2006 Will Be The Year of Microsoft

I’m often wrong (but never in doubt) and – after spending the day at PDC and an evening with a number of the project leads for various Vista technologies – it feels like 2006 is going to be Microsoft’s year.

Microsoft has been kicked around plenty the last few years by the likes of Google, Yahoo, the press, and many participants in the software industry.  However, during this time, the Microsoft money machine has continued to generate cash at a prodigious rate.  The home of “build it cheap and stack it high” is about to have two major project releases (Vista and Office 12) that will be relevant to over 500 million computers during the next few years.  Vista, Office 12, and all the supporting technology, dev tools, platform layers, and web services equate to a massive force of change which – if history is a guide – will result in a huge amount of money flowing to Microsoft and many of the members of the Microsoft ecosystem.

I arrived late to my dinner at The Palm tonight and was roundly applauded for being the last one to show up by the cast of VCs including Ann Winblad, Allen Morgan, Rick Segal, Chris Pacitti, and Scott Maxwell with someone suggesting I was late because I was blogging (well – ok – yeah – that was part of it.)  After listening to the Microsoft folks and the questions being bandied about, it is clear that Microsoft has an incredible wave of innovation building that is going to be released in 2006.  When I compare this to the energy at PDC – which was a high as I’ve ever experienced at a developers conference – it’s easy to get excited.

Now – if we can only get them to say “Open Source” instead of “Shared Software Services” life would be a little easier.