Microsoft Did This?

Yesterday Microsoft Live Labs did a consumer release for PhotoSynth, a cool photo, combining software. If you haven’t heard of it, it “stitches” images together

allowing users to create their own virtual scene from a series of 20 to 300 pictures (source: Wired).

As I started to try it out, I thought, “Is this really Microsoft?” I mean, this sort of innovation seems more like Apple, Flickr, or Google. I was pretty impressed with the concept, especially that Microsoft had come out with it.

And then I actually used it. I gave it an easy task: put three pictures of adjacent areas in a park near my home together.After crashing my application twice so far, and now still “in process” with my “synth”, I saw that Microsoft’s personality has come through; I am unsure if my project is in process or just stuck (there is no status bar).

Fair enough that they are probably overwhelmed (they have mentioned that a few times today), and I should give them some more time to work out the bugs. The concept is very cool, they simply weren’t ready for people to really try. It’s too bad; it really has lowered Microsoft’s chance to become a more creative company in consumers’ eyes. First impressions are important but not absolute—confirmations of previous perceptions are much more dangerous.

As much as we talk about mindshare and positioning and other high level strategies, proper execution is tantamount to success.

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