As a Microsoft fan (and I tend to think I am quite knowledgable about their products and technologies too), I often find the articles describing the company as evil simply wrong or unfounded. Most times the author doesn’t make an adequate argument, or will argue something that is factually incorrect. Other times, the author neglects to point out something important that reflects positively on the company.
Also infuriating are the seemingly endless articles of praise written about Google and Apple. Lately there has been some comfort in the fact that bloggers have taken Google to task over it’s controversial AutoLink feature, but the vast majority of content written about Google is praise – sound or not. Apple is no different. The company behind the incredibly popular iPod is always placed on a pedestal. Recently though, things have begun to change.
People are now beginning to question whether Google really can do no wrong. AutoLink is a great example. Why is Google not being as harshly criticized as Microsoft was for its similar SmartTags feature from a few years ago? The blogosphere has been asking this question in huge numbers. With Google hiring everyone from operating system designers, to browser developers, to fibre optics experts, why are there no Microsoft-like conspiracy theories about Google taking over the world? Here too, bloggers are beginning to wonder.
Apple might be starting to fall off the praise train a bit too. People are finally starting to realize what a dead end the iPod platform is – one device, one store. Where’s the consumer choice there? And this excellent Forbes piece talks about Apple and their bullying of late. Perhaps the iPod success has inflated the egg-like head of Jobs even more?
Finally, Microsoft has begun to seem more human and friendly. With people like Robert Scoble assuming the role of public face for the company, Microsoft has begun to seem kinder, and more willing to work with others. I think people are starting to realize that the company isn’t so bad after all.
Combine these three developments and what do you get? A positive outlook for the already incredibly successful Microsoft, a potential crack in the strategy of Apple, and a more closely-watched Google. Who would have guessed such an outcome two years ago? Certainly not me.