What does Microsoft need to do to show it's able to think like a consumer-electronics company, not just a computer-software one? Are you expecting Microsoft follow its usual pattern and finally get the Zune right by the time it ships Version 3?
All About Microsoft
Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley's blog covers the products, people and strategies that make Microsoft tick.
Mary Jo Foley
Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for more than 25 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).
Microsoft is making source code for the .Net Framework available to interested developers under its Shared Source license, the company announced on October 3. Developers can look, but not modify or redistribute under the license Microsoft has selected.
From the "funny timing" files: Anonymous Microsoft blogger Mini-Microsoft has been removed from Facebook. The same day, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer went on record proclaiming Facebook (the company in which Microsoft is said to be mulling investing hundreds of millions) is at risk of being a mere fad.
At the October 2 invitation-only Zune launch, Chairman Bill Gates and Corporate Vice President of Design and Development J Allard are expected to take the wraps Besides the new Zunes ("Scorpio" hard-drive and "Draco" flash-based units). Microsoft also is expected to unveil a new beta community site for Zunes, an enhanced method of discovering new music and a line of Microsoft-developed accessories. Sounds like midnight EST is when those who have been briefed can go live with their stories.
Microsoft has purchased Jellyfish.com, a comparitive shopping engine, for an undisclosed amount, Microsoft officials confirmed on October 1. Jellyfish and Microsoft seem to share some similar thoughts, in terms of where current Web-based advertising models break down.
Microsoft is expected to announce on October 2 that it has released to manufacturing (RTM'd) that its Response Point small-business phone-system software, according to sources close to the company. D-Link and Quanta are working on Response Point units, but Uniden seems to have decided against fielding a Response Point product, tipsters say.
Microsoft officials weren't kidding when they said they were working on a services complement to just about every one of the company's software products. The latest to get a Software+Services (S+S) makeover: System Center.
After months of speculation about what it would do to stave off potential encroachments on its Office turf by Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Microsoft has spelled out its strategy: Office Live Workspace.
A year ago, Microsoft's head of Office Live told me that Microsoft planned to extend the Office Live both up and down market. On October 1, Microsoft finally explained how it plans to do this.
How far along is Microsoft with the next version of Internet Explorer (IE) -- which might be IE 7.5 or IE 8.0, depending on what Microsoft decided to do since last time we heard anything truly tangible from the IE team (which was about a year ago)? Windows users and developers are getting restless.