MSFT’s uber blogger Robert Scoble, after a week off, gets warmed up again with 26 (and counting) posts this weekend, the best for my money being this one. In it he suggests, after noting how sick he is of filing in the same profile information for orkut as he did for his first IM app in 1996, that MSFT and Google have a few beers and figure out how to play nice by creating social software apps that work with one another. Excerpt:
Why doesn’t Google and Microsoft sit down at a table. Yes, I know, we’re supposed to be bitter enemies. Let’s get over that. Let’s sit down. Have a few beers. And come up with social software that can share contacts with each other. Let’s announce it in a joint press conference. Let’s get over our own lock-in strategies. Let’s work together on social software so that our customers can go back and forth between our systems.
Can we do that? I’d love to help if possible. I know the social software folks at Microsoft. They are listening to me. How about Google?
What do you think? Should we sit down and have some beers and see if we can work together to make the social software thing better? Or, are our customers going to be locked in 1996 forever?
Untangling the incompatibility mess would open up the possibility that social software becomes more like web services, as Soble points out. That might actually make them useful!
Neat idea. But I don’t see it happening. First off, MSFT and Google, as I pointed out earlier, have totally different kharma profiles. Folks probably won’t want to share their data across the divide. And second, well, corporations don’t change their DNA midstream. And I think both Google and MSFT’s DNA are too hardcoded for them to want to play nice with each other. But you never know…