Microsoft: The Future and a Key Admission of Weakness

September 26, 2008

A Microsoft wizard shared Microsoft’s view of the future of computing. CNet’s Dan Farber does a very good job summarizing the key points. Mr. Farber has included some interesting screen shots. You can read his story “Microsoft’s Mundie Outlines the Future of Computing” here. Tucked away deep in the write up was a comment attributed to Mr. Mundie that caught my attention. Here’s the statement:

Programming tools, which have been a strength of Microsoft, will play a crucial role in the emergence of spatial computing. To create a kind of parallel universe–a cyberspace version of the physical world–everyone has to contribute on a continuous basis, Mundie said. Sensors and users will be generating trillions of bits of data, which requires addressing concurrency and complexity in a more loosely coupled, distributed and asynchronous environment, he said. “Our tools are not designed to address this level of system design,” Mundie explained. “We have to see a paradigm change in the way we write applications.” [Emphasis added]

My research suggests that Google has invested in programming tools. One interesting patent document discloses that JavaScript can be automatically generated. The idea is to free up talented programmers to tackle more substantive tasks. Google’s janitor technology can clean up certain ambiguities by checking methods out of a library, trying them out, and remembering which method worked better. No human programmers required.

Microsoft needs to shift from catch up to leap frog mode. Is it possible that Microsoft is so far behind that despite its best efforts it will be Fox Rental Car to the Hertz of cloud computing? Share buy backs won’t address this value issue in my opinion.

Stephen Arnold, September 26, 2008


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta