Mark Luckofsky's post is sure making its rounds on the web and inside Microsoft. Joshua Allen posted some of the most insightful comments in reaction to that post. I don't think I could have said it better myself.
You know, when I joined Microsoft we shipped software every few months. Outlook Express shipped at least 4 versions in my first year at Microsoft. I got to ship version 5.0 which was probably the most fun I ever had, and went on to claim about 60% of the Macintosh e-mail market. Then OS X came out, Apple shipped Mail.app and the rest was history. Off into Office land we went, shipping every 18-24 months. Watching Longhorn the past few years, I can understand how many of Mark's points are valid. However.... that is one of the main reasons I came to MSN. In case you haven't been paying attention, MSN is shipping a lot of software. Both Win32 bits, and web bits. I think over the next few years you are only going to see an increasing amount of stuff come out of MSN. What you see today is really the beginning. MSN has gained quite a bit of credibility inside Microsoft for succesffully shipping software, and increasing revenues. We are competing in a super competitive market place, with Google and Yahoo shipping some really great stuff.
Anyway, I love to ship software Mark, and that is why I'm working on Hotmail. A bunch of my old Mac buddies, Dick Craddock, John Tafoya, Michael Fullerton, Gil Gordon, Reeves Little, Kristin Bromm are all working in Hotmail now. We spent 1999, 2000 and most of 2001 working on Outlook Express, Internet Explorer and Entourage. Up in Redmond there are also a lot of new faces in MSN; a lot of folks who used to work in MacBU. Some of my favorite things about shipping web software is that you can move your entire user base forward, there are no legacy bits sitting around. When you fix a bug everyone gets that bug fix immediately. Furthermore, you get to use the .NET Framework w/o having to install any software on the end user's machine.
Oh, we have 18 job openings at Hotmail, positions in Program Management, Product Management, Quality Assurance, Development and Operations. All in the Bay Area. If you like shipping software, submit your resume :-).