Congrats to Windows Live team (and the Atlas team)

Lots of new stuff came out today from Microsoft’s Windows Live team. Yes, they still are behind in lots of areas but it’s a marathon and where before today they used to be 20 minutes behind the leaders now they are two minutes behind. Will they catch the leaders and pull ahead? That is yet to be seen, but at least they are back in the race. How do I know that? Cause Yahoo’s Jeremy Zawdony is paying attention.

Microsoft has lots of news today. Scott Guthrie also has a roadmap post on Atlas, Microsoft’s AJAX toolset. Are there developers interested in Web 2.0 concepts? 250,000 downloads this year so far say “yes.”

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The enterprise reeducation of Robert Scoble

I guess it’s pretty fitting that I totally butchered Shai Agassi’s name (he’s president of product and technology group at SAP and is one of seven people on its executive board). I’m so embarrassed. I was a bit nervous, which is a bit ironic because I didn’t even know who he was a few hours earlier, but the crowd that quickly formed to listen to Shai talk in the hallway at SAP’s big developer show going on now demonstrates that Shai commands the respect of everyday developers in SAP’s community.

Dennis Howlett nailed the real reason I hacked his name: I’m not astute in the enterprise world and I don’t have a good mental model of who the players and shakers are. He’s right that most of the time I think about more end-user stuff, but my whole career has been spent trying to figure out what drives developers and getting half a million developers to join a community in three years got my attention.

SAP is no Web 2.0 business. The cool kids like Mike Arrington don’t follow its every move like, say, the way we follow Google or Microsoft. On the other hand, name the business and it probably runs on SAP. Shai pointed out that they have had a developer community for a long time but that SAP only started paying attention to it three years ago.

Aside: one thing I notice about meeting intensely smart people like Shai (I’m in awe of his career track, he has shot to the top of SAP at age 34) is their focus. The ability to shut out everything else and focus intensely on what is in front of him is a skill I’m in awe of.

Of interest to me is that Ross Mayfield noted almost the same thing about SAP that I noticed, but he noticed it back in May. Over the next few months I’ll definitely be visiting SAP more often to continue my “reeducation” and I promise I won’t hack Shai’s name next time.

Also part of my enterprise reeducation was meeting with Dana Gardner (enterprise blogger and analyst) who spent most of the day yesterday with Maryam and me. His ZD blog is one of those that I look to first for information on enterprise players like SAP. Speaking of ZD blogs, sorry to hear that William Ziff (where Ziff Davis got its name) died today.

Anyway, thanks to the SAP community who invited me to come and listen. I wish I had spent the whole week. There’s a lot more I can learn from SAP’s developer community.

Oh, and thanks to Charlie Wood for making a photo of me interviewing Shai.