Microsoft drove the bus off the cliff, now it tries to speed up

“Microsoft has driven off the cliff into the death spiral and rather than change direction they are trying to speed up their ‘momentum’. Endless reorgs, paid analyst reports, and flat-out lying to anyone who will listen won’t help, they can not succeed from their current position,” Charlie Demerjian writes for SemiAccurate.

“Could it get any worse for Microsoft? Surprisingly no but that isn’t to say it will get better, the company is at the nadir of everything,” Demerjian writes. “They have no friends, they have no partners, and no one will go out on a limb to help them. Even when paid, many refuse. The major web services are simply absent as far as apps go, not something that can be cured with a bit of cash. Their position simply can’t get any more dire than it is now, and that is a profound statement.”

Demerjian writes, “Instead of fixes, [Microsoft] got a reorg that consolidated power in the hands of the most incompetent of them all Steve Ballmer. If he was fired months ago there was a small chance Microsoft would survive, today he has more control than before. Microsoft has failed.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Beleaguered Microsoft. 🙂

Ballmer Bomb

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tayster” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Beleaguered Microsoft shares hit by biggest sell-off in 13 years; $36 billion chopped off company value – July 19, 2013
Microsoft earnings, sales badly miss expectations; $900 million inventory writedown on Surface tablet flop – July 18, 2013
Microsoft and Nokia can’t hide from the very, very ugly truth: Windows Phone is failing miserably – July 18, 2013
Steve Ballmer’s reorganization email: ‘One Strategy, One Microsoft’ or something – July 11, 2013
Captain Ballmer working hard on rearranging S.S. Microsoft’s deck chairs yet again – June 3, 2013
Microsoft said to again reorganize marketing operations; may include hundreds of job cuts – February 1, 2012
Ballmer rearranges the deck chairs again; seeks to get engineers into executive ranks – February 8, 2011
Microsoft rearranges the deck chairs again; reorgs cellphone, games division – May 25, 2010
Microsoft rearranges the deck chairs – February 15, 2008

62 Comments

    1. Step on the brakes and punch the accelerator to go in the wrong direction. Ballmer has done it before…

      Back in 2007, when iPhone was release, Microsoft was actually one of the leaders in smartphones, with Windows Mobile. Apple started at ZERO. Anyone still remember that…?

      After initially going into denial mode (“Five hundred dollars for a phone!?”), Ballmer panicked and essentially threw away their well-established Windows Mobile platform and customer base. Ballmer intentionally put Microsoft back at ZERO, by starting over with Windows Phone.

      Today, Apple is THE leader in smartphones, and Microsoft is still close to ZERO. But his mistake after iPhone did not drive the Microsoft bus over the cliff.

      However, he repeated the same mistake after iPad was released in 2010. Windows 7 had been recently released, and I thought it was a “competent” version of Windows, destined to become the next Windows XP for the “good enough” crowd. But instead of continuing to improve Windows 7, Ballmer panicked again. The result was Windows 8/RT (and Surface).

      This time, he essentially threw away the Windows customer base to go after tablet customers. The majority of Windows customers do NOT want to use a tablet as their primary computer, and they do NOT want to use a laptop or desktop PC with a touchscreen, waving their hands and arms around all day. They just want a “regular” PC. They do NOT want to buy a new PC with kludgy Windows 8.

      Microsoft intentionally ignored (to the point of insult and alienation) its core customers. On the way to the cliff, Ballmer drove the bus over Microsoft’s cash cow.

      1. Do you remember the Ballmy interview the day the iPhone was introduced – the one with Ida Friedman? After stating that the iPhone was the most expensive off-contract phone EVER, Ida started mentioning the dozen or so other phones that cost more than the iPhone off-contract. Ballmer basically stared her/him down and repeated his falsity with even more conviction (and a “don’t fuck with me stare down).

        YouTube it. It may not be the first hit, but it’ll be there somewhere in the top 20.

            1. “And it doesn’t have a keyboard so it’s not a very good email machine!” (???machine???)

              Email works fine for me. Except for the occasional missive, I compose those at work. Multiple drafts before you send out words that are final, dont’cha know.

        1. A minor correction; iPhone was initially $500, FULLY subsidised (and Balmer makes sure to underscore that). That puts retail price of that original iPhone over $900. And yet, even with that price, it outsold EVERYTHING that came before it.

        2. @Cubert Is there any way you could post a link to that specific interview? I looked at multiple videos and never got the one with the stare down you referenced. Thanks.

      1. Excellent analogy, agreed.

        Sigh …

        I miss those cartoons on TV. Even sadder is younger generations are missing out and fed some mindless programming.

