Thursday, November 10, 2005

Microsoft "Sea Change"

Microsoft nearly missed the Internet party and was "blindsided" in 1995 when Netscape launched its Navigator browser. The unanticipated dawn of the Internet Age forced Bill Gates to issue his famous internal memo entitled 'The Internet Tidal Wave' that redirected Microsoft's development efforts to focus on Web-enabled products.

Fast forward 10 years and imagine a world without the Internet! What will the next 10 years bring?

While nobody knows, Bill Gates is not leaving the future up to chance. His latest company-wide e-mail, referred to as '
Sea Change', is being compared to 'The Internet Tidal Wave' in terms of impact on the company's strategic direction. And this 'sea change' has a direct positive impact on the demand for IT professionals with Web development skills.

The '
sea change' refers to the shift to Internet-based software and services. "This coming 'services wave' will be very disruptive," according to Gates. And with relatively little fanfare Microsoft announced plans for Windows Live and Office Live, two Web-based offerings that aim to help the company compete with Google and Yahoo, companies that are already seeing success with such Web-based offerings.

Whether you are a fan of Microsoft or not, history has proven that betting against Bill Gates is not a wise strategic decision. If the marketplace is indeed moving rapidly toward Internet-based software and services, then it makes sense to develop your Web skills accordingly.

Web developers in training have two primary skill-set options:
The Web services train is leaving the station. In ten years you might just look back and be glad you purchased a ticket and climbed on board today.