Jury is in. Microsoft had vision. Just massive incompetence.

In mid-2000 (Just after Ballmer took over as CEO), Microsoft held a daylong series of sessions during which the company announced what it called the .NET strategy. To regain its place within the vanguard of personal computing, Ballmer’s Microsoft promised to deliver an interconnected set of Web services that could serve up relevant information to users across multiple devices and let them share with family, friends and co-workers. In a statement then, Ballmer said Microsoft would create a “unified platform through which devices and services cooperate with each other.”

Watch the edited version of the videos below. Cheesiness aside, it’s pretty spot-on. There’s personalized content for each family member synchronized across PCs, televisions, tablets, mobile phones and cars; location-aware devices that tell you when friends are nearby; photo-sharing; voice controls — all years before Facebook, Foursquare, or Apple’s iCloud and Siri.

Microsoft failed to execute on nearly all of it.

* Microsoft tablets failed
* Netdocs were scrapped
* Microsoft failed to get the promised interoperation

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