Here’s the terrific opening of Bloomberg Businessweek tech writer Ashlee Vance’s must-read article about how Microsoft’s newly named CEO needs to make Microsoft more like Google:
"About two years ago, Microsoft’s research arm described something amazing in a blog post. It had developed a contact lens equipped with a tiny chip that could measure the blood sugar level of tears. …"
"Microsoft earned a few pats on the back in the press for this announcement. But the reception was nothing compared to what Google received [a few weeks ago] when it unveiled — wait for it — a contact lens that can measure blood sugar levels. Hundreds of stories celebrating Google’s innovative thinking appeared and portrayed these contact lenses as a natural extension to the Google Glass product churned out by the company’s research division. ‘Google doing amazing things,’ wrote one commenter on Google’s blog post about the invention. ‘Again.’
"The projects sound similar because they are, in fact, the same idea. Babak Parviz was a researcher at the University of Washington who had teamed up with Microsoft on the original project. He later took a job at Google, spearheaded the Google Glass product and then reintroduced the contact lens idea this year. The difference in reception from the outside observers shows why Parviz may have been right to move the work to Google. There’s a belief that Google will back this science experiment with enough energy and resources to turn it into an actual product that people can buy. When it comes to envisioning and delivering the future, Google is clearly the company people now seem to turn to most.
"Of all the questions that Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new chief executive officer, will face, the most pressing one may well revolve around deciding whether or not Microsoft still wants to be an arbiter of technology."
We hope we’ve whetted your appetite to read the entire article, which we found both insightful and provocative. Please click here to read the rest of the piece at the website of Bloomberg Businessweek.
Satya Nadella, above, Microsoft’s new CEO, has been with the company 22 years. Most recently he was in charge of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprises division.