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Microsoft's Team 99 May Not Be A Winner?

Robert Scoble
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-02

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Did I say that this is the only effort Microsoft is making to engage with customers about Longhorn? No.

Joe Wilcox: Team 99 may not be a winner.

Someday I hope I can tell you about all the other efforts that are going on. One thing you're seeing is the "blogger distortion effect." That is, when a blogger like me says something it makes it seem like that's the only thing the whole company is doing.

I was talking with Joel Spolsky today and he said he finds that he often "writes defensively." Because of exactly this effect. If he doesn't completely list out everything he's thinking and all the possible ramifications he finds he spends all of his time answering email explaining why he didn't cover everything.

Joe says something incorrect, though: "At one time enthusiasts were the greatest Windows evangelists, and Microsoft courted them with user group programs and free software. Those efforts have all but disappeared and the free software incentives along with them."

That's absolutely incorrect. I was an MVP for five years. When I joined the MVP program there were a few hundred members. Now there are a few thousand members. The MVPs are the most enthusiastic users I've ever been around. Also, Microsoft engages with user groups through the INETA program. 773 user groups around the world participates in INETA. Lots of goodies distributed to both groups.

Both the MVPs and INETA will get tons of Longhorn information to help them be authorities.

But, you can't have an intimate discussion with 3000 MVPs. There's a role for that group, as well as a role for a smaller group of geeks that can fit into one office and get a tour inside Microsoft.

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About the Author:
Robert Scoble is the founder of the Scobleizer blog. He works as PodTech.net's Vice President of Media Development.

Go to Scobleizer ...

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