Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Stop Worrying and Love Redmond

So, this is my first post on my 'new' blog about living with Microsoft. In fact, not just living with, but learning to stop worrying and love Redmond. Just to clarify, I do not work for Microsoft, this blog is a personal view on coming back to the MS technology stack after many years.

The purpose of this introductory post is to say that while I have been 'forced' into a much more Microsoft world than I previously occupied, what I am discovering is that the MS of old is being replaced, quickly, by a very different animal. And whilst I continue to keep hold of my sceptical-at-best attitude to the all mighty SharePoint, I have to say that my head has been well and truly turned by both Office 365 and Azure and in particular the latter.

I used to hold the opinion (and I feel it was very justified) that MS wanted to dominate across every arena into which they ventured. Stories I have heard certainly seem to back that up. And dominate they did. Dominance comes with a price, you were either with them or against them. You either dived right in to the bucket of kool-aid and focused on what MS told you, or you ventured elsewhere. I didn't dive in, I never liked having things forced upon me. I don't like to be sucked in to a technology where I no longer have choice, at that was how I viewed MS. From languages to applications, you were either on Windows or you walked.

But that was then.

But over the past couple of years I became aware that I was responding so the various announcements coming out of Redmond with some enthusiasm. Visual Studio Code, for you Mac or Linux machine; Visual Studio Online (now Team Services) supporting builds that run on xCode; a single Windows runtime and API across all devices; Docker support in Azure. The list was long and unusually breached the MS product boundary. It was exciting.

Where MS went, so I was destined to follow. The company I was working for had made the decision to go all out MS Cloud. The stack was very heavy on SharePoint but with a requisite amount of Azure and Office 365 thrown in for good measure. The more I dug into Azure and the more I worked with Office 365, the more I understood (or thought I did) where MS are heading. And the more I find myself impressed and excited about what will happen next.

So, that's my starting point. My view may change, MS might disappoint (in fact they're bound to), but I hope that the direction remains. It's exciting to think about where they might go and what they might do and I look forward to reporting my thoughts and experiences in the months ahead.

For now, that's all I have.

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