Mary-Jo Foley shows stunningly inept judgement
Mary-Jo Foley has commented into the potential Twitter purchase by debate by declaring that Microsoft shouldn’t buy Twitter because:
Microsoft could simply do a Twitter clone … and reap similar results
Does MJF honestly think that anyone (not just Microsoft) could whip up a Twitter clone and beat them at their own game? That assertion is, to me, just laughable. Building a Twitter clone would not be supremely difficult for a half decent group of developers but that is not the game here. Twitter spotted a niche, exploited it, and as such now have the membership and the mindshare that means a Twitter-clone will simply never compete. Innovation is the means by which companies succeed on the web, not cloning.
I take issue with quite a bit of what Mary-Jo Foley says and generally choose to keep my council however in this case I feel that she is so acutely wrong I am duty-bound to point it out.
If questioned “Should Microsoft buy twitter?” my answer would be “I have no idea”. If Microsoft DO make an offer though I hope the strategy is something other than “we have to stop Google getting their mitts on it”.
I think a better strategy for Microsoft would be to say to Twitter “We’ll buy a stake in you, you stay independent, but come over and run on Windows Azure!” That would stop Google getting them and buy Microsoft some much needed mindshare for their upcoming Windows Azure platform.