Sunday, February 12

MSN fuzzy strategy and how this could be Microsoft's year

Following up on yesterday's post this article backs up the public/media confusion over where MSN sits in the whole picture. Here's a snippet:

Microsoft has appointed former MSNBC chief John Nicol to infuse the company's MSN portal with more multimedia content and make it more appealing to online advertisers. But with MSN rapidly being overshadowed by the company's Web-based services branded under the name "Live," some analysts are scratching their heads as to what exactly lies ahead for the MSN portal.

Analysts still see fuzzy future for MSN as new chief takes helm

So it would seem MSN is following Terry Semel's entertainment focussed Yahoo!

In Microsoft's defense this really could be the year where they hit back. The sleeping giant is hardly likely to snooze for long. Certainly the whispers are of a superb and aggresive PPC advertising platform, IE7 taking the leap forward we have all been waiting for (download the developers IE7 Beta here), "Live" and Vista providing two new integrated on/offline platforms going forward.

But in the internet space its probably their friendship with the global 'connected' community (and by that I mean the web developers, thought-leaders and entrepreneurs) that will make or break the fight back. For example, we'll all be forgiving of those two-year longBeta products from Google, Yahoo and Amazon - because the community of influencers rarely shoots these companies down for any bugs.

Microsoft still carries the baggage of an old school software company. And in the old software space we're much less forgiving of long-term Beta. When Microsoft make a final release, the community expects it to be finished, and immediately goes looking for the holes.

MS has certainly seeded it's developments this year to create some anticipation. I hope they execute well as it will really push Web 2.0, not to mention Google and others onwards.


Anonymous Daniel Cremer said...

I must admit I'm slightly disappointed with the IE7 preview, apart from it being very fast at rendering and Javascript.

About it being Microsoft's year... Microsoft are going to increasingly run into the issue of competing against their own customers. Their strategy at the moment is indeed fuzzy and I imagine I'm not the only who is uncomfortable with that. Despite MS hyping their new found love of ads. Ad revenue alone is very far from enough to fuel Microsoft, even if it equalled how much Google makes. They have given signs that they want to start rolling out business webapps. This puts many other companies into their line of fire. It will be interesting to see what effect this on web companies buying into their. platform.

20 February, 2006 15:03  
Blogger Simon Christy said...

You're right, MS have always been into everything, only this time they look unfocussed and slightly less 'goliath' than before.

I guess 'joe public' are so familiar with the MS tools now, they're beginning to try others - to find apps they can customise and personalise. MS learnt this lesson from the mod chipped XBox community. Whether they'll get more fluid and dynamic with their software, I doubt.

20 February, 2006 23:34  

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