I started writing this post when I was sitting in a session at the MVP Summit in Seattle but I had to put it aside, and now I am just going to throw up the abridged version to get it out of my head.
Basically when you attend the MVP Summit you become privy to a lot of Microsoft’s future product plans. This is very helpful but the audience for this information is limited since we are all under NDA and aren’t necessarily the best people to take advantage of it.
Whilst there a bunch of folks got into a discussion about how useful some of this information would be a to Microsoft Partners who are doing product planning and how it would be better still if they could find out whether Microsoft was even looking at getting into a particular space.
For legal reasons the teams at Microsoft can’t state that they won’t be getting into a particular product space (Microsoft is a big company – can you always be definitive). However, another way of approaching it is talking to product teams at Microsoft about the product you are building. The impression that I got from the team was if they have something that they can’t announce but will impact your product they may try and give you a warm or cold indication as to whether it would be a good idea to proceed.
In this I see that there is actually honour amongst developers and despite the flow of information being constrained for legal reasons folks can communicate to avoid someone investing heavily in some development – because developers know that it can be heartbreaking to throw away code 🙂