There are huge numbers of Microsoft bloggers; yet in some important areas Microsoft seems happy to let its opponents make all the noise.
Internet Explorer is an obvious example. There is an official IE Blog, but you won’t find anything there about IE8, just occasional news of minor IE7 tweaks. The comments on the other hand are full of questions, many of them good ones that deserve an answer, or at least an acknowledgement that someone is listening.
I spoke to Microsoft’s Chris Wilson at the Future of Web Apps conference back in February, noting that he gave a “good bridge-building talk”. There have been other similar talks, but little of substance since then. Anyone searching the web for news of browser development and innovation will find little from Microsoft, lots from Mozilla and others.
This is not about Microsoft bashing. Rather, it is about web developers and designers who need to make stuff work. Having some idea about where Microsoft is going with its browser helps with that.
Microsoft needs to rediscover the value of high quality blogging that engages with the community. It is not just IE. Soon after the release of Office 2007 I was among those who reported on performance problems with Outlook. This blog still receives thousands of visits from users who search for why Outlook 2007 is slow. Where were the bloggers from the Outlook team? Months later there was a tech note and patch which helps a little, but Outlook 2007 is still slow and there is no real evidence that the company cares.
What about Open Office XML, viciously attacked by IBM and other sponsors of the rival Open Document Format? Brian Jones has a good marketing blog; yet I’ve seen relatively little technical blogging from the OOXML folk at Microsoft, in response to questions raised.
See also Dave Massy’s blog.