Reminder: This represents personal views, not those of my employer
Almost 16 years ago, while at Microsoft, I was asked to take a look at the work Charles Simonyi was doing on Intentional Programming (IP) to see if I could find a place to apply it. After spending some time with Charles I came to the conclusion that while interesting, I couldn’t find a place to apply IP in the near-term. I wasn’t the first to come to that conclusion, the investment in IP was on the chopping block as it hadn’t found a productization home. Not long after I failed to come up with a way for Microsoft to exploit IP, Charles got Bill and Steve’s blessing to take IP outside and form his own company around it.
For 15 years Charles’ Intentional Software pursued IP, though until today I didn’t know to what end. It seemed like little more than a pet project of Charles’ that would never bear fruit. But apparently Intentional Software eventually found a clear intent for IP, a new platform for creating team collaboration applications. Microsoft, which has shown a strong focus on team collaboration lately (*), was so excited by where Intentional Software was going that it decided to acquire them.
Congratulations to Charles and the Intentional Software team. Charles has been working on IP for at least 22 years, and it’s nice to see his faith rewarded. Assuming Microsoft proves out the value of IP by turning Intentional’s collaboration platform into a successful commercial offering, it will be interesting to see where else it can apply IP.
(*) Microsoft has been obsessed with team collaboration since at least the early 90s. So it is a little disingenuous to point out that it is a recent focus. Exchange’s Public Folders and Microsoft Access’ multi-master replication were 1990s features intended to support collaboration and collaboration applications.