When did Microsoft lose its way and forget that customers look to it for value, with value being defined as "software solutions that solve business problems"? Of course Microsoft continues to push such customer value, but it feels to me that the company increasingly dilutes this core message with other, specious measures of value.
Microsoft hawks intellectual property value ("We probably won't sue you!"). Now, as Glyn Moody points out, the company is pitching "bigness" value.
What's that? Basically, it's value that derives from being big. In a new survey, Microsoft is out to show just how much Christmas cheer it brings to the planet by being Very Big, as Glyn writes:
The point is obviously to show how jolly important Microsoft is to all those economies, and how governments had better not fiddle with the delicate ecosystem. But of course what this necessarily overlooks is the huge value of the open source ecosystem - difficult to quantify using traditional economics - not least because open source saves people money, whereas Microsoft's ecosystem costs money. This means it looks smaller when it is simply leaner.
Microsoft estimates that it is in some way responsible for upwards of 42% of the entire IT market. It believes this is a good thing, no doubt. If I'm a government meant to venerate Microsoft for this fact, it actually would cause me to do the opposite: quake in my boots with fear. Why would any government want to have 42% of its particular IT market heavily influenced by any one vendor?
Regardless, governments and other IT buyers should look to Microsoft if it solves their business needs, and not merely because it's a big company with wide-ranging impact. That impact cuts two ways. The other way is hardly flattering to Microsoft.