Robert Scoble and the secret Microsoft killer product

We know that Microsoft is going to unveil a revolutionary product. We think it is coming out March 3rd. We don’t know what it is. We know a lot about what it isn’t.

The hoopla started when Scobleizer Robert Scoble broke the story that he was shown a Microsoft product which was so moving that it made him cry.

Microsoft researchers make me cry

It’s not often that I see software that really changes my world. It’s even rarer that I see software that I know will change the world my sons live in. I can count those times pretty easily. The first time I saw an Apple II in 1977. When Richard Cameron showed me Apple’s Hypercard. And something called Photoshop, all in his West Valley Community College classroom. Later when I saw Marc Andreessen’s Netscape running the WWW.

I think we have all been there. Seen an invention that you knew was going to change the world.

So it was when I saw the first web browser. It was Mosaic (the mother of all browsers), beautiful, even in its first version. I tried to tell others what I had beheld. "It had graphics, hot links that you click on to go to yet another page, you book mark things you like….". But it was like speaking a language no one understood. If all you had encountered were Bitnet, Decnet and ATDT (remember?) there is no way you would have the vocabulary to understand how revolutionary the first graphic web browser experience is.

So I understand Robert Scoble, and his need to write about what he had seen, even if he cannot divulge the details yet.

Techcrunch has spent some time speculating about what this is. Scoble has replied on his blog with what the new product isn’t - ie everything that Techcrunch is speculating about. According to Robert it is not operating systems, productivity apps, data centers or databases, video game consoles. And no, it is not the touch table top pc either. What is seems to be is a clever, small application that two (presumably very smart) people built.

So then Valleywag gets into the fray. They scold Scoble for starting hype about a product before he is released from an embargo regarding divulging information!

From Valleywag: Unsolicited advice, Robby: If you have an embargoed piece of information, don’t talk about it until you can talk about it. You’re not building buzz, you’re killing it in advance by sending people’s imaginations soaring in the wrong directions

Excuse me! There is no great product that has needed buzz before it was released, to be successful (think Facebook, Google, Ebay). Nor has any product been killed simply by hype.

image For those who are pointing to the Segue as a prime example of high expectations generated due to too much buzz, lets just be honest. The product did not get killed because of buzz. It faded away because it looked dorky! Steve Jobs thought so, and a focus group of a few teenagers would have come to the same conclusion if the designers had let anyone have a peek at the product while it was being built!

Meanwhile - yay for Microsoft! We are all ready for them to totally wow us with their next app!


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