Before you ask “was it ever cool”, let me explain.
Remember that song “Groove is in the Heart”? My wife loved that song. I dug it. Groovy. I am sure that at the time there were people that thought Well, that’s it. Music can go no further. We have reached the pinnacle. Not saying I am one of them, but it was a pretty great tune.
You know what? My wife still digs it. The song has had sort of a resurgence lately, and I find myself pointing awkwardly into the air to the beat (that’s how I dance…) when it comes on. The cycle of nostalgia. What’s old is new, what was hip, then faded, is now back to hip.
Is that what happened and is now happening with Microsoft? Funny enough, the same year “Groove is in the Heart” came out, so did Windows 3.1. At the time, I was out of computers in general. I had joined the Navy, and was getting beat up by a drill instructor about that time. But, I discovered the magic of Windows a little while later. In high school, I had worked a little on the original Macintoshes and a “Lisa” we had in the computer lab, so I understood the ideas of a GUI interface to the OS, but Windows 3.1 was all of that refined to an actual useable interface. It was cool. It was hip. Hell, even the King of the Nerds Bill Gates was hip.
As the 90’s chugged along, a new kid on the block really came to popularity for both music and computers. For music, it was Grunge. Songs about feelings… bad feelings mostly. It was just as much about style as it was substance. The same could be said for Computers. Apple’s Macintosh eventually became the sleek iMac, which looked as good as it operated. “Groove is in the Heart” kept playing, but was just not as cool. And, Microsoft kept moving along too, but had just lost that lovin’ feeling.
But now – wait – what’s this? My wife’s favorite “old” hit is having a nostalgic resurgence. And Microsoft worked out the kinks when it finally released Windows 10. What’s up with that? Is it the same thing?
No, not at all, really. Microsoft is making a genuine effort to remain the choice for home computing, sure, but they know where their true cash cow is: business and productivity software.
Recently, MS bought LinkedIn and Yammer, and has, over the last few years, made great strides in cloud productivity with Office 365 offerings. They also, just in November, released “Teams”, a straight up “Slack” slayer. My team has been using it for only a month, and it is definitely a game changer.
So, grab your Reebok Pumps, your Guess Jeans, your vanilla Coke, and turn up the “Groove is in the Heart”! I’m thinkin’ Microsoft just brought back the 90’s!