It’s been a great week to be a journalistic fan of Microsoft. A week ago today, the company began to roll out the first fruits of nearly three years of silent toiling, to near universally positive reviews by most of the tech press. A week later, many of us are still trying to get our heads around a very blue future, and what Azure means for the state of computing. Steve Gillmor has a wonderful write-up entitled “The Battle for Microsoft’s Soul”, and even goes so far as to suggest that the timing of this event is perfect, as the tech industry is looking for new platforms to build grand ideas on in these tough economic times.
We’re looking at the next Outlook, and it’s going to be hard to stop inside Microsoft’s executive war room. The biggest single sound we heard at the Azure rollout was that of silence - a three year incubation period where very little of what Ray Ozzie has been building leaked out, and that which did was couched in terms that gave the old guard little to attack or slow down. Now that it’s here and endorsed by Ballmer in such unequivocal terms, the war for Microsoft’s soul is over. By opening the platform to standards forged in large part by scripters, hackers, and especially competitors, Microsoft has leapfrogged into the lead for mindshare where it counts: inside the company.
Read more here.