Unshackled Microsoft Declares War

[Image via Business Insider]

Microsoft Build was touted as the most important Microsoft developer conference since 1995. Believe that hype – Microsoft is alive again, unshackled by the DOJ Consent Decree that expired in May 2011. Windows 8 is only the beginning of a multi-front war Microsoft will engage in across the entire software industry.

A smiling, upbeat Steve Sinofsky portrayed a positive message throughout the overly long keynote, but the undertone was more Churchillian:

“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in tablets, we shall fight on phones and servers, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the cloud, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the social networks, we shall fight on the desktops, we shall fight in the browsers and in the developer communities, we shall fight with interns; we shall never surrender.”

The breadth of Microsoft’s ambition is refreshing and revitalizing. The scale of Windows 8– from phones to enormous servers–is just the beginning. Microsoft’s subtle agenda is a seamless integration with the cloud. This leverages Microsoft’s strengths of being one of the very rare companies capable of making an end-to-end experience from client to corporate server to cloud under a single set of APIs, management tools and security policies. Microsoft knows and understands that integration has always been and will continue to be the key to leveraging their platform. Corporate customers have the money and desire for this integration, rather than a hodgepodge of iPads, third party security apps and inconsistent tools.

Chris Jones presented the LiveID integration. I met Chris back in 1997 at the private developer launch of IE3. IE3 was the first version of IE that was finally superior to Netscape Navigator, both in execution and extensibility. It’s exciting to see a veteran come back to attack another Silicon Valley competitor. Competition is good for the industry and the economy in general.

Let the war begin!

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