Has James O'Neill finally hit the nail on the head in the Microsoft vs. Google battle?
He calls his Technet blog: "Windows Platform for starters, Virtualization, Real Time Collaboration and Photography to follow, served with a side order of philosophical attitude."
The "philosophical attitude" du jour is an (un)Googley one.
What is at stake in Microsoft vs. Google, in O'Neill's present take on the world?
$6 billion Microsoft aQuantive vs. $3.1 billion Google DoubleClick? NO, But See MY: How Microsoft beats Google in ad agency battle
Microsoft Enterprise Search vs. Google Enterprise Search? NO, But See MY: How Microsoft battles Google in Search warfare
Microsoft Office vs. Google Apps? NO, But See MY: Google vs. Microsoft Office? NO: vs. Open Office (.org)!
NO, O'Neill is up in arms over "Google secrecy and control freakery," a subject, as readers of this Digital Markets Blog know, I have had (recent) direct experience with!
But O'Neill takes to his blog not to debate issues of such political or press freedom import. He is making a competitive fashion statement, a stand for the right to wear logoed tee-shirts, in fact, citing, apparently, a colleague:
I did some booth work at the European Open Source Convention in Brussels. We had a booth with Port25 next to the Google booth. I was handing out a lot of t-shirts and I asked the google guys if they wanted one. "We are not allowed to wear any t-shirts from a competitor" :) very amusing, I asked a Google t-shirt just for fun :)
O'Neill's Microsoft colleagues are not all in agreement with his competitive stance on the right, or not, to attend a competitor's private sales presentation:
Keith Combs: I think it's ok for Google to ask me (a Microsoft employee) not to attend. This would be especially true if they are discussing a product or service that isn't public knowledge yet. I'm actually surprised more companies don't do this.
Non-Microsofties are also taking issue with O'Neill:
Ben: I have to say that attitude from Google sounds fair to me. Why should they waste a seat at an event intended for potential customers with a competitor? It doesn’t look to me to be an issue of secrecy, just trying to target an event and not needlessly wasting money.
I think you’re right; I don’t think Microsoft adopts this ‘door policy’ at their events, but perhaps you could learn from Google?
The last TechNet road show I attended was so oversubscribed that there was a waiting list for attendees. We were ALL shown an agenda when we signed up AND this was emailed to us but even then I spoke to people at the event who appeared to be at the totally wrong place and complained to me that the topics covered weren’t relevant to them! Perhaps the definition ‘IT Professional’ is a bit broad, but maybe attempting to restrict access a little would have meant that Microsoft would have spent less money and effort feeding, seating and preaching to these folks for the day and could have offered their places to the people who would have found the day relevant but never made it off the waiting list.
If your US colleague wants to attend a Google event, perhaps he/she should look for a relevant event first! Likewise, I don’t just ‘expect’ to get a place with say the PM’s regular meetings with the Queen; it probably isn’t an event that is relevant for, designed for or targeted to me and besides, there probably aren’t enough cucumber sandwiches and tea to go round!
This appears to be a completely different subject to your other post regarding Google 'reading peoples email'; I think it's a little bit underhand of you to try and bundle these stories together as one!
DISCLAIMER: I am the proud owner of several Google logoed tee-shirts, souvenirs from the Googleplex (Mountain View & NYC)!