Microsoft astounds me, or confounds me, might be the better verb. Certain companies have corporate instincts that seem utterly off the mark to me. Microsoft is chief among these. I just did some tech support this weekend for a friend, working on a new Sony Vaio I’d helped him buy. It was my first experience working with Vista. I expected Vista to be much better looking, easier to understand and operate, etc. than XP. I hated nearly everything about it. And the numerous security messages and dialog boxes that popped up as we attempted to get an external HD and a scanner to talk to the machine were as befuddling and muddling as any in previous MS OSes. This is a company that just don’t seem to get user functionality for normal humans.
I took this weekend experience with me (and all attendant prejudices) to a video the Wall Street Journal sent me this morning, a sit-down with MS’s new chief research-and-strategy officer, Craig Mundie. This is the guy who’s supposed to be looking into the future, getting MS and the rest of us excited about technologies in the pipeline. I was bored senseless watching this video. Maybe there’s a lot more here than meets the eye, but Mundie seems like he has all of the charisma and innovation mojo of an ’80s mid-level executive at Big Blue. He makes Bill look like a party animal.
Here’s the WSJ video.