In the article Microsoft starts over in phone software the writer Ashlee Vance says “The product marks a rare moment when Microsoft scrapped previous versions of its software in favor of building something new from scratch.”
I don’t see that as a very rare thing. I see Microsoft as a company that is very willing to scrap existing products and technologies to start over. Some that I can think of are:
- Multiplan to Excel
- MSN the non-internet “online service” (compare to Compuserve GEnie, Prodigy, etc) to MSN the internet portal. (and with that Internet Studio/Blackbird and abandoning all the developers they signed on to develop for it.)
- Windows 1.0 to Windows 3, (and for that matter Windows 3 to Windows 95) were probably as big of a jump as Windows Mobile to Windows Phone 7.
- MS-BASIC to QBasic to Visual Basic to Basic.net
- COM to .Net.
- Project Longhorn to what eventually shipped as Window 7.
- Microsoft Play-for-sure to Microsoft Zune.
Or for that matter, the long path that the PocketPC (for the PDA market) has taken to to the Windows Phone 7. Any other examples that anyone can think of?
The sentences before and after this quote seem odd to me as well first he says “Microsoft is trying to draw attention away from the application model and focus more on software that’s closer to the company’s roots.” and then “Microsoft has spent the last 18 months trying to add gloss and sophistication to a product that had suffered ridicule as being clunky and too wedded to the company’s personal computer roots.” Which is it trying to move closer to the company’s roots? Or trying to add gloss and sophistication because the existing product is too close to the companies roots? It seems odd to me that something that is described as being the “application model” is straying away from the Microsoft company roots. (Early on, Windows vs. MacOS was described as MacOS being “document centric while Windows being Application Centric. OpenDoc was designed to be Component centric to be a move away from Windows application Centric approach.)
(update on Feb 16: my friend Chris pointed out that I used the wrong gender for the writer Ashlee Vance: s/she/he/g)