Ex-Microsoft Employee – Microsoft Today ‘A Lot Like IBM Was In 1985’

After Mike Dodge was laid off from Microsoft last month after 5 years working for the software giant, he was immediately scooped up by Google. In a recent interview he shared some of his thoughts concerning Microsoft and Google and the differences between the two companies. The one comment he made does seem to sum up where Microsoft may be heading, since his opinion of Microsoft is that they look a lot like IBM was in 1985.

But this one sentence seems to express how many feel about Microsoft today:

Microsoft is still a powerful company – $60 billion in revenue and very profitable – but I think after 20 years they are losing the innovation edge. The most innovative companies today are Google, Apple and Facebook. Very few companies can dominate an industry for more than 20 years. It is just the natural competitive cycle. Another factor – Bill Gates leaving the company. The transition was smooth, but not having Bill there every day has far-reaching implications.

I personally believe that Bill Gates leaving did have a far-reaching implications, not only inside Microsoft, but also outside of the firm. Mr. Ballmer does not seem to convey confidence in the company. There was also this statement:

Microsoft is a vast company with products in just about every market. It is tough to compete and be the leader in every market. Even in desktop operating systems, where Microsoft has dominated for years, Vista has been a disappointment. So, you can never rest, never stop innovating. Windows 7 looks like a pretty solid product.

Vista will leave a mark on the company for many years to come. Rushing the operating system to market hurt the credibility of Microsoft and even though Windows 7 is an improvement, some still sting from the problems Vista caused and how it took almost a year to fix issues with the OS.

So what do you think?

Comments welcome.