Following my panel at CES, Howard, Andy, and myself took Microsoft’s Anupam Gupta out to dinner. We would have taken all the panelists out, but Jeff and Tom had other plans already.
Over dinner, I learned that Microsoft is clearly working hard toward a web 2.0 model with their Live branded products. Anupam wouldn’t commit to a date, but we should be looking for richer APIs that allow third parties to interact with Microsoft properties, especially when the data being accessed includes presence and contacts.
We also had an interesting philosophical and semantic discussion around Voice 2.0. Microsoft’s view is that the key assets in the new world include directory, presence and contacts which appears to be an enlargement of the original Voice 2.0 vision I articulated. Anupam made the comment that, while MSN has 400 million members, they actually have 12 billion relationships enumerated in their contact systesm (buddy list and so on). My view is that relationships, contacts, and presence are applications built on the fundamental directory asset.
Anupam’s a sharp guy. Dinner was a very enjoyable affair.