Monday, March 1, 2010

Why Microsoft? Has it come to this?

Has Redmond really hit the lowest point in their economy? They need to convince people to stay with Office? Perhaps the numbers we hear and see are more meaningful than Redmond lets on.

You may have been pointed to this site from a blog post or a tweet or the link to it.

It's the Microsoft marketing machines newest effort to provide reasons for companies to not use IBM, Cisco or Google and OpenOffice. Makes you wonder doesn't it if they want to not play with 3 of the biggest names in the industry. And why would they bump openoffice in this list as well?

You see this is really a competitive discussion about applications like Microsoft Office and Lotus Symphony, OpenOffice and Google Apps which happens to piggy back on the Notes/Domino platform discussions.

So this is a nice effort in synchronized marketing, a blog about it, which links to the website which is linked to lists of business partners and Technet(links don't work for the Technet).

If you saw this quote come across your desk:
Our infrastructure gives the choice and control you need to respond to evolving business needs. You can choose from on-premises, online services, or hybrid solutions. And, because our solutions are built to work together—not as an isolated set of applications—they’ll help you make the most of your assets and eliminate costly redundancies.


Who do you think would be saying it? In this case, it's Microsoft believe it or not.

With more lines like this:
Our software-based approach gives you the flexibility to choose the business partner that’s the best fit for you.


It would seem Redmond is accepting the criticism thrown at them and redirecting it in a positive light. Choose the business partner that is right for you? Based on the software you are using? What an original idea, why would anyone NOT do that is a better question, did they think customers are not that smart?

While it could be argued OpenOffice and Lotus Symphony do not do everything in Office itself, but then 80-90% of the people don't use more 10-20% of the product. Numbers may vary but why is Office treated by Microsoft like everyone must use it?

Where is the simple stripped down version for companies to offset the high cost of the Office suite? And I don't mean the version without MS Access installed.

Could it be their web offering? And will they now be cannibalizing their own pocket with a web based Office suite that surely can't include everything? Just as they claim about the others? Read this article from Bloomberg to see how in June we might see a web based Office suite...for FREE.

“Elop’s challenge is to move carefully and not undercut the traditional software business,” Rosoff said. “You don’t want to give everybody free Office over the Web because that jeopardizes a highly profitable business, but you have to do something.”


So it IS just about the money after all. Not about helping you get your work done.

If you as a Business Partner or an employee or executive are trying to fight this and can't let me know, it is really about Office more than Exchange in this case. But there is so little of substance in this site, even junior staff will excel at defeating it's points.