Is Microsoft 2.0 on the rise?


Most of us do remember the last major Microsoft transformation around the Internet in 1996, don’t you? At the announcement for its new BBS, Microsoft Network (MSN) Bill Gates declared about the Internet something as “it’s just a fad”. After Windows 95 launch, Microsoft was quickly reorganized in 1996 and did let appear an Internet division — read the detailed story here. The rest is history: Netscape became an industry icon for museums despite being once the web browser gorilla.

As challenging times are back again with the rise of Web 2.0, especially around:

  • rich on-line user interfaces
  • applications directly cooperating via the network (i.e. SOA and mashups)
  • the Internet becoming a platform rather than just a media

Microsoft once again needs to reinvent itself. And this time, it seems to include a new Microsoft leaders generation, check out this business week slide show. Business Week reports this week on The soul of a new Microsoft.

Zune, Vista, Live and MDAS are some of the new ingredients of Microsoft 2.0 as I see it. The People Ready campaign will need to provide an umbrella for this, which is a challenge as the range of Microsoft marketable offers is stretching like crazy. Similarly to the last major transformation I was refering to, Web 2.0 seemed to be lagging in Microsoft communication. Not anymore, watch this Businessweek Video where “Kevin Johnson and Jeff Raikes talk about how new versions of Windows and Office represent a leap into the Web 2.0 world“. I’ll give you a hint, it’s all about web services. Surprised?

I trust the new Microsoft leaders, especially Ray Ozzie, will probably take it to the next level. I wouldn’t be surprised if a major reorg was to take place after Vista launch that we could finally call: Microsoft 2.0.

Who’s next?

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