Microsoft 2.0 – Short on Technical Tea-Leaves

I’ve literally just finished reading Mary Jo Foley’s book, Microsoft 2.0 – How Microsoft Plans to Stay Relevant in the Post-Gates Era.  I picked up a copy at my local book store yesterday.

The books shows that Mary keeps on top of things and clearly edited the book right up to publication to get things in, falling just short of know the name Live Mesh to a Microsoft project she mentions.  Along with describing the Live Mesh project, she mentions cloud OS, virtual computing, Silverlight, etc., as largely separate items – the things I’ve been blogging about as converging in a ‘Live PC’ in my initial Live Mesh series.

Perhaps it’s just me – someone who drinks down Microsoft information like water in a desert – but I was gagging for some new information.  Other than a few research project names, I didn’t learn anything new from the book.  That’s not to say that other will not.  I was hoping she would give more technical predictions – some juicy possibilities to think about.  There needs to be a technical insight/predictions volume in a 2.0 edition.  It wasn’t very business-audience focused either – more of a very long blog post.

The book is good if you want to understand the current key players, organisational basics and business breakdown of Microsoft at this moment in time.  It is not a tea-leaf prediction factory at all, though it does pose questions about how things like a Yahoo acquisition and Ray Ozzie’s low-key leadership will or will not affect things.  As much as the book wants to ask what the new Microsoft will look like, it’s largely about what it’s like in 2007.  Mary wasn’t able to get official sanction or information from Microsoft for the book and perhaps that has crippled what could have been a more useful resource.

I have to say that there’s a lot of repetition in the book and various spelling/grammatical errors.  Hey, we all do those, but no-one’s paying me to do this or paying someone else to proof-read it.  I believe at one part of the book it reads that Microsoft did buy Yahoo.  Mary is also the queen of footnotes it seems.

The book does set Mary up as an information tracking authority though and she vows to keep information coming at it has a number of posts already.

Back to more technical reading…