Hello Microsoft, Goodbye

Hired by Microsoft to be an “enthusiast evangelist”, to “go out and mingle, bond and touch influential end users and show them all the cool things that Microsoft has to offer”, lifestyle blogger Stephanie Quilao quit after only nine and a half weeks.

It wasn’t just that working for Microsoft made her feel like Martha Stewart trying to fit in at a Star Trek convention — “I wanted to play with style and they wanted to play with robots.”

Comparing Microsoft’s desktop software to the Web 2.0 services available online, Quilao says that Microsoft doesn’t cut it for everyday people:

I created my blog business for less than $100, and it costs me about the price of a pair of nice jeans a month to run beyond my time and energy. I cannot do this with the current MS products or services. And I tried… I can use CSS and be creative in my blog design, and control what is advertised on my space. You can’t do that in Live Spaces. To buy Office 2007 Home edition is $150, and Vista Home Premium is $240. (Buying Vista Basic is really kind of pointless.) With that $150 and $240, many people can use that for more pressing things like health insurance, car insurance, debt elimination, rent, food, or gas…

… what MS has forgotten is that small business owners either left or despise the  Enterprise culture. The last thing they want is something that makes them feel Enterprise-y especially the creative types. When I speak to a group of Pro level bloggers, my passion group, I had nothing much to sell them on. When MS develops something as robust and creative as TypePad, Blogger, or WordPress, then it will be interesting.
Stephanie Quilao, Back in skinny jeans

And it’s not just Quilao. Two other MS workers leaving for vistas new: Microsoft’s top search exec Christopher Payne and yet another enthusiast evangelist — hired way back in mid-February — Michael Gartenberg.