My top 9 most used Microsoft products

Years ago there was a time that all I used were Microsoft products, but since becoming an Apple fanboy, leaving my corporate job and adopting a Apple and Google lifestyle this has changed. However this doesn't mean all Microsoft products are gone, they are still part of my daily use pattern.
  1. Skype, since I'm working as an independent, freelance consultant it's the communication tool of my choice. I'm actually surprised in how many organizations Skype is used, even when they have a OCS/Lync infrastructure. When Microsoft decides to integrate them, or at least allow inter communication I can see the value of the Microsoft Skype acquisition.
  2. Microsoft Exchange Protocol, used to connect my iPad/iPhone/Nokia to Gmail. GMail on Google Apps, another important communication channel. It's funny how all this different companies have to license Microsoft technology to realize inter operability between the various vendors.
  3. A Microsoft blanket, a few years ago my girlfriend joined me to Seattle on a Microsoft visit. Microsoft made them very welcome with a hotel room with a gold fish, a goodie back and a few bottles of wine. The goodie back contained a nice comfortable blanket that is frequently used, especially on chilly summer days when snuggling on the couch watching some television.
  4. SkyDrive, over the years I've given a few presentations and I've archived them all on SkyDrive. I ofter refer back to old stories and reuse slides for new stories. The graphical presentations tend to get very big quickly, but SkyDrive with the 25Gb of free storage is more than sufficient to maintain the archive. I never need to think about carrying the presentations with me, they are always there and I can easily browse them without having to download them. It would be great if one day I can actually copy paste between different presentations with PowerPoint online so I can easily re-assemble new presentations.
  5. PowerPoint, together with Prezi the presentation tool of my choice. Prezi has the advantage that I can do everything online and don't need to rely on installed (and licensed) software on each of the various clients I'm using, but PowerPoint has the advantage that I can easily reuse the enormous archive of presentations and story lines. I look forward to the day I that PowerPoint online is powerful enough to replace the desktop client.
  6. Yahoo/Bing for sanity check searches. I'll admit that 90+% of my searches are on Google, but I quite often use Yahoo/Bing to get another view on the results. Sometimes I just think Google knows too much about me to return objective results, Yahoo and Bing just know less about me and in some situations this pays off.
  7. Microsoft powered web sites and Software as a Service applications. These will be plenty, but they usually aren't advertised in that way.
  8. Excel, not because it's my favorite spreadsheet tool, actually I don't like spreadsheets at all. However my business partner does like spreadsheets and does a great job getting numbers and plans organized and visual using Excel. It's giving and taking when working together
  9. Word, because I've learned that most collaboration still takes place over email. Sharing documents with email is still the de-facto usage pattern and it will still take a while to convince all people that there are other ways. Knowing this there are only two uniform document formats, use PDF if you want to give a read-only version and in all other situations Microsoft Words can be used by almost everyone. 

The list might not be very long, there aren't very many client applications present and this indicates that I might be a front runner of a transition to come. Over time Microsoft will power more and more services we consume through the cloud and we all will become heavy Microsoft users without actually know it. The focus might change from the user focused logo on screen to the back-end powered service. 

This list would have been a bit longer if my last Microsoft Windows computer hadn't died on me. I still believe Windows (7) is good and offers a productive working environment. May be one day when I invest in hardware again, the coin might flip the Microsoft site and I will give you an updated list.

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