Office Dead

Office Dead

Summary: As Mike Vizard calls it at the end of today's AttentionTech with Barb Darrow, whether it's Office Live or Office Dead is for the jury, I mean the audience, to decide. That's because the reboot here is about the users being in charge.

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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As Mike Vizard calls it at the end of today's AttentionTech with Barb Darrow, whether it's Office Live or Office Dead is for the jury, I mean the audience, to decide. That's because the reboot here is about the users being in charge. For me, the interesting things about yesterday's media announcement were what wasn't said. Windows Live, once the bandwidth was restored, was slick, fast, and convincing. Office Live was negotiated, tentative, and political to the extreme. Not good news for those of us who see another Last War ground war looming.

As Darrow notes, Office's Steve Sinofsky is the general noted for bringing Office in on time, regardless of which new or down level OS it needs to run on. But here the Waterloo for Office will be conducted on a much leveler playing field than Microsoft is used to dealing with. By the time small shops mature to the point where they can be upsold to the subscription tier, the trenches will be littered with the bodies of VARs and gadget vendors who make the mistake of not building cross-platform gadgets.

That means cross-cloud attention recorders, so that we (users in control) can maximize our return on the investments Microsoft, Yahoo, Skype, and Google are making in our attention. If the cartel (using the RIAA/MPAA metaphor) is unwilling to make transfer of attention metadata legal both in and out of their clouds, then those who will will exact a greater and greater tax on their proprietary and less trusted streams of gestures. As the network moves toward enhanced fidelity of gestures with its increased ROI and self-selecting lead generation, the others will follow.

That of course is why Robert Scoble is encouraging his company to jump before they're pushed. That is wise advice from the Bunny, who has carved out a trust algorithm that Microsoft should examine carefully. After yesterday's Q&A, Ray Ozzie came over and demonstrated quickly how well he's listening to this debate. Respnding to the inevitable and man-bites-dog spin that this is Hailstorm II (yes it is, and here's why) Ray noted that this is oh so 2005 and Google has been leading the charge to indemnify Hailstorm with Gmail and every other trinket they've thrown at us.

This makes the mincing tiptoing of Office Dead seem tragically underwhelming. It reminds me of two friends--brothers--in the Sixties who signed a deal with Columbia Records. Brother B, the Dennis Wilson of the group (meaning good looking, athletic, makes it look easy Willie Mays type) had a terrific song that he refused to put on the first record. He was saving it for the thrid record. The deal was cancelled after the second one bombed.

In this new war, the Attention War, keeping quiet is only a good move when it says more than talking it up. Google was all over yesterday's launch, from the Windows Live email clone which lacked the very rebooted seek-and-ye-shall-find model that drove folders into the dustbin of history. Sure, for Microsoft it makes sense to go with the one that brung you and extend the file system to the Net. That in fact was the only strategic move against Google made the entire interminable 3 hours. GoogleBase by comparison seems like a service about the file system, not the system itself. I'll stick with Gmail and switch for storage.

But it wasn't clear just what part of storage Microsoft is willing to give away, as Dave Winer so astutely pointed out to the first meeting of the (Gillmor) Identity Gang on New Year's Eve. "Everybody has to give something up to make this work," he said, and it may hold true here in this strange brew we're mixing. If Ozzie doesn't give storage away, well, then it will have to be a calendar. I've already got mail, no matter how cute Live Mail looks. But Office Dead gives coupons to calendaring, in the form of a subscription upsell. The fundamental problem is that Google/Yahoo/Skype can lose less by making an offer we won't refuse.

Sun and Jonathan Schwartz spoke the loudest in the silence yesterday. Jonathan may not have invented the idea of driving out competition by reducing their profit to zero (Microsoft did with Internet Explorer and Option Pack 4) but he was the first to prove it could work against Microsoft with Java Desktop and Linux in emerging Asia. When Steve Balmer reopened the door to Office negotiations in Malaysia, the can of worms spilled all the way to yesterday's coup. For that is what it was, as the new guard inside Microsoft, led by the first guy to beat Microsoft in the application space post-Office, figured out how to pin a price on the tail of the Office group. It's all downhill from here for Raikes. Now we get to see how quick Ozzie can grab at the opportunities so dearly won.

 

Topic: Microsoft

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15 comments
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  • Sagacious hipster? Not.

    Two things:
    1. You ain't that k3wl.
    2. English would be easier to read.
    epopt37
    • Frequent problem with Gillmor...

      I find that about 75% of the time, Mr. Gillmor's blogs are nearly unintelligible, to be frankly honest. It isn't even the buzzwords ("attention economy", "gestures") that I have a problem with, I can work through that and figure them out. It's nonsense, content-free statements like this one, that only make sense to him and his friends: "That of course is why Robert Scoble is encouraging his company to jump before they're pushed. That is wise advice from the Bunny, who has carved out a trust algorithm that Microsoft should examine carefully." Who is "the Bunny"?

      Indeed, let's examine this article from the top down, with an eye to making sense of it, the way my English teacher might do.

      As Mike Vizard calls it at the end of today's AttentionTech with Barb Darrow, whether it's Office Live or Office Dead is for the jury, I mean the audience, to decide. That's because the reboot here is about the users being in charge.

