No one could deny that Microsoft has been taking a pounding from press and users for the last 12 months. Even more so than usual.
They have been beaten up about security, bugs, IE6 being stale, delays in SP2, delivery of SP2, SP2 breaking things, etc etc.
The lead-up to and release of Firefox from Mozilla got a huge amount of press, Apple have been scoring big with OSX Tiger, iTunes, iPods – even one that had no screen that everyone said would be a fizzer. Instead its taken over the market.
Probably apart from Halo 2, Microsoft has been pretty “uncool” for most people. Lornhorn has been plagued by negative stories about features being pulled out, expected delays and a general “why bother”?
A lot of people have called Longhorn “XP SP3” (which initially it was supposed to be). However the funniest term for it I have seen is Windows ME2 :) But lately they seem to be turning a corner. They have been releasing some new software – Acrylic and so on. Even if most people thought the new stuff sucked – at least they were talking about something new.
MSN Search seems to be getting a lot of good feedback. I doubt it will ever overtake google in the foreseable future – but never say never. They have gone from nowhere to industry top 4 since they started.
Of course the big announcement at Gnomedex about IE7 including support for RSS, and Longhorn in general supporting RSS – was a huge positive. Especially as the method for integrating it will be available under Creative Commons license .
The Channel 9 forums and Robert Scoble’s Weblog have been a major positive for the company.
With the upcoming Lornhorn beta testing program about to start, a lot of positive stories have started to be written about it.
A lot of people are writing Microsoft off – I think they have turned a corner.