Windows Live Brand Confusion

I find the recent branding work by Microsoft interesting… especially as they seem to be falling — yet again — into the same issues I document in my book about Microsoft and what’s next. For starters, as Todd Bishop notes in his Microsoft Blog (available at Seattle PI Tech section), the company can’t make up its mind if it is going to promote MSN, Windows Live or Microsoft Live — and as the users comment note, no one can quite figure out the difference between these different services — even employees themselves! Secondly, and less important, Microsoft hasn’t yet figured out what Apple knew years ago — that using one consistent naming convention, and one consistent metaphor — communicates better than any...

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Beyond Microsoft: Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Winning the Browser, Losing the War   “One day, somebody will catch us napping. One day, an eager young upstart will put Microsoft out of business. I just hope it’s fifty years from now, not two or five.” – Bill Gates, in Business at the Speed of Thought Beating the First Wave In 1996, Microsoft was under attack. I was one of Microsoft’s warriors, fighting the incoming tsunami of the “Internet tidal wave” when all the Web technologies were brand new. “The Internet is destroying our position as the setter of standards,” Bill Gates wrote in an internal company memo. “The Internet is taking away our power every day and in time will have eroded it irretrievably…” On Pearl Harbor day, Bill frantically marshaled the troops. We would defend...

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Beyond Microsoft: Prologue

Prologue — Victory to Defeat: 1994-2004 Ten Years in the Trenches Microsoft’s obituary was first written in 1994. Companies like Netscape, Sun and Oracle were rising threats on the Internet. Yet Bill Gates rallied the troops and together our team faced down the “Internet tidal wave” that threatened to swamp our company. By 1997, I was part of the horde of ex-Internet developers and business leaders who left Microsoft and worked as a consultant in the burgeoning Website development industry. Eventually I was asked to join Adobe Systems – creators of PhotoShop and Acrobat – to work on a new Internet Products Group, shipping development suites that would compete with creative tools like Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia DreamWeaver. Adobe’s team were excited...

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Beyond Microsoft: Index

Read the prologue and three complete chapters for free online…. and buy the ebook on Amazon. PART I: Beating Microsoft 1994 – 2004 Prologue: Victory to Defeat: 1994-2004 CHAPTER 1: Winning the Browser, Losing the War… The Internet Rises Again CHAPTER 2: Revenue to the Wind… Web Services and .NET Chapter 3: A Bridge to Nowhere…. Windows Vista Without End Chapter 4: Overfed Cash Cows… Irrelevance of Microsoft’s Office Model PART II: Burying Microsoft 2004 – 2014 Chapter 5: The Invisible Interface… No-See-Um Solutions Chapter 6: Software as Utility… How to Add Value in a Commodity World Chapter 7: Beyond Branding… Marketing as Function, not Form Chapter 8: Embrace and Extend… Using Microsoft Against Itself PART III: Beyond...

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