Late last week, I posted a top-10 list of things Microsoft did right during fiscal year 2010
, which ended on June 30. With every right there must come a wrong. What will surprise some readers is how some actions fit into both categories. A number of "wrongs" on this list also appear on my "did right" list but put into different context. With that introduction, during fiscal 2010, Microsoft wrongly: 1. Revamped its cloud computing strategy.
Azure debuted a month late and a whole vision short. In 2008, Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie laid out a startling and potentially revolutionary cloud computing vision. Developers would write to the datacenter much as they did to the desktop operating system. I likened the approach to an operating system in the sky -- to a truly cloud OS.
But Azure turns out to be something much different, and not because Microsoft mismanaged the project like Windows Vista. Clearly something else changed
. The Office and Windows hawks beat out the cloud OS doves. Azure is now more like a cross between Amazon cloud services and hosted Microsoft everything else, as the company seeks to extend its Office-Windows-Windows Server applications stack to the datacenter. Microsoft had a chance to do something quite revolutionary with Azure. The revolution is now nothing more than a resolution to protect the status quo.
No. 1 is the "wrong" of No. 1 ("launched Azure") and No. 2 ("revamped its cloud computing strategy") from the "did right" list.