Why Microsoft is no longer the old guy at the party
By: Ben Weiss
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We’ve all probably experienced this scenario at some point or other in our lives. You’re mingling at a social function and notice that old guy who looks horribly out of place sitting on the couch. He has his top button buttoned and tries to interject in other people’s conversations in ways that are awkward and out of place.
Up until recently, that dude was Microsoft. The guy who’s always invited to the party, who everyone knows, but whose relevance and hip factor went out of style 15 years ago. By contrast, Apple and Google became the young charming socialites with martinis in hand who took all the pretty girls home.
I suppose Microsoft seemed cold and distant. While the software giant’s rock-solid imprint on the enterprise world solidified its relevance long into the future, the company just did not seem focused on creativity and the user experience. As Adrian Covert wrote in a recent article for Gizmodo, the products Microsoft was releasing in the 90s (Internet Explorer 6, Outlook, Windows Mobile) “had every feature under the sun, but required a PhD to use fully.”
In other words, Microsoft was lacking that luster … that sex appeal that’s positioned intuitive Apple technologies as some of the most exciting topics within the global discourse.
But, recently Microsoft has made an impressive effort to change all of that. Rather than being comfortable as the company that supplies the tech needs for your Dad’s office, Microsoft has been ripping at the seams this year with swagger in the form of Kinect, Xbox Live, Windows 8, SmartGlass, Surface and Windows Phone 8.
While the different departments of the company appeared horribly segmented in past years, Microsoft is now unifying its product lines and programming languages to present more comprehensive and user-friendly offerings.
As Covert goes on to mention in his article, “there's the feeling that this change is coming from a new core philosophy and not just blind trend-chasing by a pack of suits. Microsoft is embracing ideas as much as statistics” … unbuttoning that top button, letting a little chest plumage out and rejoining the conversation with confidence and machismo.
Now it’s still too early to evaluate whether this new attitude will create a truly meaningful impact on society, but in this current moment, I think that the title of Covert’s article rings especially true: “Microsoft Is the Most Exciting Company in Tech, Hands Down.”
Infusive Solutions Inc. is a niche technical recruiting firm within the Microsoft Partner Network dedicated to serving the workforce needs of our clients as well as taking our candidate’s careers to the next level.
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