Last month, the New York Times brilliantly reproduced Steve Ballmer’s white boarded vision of the company’s cloud services plan. It depicts the company’s “software plus services” vision with Azure at the center of the universe, making use of SQL Server services, Exchange services etc etc.
The scrawled image really is quite simple, which gets to the heart of many fears. For people who’ve suffered through the Vista upgrade, or blue screens of death, and other side effects of Windows, the hope is that Microsoft will get away from its overly complex “pillars” of computing and just make something that works. What the world most assuredly doesn’t need they agree, is another Windows-centric “hairball.” The Windows-as-hairball quote remains among Scott McNealy’s finest bon mots
Microsoft’s problem is that it always tries to do too much. Too many buttons, too many features in Office that felt shoved down our throats. Then an attempt at simplification–the ribbon interface in Office 2007 which most users hate. Meanwhile, Google has been winning because of simplicity. The clean white Search screen. the spare look and feel are sights for Office-sore eyes.
Sure Google apps don’t do a fraction of what Office does, but that may be a plus rather than a minus. The fact that they’re cheap doesn’t hurt either.