Ten

Top 10 Influential Microsoft Pundits

Without these folks, we'd be in the dark about the goings-on at Redmond.

1. Mary-Jo Foley: The ZDNet blogger and Redmond magazine columnist once penned a column on Microsoft called "The Evil Empire." Over the years, her tone has softened a bit, but her observations about Microsoft haven't. Ridiculously connected in Redmond, she's still the go-to person for Microsoft news and analysis.


2. Ed Bott: Often the source of Microsoft news before it comes out of Seattle, Bott is as familiar with Microsoft as anybody writing today. His personal blog at edbott.com/weblog is full of expert advice about working with Windows and PCs, and is a great resource for IT professionals.


3. Mike Cherry: The whole team at Directions on Microsoft is excellent, and Cherry sits right on top of this delicious sundae of Microsoft analysis. Straightforward and visionary, Cherry's words carry weight. His expertise ranges from the technical to the business side of Microsoft. A pundit with uncanny accuracy, his predictions are some of the few in the industry actually worth noting.


4. Todd Bishop: The former reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has been doing his own thing at Techflash.com for a couple of years now, but he hasn't lost any of his credibility or influence. This super-sleuth journalist in Redmond's backyard is as important as ever to the Microsoft universe. He's also a solid pundit, with worthwhile opinions on happenings in the Pacific Northwest.


5. Stephen Chapman: One of the first sources to break the leaked plans for Windows 8, Chapman serves up Microsoft news, analysis and love on his MSFTkitchen.com Microsoft enthusiast blog. Well-connected and highly technical, Chapman is a friend to both the Microsoft IT professional and those who enjoy the gossip coming out of Redmond.


6. Ina Fried: Always connected and quick with a take on what's happening in Redmond, Fried is a must-read for Microsoft watchers. Fried recently left CNET to join All Things Digital, where she's covering the mobile market. Her commentary is insightful while also packed with new information, a rare combination among bloggers.


7. Ray Wang: This analyst is not just a great guy -- he's also a Twitter monster, tweeting sometimes hundreds of times a day. He's an expert on Microsoft and also offers great takes on the enterprise software market as a whole on SoftwareInsider.org.


8. Matt Rosoff: An analyst at Directions on Microsoft for 10 years, Rosoff now plies his trade on a more industry-wide basis at Silicon Valley Insider, but his Microsoft knowledge remains second to none. Rosoff is provocative without going over the top. He's not afraid to take on Microsoft leadership in the bluntest of terms.


9. Sarah Friar: Don't recognize her name? She's the influential Goldman Sachs analyst who recently lowered the Microsoft stock rating and criticized the company's strategy, particularly its cloud efforts. Her take wasn't exactly fresh, but her words can move markets. Microsoft -- and its partners and customers -- have no choice but to pay attention to someone who has so much influence over the company's stagnant stock price.


10. Mini-Microsoft Blog (Who da'Punk): The gold standard among internal corporate bloggers, we don't know who Who da'Punk is or why he (or she?) identifies himself with such odd punctuation, but the Mini-Microsoft blog has been the internal conscience of Redmond for years. Who da'Punk's stance on making Microsoft leaner and more flexible shouldn't fall on deaf ears in Redmond.

About the Authors

Lee Pender is the executive features editor of Redmond magazine. You can reach him at lpender@redmondmag.com or follow him on Twitter.

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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