        1. Unfortunately, I noticed a few years ago, when they play those Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons they’ve changed the ending when Wile E. Coyote falls and plummets to his “doom.” It seems that instead of him crashing to the ground with a puff of smoke (like we’re used to as the payoff), they cut out that altogether. The network (sorry, I cannot remember which one) I’ve seen the cartoon shown on shows him falling but cuts to the next bit without the puff of smoke. Very sad they cannot even show this nowadays. This may have changed recently but, for a time, they would sadly cut this out.

          1. Sounds like the PC neutered version. Thank you lefties for saving my kids from dangerous cartoon smoke. I’ll save them from the harmful affects of drugs, violent movies, violent rap music, porn, et al ….

  1. Confidential
    Internal Memo | Publications | Useful Metrics
    Web Page Hit Count Generator Index (WPHCGI) summary

    Microsoft Is Doomed 18.0
    Blackberry Is Doomed 16.5
    Nokia Is Doomed 7.0
    HP Is Doomed 4.0
    Apple Is Doomed 196.9 with a bullet

      1. Oh, yeah, the memo was truncated when I snatched it out of the copier and ran. I suppose there were pages and pages more, covering the spectrum of headline grabbers…

          1. with a back door, that secretly uploaded everything that passed through the copier to a maintenance server in S. Korea or China, where it was processed through a battery of linguistic and relevance tests using the latest pattern-recognition algorithms stolen from the NSA

  2. Close your eyes and think back to 1996. Microsoft was on top of the world. Apple was heading for bankruptcy. The seeds of OS X and iOS were in some software nobody every heard of called NeXTSTEP.

    How things have changed.

    1. Just be glad that Amelio didn’t go with Gassee and BeOS. It almost happened. It was even the “common wisdom” that it *would* happen.

      Amelio wasn’t a bad guy… he just wasn’t “Apple”. (Kind of like Pete Best… he just wasn’t a Beatle.) If they had picked up Gassee and he had become CEO it would have been even worse.

      1. Maybe if they had gone with Jean-Louis Gassée, Apple might have acquired 4th Dimension (because of the French Connection), and rolled into the enterprise on the strength of its scaleable DBMS, leaving Microsoft to suck fumes. Then today we’d be seeing articles about how Apple needs to drop the IT security blanket and pay more attention to consumers and mobile tech the way feisty little challenger Microsoft is doing. Barkeep, another pint, if you please.

  3. From the article: “The biggest problem for Microsoft is their Surface simply can not compete against Android.”

    Umm. WTF? Did the author not notice the massive, market-dominating vendor in the mobile device space that’s making nearly all of the profits?

    -jcr

    1. Logically, it makes sense, if one completes the thought: in tablets, Microsoft can’t compete with Android; Android can’t compete with Apple; competition is transitive, ergo Microsoft can’t compete with Apple.

      You know, it’s sad, in a way. Microsoft and Apple had successfully partnered in the past. There ensued a Shakespearean tragedy of corruption and betrayal. Microsoft’s secret obsession with Apple rose to the surface like Bridey Murphy only when it began to lose ground to its jilted but newly ascendant partner.

      I still believe the one hope for stopping a Google takeover of everything is to marshal an alliance of Apple, Microsoft, and anyone else that can read the omens. Ballmer and Gates should be thinking big picture, not monkey see/monkey do.

    2. The actual problem is that Microsoft thinks Surface can compete with iPad. Microsoft should be trying to complete against Android. If Surface was able to take share away from the Android collective, that would be a good start. It failed badly.

      Therefore, the statement, “The biggest problem for Microsoft is their Surface simply can not compete against Android,” is correct.

    3. I almost blew my drink out of my nose when I read that line. The guy was credible until then. He still makes very good points…but the Surface/Android thing was simply ludicrous.

    4. You didn’t read the context of that statement.

      In addition to making their own Surface tablets, Microsoft also sells the OS for Windows tablets to other OEMs. In that market (tablet OS, targetting OEMs), they have one single meaningful competitor, and that is Android. The writer of the article argues that, between the two OSes, there is no contest and Android is far better for OEMs. First, it costs some $90 less (the standard cost of OEM license for Windows 8 tablet edition), and more importantly, the article argues, Windows is simply a pig, running DOS-based services in the background, in addition to truckload of other unnecessary code that saps processor cycles and sucks battery through a fire hose. A hardware manufacturer who wants to make and sell tablets has only one reasonable choice, and it is Android.

      Obviously, when we compare the tablet market as a whole, in that market, Microsoft cant even compete with Android, let alone Apple…

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