Microsoft Technology Summit Recap
Last week I had the honor of attending the 2006 Microsoft Technology Summit up in Redmond.
The meeting brought together tech, product, and business folks, many of whom who make a living in the open-source or Java worlds. The goal of the conference, as I understood it, was to engage in conversation with folks who hadn't drunk the Microsoft Kool-Aid, to learn how MS can make their org and products better.
I felt that the summit suffered from conversations that were too narrow; the agenda planners held sessions on everything from the common language runtime (not interesting to me) to a fascinating talk by Sanjay Parthasarathy, who introduced himself as heading up Microsoft's evangelism group, and then for emphasis, added that he was Scoble's boss. Dividing the conference into tracks for product, tech, and business folks could likely have steered the conversations in more interesting directions.
Many of the presenters were very forthcoming about problems that Microsoft had with its products or reputation. There were a few, however, who seemed defensive about some of the design decisions they made, which seemed counter-productive. These people went beyond explaining the rationale they used to make a decision, to justifying the decision in the face of what seemed like candid, earnest feedback.
That aside, I think it's great that Microsoft is reaching out to folks from all over the world (there were people at the MTS from Russia, Brazil, Japan, India, etc.) to understand ways to make their business and products better. While much of the feedback seemed bang-on from where I sat, I'm interested to see what changes, if any, are made by Microsoft.