the strategy is to complement the on-premise model to achieve the client-server-service deployment model.
  • Vista: He admits that number of Vista copies sold so far is a small fraction of Microsoft's overall customer base. He calls it a cycle of diffusion and exploitation and Vista being in diffusion cycle waiting to be exploited. This is a chicken and egg problem. There are not enough Vista consumers out there and that's why developers are not that excited, but there is not enough incentive to migrate to Vista for consumers unless the development community adopts it and adds value to it.
  • Google: This is my favorite: "Google's existence and success required Microsoft to have been successful previously to create the platform that allowed them to go on and connect people to their search servers.". This is a twisted argument. He makes it clear that it is not only infrastructure play but a combined infrastructure and client play to reach out to the consumers. He is betting on people needing a desktop and other clients to connect to whatever Google offers.
  • Office Open XML Standard: Not there yet, but he promises that it is not far. He says "There are a lot of people who have raised a great many issues which we don't think have a lot of practical merit, but serve the purpose of creating some anxiety during this process." This is a classic standard related problem and people are super cautious when it comes to Microsoft. It is not about technology but how you come clean and make people happy that you are listening to them.

No comments: