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A Visit to Microsoft

The agency with whom I’m realising the new intranet for my office invited me last Monday for a visit to the Microsoft Solution & Innovation Center near Zurich and for the football (soccer) match Holland – Italy of the EURO 08 in Berne. I couldn’t resist and accepted the invitation. About the football match you’ll read in the next post.

The Microsoft Solution and Innovation Center is one of 4 centers world-wide, it opened in November 2007. It is some kind of a future-lab, to develop visions of what the electronic world may be in a few years.

In a futuristic setting (“It’s something like Spaceship Enterprise…”) with a 360-camera in the middle and surrounded by 7 large presentation screens we were entering into Microsoft’s visions of how a big enterprise might organise its collaboration, with video-teamwork, electronic white-boards, touchscreen-tablet noteooks and innovative mailing systems, with facilities beyond today’s scope and design.

The head of the innovation center told us, just like the automobile industry develops concept cars, computer technology develops concept workspaces. It was thrilling to see how the virtualisation of collaboration will be progressing, a quality of the Aquarian age.

However, when she asked for feedbacks, I told her that in my job one of the difficulties isn’t technical feasibility, but the humans working with the system. Of course the youth of today is very naturally handling electronic tools, but the human factor remains the center and not the electronic instruments: Instruments are for expressing ideas, helping to manifest them, they aren’t an end in themselves. In spirituality the body is realised to be the instrument of the soul, which has to get hold ov the vehicle, and not the vehicle becoming the master, like it is often the case.

We had a second presentation about the development of unified communication, where Microsoft sees a convergence between the different end-user’s instruments: Not the instrument matters for the communication, but the message to be transported. This too, goes into the same line of a spiritual principle that the instrument has to be the servant, not the master.

Inside the building: Cool style like the technical world, but without the breath of vegetation life.

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