This is my personal opinion, of course, but I think it’s still difficult for Microsoft to look “cool” because, frankly, Microsoft has been and still is about doing everything. They have cloud services, artificial intelligence, operating systems, developer tools, CRM, document management, they tried phones, they.. what is it they did not try?
So let’s try a game of associations.
I say “SalesForce”.. you probably say “CRM”
I say “Apple”.. you probably say “iPhone” (or “iPad”)
“Google” – “Search” (or, maybe, “Android”)
Now let’s try “Microsoft” – what is it that comes to mind?
Maybe it’s Dynamics CRM. Maybe it’s Dynamics 365. Maybe it’s Sharepoint. Maybe it’s Bing maps. Maybe it’s Visual Studio. For me it’s, probably, still “Microsoft Windows”.
And you know the saying – “jack of all trades, master of none”. This is not cool at all.
Now you might think it’s not exactly what you expected to see in this post since I mentioned that, maybe, Microsoft is actually doing something cool this time around. I’m almost there, no worries.
See, a few years ago when Microsoft released the first version of Flow, I remember looking at it and thinking “why?” IFTTT and Zapier had been around for a while by that time, so it all looked like another attempt to say “we can do it, too”. Even more, I had a somewhat similar impression from PowerApps at first. Basically, I just kept thinking to myself why would not they just focus on Dynamics, SharePoint, Azure, etc? On the things that proved to be working.
Problem is, if Microsoft did just that, they would not be getting the cool thing they are calling the Power Platform. Actually, I don’t think it was in the plans – Dynamics CRM went through rebranding just a couple of years ago to become Dynamics 365. If Power Platform were there at that time, maybe it would not be necessary to rebrand Dynamics.. but it’s a different story anyway. What’s important is that, in the end, we did get the Power Platform.
And what’s good about it is that, finally, we seem to be getting something we can associate Microsoft with. I am just not sure if they are taking it far enough, since, as of this moment, Power Platform is a combination of Power Apps, Microsoft Flow, and Power BI.
It would actually be even cooler if Microsoft were able to associate just about everything with the Power Platform name because:
- That would resonate with their mission statement (“to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more”)
- And that would actually be the name we could use to identify just about every product offered by Microsoft
As in(and this is all hypothetical).. You want to manage your clients, do AI predictions, orchestrate your data flows… You will find all those tools within the Power Platform. You want to get the best tools for your developers? Power Platform is the answer.. Operating system for your laptop? Comes with the Power Platform.
Of course it’s not what Power Platform is, yet. As of now, this name is only referring to these three products:
- Power Apps
- Microsoft Flow
- Power BI
And, by doing this, that kind of introduces the confusion since, for example, Dynamics 365 and Office 365 are still mentioned here: https://dynamics.microsoft.com/en-ca/microsoft-power-platform/, but, technically, Dynamics 365 is an application build on top of the Power Platform (even if Power Platform is, in a way, a rebranding of XRM, so it’s hard to even say where is the chicken and where is the egg here)
But, all that aside.. If Power Platform name sticks around, and, possibly, if it becomes the overarching name for other products, I will be able to say, one day, that Power Platform from Microsoft can do that. Whatever it is the client will be asking about. Without having to mention a bunch of different products.
And that would be really cool..