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Re: Microsoftâs Creative Destruction

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____/ nessuno on Thursday 04 Feb 2010 14:47 : \____

> <Quote>
> [The]  important question is why Microsoft, Americaâs most famous and
> prosperous technology company, no longer brings us the future, whether
> itâs tablet computers like the iPad, e-books like Amazonâs Kindle,
> smartphones like the BlackBerry and iPhone, search engines like
> Google, digital music systems like iPod and iTunes or popular Web
> services like Facebook and Twitter.
> Some people take joy in Microsoftâs struggles, as the popular view in
> recent years paints the company as an unrepentant intentional
> monopolist. Good riddance if it fails. But those of us who worked
> there know it differently. At worst, you can say itâs a highly
> repentant, largely accidental monopolist. It employs thousands of the
> smartest, most capable engineers in the world. More than any other
> firm, it made using computers both ubiquitous and affordable.
> Microsoftâs Windows operating system and Office applications suite
> still utterly rule their markets.
> [Ballmer still makes lots of money, Gates generously gives it away...]
> And yet it is failing, even as it reports record earnings...Microsoft
> has become a clumsy, uncompetitive innovator. Its products are
> lampooned, often unfairly but sometimes with good reason. Its image
> has never recovered from the antitrust prosecution of the 1990s. Its
> marketing has been inept for years; remember the 2008 ad in which Bill
> Gates was somehow persuaded to literally wiggle his behind at the
> camera?
> While Apple continues to gain market share in many products, Microsoft
> has lost share in Web browsers, high-end laptops and smartphones.
> Despite billions in investment, its Xbox line is still at best an
> equal contender in the game console business. It first ignored and
> then stumbled in personal music players until that business was locked
> up by Apple.
> Microsoftâs huge profits â $6.7 billion for the past quarter â come
> almost entirely from Windows and Office programs first developed
> decades ago. Like G.M. with its trucks and S.U.V.âs, Microsoft canât
> count on these venerable products to sustain it forever. Perhaps worst
> of all, Microsoft is no longer considered the cool or cutting-edge
> place to work. There has been a steady exit of its best and brightest.
> What happened? Unlike other companies, Microsoft never developed a
> true system for innovation. Some of my former colleagues argue that it
> actually developed a system to thwart innovation. Despite having one
> of the largest and best corporate laboratories in the world, and the
> luxury of not one but three chief technology officers, the company
> routinely manages to frustrate the efforts of its visionary thinkers.
> [cites internecine warfare that kills good ideas...several
> examples...]
> At Microsoft, it [internal competition] has created a dysfunctional
> corporate culture in which the big established groups are allowed to
> prey upon emerging teams, belittle their efforts, compete unfairly
> against them for resources, and over time hector them out of
> existence. Itâs not an accident that almost all the executives in
> charge of Microsoftâs music, e-books, phone, online, search and tablet
> efforts over the past decade have left.
> Dick Brass was a vice president at Microsoft from 1997 to 2004.
> </Quote>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/04/opinion/04brass.html?pagewanted=2

There is a lot of revisionism in this article. Microsoft is not an "accidental"
monopolist (as he put it) and Gates is investing money in evil companies, so why
whitewash him?

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