Thanks to the great Microsoft insider blog Mini-Microsoft we get to read some interesting thoughts about Microsoft as the company heads towards its big Microsoft Company Meeting on September 23. They are broken down into three areas – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Now as easy as it would be to copy the whole post I suggest you head over to Mini-Microsoft and give it a complete read, but for now I just want to pick out some of my favorites and my thoughts on them.
From the good column
MSFT now has 11 distinct businesses that do over $1B in revenue – I can think of maybe one or two other businesses on the planet (GE, etc) that can say the same
Even with weakness in the PC market the past couple of quarters, it’s hard to argue with the success of Windows 7 with over 400M licenses sold
This is of course the same company that the tech pundits love to either ignore or pontificate about how its days are A) done like dinner or B) no longer relevant. Really? Wow, for a company that is done like dinner or not relevant Microsoft is still seeing growing profits and growth.
Say what you will about Ballmer, there are some senior execs at MSFT that are truly outstanding. Mattrick, Satya, KT, Qi Lu, PK, Lisa B – you won’t find anyone better than these folks anywhere
Not sure how this works out to be in the good column, except unless you are referring to the enterprise market. The fact is that Microsoft doesn’t have any high level consumer facing executives that can effectively revitalize Microsoft’s consumer brand cachet.
From the bad column
WP7 is a good product but as others have alluded to, MSFT is way late to the party in terms of highly functional / attractive UI / rich app eco-system smartphones. The Nokia deal only allows MSFT some hope at playing catch-up at this point
Look Windows Phone is a great product but if Microsoft is counting on the Nokia deal as being the only solution to the weak sales numbers then they are missing an even bigger problem – the carriers.
Although there are talented people still there, a lot of talented folks have left MSFT senior leadership in the past 18 months or so – Liddell, Elop, Muglia, Bach, etc, etc.
At least two of those names are of people who were forced out. Elop went to Nokia and now back in bed with Microsoft so really he didn’t leave per se. With all the executives that did leave over the last year I wonder how many were forced out after trying to take on Steven Sinofsky?
From the ugly column
MSFT is still very strong in the enterprise but to the consumer, MSFT seems completely dead. MSFT has no consumer mindshare any longer
Yup, and really what more can you say on the matter
AAPL sold 20M iPhones and over 9M iPads in a quarter. In. A. Quarter. Let that sink in a moment
While MSFT has plenty of other viable businesses, none is as profitable nor as core strategically as Windows. Windows was once an impenetrable fortress, but in the past year, AAPL has penetrated it with a single product launch. MSFT is destined to play catch-up in slates, and it sounds like nothing serious is coming out until Windows 8 in another 12 to 15 months (maybe)
Are you beginning to see the reason for the re-imaging yet? It’s called survival.
One of the other interesting bits in the Mini-Microsoft post was how the author says that Steven Sinofsky deserves all kinds of credit for being able to pull off the impossible when it came to the organizational wrangling between Windows 7 and Windows 8, but that if Sinofsky ever ended up being the CEO of Microsoft it would be the day he quit.
So as well thought of as Sinofsky might be outside of Microsoft one has to wonder just how popular he is inside of the company as this isn’t the first time that I’ve heard this kind of sentiment.