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Microsoft's Extreme Makeover

As Microsoft picked off companies like Novell, WordPerfect and Netscape in the '80s and '90s, its public image suffered. Redmond was the evil empire, reducing consumer choice by putting key vendors out of business.

Interestingly, this was all on Bill Gates' watch. As tough a competitor as Steve Ballmer is, he has treated the competition quite differently, and as a result, Microsoft has lost much of its negative connotation. Add to Ballmer's efforts the fact that Google dominates search and many Web services the way Redmond manhandles operating systems, and Microsoft's image is lightened even further. Today, many find Microsoft a terrific and trusted partner.

I'm finding that myself, at this very moment. Earlier this year, the Redmond Media Group inked a deal with Microsoft to take over MSDN Magazine and TechNet Magazine. We've been working with Microsoft for most of this year, and it's going great.

Here's another example. Last year, we started Virtualization Review magazine and soon got to know the major virt players. I now hear over and over that Microsoft is a better partner for third parties than VMware. VMware should correct this tout de suite if it wants to maintain its healthy growth.

What do you think? Has Microsoft changed? Was the negative perception valid in the first place? Send your thoughts to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on December 03, 2009 at 11:53 AM


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