Microsoft has three big tasks ahead of itself: (a) make
Azure successful; (b) make Windows Phone 7 successful; (c)
keep the existing Windows and Office businesses printing
There is probably not a lot of political support at this
point to embark on more large-scale innovations at Microsoft
while there are probably hundreds of smaller innovations that
are waiting under all of their product groups.
Ray Ozzie incubated a
number of projects like Azure and Mesh at Microsoft that once
they reached a level of usefulness were transferred to the
He is probably leaving his position as Chief Architect at
Microsoft as he transfers the Azure assets to the product
group and he is once again left as a general without an Army.
Starting new project and recruiting teams from scratch for new
products has probably taken a toll on him and he is ready to
Back in June I blogged
I would do if I was in charge of Windows 8: among other
things, I would have created a Windows AppStore.
This AppStore would have helped independent ISVs
tremendously by opening the entire Windows user base as
potential customer for Microsoft's products. It would have
helped Microsoft make Windows even more relevant, and it would
have done more to push native applications on Windows than
anything else they have tried in the past.
The Windows PC market is a market that is many times larger
than today's iPhone market. It would have been a gold mine,
and there would have been a renewed gold rush to ship "Windows
AppStore-ready" applications for Windows.
Hundreds of people at Microsoft must have had this idea,
the question is why it never bubbled up to the top?
Short of a Microsoft-powered AppStore, Intel
that their Windows Appstore will now include .NET
On the one hand, Intel has now given up any attempts to
make their AppStore be a cross-platform app-store, which I
felt was a gracious thing for them to do, as it would have
Financially, having a strong Windows-based appstore was
probably the right thing to do for Intel. There was really
no point in Intel undermining his own efforts by forcing
people to use cross platform tools in the first place.
If Microsoft was the one providing the AppStore, they would
be reaching a much bigger market than what Intel hopes to
This could have been a great Ray-Ozzie level hack to pull
at Microsoft. In the meantime, Apple today announced an
AppStore, and they are going to get a bucket of apps and a
bucket of developers to push software on their platform.
Live Mesh had a lot of promise, but sadly, the groups
working on it refused to open up the specs on time, and the
product became fairly uninteresting over time.
If you are going to open something for the world to see,
you should be ready to let the world interoperate with it from
the start. Otherwise you merely give your competitors the
good ideas, and they throw away your bad ideas and avoid
paying any of your strategy taxes.