Bit controversial this post. Sometimes there are things, dark things, great big dirty secrets that we harbour that should never see the light of day. I don’t mean the fact that I am rather partial to a bit of Abba either.
Ok, let’s do it. I (heart) Microsoft. There. I’ve said it now. It’s got two bits to it. The first is because I met Stuart Aston last week, their Chief Security Advisor here in the UK. Here is a man that is great company, learned and (importantly) got my oblique reference to Spinal Tap. He also takes with good humour the fact that every time he stands up in front of a group of IA and Security professionals, they get a bit hostile and growly, wishing to blame him for all of their ills. And he sits there and smiles and reminds people that if they patch, they will be safe. It’s hardly his fault if people don’t keep up. But ahh, you say, if they got it right the first time, they wouldn’t need to patch? Hmm, I say, good point, but let’s be honest, their product range is so huge, so completely symbiotic with everything we do as a society these days, that even the slightest wobble shows up as hugely magnified. And actually, the reason everyone hates them is their ubiquity – everyone uses Microsoft.
And this is starting to spread. All of a sudden people are having a pop at Apple and Google. Why? Not because they have suddenly become evil or pumped out rubbish, but because they are almost as ubiquitous as Microsoft. And what do all three organisations have in common? Good products, widely deployed that people can actually use.
So where’s the link to IA you are thinking? And here it is – as fast as these organisations grow and produce product, there will be users pushing the envelope of what they can use them for. And that means IA becomes important, because the more these products can do, the more they will do, which means people like me need to stay on top of things.
So I do love Microsoft (and for the sake of balance, Google, although I am not yet totally sold on Apple, but I am sure it’s inevitable) because their products keep developing, their ubiquity is manifest and the need for independent IA products insatiable.
And we like at least one of their members of staff.