Scobleizing Microsoft's corporate culture

Who says Microsoft's culture has become too bureaucratic? Forget about reorgs and hierarchies.


Who says Microsoft's culture has become too bureaucratic? Forget about reorgs and hierarchies. Microsoft's chief blogger Robert Scoble goes directly to the top. Corporate bloggers take note. Scoble had an inspiration (or wanted to make a point with his big megaphone) about an acquisition that he thought would benefit Microsoft and augment Vista, so he simply asked the big boys for some serious cash via his blog

"Personal note to Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates: can I have some money to get Microsoft a significant entry into the Web 2.0 market? A little more than it cost Yahoo to buy Flickr but far less than it cost eBay to buy Skype?

I have an acquisition I'd like to make.

If you give me your checkbook you'll get permanent invites to O'Reilly's Web 2.0 conferences for a very long time. Sorry, I can't identify what I'm thinking of here, but promise you, it's a big deal and will help solve some things we aren't going to solve in Windows Vista, either. Gotta move fast, things are gonna happen at the Web 2.0 conference, next week, that will make the deal harder to make happen (and will make you look less brilliant if you do the deal afterward than before)."

I'm not sure why he didn't just send Bill and Steve, or Ray Ozzie, an e-mail, instead of the public calling out. Maybe he wasn't making progress through other avenues or didn't think e-mail would suffice. Will Bill and Steve step up to the plate? Do they need to? Will Scoble get taken out behind the woodshed, despite his good intentions? Will we ever find out the back story? I'll stay tuned to Scoble's blog to seek answers.

In the meantime, Rafat Ali of PaidContent thinks the acquisition target should be 37Signals, which has easy-to-use, Web-centric info management tools that Jeremy Wagstaff of the Wall Street Journal said "make an Outlook screen the software equivalent of a torture chamber." Not sure about that choice, but Microsoft, and Vista, could use a set of zero footprint, AJAXed, RSS savvy desktop applications--at least to pin off of MSN. A move like that would would certainly create some tension in the Office group, but better that than missing out the big shift to Web 2.0 or 3.0 (whatever it is that comes after fat client era and Web pages and a little Javascript).