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

24 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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! 😈

  3. 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

  4. Steve Jobs showed the world that the right man can pull a failing company out of the hole and put it on top. Such a feat is not impossible for M$, but I doubt the corporate culture would allow anyone even remotely resembling a Jobs to change anything. In fact, their long slow decline has already begun.

  5. Almost a year later, it clearly seems certain that Microsoft has indeed lost its way.

    The analyses of Microsoft’s product history and its reception in the marketplace in the past 10 to 15 years clearly shows that and I could not agree more with montex’s comment that it is indeed in a slow decline and unless something drastic changes, like Julie Larson-Green admitting no one likes her schizophrenic UI and that it’s high time for Microsoft to truly separate its UI from its OS, this decline will go on just like happened to IBM 30 years ago.

    Bottom line is, and it seems to me NO tech company foresaw this, people just won’t tolerate being fed the slime that has been oozing out from Silicon valley pretty much since the start of the ‘New American Century’ (how uncanny that it should sounds just like the ‘Thousand Year Reich’, don’t you think?).

    I don’t presume to know the future, but if you look at the history of the PC revolution, you cannot help but realize that Silicon Valley has betrayed its very basic tenets, to empower people, now that every tech company is pretty much controlled by corporate and government interests who are doing everything to strip away these new found liberties and resell them as services or force them into national duty and turn intelligent devices into consumption terminals and spying devices.

    There is no doubt in my mind that just like the scientists who left Germany in the 1930s as Nazism took over, the geeks who made the PC revolution happen have been leaving Microsoft (and the US and its toxic growing police state as well) and are condemning the American tech industry to a slow and painful decline.

    As the saying goes, nature will find a way. Top heavy structures may be useful in times of crisis to galvanize people around them, but just like ‘too much coffee’ one cannot impose one’s will onto others for long and succeed. The king is dead, long live the king. I am certain the geeks who are always ahead and toiling in the dark no matter what the power mongers try to do to control them, will eventually find each other again and start something fresh that will replace the stifling structures that have been strangling our society for the past 10-15 years, as resistance to it grows not only on the technological level, but on the societal and political level as well.

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