      <span style="color: red;">OK so far, he is saying that it is up to the customers to figure out if Office Live is a good idea.</span>

      For me, the interesting things about yesterday's media announcement were what wasn't said. Windows Live, once the bandwidth was restored, was slick, fast, and convincing. Office Live was negotiated, tentative, and political to the extreme. Not good news for those of us who see another Last War ground war looming.

      <span style="color: red;">What "Last War ground war" are you talking about? Office vs. other products? Some internal Microsoft battle? Huh?</span>

      As Darrow notes, Office's Steve Sinofsky is the general noted for bringing Office in on time, regardless of which new or down level OS it needs to run on. But here the Waterloo for Office will be conducted on a much leveler playing field than Microsoft is used to dealing with. By the time small shops mature to the point where they can be upsold to the subscription tier, the trenches will be littered with the bodies of VARs and gadget vendors who make the mistake of not building cross-platform gadgets.

      <span style="color: red;">This was fine, until the last part of the last sentence. How do these people relate to Office being made to work on various iterations of Windows? Are you saying that Office needs to be completely cross-platform compatable to succeed? Because I think history will say that it has been quite successful as a Windows only product</span>

      That means cross-cloud attention recorders, so that we (users in control) can maximize our return on the investments Microsoft, Yahoo, Skype, and Google are making in our attention.

      <span style="color: red;">Huh?</span>

      If the cartel (using the RIAA/MPAA metaphor) is unwilling to make transfer of attention metadata legal both in and out of their clouds, then those who will will exact a greater and greater tax on their proprietary and less trusted streams of gestures. As the network moves toward enhanced fidelity of gestures with its increased ROI and self-selecting lead generation, the others will follow.

      <span style="color: red;">I can almost get meaning out of this! I think what it means is... heck, I lost it. Never mind, this is more gibberish.</span>

      That of course is why Robert Scoble is encouraging his company to jump before they're pushed. That is wise advice from the Bunny, who has carved out a trust algorithm that Microsoft should examine carefully. After yesterday's Q&A, Ray Ozzie came over and demonstrated quickly how well he's listening to this debate. Respnding to the inevitable and man-bites-dog spin that this is Hailstorm II (yes it is, and here's why) Ray noted that this is oh so 2005 and Google has been leading the charge to indemnify Hailstorm with Gmail and every other trinket they've thrown at us.

      <span style="color: red;">OK, so Scoble is saying that identity management is important (and something about "the Bunny", whoever that is...), and Ray Ozzie agrees. Google is doing what they can to prevent this by ensnaring users in their own identity systems.</span>

      This makes the mincing tiptoing of Office Dead seem tragically underwhelming. It reminds me of two friends?brothers?in the Sixties who signed a deal with Columbia Records. Brother B, the Dennis Wilson of the group (meaning good looking, athletic, makes it look easy Willie Mays type) had a terrific song that he refused to put on the first record. He was saving it for the thrid record. The deal was cancelled after the second one bombed.

      <span style="color: red;">So you think Microsoft should push all of the goodies out on the first try, is what you're saying, right?</span>

      In this new war, the Attention War, keeping quiet is only a good move when it says more than talking it up. Google was all over yesterday's launch, from the Windows Live email clone which lacked the very rebooted seek-and-ye-shall-find model that drove folders into the dustbin of history. Sure, for Microsoft it makes sense to go with the one that brung you and extend the file system to the Net. That in fact was the only strategic move against Google made the entire interminable 3 hours. GoogleBase by comparison seems like a service about the file system, not the system itself. I'll stick with Gmail and switch for storage.

      <span style="color: red;">So the Office Live thingie still uses the concept of "folders", whereas GMail uses an iTunes-esque searching/metadata system, and you beleive that is better than folders. STOP USING THE WORD "REBOOTED" TO MEAN SOMETHING IT DOESN'T.</span>

      But it wasn't clear just what part of storage Microsoft is willing to give away, as Dave Winer so astutely pointed out to the first meeting of the (Gillmor) Identity Gang on New Year's Eve. "Everybody has to give something up to make this work," he said, and it may hold true here in this strange brew we're mixing. If Ozzie doesn't give storage away, well, then it will have to be a calendar. I've already got mail, no matter how cute Live Mail looks. But Office Dead gives coupons to calendaring, in the form of a subscription upsell. The fundamental problem is that Google/Yahoo/Skype can lose less by making an offer we won't refuse.

      <span style="color: red;">This makes sense as well.</span>

      Sun and Jonathan Schwartz spoke the loudest in the silence yesterday. Jonathan may not have invented the idea of driving out competition by reducing their profit to zero (Microsoft did with Internet Explorer and Option Pack 4) but he was the first to prove it could work against Microsoft with Java Desktop and Linux in emerging Asia. When Steve Balmer reopened the door to Office negotiations in Malaysia, the can of worms spilled all the way to yesterday's coup. For that is what it was, as the new guard inside Microsoft, led by the first guy to beat Microsoft in the application space post-Office, figured out how to pin a price on the tail of the Office group. It's all downhill from here for Raikes. Now we get to see how quick Ozzie can grab at the opportunities so dearly won.

