Linked by David Adams on Fri 13th May 2011 04:54 UTC
Microsoft In business school the first thing they teach you about CEOs is: it is the CEO’s job to increase the shareholder value of the company. Since taking the position Ballmer has decreased shareholder value, as reflected by stock price, by -56.63%. That. Is. Not. Good . . . Microsoft should be searching for a new CEO right now.
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Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Sat 14th May 2011 12:15 UTC
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I read the article and what the writer fails to realise is that Microsoft is now a mature company, they're now like IBM, Oracle, SAP and other mature companies. They aren't going to grow at huge rates simply because the markets that they cater for have matured and thus the growth rate is simply going to follow the market.

As for what Microsoft is doing now, there was a plan around 5 or so years ago to diversify and guess what arm chair experts - diversifying a very large company takes time. People ignore the fact that when Apple was on the bones of its ass the first thing Steve Jobs did was to dramatically cut the company down to size then over the years gradually expanded it out again from its core business.

Microsoft is in the same situation be it with some missteps along the way and miss reading the market in that smart phones are not only targeted at the high end but it is now possible to get a Android powered phone for around NZ$200, which is the price of a mid range 'basic' phone not too long ago. Microsoft believed that the smart phones would remain a niche where as the down scaling of Android has show that when the price is right lots of people want to jump onboard and purchase one.

Fast forward to today and their online services division has finally got its act together - it is no longer trying to be everything to everyone; its not trying to create its own YouTube, it's own wordpress, its own facebook etc. Microsoft has realised that they can make a profitable online service division without needing to rule the universe which is why they've decided to work with Wordpress, buried the hatchit with YouTube and connecting Live and Facebook together. Skype is an example of whether one should spend hundreds of millions trying to build up a brand that may or may not catch on or just simply buy out a company with a winning formula and integrate it into the larger services on offer.

Regarding the future, it appears that Windows 8 and WP7 are feeding off each other in terms of the future direction of Windows - it took a giant book up the ass but Microsoft is responding. Microsoft is very much like Intel - anyone remember how long it took for Intel to finally turn the ship around after the P4 debacle? well, the same situation is happening with Microsoft - Windows 7 and Office 2010 is the first phase of a much larger response to what Apple is offering.

Btw, I am a Mac user but I also own a WP7 device as well - I want to see a strong competitor to Apple so that both Microsoft and Apple are kept on top of the game by putting out better products. For me I'm excited about Mac OS X Lion but I'm also equally as excited about Windows 8 as well if Microsoft continues developing Windows 8 the current direction.

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