Microsoft, I forgive you!

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Creator of Ruby on Rails, Founder & CTO at Basecamp (formerly 37signals), NYT Best-selling author of REWORK and REMOTE, and Le Mans class-winning racing driver.
2 mins ago

Microsoft, I forgive you!

Microsoft is different now. The evil masterminds are all retired. No more Ballmer jumping around screaming for developers, developers, developers. No more Gates plotting monopoly schemes for world domination. They’re both finally out, and the new guy in charge isn’t making us wince.

The company seems to be finding its grove again. Seems being the operative word. Lots of cool stuff that’s actually shipping, but whether it’ll make a dent in the world remains to be seen. Yet at least there’s some promise and optimism back. The ghosts of “cutting off the air supply” and IE6 have finally been vanquished.

Just look at the latest Microsoft Event recap. This is not Ballmer’s bouncy castle anymore. This is good. This is fun. This is promising.

Besides, the company just isn’t scary any more. Or tone-setting. Or, in many areas of past glory, even relevant. And perversely enough, that’s exactly what is setting it free to try harder, try again, and make an impression with a crowd that’s no longer dispositioned to reject the effort because Microsoft is the big bad wolf.

There’s no more wolf any more. It’s more like a puppy. Or a Golden Retriever at best. Nobody is afraid of Microsoft. So since they can’t rule the roost through fear, they’re trying the long route of — let’s not get ahead of ourselves and kid about LOVE — intrigue. And frankly some hope.

The two titans of integrated hardware and software are Apple and Google. And they’ve divided the spoils of the world just a little too neatly between them. It’s bizarre, but I actually want to see a resurgent, strong Microsoft. If for nothing else, to take the smug confidence of both titans down a peg.

I’m hoping real hard that either the Surface or the Hololens or SOMETHING out of Redmond is an honest-to-god big hit with the general public (outside of gaming). Not another cool demo or R&D plaything. But something that ships and in quantity.

I’ll be honest and say I held a grudge. For a long time. And that axe wasn’t getting buried until that hoping, jumping, dancing buffoon was out the door. But now that he is, and Gates is busy spending his loot curing the planet, do you know what? I can forgive.

Yes, I know they’ve been pining for it, so here it is: Microsoft, I forgive you. And I’m actually excited for the work you’re doing. ✌️

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    DHH

    Creator of Ruby on Rails, Founder & CTO at Basecamp (formerly 37signals), NYT Best-selling author of REWORK and REMOTE, and Le Mans class-winning racing driver.

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