Microsoft employees recognize beleaguered company has lost its way

“Since mid-July, three interlocking events – all of them considered highly unlikely six months ago – have unfolded in quick succession, unsettling Microsoft managers and employees and roiling its share price,” Bill Rigby and Eric M. Johnson report for Reuters.

“First, CEO Steve Ballmer rejiggered top management as part of an ambitious plan to remodel the company around devices and services rather than software. Six weeks later, he announced his retirement within a year, sending shares soaring,” Rigby and Johnson report. “Ten days after that, he unveiled a $7.2 billion purchase of Nokia’s phone business, a move that ate up the stock’s recent gains.”

“‘Like Wall Street, there was initial euphoria with the announcement for employees,’ said one 15-year veteran who has worked in a number of units at the company, in response to Ballmer’s retirement and a change at the helm of a company that no longer sets the pace for technological innovation,” Rigby and Johnson report. “‘But he is as much a symptom as the actual problem. This whole crazy re-org will still happen. And nothing will really change.’ he said. ‘Among many of my fellow employees – both new hires and long-timers – there is a recognition that Microsoft has lost its way.'”

Rigby and Johnson report, “25-year-old software engineer in the Bing search engine unit said she was ‘excited’ about what was to come. ‘I don’t expect a big change after his (Ballmer’s) retirement. Microsoft is a big company. A new CEO won’t change much,’ she said. ‘In the last company meeting, Steve talked about the ‘One Microsoft’ spirit. People liked that idea. Probably, the new CEO will continue that.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: People liked the ‘One Microsoft’ idea.

We certainly did. We like their strategy. We like it a lot.

She’s excited about what’s to come: Finding out which team she’ll end up on, Flotsam or Jetsam.

Related articles:
Beleaguered Microsoft’s heyday is far in the past; its future is slow, inexorable decline – September 13, 2013
All Microsoft employees should read Stephen Elop’s ‘Burning Platform’ memo right now – September 3, 2013
Microsoft shares drop on $7.2 billion Nokia phone deal – September 3, 2013
Buying Nokia does not help Microsoft become more like Apple – September 3, 2013
Beleaguered Nokia to sell handset business to Microsoft for $7.2 billion – September 3, 2013
Beleaguered Nokia reports lower-than-expected revenue, Needham downgrades – July 18, 2013
Microsoft and Nokia can’t hide from the very, very ugly truth: Windows Phone is failing miserably – July 18, 2013
Nokia’s Stephen Elop: The worst CEO of all time – June 28, 2013


  1. “a company that no longer sets the pace for technological innovation” = a company that no longer retards the world’s technological innovation by destroying anything innovative that threatens its monopoly.

  2. apart from the obvious pleasure to be derived from schadenfreude – look on the even brighter side – the stock plunges – meaning it keeps getting cheaper (deservedly so, i might add) but still and all they keep paying pretty decent dividends.

    you don’t have to like them to take their money, in fact think of it as stealing from them, if it makes you feel better – and use the dividends to buy more apple products to help grow it’s stock price. a sort of ninja approach to tech investing

    1. erm, excuse me, the word “schadenfreude” means “deriving pleasure from others sufferings”, so saying “pleasure to be derived from schadenfreude” is being repetitive.

    1. Just what I was going to write. They never had a ” way” to begin with and that’s always been the problem. Sales of Windows and Office have kept them afloat but beyond their core business they are abject failures. Even XBox isn’t all that much to brag about. Ballmer was never the right guy, he was the unimaginative “sales guy.”

    2. When that chicken little scullly and idiot lawyers gave in to MS, that’s the time they really had their way. The repercussions are still hurting Apple and many other tech companies to this day.

  3. “…one 15-year veteran who has worked in a number of units at the company, in response to Ballmer’s retirement and a change at the helm of a company that no longer sets the pace for technological innovation,”

    I’m sorry and I could be wrong, for all my computing buying life, and to borrow a Samsung phrase, for when the “Next Big Thing Is Here” happens, I never heard Microsoft was behind it, introducing it, building it and changing the way the world uses technology.

  4. I didn’t like the part about one part of “Office” going to “applications” and the other to “the cloud”. “Office” is convoluted enough and I kind of was hoping “the cloud” part would be real easy to use, it might come in handy while on the road. Guess not.

  5. Bomber was hobbled from the very beginning by Micro$oft’s near monopoly in the late 90s. If they tried to go into services then there would’ve been a larger call to break them up, as a true monopoly. The main reason they weren’t broken up by the US government is because they furnished NSA, CIA, FBI, etc with access to the Windows “back-door” so they could more effectively snoop.

  6. Microsoft Marketing-As-Management Madness.

    *LOUD flushing noises*

    I continue to amused that they are still insisting upon focusing on their LOSER technology. It’s a brilliant method of eating up their cash horde, the fastest route to their demise. They’ll be selling off their cash cows, Windows and Office, just to tread water. I like that strategy. I like it more than just a lot! 😈

  7. some time ago i read a long blog post from a Msft manager why he chose to work at Msft instead of apple.

    I can’t get the link anymore but from memory basically he said:

    — Msft was more ‘stable’ and he gave some examples like promotions were based more on ‘seniority’ (unlike falling to to whims to people like Jobs who promoted a young designer Ive to Senior VP ) i.e it’s a safe zone for mediocre bureaucrats

    — the benefits were better i.e the main aim of working was pay and benefits fixed vacations time etc not ‘changing the world’.

    — it’s built on a more ‘organized’ system of divisions etc instead of radiating from Jobs (bureaucracy again) — (my take is that the the war between Win Desktop and Win Mo divisions has resulted in the Win 8 Frankenstein ….. )

    he pointed out the legend of Jobs firing the manager in the elevator (a dude who apparently didn’t know what was going on in his own department) and lack of ‘job security’….
    i.e so-so brained bureaucrats are safer in Msft than Apple where performance counts.
    he said as manager it was a more ‘comfortable environment’.

    he goes on like this.

    I don’t have to go into depth what it all means as all apple probably get it : i.e lots of people join Msft because it’s the typical good benefits good pay Fortune 500 and not a radical place of the ‘Crazy Ones’. …

    and because it’s built like that with all the inherent politics that’s why it’s failing

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