Hugh, I’m interested in Microsoft too, but for a few different reasons. As a large Microsoft partner I am getting ring side seat to a lot of the changes that are going on there and I think it is going to be a classic business reinvention story when it unfolds. Whether it’s an example of what to do or what not to do remains to be seen, but the changes in thinking and the willingness to experiment are at an all time high in Redmond.
I think the secret that Microsoft has figured out long ago is managing the creative distriction process. There is a lot of tough talk about killing your own business with something great before someone else does, but Microsoft has really mastered the art of riding something to maximum profit before jumping on to the next. I guess the best analogy is in the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs is in a phone booth falling towards the earth and at the last possible minute he steps out and is unharmed while the phone booth smashes into a million pieces.
Some say Microsoft is asleep at the switch with Office and that Google an others will eat there lunch. I don’t think so. As they have proven time and time again they will ride Office right up until the moment it’s going to crash into the earth and then step off to something else, completely unharmed.