The New York Times has chosen to allow Dick Brass, a former Microsoft employee, spill his personal opinions on why the mega giant of the software industry is doomed to fail. He mentions several factors that he cites, including but not limited to, the Redmond company being slow to adopt certain technologies such as tablet computers and e-books as examples. He also goes on to state that the X-box is another example of Microsoft coming being late to the party.

In the article he also states:

The company’s chief executive, Steve Ballmer, has continued to deliver huge profits. They totaled well over $100 billion in the past 10 years alone and help sustain the economies of Seattle, Washington State and the nation as a whole. Its founder, Bill Gates, is not only the most generous philanthropist in history, but has also inspired thousands of his employees to give generously themselves. No one in his right mind should wish Microsoft failure.

And yet it is failing, even as it reports record earnings. As the fellow who tried (and largely failed) to make tablet PCs and e-books happen at Microsoft a decade ago, I could say this is because the company placed too much faith in people like me. But the decline is so broad and so striking that it would be presumptuous of me to take responsibility for it.

But the one statement I like is this:

Microsoft’s huge profits — $6.7 billion for the past quarter — come almost entirely from Windows and Office programs first developed decades ago. Like G.M. with its trucks and S.U.V.’s, Microsoft can’t count on these venerable products to sustain it forever. Perhaps worst of all, Microsoft is no longer considered the cool or cutting-edge place to work. There has been a steady exit of its best and brightest.

Give me a friggin break dude!

Microsoft can’t count on these venerable products to sustain it forever.

This is the same idiotic thinking that GM is now using in their dumb commercials with Howie Long.  Have you seen the commercials where Howie says there is another thing that GM doesn’t make, and shows us a Honda lawn mower.

It wasn’t that GM makes only trucks and SUV’s. It was that Honda makes a better product. The quality of their vehicles was just far superior than anything that GM produced. If GM had a better mouse trap, the American people would of continued to buy American cars.

The same thing with Microsoft. My personal belief is that Windows and Office are superior products, products that Microsoft should be extremely proud of. I think what could be their real downfall, if any downfall actually exists, is that they are trying to expand in areas they should of stayed away from. Instead they want to go after companies like Google and want to be king of search.

One question I have is why?

Microsoft has a rebuttal piece in which they defend themselves.

At the highest level, we think about innovation in relation to its ability to have a positive impact in the world. For Microsoft, it is not sufficient to simply have a good idea, or a great idea, or even a cool idea. We measure our work by its broad impact.

I can not think of any products that have had a broader impact on our lives than has Windows or Office. Can you think of any product that equals these two products?

Maybe Windows and Office can not last for ever, but it could out last all of us who read this.

Comments welcome.

Source – NY Times

Microsoft Blog – Rebuttal