I couldn't care less.
The people inside of Microsoft are smart – some of the smartest on the planet. The fact that some of them are Podcasting should be of no surprise to anyone. They've been doing it for awhile.
At Microsoft, we work to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. This is our mission. Everything we do reflects this mission and the values that make it possible.
The reason I love Podcasting so much is that it is all about potential: It is the potential for everyone with something to say to have a voice. Is it the potential for everyone who needs to hear something to hear it without the middleman filtering it.
Microsoft is doing nothing about helping people realize their full potential for not punishing a few employees who understand the potential of Podcasting.
What Microsoft needs to do is admit that Podcasting exists by building something for Windows Media Player that let's us get our Podcasts (and reach that potential) in the Windows we love without having to go to Apple or Yahoo to get the job done for us. Heck, I think they should build a Podcasting development tool (looking for a reason to get people to upgrade to the new Office?) too, but we'll leave that for another post.
Podcast's next step is the mainstream (it ain't there yet – it is too hard) and if you want to hand the mainstream over to Apple or Yahoo (they're getting close) …
Because, once we've turned to Yahoo or Apple to do the first job, to help us meet our potential, we'll turn to them again and again and again.
And once we start looking to them to realize our potential, Microsoft will have to re-write the mission statement.