Today I had a two-hour interview with Microsoft’s main man for Live in Australia, Harvey Sanchez.
A lot of interesting stuff came out of it that I’ll blog over the next week or so, but I think the very fact that I was given the interview is a big tick for Microsoft straight off the bat.
As far as my tech writing goes these days, I’m very much a blogger rather than a reporter. So I consider it pretty significant that someone in Harvey’s position would take that amount of time-out to talk to me, as a blogger, about Microsoft’s strategy with Live. Similiarly, I noticed a number of bloggers were given access to the media room at Tech.Ed and Microsoft is very definitely leading the acceptance of blogging as a serious medium in Australia.
Now maybe it had something to do with the fact that I’m a former tech journo and still very active in the community. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that at Tech.Ed last week, Microsoft weren’t able to find me a rep to talk about Live, but whatever the case I do appreciate the time that Harvey spent with me and generally the progressive attitude their showing towards blogging. I don’t know what it’s like in the US, but down here it’s really difficult to dislike Microsoft right now. I don’t see any of the arrogance associated with the Microsoft I used to know and all of their people I’ve met recently have been very genuine and open. While, I’m at it, a big congrats to the bloke who has been Microsoft’s main man when it has come to interfacing with bloggers and who I think has probably had a lot to do with the way Microsoft thinks down here – Frank Arrigo – who has just landed in Redmond and will be taking his unique style to the world now!
Anyway, back to the interview. To be honest, I’d just about written off Microsoft as a real threat in the Internet services market, however, I have a much better appreciation that this market has a long, long way to play out and Microsoft is doing a lot of work that’s not come to the surface yet. They’re definitely capable of doing a Houdini act in this market again if they can execute some of their ideas – but they’ve still got to prove they can do so.
Hopefully, over my next few blog posts I can provide a little bit of insight into where Microsoft’s collective heads are at with Live and (as I’m prone to do) I’ve got a lot of opinions about what they need to get right to make it work.