Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’


Blogs and marketing

February 11, 2007

Some pointers to a good discussion:

Jon Udell at Microsoft comments on his discussion with Marty Collins, also of Microsoft.

I will circle back in the future for some of my thoughts on this. For now, click the links above.



January 31, 2007

Got a few people coming in to the blog recently from this link on the blog of my former colleague at Microsoft Gianpaolo Carraro (known as GP). We had been discussing the use of the term “consumption” as a way to describe how services are “used” in a Software as a Service (SaaS) architecture. I suggested that the negative connotations of the word “consumption” outweighed the correctness of its usage.

GP and I had a good back and forth over that, and his perspective was illuminating. Given that fact that he is not a native English speaker (but is an outstanding one) and speaks at least two other languages he attacked the problem from a different place than I did. I suspect my extreme sensitivity to the subtleties of the word was driving my argument.

The fact is that I think paying careful attention to the words we use in product naming, marketing, etc. is critical and an often overlooked aspect of positioning. Although many people today might not known the various historical and linguistic underpinnings of a word like “consumption” there is still something ingrained into the fabric of our language that can cause a bit of delay in comprehension or a bit of lingering affect that we really don’t want.

Please consume my blog at your own risk.


May 26, 2006

You can download the awesome Office 2007 beta here. It is very stable (but is still beta) and worth installing.


Word 2007 Rocks

May 18, 2006

Well, hopefully it rocks. I am posting this entry from within Word 2007. Just create a new document of “blog entry” type and you are ready to go.

If it works, then I will return to more regular blogging. I admit it is a hassle to use tools other than Outlook or Word to do anything. I like living in MS Office.


New job

February 7, 2006

A brief nod to the wife. She starts her new job at Microsoft in a couple of weeks. We will be a two Microsoft family. I think our cat has also applied for a position as a tester in XBOX. He has very fast reflexes.


SOA, Web 2.0, & the EDGE

February 7, 2006

John deVadoss of the Microsoft Architecture Strategy Team gave an awesome presentation at VSLive last week. He really hit home the need for some bridge between the old and the new.

Yes, I work with John. Darryl Taft of eWeek thought it was pretty hot also. Guess there is some consensus around the need for a broader perspective.

Part of the need for that broader perspective is driven by the reality of Web 2.0 and associated ideas moving into the enteprise space. Enterprise architects learned in the first Internet wave not to trust every start-up with a cool name when it came to running their business. Larry Ellison once said of companies from Web 1.0 that they were a feature, not a company. The enterprise needs to turn to companies that understand how to run their business — Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Oracle — as the broader context in which they try new technologies. That is the reality of the EDGE.



February 7, 2006

I am not shilling here — MIX is really going to be a hot event. The pervasive nature of the Microsoft platform and tools cannot be easily overlooked when thinking about developing for the web.

It is not about Web 2.0, but subsumes the entire set of technologies and social phenomenon that make Web 2.0 real and valuable.

I will be there because I want to meet the people that see the value in the full range of proven technology. It is not all about the latest thing, it is about the things that might keep you employed.

Plus, I love Las Vegas!



January 28, 2006

I am planning on taking a break from blogging for a bit of time. Primarily so I can focus on drive an event at work that is all about things like Web 2.0. Basically, in order to ensure that the importance of things like blogging is made clear to the larger market I find myself with no time to blog. Go figure.

Check out MIX as well.

See you again in the future.

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Addicted to your shiny outsides

January 8, 2006

I have to admit that getting through the holiday season and then coming back to work to play catch up is a bit of a drag.

My employer, Microsoft, and Palm (remember them?) introduced a new smartphone this past week, the Treo 700w. This had been announced previously as the first time the good folks at Palm would ship a Treo device with something other than the Palm OS. It started shipping on Tuesday.

I had to wait until Friday to get mine.

I love my mobile devices. They are my sweet little precious crack. Now my new precious is nestled gently in my hand, emitting its silent radio waves and slowly egging on the latent cancer cells in my flesh. My precious.

The device is very cool. The Treo has long been seen as one of the top smartphone devices, in tight competition with the fine folks at RIM with their Blackberry. I was a first generation Blackberry user, long before I ever joined Microsoft, and still remember how my soul would twitch each time I felt its insistent vibration on my hip. Waves of unmodulated pleasure would flow through me as I let myself sink into the thumbwheel.

Anyway, I like my new Treo. Microsoft has upped the bar on the competition by delivering the coolest and most integrated mobile OS with a slick piece of hardware. I feel powerful. Shiny precious thing.

I currently have 5 phones. Not using them all at once, mind you. And two different carriers, Mister Smarty Pants. I have no problem. Do you?

Call me, huh? It feels nice when it rings and vibrates. My electronic collar is fur lined.

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Admissions of mortality

November 7, 2005

This blog is ostensibly about marketing, branding, technology, and my various (liberal) views on a variety of topics. It is a forum for me to speak my mind, but I usually put some significant filters between what goes on in my head/life and what appears here.

The reasons for that are the obvious — filters make sense for most everything — and the less than obvious. Some of it relates to my employer and ensuring that I don’t say anything that is in violation of my explicit and implicit agreements with them. Frankly, I like my employer as a company (if not always as an employer) and wish them only success. Some of it relates to other people in my life and my desire to respect their privacy and anonymity. Some of it is just plain common sense.

However, maintaining a sufficient distance between the things that drive me and consume me day to day and the things I write here can sometimes be a real struggle. Like the thin screen that separates one dimension from the next in the best (and worst) science fiction, it can be easy to cross over. Sometimes things just seep through.

That is a long-winded way of saying that I am frustrated with many things and that frustration is likely to show through here. I shall do all I can to smile and say nice things, but no promises.

Marketing is not an easy profession. I could go on here about how everything thinks they know how to do marketing. Easy for the surgeon to tell me how to do a demand generation campaign, but heaven forbid I should tell him how to close a particular incision. Outside of other marketers, marketing gets very little respect. It is not something that the average non-marketing professional sees as requiring any real training, skills, or experience. Marketing is just common sense and logic, as I have been told on a number of occasions.

Managing is not easy either. After 10+ years as a professional manager I still find myself in situations that are absolutely “no-win” more often than I would like. Managing is not logical and in many ways robs us of a certain degree of humanity and dignity. There is no satisfaction in doing it wrong, and little reward in doing it right. Like most necessary evils, however, better I do it than someone worse than me.

Marketing and managing are getting me down. Running uphill again and again in both arenas has left me feeling the years on my back and seeing a merciless fog of failure ahead. Marketing and managing are things I have always thought I was good at doing. Lately I question that assumption regularly.

This is an aimless and ultimately self-pitying blog entry.

Perhaps next time I will write something more sunny and scandalous.

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