Dan’l Lewin is the Corporate Vice President for Strategic and Emerging Business Development at Microsoft and he talks about Microsoft’s Web Strategy today at Le Web 3 which just kicked off about 2 hours ago which a sponsored lunch that offered just enough delicious food to cure our modest hangovers.
Lewin is being interviewed by Steve Gillmor (Founder, The Gillmor Gang) and the two seem to get along just fine. With Ray Ozzie taking the lead at Microsoft and pushing for a clearer and more ambitious web strategy we were anxious to find out what Lewin had to say.
Listening to Lewin makes it clear that Microsoft is working hard on it’s public image. Words like “open standards”, “openID” and a sentence like “choosing your operating system is a personal choice and you should choose what you are comfortable with” sound very, well, un-Microsoft. In fact Gillmor at one point asked Lewin if Microsoft was getting al “warm and cuddly”. Lewin smiled, looked at his feet and almost whispered “Maybe a little”.
The conversation went from innovation at Microsoft to Mesh services to Data. That last subject was kind of surprising to me. When I think about Microsoft I think about software, not data. But there were several mentions of data. Dan’l made it clear that Microsoft’s focus is shifting from Software to Data and how to store it, work with and and own it. He mentioned that one of the things they are looking at and are worried about is data online. Lewin said: “Who stores it, who owns it and who has access to it”. Right now the answer to that seems to be ‘Google’ and it is clear that this is something that Lewin, and Ozzie, plan to change in the future.
If you want to see the man speak check out this earlier video at the Plug and Play Acceleration & Collaboration Track (PACT) 2008