Microsoft PR responds to critical op-ed


— 2:37 PM on February 5, 2010

Surprise, surprise. Microsoft has addressed that op-ed rant we told you about yesterday, and it doesn't agree with Dick Brass' assessment that the company has turned into a "clumsy, uncompetitive innovator." Microsoft Corporate Communications VP Frank X. Shaw wrote a relatively short post on the Official Microsoft Blog to rebuff some of Brass' claims and defend his employer's corporate culture.

According to Shaw, Microsoft doesn't care about having "a good idea, or a great idea, or even a cool idea." Rather, the company judges the merit of ideas by their "broad impact" on the world.

Shaw brings up ClearType as an example. Brass, whose team came up with the technology, alleged that internal conflict caused a ten-year gap between the development of ClearType and a full version appearing in Windows. In this case, Shaw points out that ClearType is now installed on around a billion PCs, and he adds, "what matters is innovation at scale, not just innovation at speed."

Predictably, the blogger also takes issue with Brass' claim that the Xbox 360 fails to stand out next to its rivals. The 360 was "the first high-definition console," "the first to digitally deliver games, music, TV shows and movies in 1080p high definition," and the first to "bring Facebook and Twitter to the living room," in Shaw's view. He also brings up Project Natal, which will launch this fall. To Microsoft's credit, that control scheme does look quite innovative—it's no Wiimote clone, certainly.

Oh, and what Brass said about the Office team stifling tablet development? Not true, says Shaw, pointing to Office OneNote and its tablet-friendly input features.

   
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