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The Third Evolution


The Third Evolution

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Third Evolution

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Having another business person, a bean counter, or salesman, would be a poor disappointing choice for me

As it is for any company that evolve with technologies but has no idea what's really happening and manage with numbers and buzz words only.
dan trate
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The reality is that MS has become the GE of the IT industry. The "core businesses" and "strategic direction" change depending on the perceptions and trends in the wider industry. As such, the next CEO will be whoever can sell the dream of making it (i.e., managing it to become) the most profitable. What is missing? A technology visionary who dares to dream big and defines the industry trends instead of following them.

The MS business strategy going back to 1980 is simple:
1) Find someone's mousetrap that is either struggling or has yet to catch on.
2) Purchase or license it.
3) Add features customers have been asking for.
4) Claim it as a MS innovation and MS product. With MS' name attached, retailers and distributors will push it.
5) Increase market share and eliminate the competition by bundling and tying the product to volume agreements.
6) Rinse and repeat steps 1 - 5.

The one major exception to the above was "windows" which instead followed a "make it look and behave like MAC OS" (1.0 - 2.0) and a "cheaper OS/2 than OS/2" strategy (3.x).

This strategy worked well in the era of non-connected PC's with a constrained SW distribution channel. Gates understood this and as Java and the internet grew, realized his business model was at threat. So he tried to 'transform' the company by tying up the internet with MS proprietary features. IOW: kill Netscape, kill Yahoo and we will win the Internet space and protect our model.

This strategy is not working so well in the era of the connected app world with legitimate competitors like Google and Apple, and too many start up developers to enumerate.

Why has Apple been so successful? Because a technology visionary (Jobs) set the direction and dared to take risks because he believed in his vision - regardless of what the investors or marketers said. That is what MS is missing. And I sincerly doubt they will pursue that in a CEO. It is such a shame that a company with so much talent could be managed into irrelevance.



jvega 72386
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As the last post said, Jobs was a technology visionare just as Gates in his time. La sad news for Apple is that the prophet passed away and probably the company will face the same future as MS.
GoofyGuy
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Steve Jones wrote:

Whoever gets chosen, I sincerely hope that it's a person that loves technology and can inspire, excite, and drive the company to build new and exciting products that leap forward. Having another business person, a bean counter, or salesman, would be a poor disappointing choice ...

Indeed, and I think this is also part of what drove American automobile manufacturers into the ground back in the 1970s and 80s: the motorheads who used to run Detroit and who had gasoline in their veins were replaced by a bunch of suits.

Lesson: Never let the dispassionate run the show. It's a prescription for mediocrity at best and failure at worst.
Jonathan Cohen
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You are forgetting Sharepoint, Skype to his credit.
You are forgetting also that his main "failures" were due to the rise of two giants: Google and Apple.
I doubt that even a leader with a brain combined of Einstein, Gates and Lincoln could have fended off Google and Apple
GoofyGuy
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Jonathan Cohen wrote:

You are forgetting Sharepoint, Skype to [Ballmer's] credit.

I'm not sure Sharepoint is anything to brag about, at least not as a development platform, which is how Microsoft markets it. And Skype was bought by Microsoft in 2011 for several billion dollars. Anyone can write a cheque.

You are forgetting also that his main "failures" were due to the rise of two giants: Google and Apple.

Ask yourself why they rose as the did. They were driven by innovation. What comparable things was Microsoft innovating at the time?

I doubt that even a leader with a brain combined of Einstein, Gates and Lincoln could have fended off Google and Apple.

True. It would have simply required some brains like Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, or Marissa Mayer.
chuckboycejr
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John Dvorak wrote in PC Mag that the awkward and unexpected announcement by Ballmer coming right after the Big MSFT Reorg announcement might actually be a prelude to Microsoft breaking up into many new company with many IPOs.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2423548,00.asp

It's an interesting idea and it would be extremely profitable for shareholders.
marlon.seton
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'a person that loves technology and can inspire, excite, and drive the company'

And this type of person grows on trees?

Even if MS could find such a person, would the shareholders allow them to run the company the way said person would want to? How long before the share price starts to flag because the investors and analysts can't see the way forward, the shareholders panic and the new CEO is toast? Look at what happens to the Apple share price when they don't bring out 'the new iPhone' on the date the analysts predicted (but Apple never mentioned) and stories abound of 'new iPhone is late'. Tim Cook was chosen by Jobs, he's been in the post a very short time in the great scheme of things, he's introduced investor-friendly dividends and share buy-backs and there are people calling for his head - and that's with the Apple share price on the way up (as of last Friday, haven't checked since).
RandomEvent
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The whole business is changing and I am not sure MS is changing fast enough to accomodate this. MS still seems stuck in its business model of servers and desktops where everything now is a disposable app.

Be interesting to see if the giants (MS, apple, Google) all get toppled by their inability to react to a faster moving/changing environment.
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