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Summary:

If you lived in Manhattan, then you are all too familiar with the comical sight of a 40-year-old man squiring a 20 something “IT” girl. The latest in footwear from Italy, a shiny new car (possibly paid for by an advance on the 401K plan) and […]

If you lived in Manhattan, then you are all too familiar with the comical sight of a 40-year-old man squiring a 20 something “IT” girl.

The latest in footwear from Italy, a shiny new car (possibly paid for by an advance on the 401K plan) and of course the de rigueur jeans by Sewn or Chip & Pepper, Rolex and a Burberry. A little nip-and-tuck, some hip-hop and a $500 haircut with highlights to hide the 40-odd summers. Its a midlife crisis you can see from a mile. Trust me!

…. Oh oh sorry for digressing into these post modern anthropological musings, when all I should be doing is talking about Microsoft and its Live event. Confusing one for the other? A big mash-up in my brain? Perhaps! Nevertheless, did you notice how fit Bill Gates is looking these days? Fighting Trim, is the word that comes to mind.

Still, as I sat in the dark Ballroom at the Palace Hotel, Microsoft Windows Live/Office Live event reminded me of a piece I wrote about vanity portals a long time ago – seven years to be exact – when I worked at Forbes.com. Lots of folks are writing about this event, but let me just make a quick list for the new improved Microsoft. Or dare I say, Microsoft 2.0. (Come on, people play along….)

1. Given that the company releases beta as products, and gets it right on version 3.0, by calling them beta prevents any PR problems.
2. Ad Supported, is the new Golddigger of Silicon Valley, and Redmond.
3. Live Software, Microsoft for Software as a service. (Don’t tell that to Windows/Office groups who are stuffing the company coffers.)
4. Interfaces, Microsoft for API
5. Ease of Use and Simplicity are part of the new Microsoft lingo. Somewhere Steve Jobs is doubling up in peals of laughter.

To sum it up, in the words of great copywriters behind Fosters, Live, Microsoft for Web 2.0!

PS: A more serious analysis later. I saw a couple of things which totally rocked my world. I will be writing about those, just to make sure, that I am indeed fair and balanced. Photo by niallkennedy.

  1. There but for the grace of God goes us all, Om. :D

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  2. [...] בסוג של ×?ירוע “חסר תקדי×?” יצרה לעצמה מיקרוסופט דריסת רגל ר×?שונה בעול×? ה-web 2.0. ×?ת הפרטי×? על מ×?מציה ×?פשר לקרו×? בכל מקו×? סביר ומעלה בבלוגוספרה, ולכן ×?ני ×?סתפק בכמה מחשבות מהדקות ה×?חרונות: ×?. מעבר ל×?סטרטגית יישומי-רשת הו×? שינוי של 180 מעלות מהמודל העיסקי הישן והכל-כך-רווחי של הת×?גיד. ×?×? ×?כן תתפוצץ הבועה, סוף סוף ×?יזשהו נזק יורגש ג×? ברדמונד (ולפי המצגות, הושקעו מיליוני×? רבי×? בפיתוח היישומי×? החדשי×?). ב. מיקרוסופט שוב מתעסקת בתחו×? פיתוח ש×?ין לה שו×? יתרון מונופוליסטי בו. ×?×? ניסיון העבר מלמד משהו, בהיעדר מונופול ×?ו הסכ×? שערורייתי ×¢×? ×?ינטל, החברה ל×? ממש מצליחה לשבור ×?ת השוק. כיצד הי×? תתמודד ×¢×? חברות ×?חרות שמציעות דסקטופ וירטו×?לי מל×? וידג’טי×? ויישומוני web 2.0 כמו קונפבולטור, Goowy ו×?חרי×?? ל×? ברור, כרגע לשירות ה-live שלה ×?ין שו×? יתרון על הסטרט×?פי×? החדשי×?, פרט לגב כלכלי מ×?ד חזק והמון סבלנות. ג. השירות ל×? מי-יודע-מה עובד ×¢×? הפיירפוקס. ליתר דיוק הו×? עובד, ×?בל מזייף בקצוות. כשנכנסי×? ×¢×? השועל ל-live.com מקבלי×? ×?ת ההודעה הב×?ה בר×?ש העמוד: Firefox Users Firefox support is coming soon. Please be patient נו טוב, סוף סוף מיקרוסופט זורקת חיוך למשתמשי מוזילה… [...]

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  3. OK. What does Windows Live sound to you ? To me, coming from the world of OS and RTOS, I first thought Microsoft Live.com to be an enhanced version of BOOTP or something innovative. But when I saw their website, I felt they are just trying to compete Google without any substance. It will not work. You need different brains with different attitude to rule the web. Anyway, good luck MS.

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  4. Khabri: Look @ screenshots from flickr (especially techcrunch’s) – Live.com as it looks right now probably has no significance in the kind of things MS is going to be deploying with ‘live’ platform.

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  5. [...] Incase you were wondering if I was too harsh on Microsoft’s nip-and-tuck, I have to say that there were two things that totally impressed me. The Microsoft Live Messenger which integrates IM with address book, email, and VoIP calling is the perfect, and perhaps the only next generation IM client out there. [...]

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  6. Live.com has it’s firefox ! it’s called netvibes.com. Better interface, faster and they relay on other web 2.0 applications to build a similar service.

    you guy’s should check !

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  7. Thanks mansour…. I just checked netvibes.. looks great.. I need to play around with it more… but my first impression is WOW

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  8. [...] And Om Malik, in what has to be one of the more original posts on Microsoft’s announcement reckons: A little nip-and-tuck, some hip-hop and a $500 haircut with highlights to hide the 40-odd summers. Its a midlife crisis you can see from a mile. Trust me! [...]

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  9. [...] And Om Malik, in what has to be one of the more original posts on Microsoft’s announcement reckons: A little nip-and-tuck, some hip-hop and a $500 haircut with highlights to hide the 40-odd summers. Its a midlife crisis you can see from a mile. Trust me! [...]

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  10. [...] In an unprecedented event Microsoft started exploring the web 2.0 scene. The details about its efforts are to be found in any reasonable source in the blogosphere. Some of my thoughts from the last minutes: a. Moving to net-utilities strategy is a major shift for Microsoft from the corporation’s old and ho-so-successful business model. If the bubble will explode (and it will), finally some of the collateral damage will be felt in Redmond. b. Microsoft is expanding again to a field in which it has no monopolistic advantage in. If past experiences teaches something at all, When Microsoft is not a monopoly in some field or without an outrageous contract with Intel, the company can’t break the market. How will she handle other companies offering virtual desktops full with widgets and other web 2.0 applets like Konfabulator or Goowy? It’s unclear. Currently, the live.com service has no advantages above the other new startup companies, except a very strong financial back, and plenty of patience. c. The service is not so compatible with Firefox. It works, but not that well – it look awful, not like a cool widget service, but like a ripped page from an old diary. When you enter with the fox to live.com, this message appears on top: Firefox Users Firefox support is coming soon. Please be patient Well – at least Microsoft sends one smile towards Mozila users… [...]

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