Two competing camps at Microsoft

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-03-24 Print this article Print

For Microsoft's Richards, the move demonstrates the company's commitment to data portability and giving users "a choice of how to use and control their information."  The move also follows the announcement earlier in March of a number of new and improved APIs and tools to help the developer community deliver new customer experiences.

"We outlined the priorities for the Windows Live platform, including our intent to simplify data portability while keeping users, and their data, safe and secure. We announced the beta release of the Windows Live Contacts API, which Web developers can use in production to enable their customers to transfer and share their Windows Live Contacts in a safe and secure way. Simply stated, our efforts aim to put users at the center of their online experience," Richards said.

With regard to Microsoft's commitment to data portability, Enderle says that there are clearly two competing camps inside the company. One camp is driving the actions-like this one-that are focused on infrastructure and interoperability problems as part of traditional core strengths. The other camp has been on a more proprietary path for some time.

"Right now, overall, it appears the -interoperability' group is winning," Enderle said.

Microsoft recently delivered an updated Windows Live suite. Click here to read more.

Richards also said that Microsoft is "merely the stewards of customer data," and that customers should be able to choose how they controlled and shared their data.

While Enderle says it is hard to believe that Microsoft would "say this, let alone believe it," he feels it is, "in fact a true statement and the that folks who are coming up in the organization currently believe it strongly. The closer Microsoft gets to creating products that will allow customers to better control and share their data, the more successful Microsoft is likely to be ... they seem to be increasingly getting that now, let us hope that trend continues," Enderle said.  

Richards notes that the user relationships will have to be re-established in each social networking experience through permission from the friend or contact, so that the context of the relationship is maintained and privacy managed.

"We understand that just because people have a friend relationship with a contact on one social network, that doesn't necessarily mean that they want that same relationship on another network," he said.


Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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