The launch of Vista (Longhorn) is widely seen as one of the most important events in the history of Microsoft. Indeed, part of the challenge of the launch is clearly the representation of Microsoft's constantly growing product set in a cohesive vision. While Vista may be just one of these products, it is a lynchpin that will drive the message of Microsoft far into the future. And, frankly, as I watch the "share your passion" messages, I'm not inspired.
As an outsider looking in, Microsoft often appears to be a ship with more than one rudder – being pulled to and fro by the driving force of the moment—whether it is web services, gaming, mobile applications, or directory deployments. Of course, I assume that I'm wrong; that there must be some grand vision that I do not understand; a master plan that drives the decisions of the most successful software company in the history of the world.
But if that's true, then why don't I understand it? Is it because they don't want me to? Or is it just simply a mistake of marketing? Is the messaging unclear, unfocused, and uncoordinated? I find that hard to believe, but – outside looking in – it really does seem that way.