Brief History of Microsoft’s Disconnected Technology Strategies – circa 2005

Copyright (c) 2022-2023 Michael Herman (Alberta, Canada) – Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

Office conference wrapup
https://jonudell.net/udell/2005-02-04-office-conference-wrapup.html

Herman: It’s nice to see Microsoft consolidating around a smaller set of core technologies, but when it comes to electronic forms, Word and Excel have their own point solutions, Outlook has its own point solution, InfoPath has its own point solution, Access has its own point solution. In the developer platform you have ASP.NET and WebForms. We’re constantly in the situation where we’re trying to guess which ones are strategic. Can you give us some insight?

Why does Microsoft have so many eforms technologies? …which ones are strategic? Billg and StevenSi offer some answers
https://web.archive.org/web/20051216034728/http://dotnetjunkies.com:80/WebLog/mwherman2000/archive/2005/02/14/54401.aspx

AUDIENCE QUESTION: Michael Herman, from Parallelspace Corporation. It’s nice to see Microsoft consolidating around a smaller set of core technologies. But, when it comes to electronic forms, Word and Excel have their own point solution. Outlook has its own point solution. InfoPath has its own point solution. Access has its own point solution. In the developer platform, you have ASP.NET and WinForms. We’re constantly in a situation we’re trying to guess which ones are strategic. Can you give us some insight?

Microsoft’s varied collaboraboration platform strategies: More comments from Billg and StevenSi
https://web.archive.org/web/20060903014934/http://www.dotnetjunkies.com:80/WebLog/mwherman2000/archive/2005/02/14/54405.aspx

A question from Mark Moore (formerly of KPMG and an early SPS 2001 adopter)…

AUDIENCE QUESTION: A number of us have been on the collaboration path with Microsoft for a long time starting with Outlook and Exchange. A couple of us probably remember a team productivity update. Then SharePoint 2001, SharePoint 2003, Digital Dashboard was in there. In going from point- milestone to milestone on this path, there hasn’t been a lot to leverage moving from one point to the other. Today, in the Whidbey talk I was gratified to hear that the Whidbey Web Parts were going to be backward compatible. I’m hoping that you can assure us that those of us who have been on the path with you for a while, that this cycle of creative destruction is coming to an end.

PDC 05: Are the PDC silos going to present a disconnected view of the Microsoft developer platform?
https://web.archive.org/web/20060211002512/http://dotnetjunkies.com:80/WebLog/mwherman2000/archive/2005/07/14/131275.aspx

For example, in the description for sesssion “Choosing the Right Presentation Technology: Avalon, Windows Forms, ASP.NET, IE, and More”, there is no mention of InfoPath “12” and the forms server demonstrated at TechEd 2005.

I would encourage everyone attending this session to rate it a 1 of 5 if the new InfoPath forms and forms server is not included in the analysis.

Is Microsoft going to present an integrated view of the Microsoft platform or a disconnected one?

Is the PDC going to be one large Microsoft “technology fair” with no strategic intent other than giving each product group a venue to promote their own technology bits? …leaving developers to guess what is strategic and what is not. (50% probability)

Pre-blogging the PDC
https://jonudell.net/udell/2005-08-02-pre-blogging-the-pdc.html

As Microsoft gears up for its annual Professional Developers Conference, Michael Herman — CTO and founder of Parallelspace — is asking some probing questions about the agenda:

Is the PDC going to be one large Microsoft “technology fair” with no strategic intent other than giving each product group a venue to promote their own technology bits? …leaving developers to guess what is strategic and what is not. (50% probability) [Michael Herman: Are the PDC silos going to present a disconnected view of the Microsoft platform?]


Michael asked similar questions at the Office Developers Conference I attended in February. I transcribed one of them — about Microsoft’s hydra-headed electronic forms strategy — in this blog item. Michael blogged the same exchange, and he also zeroed in on another set of questions and answers about unified storage that I transcribed from the February conference.
These questions are interesting, but I find the process itself even more so. The PDC tends to be ahistorical, focusing on futures more than follow-through. In the hallways you see attendees reading the entrails and trying to divine which futures will be strategic, at a level more granular than the grand themes: Windows, NT, Win95, the Internet, tablet PC, .NET, Hailstorm, WinFX.

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