Friday, June 27, 2008

The End Of An Era

Well, Bill Gates is finally stepping down from Microsoft. He built a massive company from his back yard and has created one of the most memorable companies in the history of business. I'd like to pass on my best wishes for his and Melinda's future, which I'm sure will be relatively smooth sailing.

I just wish there'd been someone better to hand it over to - right now the company is in serious need of a leadership with a clue. They are still floundering and directionless on a tide that's starting, very slowly, to turn against them. I hope for their sake that either their current leadership team or a new one appointed by their Board of Directors can once again lead the company in the way Bill Gates lead it up until he handed the rains over a while back.

Focussing on releasing quality applications once again, focussing on the needs of your actual end users not those you imagine are out there, taking an active interest in your partner channel that provides the buffer between the end user and yourselves (those partners, that is, who spend many, many hours dealing with the inadequacies and bugs in your software that are not addressed by better staffed and resourced development teams) and not looking solely at the bottom line - these are the things that will start to turn around public perfection of Microsoft as it is today.

People's reluctance to buy your software is ONLY offset by the fact that you have, to all intents and purposes, a monopoly. Were there any *real* choice, I can bet a vital organ or two that many of "your" customers would be using the alternatives.

Innovation in and of itself isn't going to win you any friends. Innovation in the areas that your partners and end users actually find beneficial will. What's happened over the last few years?


The Outspoken Wookie

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