Monday, May 28, 2012

The Key Tenets - 7 Years after The Internet Services Disruption

October 28 2005 Ray Ozzie, having recently joined Microsoft (msft) at the time, put together an interesting manifesto with the subject title of "The Internet Services Disruption", with the purpose of "get all of us roughly on the same page".  For currently undisclosed reasons,  I had reason to review this document and found it completely fascinating.  Ray's foresight and ability to forecast the future is just amazing.   Although his writing was made public (good for us all), it was intended to inspire and position MSFT for it's next great phase.   Let's look at each of the key tenets Ray outlined and see who in our industry has the upper hand.

1.  The power of the advertising-supported model
Is MSFT winning here... definitely not.   Winners in this category are Google, making money off google.com.   Facebook making money on ads based again on high traffic visitations.  While these two companies are making good money with this concept, the company to watch is Apple.  Why?  Apple is actually empowering developers with this ad-support model through iAd.  Like ads or not... Apple is enabling developers to provide solutions free to consumers and are paid through ad hits.    There has also been a resent uptick in the number of ads off services like Hulu and youtube.   So there is no question that Ray nailed this tenet.

2. The effectiveness of a new delivery and adoption model
While Ray describes this in a try before you buy, and a readership and review model,  while being valid it is ubiquitous, so it is hard to give any one company brownie points for this.  Most of the good companies have their share of fan boys, VIP programs and evangelist (in the which MSFT does a stellar good at),   I would like to take this concept a little deeper.   New delivery... and delivery of what.  Considering operating systems and software, everyone is going disc-less.  Delivery of updates are internet provided.   But lets talk content... There is a new delivery mechanism for content... how do you watch your movies, how to you read your books, how do you get your music?   Where is MSFT in this space?  No where to be found.   Who owns this space?  Well... depending it seems divided between Amazon, NetFlix AND the big one?  Apple.   Apple hits gold stars in this category up and down their product like.  In fact one could say that the adoption of an iPod or iPad is a gateway into the full Apple stack.

3. The demand of compelling, integrated user experiences that "just work"
While I could go into detail and beat around the bush... this statement screams Apple.   While apple costs more in some cases, they are uncompromising and focus on the user experience.  They have all the advantages in this category as well.  they own the full tech stack... they don't have to make it work on a billion devices... they have theirs.

I consider myself a technologist and I don't "belong" to a specific tech group.  I see value in a number of camps.   The take away for me... is how insightful Ray was almost 7 years ago.  He nailed it.  It is too bad that MSFT doesn't seem to be paying attention to him. 

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