Last week I spent time talking to a lot of different technology people, from all over the world geographically and organizationally and culturally. The conversation kept looping back to Microsoft, and to the same sentiment: They’ve lost their mojo. Lots of people will end up using Vista, but does anyone care? The Microsoft execs look haggard and joyless, and half the interviews feel phoned-in. There’s real innovation in the Office UI, and everyone says “But it’s OK, the old keyboard shortcuts still work”. The advertising campaign is vapid and lame, but then that’s nothing new; they haven’t run an effective one in years. I’m sure that Microsoft can come back, the way IBM did after their bad patch last century; maybe the energy is building in a building in Redmond where nobody’s looking. I’ve never liked Microsoft, but now I realize how much energy they used to inject into the ecosystem, because it’s not there any more and I miss it.