When we attended BUILD 2012, we were able to attend a panel for the company's Windows Azure Accelerator program, that is designed to help fund and support startups that will use Microsoft's cloud-based services. This week, Microsoft held the program's final event, Demo Day at its Redmond, Washington campus where the 11 startups presented their business proposals to a number of venture capitalists and angel investors.
However, as Bloomberg reports, the event took an unexpected turn thanks to its opening speaker Damon Danieli. He worked at the company for 14 years before leaving in 2008. This week, He said flat out, "Microsoft needs some help."
Specifically, Danieli said that the company needs to do more to not only encourage the launch of more startup companies but to bring them close to Microsoft's headquarters. He added that Microsoft has had to pay a lot of money to acquire businesses that have made tools that Microsoft realised they now needed, adding, "It pains me to see what happens now where Microsoft pays $8.5 billion to acquire Skype or $1.2 billion for Yammer."
Microsoft's efforts such as the Windows Azure Accelerator program seem to be a move in the right direction, although Danieli seemed to also make fun of Microsoft's long name for the effort during his speech, saying "Just look at the title: `Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure Powered by TechStars, Startup Edition Service Pack 1." For the record, the "Startup Edition Service Pack 1" is not part of the actual name for the project.
Source: Bloomberg | Image via Microsoft