Microsoft shifts again

Yesterday Microsoft evidently woke up to "Web 2.0." In SF Bill Gates announced:

…an ambitious attempt to move its software and services online
and start collecting more money from advertisers.

Gates unveiled Microsoft’s two latest offerings, called Windows Live and
Office Live, in which the Redmond, Wash., company’s biggest cash cows are
retooled and made available to any device connected to the Internet, in some
cases for free or for greatly reduced charges.

It’s clear that a lot of the functionality that we pay Microsoft big money for can be moved to the internet as services. So why pay several hundred dollars for Microsoft Office and only use 10% of its functionality? Some commentators suggest Microsoft Office and Windows are no longer very relevant. More than ever, the network is the computer. But Microsoft’s franchise is 20th century business software. Now here they are, trying to establish a new model: half your stuff is still on your computer; the other half is on the internet. It’ll be interesting to watch this play out. Microsoft not only has a huge legacy of office apps and operating systems to support, it’s got the mind-set of the old business environment.