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Two teen tech entrepreneurs view Microsoft as doing really “cool things”

There has been a long running narrative of Microsoft being the functionally uncool software provider for a large portion of the tech industry; a title well warranted after providing the software bits to millions of nondescript beige workstations over the years.

Microsoft’s seemingly negative perception has helped fuel many a fanboy war where sides declare their platform of choice victorious while often unanimously deriding Microsoft’s efforts.

However, Microsoft may have found a reprieve from its long standing and seemingly negative public perception as a younger generation comes to associate the company with great cloud solutions.

Two teen tech entrepreneurs were recently interviewed by Geekwire about their experiences within an industry lead by likes of tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

Geekwire sat down with Atul Ajoy after he attended Microsoft’s Build conference this year as well as Michael Royzen who managed to snag a seat WWDC as well. Ajoy, a tenth grader with his own startup called Chromata, and Royzen, a senior and CEO of his own company called Mlab Technologies are but two in a sea of thousands that are beginning to see that perception and reality can be deciphered by the end results of a company’s efforts.

“Microsoft’s really relevant today because not only do they care about their first-party applications, but their cloud platform Azure and then other services that they provide really help third-party companies — even my own startup — to get started and build products that anyone in the world can use,” Ajoy said. “Microsoft doesn’t get enough credit for this, but they’re doing a lot of cool things that enable the next generation of technology.”

With a clear focus on cloud powered solutions such as Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed reality platform or artificial intelligence, Royzen and Ajoy are beginning to see a divergence amongst what was previously cool and what could be in the future.

“Apple, I think is a very different company,” he said. “Apple is mostly a hardware company that’s focused on selling to consumers. They really ride waves of popular culture.” One notable difference, as he pointed out, is that Apple is doing machine-learning processing on-device vs. in the cloud.

Ironically, lost in all of this hullabaloo is the fact that the two young men diversify their portfolios to include AWS as their storage solution while praising Azure and the ease of use, rapid release schedules and features its cloud solutions.

Fortunately for Microsoft, the next wave of computing is less about the beige workstation and more about providing platforms and services that feed into the smartphones, smart homes and interactive displays that encompass our lives.

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Do you think Microsoft can ever overcome its negative perception and does it matter?