Beat is one of the more enthusiastic Microsoft evangelists I have met. When I met him in Lillehammer in 2005, he was beating the SOA drum. Now he is beating the Software Factory drum. I think he really believes in what he is doing.
I was pretty much ignorant about Software Factories until I sat through an Open Space session on the topic in Cortina with some other enthusiasts and I really learned a lot. The idea seems to make a lot of sense for people who routinely build similar but somewhat unique applications. It seemed to me it would appeal to the Cap Gemini’s, WIPro or IDS’ of the world who (I am guessing I admit) tend to service vertical markets and see themselves endlessly cranking out code that looks an awful lot alike for client after client. The building trades figured this out long ago. The industry is divided between niches for the most part: residential, small commercial, industrial and large commercial buildings are all built by different kinds of companies. Materials are fairly standardized. Assembly of the materials is fairly standardized. Skills are fairly standardized.