Microsoft, the cloud and the innovator’s dilemma

Good post (as always) from Nick Carr this morning is response another good post by Henry Blodget: Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: Does Microsoft need consumers? Yes.

It seems that Mr. Carr is a big fan (at least subconsciously) of Clayton Christensen and his innovators dilemma.  I imagine you have clicked through and read the post, but if not the central thesis seems to be that Microsoft cannot by-pass the consumer cloud based application market and just focus on the business cloud based application market because it’s consumers (and the ‘low-end’) that drive initial adoption of new technologies…like cloud based applications.
The same story played out in PC’s, with office productivity software and is starting to play out in web based apps.  I too am a big fan of the concept that products that aren’t ‘good enough’ for corporate use find a home at first with consumers, only to slowly get better and get brought in through the sneakernet.  However, I’m not sure that Nick is right in the part of his hypothesis that says that Microsoft needs to build a consumer web based software suite in order to go after businesses.  Someone has to build it to get it over the hump of ‘good enough’ for coroporate use and certainly whoever that someone is will have a big first mover (aka sneaker net) advanatge.  However, the gold ‘in them thar hills’ is with the business user and Microsoft does have the chance to skip over the consumer web space and jump right to the becoming the industrial strength productivity as a service provider.  They have the account teams.  They have the brand.  Do they have the vision and the focus?






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