A surreal article...
A strange read.
This sentence from the article;
"IE is Microsoft’s window onto their ever-growing cloud application suite."
should be rewritten to read;
"The browser is Microsoft’s window onto their ever-growing cloud application suite."
I started to see it as an advertorial when sentences like this one;
"Google have an excellent suite of cloud-based office application of their own, but my Office 365 world seems to work pretty well with Chrome too – which is handy given that these days there’s not a Microsoft browser for non-Microsoft platforms (IE for Mac bit the dust back in 2003, after all) so it lets me work with my cloud apps on non-Windows platforms."
Lets analyse this shall we? It starts off complimenting the competition, then gives them a sideways complement/insult, instilling doubt by saying that they (the non MS browsers) "seem to work *pretty well* with Office 365". This is a classic sales technique, compliment and never directly criticize the competition. You can then cast doubt on their products but also praise, heck, even you use the competition's products! Then another sideways compliment to the competition while building yourself up "it (Chrome) lets me work with my cloud apps on non-Windows platforms." Then give yourself a soft slap on the wrist for not doing a better job in the past, while continuing to implicitly praise the competition "there’s not a Microsoft browser for non-Microsoft platforms (IE for Mac bit the dust back in 2003, after all)".
Now go for the sale, but do it in a round-about way, by asking a question about their own product as if the reader was considering using it but was fearful. That question is this: "But can I be certain that Microsoft’s offering will work with my Office 365 world? " See how the question is about the fear of Microsoft's product not working with another Microsoft Product? Usually this is stated the other way around, but not here, and it is a sure sign that you're now being sold to.
The alarm bells had been sounding for awhile by the time I read that "integration between the Microsoft browser and the Office 365 cloud" was "native and seamless". This is designed to instil confidence in the prospect, but to the critical thinker the question "Isn't that the whole idea of browser based applications delivered via the World Wide Web to eliminate the need for tight integration with the underlying OS"? springs to mind. The answer to this is "yes" and the motives to tightly integrate now must be looked at with some suspicion.
Oh, and one more thing. As far as I can discern there was no "theft" involved when it comes to the subject of Microsoft losing browser dominance on the web. They lost fair and square, and through their own inaction. Google created a better product and supported it equally well on more platforms, including Windows. Microsoft's failure to see the advantage of doing this is telling of their corporate culture, one of vendor lock-in and leverage the installed Windows base at all costs. Asking "what actually is “the browser market” – and is there actually one any more?" illustrates where they want things to go, back to tight OS integration. I think making the browser an integral part of the OS has no upside in the homogeneous World Wide Web, no advantage at all, but for the vendor promoting it there would be much to gain.
The Internet is a secular place, lets keep the church (the Operating System) separate from the state (the web & web-based apps). I'm not a big fan of renting my software and keeping my data on someone else's machines, I prefer to have a choice, to be able to use both if I want to, or just one if I please. The best one will eventually win out, and I think it will probably be a blend of both, but it doesn't HAVE to be... I'll decide for myself; but only if I'm able.