Is Microsoft Driving Innovation

It looks like everyone is talking about the topic I started discussing last week.

Robert Scoble and Dave Winer have a discussion on the topic over at the WSJ.

Gizmodo has the matchup of Google Mobile Maps and Windows Live Maps.

And a lot more people are beginning discussions around the water cooler and in the blogosphere on the same topic…so what is it that you as a user expect out of these large companies?

Google, Microsoft, IBM, etc all are large companies that make an impact on the world at large. Are these companies continuing to fill a large hole that needs to stay filled?  I certainly think so, maintaining leadership in web technologies, desktop operating systems, and large scale applications are these companies primary businesses and everything else is just extra…

The hole hasn’t changed in shape, these companies are simply trying harder to be the leader in filling more then one hole. That is a good goal, but is copying each other’s small trials the best way to go? Will Microsoft’s QnA be shutdown now that Google has realized their version of Yahoo Answers wasn’t performing? There will be a time when the hole changes shape, small groups of people are working on these kinds of innovation all over the world, when and where is another conversation though.

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2 Responses to “Is Microsoft Driving Innovation”

  1. Wayne Says:

    Another word that has been bastardized. Whenever someone talks about a company being “Innovative”, you know that you are dealing with someone who isn’t thinking, and has been entrapped by the latest buzzword. Whenever a company claims it’s being “Innovative” it generally means that:

    1) Buzzwords are easier that really stating what the company is about.

    2) The company is in trouble and this is all they can think of to say.

    3) The marketing department needs a complete overhaul (all new staff).

    Let’s look at what’s really important, because being Innovative has no importance at all:

    1) Do you sell a product that customers love?

    2) Does your product do it’s job well?

    3) Do you take good care of your end users?

    4) Does your company treat it’s customers and end users in morally?

    5) Do you treat your staff well morally and personally?

    If you can answer yes to all of these, you’ve got a great company – in fact you’ve got a fantastic company. Too few companies manage to to even get one of these right.

    Note that I didn’t mention responsibility to shareholders. The reason I didn’t mention it is that if you can’t manage to get at least four of the important basics right YOU ARE NOT BEING RESPONSIBLE TO YOUR SHAREHOLDERS, AND YOUR COMPANY MANAGEMENT SHOULD BE FIRED FOR CAUSE.

    Wayne

  2. joshmaher Says:

    I’m not sure I understand your point, or at least I don’t understand what your definition of innovation is. Would you mind expanding?

    I certainly agree that management is accountable to owners and that they should maintain that accountability; however, I disagree that a company that has products and customers should steer away from innovation because of this.

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