Microsoft Today: Friendly?
Throw in a revision of the Microsoft support pages and the company virtually giving Microsoft Office away (via the browser-based apps) and all of a sudden you wonder if the company was ever really that bad; after all, Ballmer has been there since 1980, he was a key player back in the days when you had to pay to access a Hotmail account from Outlook, and has been knee-deep in the various anti-competition strategies that Microsoft has been accused of over the years.
Was Microsoft simply misrepresented over all these years? Or is this new public face a response to the years of negative publicity, a reaction to the threat of becoming an industry monolith, and the considerable downsizing that this might mean at some point in the future?
Looking at Microsoft today, it is hard to tell. They’re clearly the same company as the one that upset the European Union over the dominance of the Internet Explorer browser, but their stance on hackers and Windows Phone 7 is in complete disagreement to the expected reaction.
While Apple spend millions of dollars preventing the iPhone from being unlocked with the jailbreak process, Microsoft is to all intents and purposes happy for the WP7Chevron team to apply a similar unlock.
Could it be that Microsoft plan to downsize their legal team, or are they genuinely a changed company?
Or is the truth something much simpler – that Steve Ballmer and Microsoft are happy to get one over on Steve Jobs and Apple on any playing field?