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EXTRACT: Its stranglehold on the desktop, while hugely profitable, helped turn Microsoft into an out-of-shape competitor focused on defending turf rather than scoring new hits. In seeking to maintain its dominance on the desktop, it failed to anticipate and plan for the spread of computing to mobile phones, handheld computers, the cloud, and Web-based services delivered by companies such as Google. Now, people can write documents, run spreadsheets and browse the Web without indulging any Microsoft software, steering right around the software giant.
EXTRACT: “It has an executive team that had not truly lived in a world of competition for perhaps a decade, and its performance in the years between 2000 and 2010 have showed this,” says George Colony, CEO and chairman of Forrester Research, a technology and market research firm. “Essentially, the company had no competition for a decade and so it became out of shape and not ready to truly compete.”
EXTRACT: In an op-ed in the New York Times published earlier this year, a former Microsoft vice-president, Dick Brass described the company as “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.”
EXTRACT: “Apple builds fanatics,” says MIT’s Anderson. “Microsoft builds people who are sullen, but not mutinous. Their DNA is large organizations, operating systems, and applications. Their DNA doesn’t understand design and the consumer mind.”
EXTRACT: The Pew Research Center’s 2010 Mobile Access survey found that 40% of adults in the U.S. now use their mobile phone to go online, compose email, or instant message–a number that will almost certainly swell. “Phones are do or die for Microsoft,” says Foley.
EXTRACT: The only certainty is this: Microsoft will be around in a major way if for no other reason than the dollars at play. “They have more money than God,” says MIT’s Anderson