      <span style="color: red;">This made sense as well.</span>

      You can see from a quick analysis, that about 50% of the paragraphs in this article were pretty muddled, if not completely worthless. That renders the value of this article 0, not 50% of what it was supposed to be.

      J.Ja
      Justin James
      • The Bunny and I couldn't agree more.

        Not even if we rebooted ourselves. Great analysis!
        will.doak@...
      • I think it means...

        If the cartel (using the RIAA/MPAA metaphor) is unwilling to make transfer of attention metadata legal both in and out of their clouds, then those who will will exact a greater and greater tax on their proprietary and less trusted streams of gestures. As the network moves toward enhanced fidelity of gestures with its increased ROI and self-selecting lead generation, the others will follow.

        I think that this means that companies providing search and services are logging your actions and not sharing that data with other companies so that you can't leverage your own actions across multiple services. Such as google remembering your search terms but not being able to access that history from msn or yahoo. Or other issues such as IM contacts that you can share or access from different networks. I think he is saying that companyies rejecting user control data standards will find themselves hurting for users. Hopefully this will be true soon, but I don't see it happening until MS follows through with WinFS. Right now we don't have a metadata storage standard that would allow applications to share metadata in a centralized ways. So anyone attempting this has to function in a schema world where everything has to have a translation to go from one service to another. To some extent translations will always be nessecary but discoverable data types will make it alot easier to share things like favorites as extended metadata on top of the file system. Google isn't going to make this happen, even if they can get out ahead with metadata solutions Microsoft will just make critical business applications like office only compatible with thier metadata solution that will integrate with thier online services and provides solutions that other companies cannot. They will only be able to continue they way they do today, by layering on top of Microsoft.

        Right?
        trevogre
      • Opaque Jargon

        Thank you, JmJames, for the translation. I had a customer with me when this came over in email. I am a photographer, and while my customer was changing clothes, I read the story. When I got to the "if the cartel ..." paragraph, I felt compelled to read it aloud to my customer as an example of horrendous English. He was just as mystified as I was. I think most people admit that some jargon is unavoidably necessary in specialized fields, but this writer seems to feel compelled to wallow in it. I am beginning the study of Sanskrit. I think it will be easier than what I read here.
        Eric Dobbs
        Richmond, Virginia, USA
        ericddobbs@...
  • Office Dead English missing.

    I clicked on this story to see if I could learn something about Office Live. What I learned was that it is not necessary to make any sense to write a story. The understanding level for me on a scale of 1 to 10 was about a 3. A foreign language would be a 2 and an encrypted document would be a 1.
    shilow
    • Por que?

      I was thinking it was just me reading very slowly, trying to figure out why the words that look a lot like English and sound mostly the same were not making any sense.
      dkoontz
  • Needing Translation

    I quit reading it in the second paragraph. This article seems to have slipped past the editor, or was garbled by the same.

    Perhaps the author was channeling L. Ron Hubbard.
    Stephen Borchert
  • Office Dead

    I understand very little of Gillmor's report, apart from the negative tone of his perspective on Office Live. Apparently he writes for an audience more sophisticated than this reader.
    Chemical X
  • What?

    This is the most jargon-filled, content-void article by a major columnist I have see in a long time.

    What the heck are you talking about? Where you wasted on something when you wrote this?
    spiv
  • Translation

    To make understanding the article easier I will be posting translated versions in assembler language and hexidecimal. 01101100010101000100100111
    ralphellis1@...
  • Office Buffalo

    I am told that in (pre-computer) typesetters' jargon in England, a "buffalo" was an block of errors that inexplicably appeared in a document in the final stages of typesetting, too late to determine their origin or to ensure that other errors didn't show up nearby. You can't tell a buffalo what to do, you just have to hope it doesn't come back, and avoid the chips.
    rpotter_z
  • What the Heck are you talking about?

    I have never ever read such a messy, jargon filled, confusing, contradictory, piece of junk in my 35 years in the computer industry, who is he trying to impress? How could you even publish this ZDNet? Surely SOMEONE there checks things before they are published? When I was a Professor, if any of my students had written like this I would have given them a big fat "O".
    michaepr
  • Baffling

    What's baffling is not just the article itself. It is that ZDNet doesn't have someone doing a reality check on material that is transmitted under their auspices. (If they DO have one, then on the comprehensibility scale of 1 to 10 this whole thing slips into the negative....)

    I read the darned thing three times: slowly; more slowly; and then parsing every word doing 'net searches on the terms. I was not enlightened by the effort.

    No more clicks for Steve Gillmor.
    DarrellM
  • What's not to understand?

    It is really quite simple.
    I fail to see the problem with understanding Gillmor's blog, and what people are complaining about.
    I really did not have that much trouble reading it.
    The first part of his blog clearly states:
    " As Mike Vizard calls it at the end of today's AttentionTech ".
    Now I will admit this is followed by a section that I don't understand at all , but I am sure that the last bit at the end of the last paragraph reads: " opportunities so dearly won". So, -What is the problem?
    MyCramps