“Aiming to stir up the same kind of momentum as his Internet Tidal Wave memo of a decade earlier, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has penned a memo outlining the challenges Microsoft faces from a host of online competitors,” Ina Fried reports for CNET News. ‘This coming ‘services wave’ will be very disruptive,’ Gates said in an Oct. 30 e-mail to top Microsoft employees, which was seen by CNET News.com. ‘We have competitors who will seize on these approaches and challenge us.'”
Fried reports, “In the memo, Gates cites an earlier missive from Ray Ozzie, outlining the importance of tapping online advertising and services as new revenue sources. ‘It’s clear that if we fail to do so, our business as we know it is at risk,’ Ozzie wrote. ‘We must respond quickly and decisively.’ In the memo, Ozzie talks about Google as Microsoft’s most prominent of the emerging competitors, but also makes reference to Apple Computer… ‘Apple [has] done an enviable job integrating hardware, software and services into a seamless experience with dotMac, iPod and iTunes, but seems less focused on enabling developers to build substantial products and businesses,’ wrote Ozzie.”
Full article here.
Paul Thurrott, over on his Internet Nexus blog asks, “So what are we to make of all this? Microsoft’s reaction to the Google threat is both predictable and suspiciously similar to past ‘turn the ship around’ incidents. Gates seems to have latched on to the notion that he must lead his company on a new crusade every five years in order to keep employees motivated. And Microsoft’s self-critical stance is as manipulative now as it was ten years ago. Increasingly, companies such as Google, Skype, and Yahoo are determining the direction of communications and computing. That Microsoft needs to move more quickly and begin innovating should be obvious. What I want to know is why there is such a regular failure of leadership and direction at this company. Does Microsoft really need to be rebooted every five years to keep the company competitive?”
Full article here.
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