« Monopolising An Idea | Main | Startup culture vs. business culture »

Thoughts on Microsoft

I appear to have lost the ability to string sentences together. Seriously. I've tried to write up some thoughts on Microsoft, Ballmer, Nokia etc. a couple of times and never made it farther than a quirky but deceptively insightful (if immodest) opening paragraph.

So, in lieu of actual writing, some completely unsubstantiated bullets points are about as much as I can manage.

  • Microsoft, having run every significant 1980s and 1990s business software company out of town (WordPerfect, Lotus, IBM, Novell, etc.) spent the years that followed constantly looking over its shoulder waiting for its own 'Microsoft' to show up and rebalance the karmic bank account.
  • Accordingly Microsoft's resulting defensive state led it to only value innovations that further secured its 1990's business plan objectives (aka kill threats or competitors to Windows & Office), everything else was a sideshow.
  • Then, when its 'Microsoft' did eventually show up in the form of Google, it took far too long to work out Google's OS gameplan and instead dug even deeper foundations for its 1990's business plan and at the same time completely failed to hire the kind of people that could help it compete with Google on post millennium terms.
  • So, while it was one of the first to try to bring tablet computing (Windows XP Tablet Edition in 2002) and viable smartphones (Windows Mobile in 2003) to the masses, it fundamentally compromised them by using them to buttress the walls of its Windows/Office fortress.
  • Which kinda worked in the short term but which effectively stalled the business for ten years, the medium term impacts of which are only now becoming apparent.

More later. Maybe.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.
Editor Permission Required
You must have editing permission for this entry in order to post comments.