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Mashups Are Breaking the Mold at Microsoft, by John Markoff

Image and text source: NYTimes

Published: February 10, 2008

REDMOND, Wash. — TUCKED away in a building on this forested corporate campus, John Montgomery and his team of 17 programmers might be more at home in Silicon Valley than at Microsoft.

Compared with its tenacious Internet competitors like Google and Yahoo, Microsoft is generally still viewed as being more of the shrink-wrapped software generation than the Web 2.0 world.

In Silicon Valley today, software is increasingly delivered as a Web service, it is often put together by teams of programmers who might be scattered on three continents, it’s often free to users, and Web surfers usually do the testing soon after the first prototype is complete.

By contrast, Microsoft has long been a software engineering culture in which huge projects like Windows Vista are developed and tested by teams of hundreds, and whose completion time is measured in a large fraction of decades.

Although it is not yet widely visible to the outside world, some people inside Microsoft are beginning to break that mold.

Mr. Montgomery, a veteran product manager who has also worked as a computer industry writer and editor, is an example of how it just might be possible to teach dinosaurs to dance.

Read the entire article at NYTimes

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