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So we’re clear, this isn’t a post about “oooh, how to fix a problem that is simply a replay of TechNet content” – I’m more interested in the philosophy of this kind of issue given the new challenges that Microsoft face now that they’re a mobile first, Cloud first “devices and services” company.

I guess my point is that this recently highlighted issue (this issue exists at the time of writing, if you’re reading this from the archive it may have been addressed) where if you have .NET Framework 4.6 deployed (to any supported Windows Server type) the SharePoint 2013 installer fails (see full TechNet article here) does not exactly instill confidence in the customer base that Microsoft are trying to convince to hand over their infrastructure to the Microsoft Cloud.

Now (before folks start jumping up and down), I understand that in the fabric of Office 365 (and also Azure) something like this is probably unlikely to be an issue as a technical level as the traditional approach of commission, build, install, deploy is less relevant, it’s  more about the philosophy.  This is an example of the age old (and often discussed) problem Microsoft has suffered from since day dot – the “product teams don’t communicate” problem.

Part of the thinking of .NET Framework side-by-side deployment is the avoidance of problems such as this one so abandoning this for 4.6 (in the context of 4.5) seems a little out of whack.  It could be argued that .NET side-by-side means that inter-product group communication requirements are reduced (ahem!) as framework version reliance can be allowed for by simply have many versions in place, but in today’s Cloud world where streamlining and efficiency is where profit is to be found, as a shareholder I find this particular issue disturbing.

Microsoft is still not learning from its past mistakes.

This continues to concern me.

Why?  I’ll tell you!

One of the principal virtues of successful Cloud companies is adaptation in the face of rapid learning.  Look how Amazon, Salesforce and others learn what is right and wrong and adapt their entire thinking around this new learning.  Microsoft is doing things quickly, sure (at the time of writing they’re crowing about 450 updates to Office 365 since it’s launch) but this is not what Cloud agility is solely about.  It’s not simply velocity, it’s also philosophy within the environment we find ourselves in and how that impacts DNA.  Software Darwinism if you will.

Microsoft needs to adapt and improve in these simple places before it gets caught out by spending too much time improving the “clever” stuff.

Before I mosey off, I know that (in the context of this tiny issue with a published workaround) I am deliberately making a mountain out of a molehill, but this is about corporate DNA.  “It takes more than fancy flying” Charlie once said (geddit?) and in the case of the Microsoft future, “it takes more than fancy marketing” to truly become a Cloud player.

more to follow…