“There are enormous differences between the scorched-earth reorganization of Apple ’97 and the ‘far-reaching realignment’ of MS ’13,” Jean-Louis Gassée writes for Monday Note. “Apple came up with a string of monumental hits after Jobs’ return in 1997– iPod/iTunes, Apple Stores, iPhone, App Store, iPad. All of these offerings were facilitated by the company’s now celebrated functional structure, but none of them were created by the reorganization. Put another way, functional structure is a necessary but not sufficient condition (a point to keep in mind when considering Apple without Steve Jobs).”
“I greatly admire Ballmer’s determination to never give up, never admit failure, always look forward, attitudes that are well-served by his imposing physical presence, impeccable speech, and unshakable composure. But this change isn’t the sort of organizational tune-up that he has perfected over the last three years,” Gassée writes. “Removing a loyal but obdurate contradictor, sanctioning bad performance and foul politics is one thing. Reshaping the culture of a huge organization (97,000 employees) is a qualitatively and quantitatively different task. Habits of the mind and, even more challenging, of the heart are extremely hard to change. And, certainly, Microsoft’s culture needs an overhaul. It has caused the company to miss or mishandle Search, Social Networks, Advertising, Smartphones, and Tablets, and to make a meal of the latest version of their iconic Windows product.”
“The decline in Windows PC/tablet sales are bound to have a cascading effect on Microsoft’s business. Fewer PCs means smaller Windows licensing revenue and, in turn, diminishing Office dollars. The once powerful tie-in between Windows and Office now turns against Redmond,” Gassée writes. “And the cascade continues: Smaller Office volumes result in lower demand for extremely high-margin Exchange and Windows Server products. In the meantime, non-Microsoft tablets and smartphones continue to invade formerly Microsoft-only Enterprise customers.”
“The market has voted: Tablets that are just tablets are trouncing Microsoft’s hybrid tablet/PC devices,” Gassée writes “To reverse this downward spiral Microsoft needs to come out with a real tablet, not the insincere and unsuccessful ARM-based Surface RT device. This means a tablet that’s powered by Windows Phone with Office applications that are specifically, integrally designed for that OS. Once this is done, why not go all the way by selling iOS and Android versions of the same productivity suite? This would protect the rest of Microsoft’s Enterprise ecosystem, and would be much better than today’s half-baked Office apps on the iPhone, or their absence on the iPad and Android devices.”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last week:
Microsoft had a chance to preserve one of their cash cows by making Office for iOS and Android. That window of opportunity is closing, if it hasn’t already.
The world has or soon will realize that, no, actually you do not need Microsoft Office to word process or create spreadsheets and presentations.
The failure to create Office for iOS and Android in a misguided push to sell tablets and phones running Microsoft OSes will be looked at as one of, if not the, biggest mistake Microsoft made during their ill-fated attempt to recover after being repeatedly, unmercifully steamrolled by Apple’s Steve Jobs with the iPhone, iPad, iCloud, App Store and the rest of the formidable iOS ecosystem.
Hoist! May Steve Ballmer remain Microsoft CEO for as long as it takes!
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