Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Microsoft Marketing and Opensource

Robert Scoble points out that there is a problem with Microsoft's branding...

Consider the following...

Google: Google Finance, Google Video, Google Groups, Google Talk, Google Maps

Yahoo: Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Groups, Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Maps

Microsoft: MSN Money, Windows Live Mail, MSN Groups, Windows Live Messenger, MSN Video, Windows Live Local
We need names that are:

1) Consistent.
2) Simple.
3) Easy to tell a friend (Try saying Windows Live Local five times really fast, for instance).
4) One word that’s less than eight characters (Google wins!)
5) A domain that we own. Spend the money if we don’t have it.

As you can tell, I'm still not sure what the difference is meant to be between stuff branded MSN and stuff branded Windows Live besides confusing the heck out of people.

Anyway, Eric Raymond, opensource evangelist, has an interesting viewpoint:

Closed-source software development has a scaling limit, a maximum complexity above which it collapses under its own weight. [...] Microsoft hit this wall six years ago, arguably longer; it’s why they’ve had to cancel several strategic projects in favor of superficial patches on the same old codebase. [...] Apple has been able to ship four new versions in the last five years because its OS core is open-source code. Linux, entirely open-source, has bucketed along even faster. Open source evades the scaling limit by decentralizing development, replacing top-heavy monoliths with loosely-coupled peer networks at both the level of the code itself and the organizations that produce it.

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