I slapped Microsoft in the face (and lived to tell the tale!)

Well, I made it out alive!

I went to the Microsoft internal management meeting in Switzerland (Bürgenstock – a beautiful resort overlooking Lake Lucerne), told them their web 2.0 offerings sucked, and why.

View from my hotel in Bürgenstock

I have to say that their reaction was remarkably positive to my (metaphorically) slapping them in the face! They did challenge some of my assertions (which is the least I expected) but the overall feedback I received was amazingly positive. In fact I received invitations to do more of the same from some of the participants.

The presentations I gave were both difficult to prepare and difficult to deliver because, normally when I am presenting, I am talking up some technology or process. This was the first time I was asked to deliver a negative message in a presentation. Still, now I know I can do that (and do it well, if the reaction of the participants is anything to go by).

The difficulty was, of course, tempered by the location!

13 thoughts on “I slapped Microsoft in the face (and lived to tell the tale!)”

  1. Tom, I was one of the participants at your presentation and I really want to thank you for a good wake-up call and an inspiring presentation. I bring a lot of good observations and learnings back to little Denmark, and much it because of you.
    It’s always good to be challenged, so once again thanks! 🙂
    /Bo

  2. I have to say that their reaction was remarkably positive to my (metaphorically) slapping them in the face!

    Of course it was! They know they’ll get you eventually, just when you least expect it… 🙂

  3. Thanks Pat.

    Bo – delighted to have helped and thanks for the feedback.

    Cheers Piaras and Keith.

    Keith – after the telling off I gave them, I don’t see job offers coming any time soon!!!

  4. the only problem is what would you do with your trusty Mac?

    I’d still use it Dennis! I have XP working on my new MacBook Pro and it is screaming fast. It works faster than I have seen it on most PCs!

  5. Not to mention that there are more than a few people at Microsoft who use Macs. Within the teams they aren’t the scary monster we think they are. Plenty of diversity and innovation going on inside.

  6. Well done Tom. You can of course knock them and rightly so, they have lots of possibilities as well. Like local.live.com. The quality of their maps are just awesome (google just can’t tip them). Also look at San Francisco, the traffic information, the layout of the site with the background images fading behind the headers. The sattelite imagery is great too. Just one problem. The rest of the world is left behind. Second thing where they drop the ball is mashups. It needs to be google style with an API and javascript. No ASP or stuff like that on my server. No mashup community or online tutorials. They also have chances with bookmarking. del.icio.us is great but googles notebook is aweful. I have written to them with some of these points and I didn’t get as much as a ‘byte’ back from them. I hope they do well. I don’t want one monopoly replacing another.

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