In a world of Web 2.0 and Googlemania there is almost one thing that seems to be universally accepted by everyone involved – Microsoft is uncool and evil. Plus, anyone who professes even the slightest bit of liking the company and its products is uncool and makes Homer look smart. This attitude has been around for a long time and I will be among the many that agree that Microsoft has made some serious mistakes in the past. Since the invasion of Google and their do no evil mantra the anti-Microsoft forces have had another company to gather around. After all Google was a great company full of idealistic people willing to take on the ultimate giant of the software world. So what wasn’t there to like – right?
Then along comes the whole Web 2.0 movement and its offspring; the social networks and the newer social media crew, and once again Microsoft becomes the object of ridicule. To these goody two shoes proponents of all that is goodness and light in our computing world Microsoft was old school, a monolithic leftover that needed to be put out of its misery ASAP. It doesn’t matter to these anti-MS hound dogs that much of what they are doing these days is nothing more than the re-invention; or re-working, of stuff that can be traced back to Microsoft or programs that were influenced by the company.
In this so-called new world of Web 2.0 and its spin-offs the idea that anyone would still be a fan of Microsoft or its products is cause for instant derision and howls of laughter. It doesn’t matter that this is a company that has a yearly R&D budget; currently at $7 Billion, that is more than most of these self-righteous upstart companies can hope to make with their everything for free business plans. It doesn’t matter that if it wasn’t for Microsoft the idea of personal computers; and fancy assed laptops, wouldn’t be where it is. Chances are we would still be in a mainframe world or mortgaging our homes to buy some Apple computer.
Nowhere is this better than thou attitude prevalent than on the web or more specifically social media as pointed out today by Svetlana Gladkova at Profy.com when she wrote
First of all, Microsoft does not have the right image in the web crowd to try and pretend it can offer the web population a social network that will become popular. It is simply not cool here to think Microsoft is cool in any way. I myself tend to think that there are some things in which Microsoft is pretty cool but every time I try to mention them, I get tons of criticism.
The latest example was when I tried to mention a few things about Google’s Chrome browser that were described by media people as innovative and introduced by Google into web browsing but were in fact present in other browsers – including Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 beta. As a result of even trying to compare I got dozens of angry comments insisting that even if Microsoft was ahead of Google introducing this or that thing into web browsing experience, Microsoft still was evil while Google was the best company in the world that should never be criticized at all.
While she was commenting more on the announcement of Microsoft launching the Windows Live as a social networking site; which Duncan wrote about here at The Inquisitr, her point about Microsoft not being cool is right on the money. I have been using Microsoft products for a very long time; through the good and the bad, and I have pretty well seen all of the negative attitude about the company. It has always been an easy target for people to shoot against through the years and now is no different.
Whether it was something as inanely stupid as using the ‘$’ in place of the letter ‘s’ in the company name through to the admittedly brilliant Apple ads Microsoft has attracted much criticism. Even myself I have been among the first to slap the company around if I feel they have done something wrong but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a company that is constantly innovating across a wide spectrum of software fields.
It is only recently though that I believe that the company is truly beginning to turn the battleship around. Some pundits have suggested that it either won’t be able to or that it won’t be able to do it quick enough. The problem is that these people are trying to apply a different set of companies rules to Microsoft. Admittedly the company isn’t a startup that is capable of switching gears in mid-stride but don’t be stupid; or naive, to assume that a company like Microsoft can’t turn itself around. That would be a bet I really believe you would lose.
When push comes to shove I have a great respect for Microsoft because in the end this is a company that has had an immense impact on our computing lives and to me that is cool. Under its new leadership Microsoft is turning the tables and proving many a pundit fanboy wrong and that I think is cool. Not having to count the so-called Monster of Redmond down for the count is in my opinion pretty cool.
So you keep on switching the letter ‘s’ for ‘$’ and poking fun at what ever the company does and you can even call me uncool as you want but I couldn’t care less. I am looking forward to where Microsoft is going and I’ll bet we will be seeing a lot of surprises coming from Redmond for years to come.