From the Director of Microsoft's Azure Services Platform Ecosystem

Brandon Watson

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Top Stories by Brandon Watson

It’s been an interesting handful of weeks.  I’ve been spending a lot of time in the field with our country managers as we get ready for the coming launch of Windows Phone 7.  That’s a post for another day. I’m here at TechEd, and there’s a lot of talk about Windows Phone 7 devices and when they are going to be made available.  One cool thing that the team is doing is handing out coupons to event attendees redeemable for general availability devices when they start shipping.  We’re only handing out around 50 or so of these coupons, so it’s definitely not a broad distribution.  It’s meant for people who are attending sessions or wearing Windows Phone hats around the show floor. Developer devices are also on everyone’s lips.  During the Windows Phone session yesterday, Terry Myerson (he runs engineering for Windows Phone 7) stated that we will start putting phones into... (more)

New Ad Model by Facebook

Facebook continues to be on the mind.  I took a quick read of Michael Wolff’s piece which suggests that Facebook lacks big ideas to justify their valuation.  I am not sure I agree with that.  The folks that I have met at Facebook have plenty of ideas.  Outward appearances seem to indicate that they are lacking a bit of focus around their revenue model. Their currently executed ad model is the same as what we have had on the Internet for the last 15 years, though they could argue that they have better data.  Data is not the asset they think it is.  It’s scarce, so it appears to h... (more)

Chrome OS Screenshot Leaked

It’s Friday, and it’s sunny out here in Seattle, which means that no work will get getting done.  In lieu of work, I did some digging with my contacts on the interwebs, and it turns out there is are a couple of screen grabs of the new Chrome OS floating around out there.  I like how Google is taking their minimalist design philosophies for their search engine and applying it to their OS. At the very least, you can expect that the UI for the OS won’t change for 10 years, that the OS will work only about 80% of the time (the other 20% it’s will be working on some personal project... (more)

The Power of Social Media

This afternoon I was sitting in a meeting discussing a potential upcoming marketing campaign to target developers.  It’s a great concept, and I am looking forward to seeing it come to fruition.  However, during the course of the discussion, it became clear that ad buys would be the primary driver of traffic. My chief concern was that the developer audience uses ad blocker software at a higher rate than the general population.  We don’t have data on it, and no one was sure how to get it.  I asked the community at Hacker News, and was pointed to this posting about the downloads of... (more)

Kryptonite and SAT Analogies

I was listening to the most recent TWiT where there was discussion about the recent algo change at Google.  During the conversation, there was an off-hand comment about whether or not the following relationship held water: Google:Social as Microsoft:Search That one kind of bent my mind around a bit.  There isn’t any new thought here.  Social is presenting all kinds of problems for Google, and despite their success in South America and some other locales with Orkut, they really haven’t made much of a dent in social.  A fact made more known by the recent additions of the talents of ... (more)