The link is "a teaser", not the full article.
Microsoft’s Downfall: Inside the Executive E-mails and Cannibalistic Culture That Felled a Tech Giant
by Vanity Fair 12:00 AM, JULY 3 2012
Analyzing one of American corporate history’s greatest mysteries—the lost decade of Microsoft—two-time George Polk Award winner (and V.F.’s newest contributing editor) Kurt Eichenwald traces the “astonishingly foolish management decisions” at the company that “could serve as a business-school case study on the pitfalls of success.” [italics added]
Relying on dozens of interviews and internal corporate records—including e-mails between executives at the company’s highest ranks—Eichenwald offers an unprecedented view of life inside Microsoft during the reign of its current chief executive, Steve Ballmer, in the August issue.
Today, a single Apple product—the iPhone—generates more revenue than all of Microsoft’s wares combined.Some other links of interest and relevance:
- Paul Allen on his time will Gates and Ballmer: "Microsoft’s Odd Couple"
- Another story of that first pivotal work, MITS Altair BASIC: "The Whiz Kid becomes the Biz Kid"
- A reminder of how Ballmer wrote-off the iPhone in 2007: "Here's What Steve Ballmer Thought About The iPhone Five Years Ago"
Apple almost went under, and would've by all indications if Steve Jobs hadn't come back.
But that was Jobs 2.0, not the "never experienced major failure" Jobs 1.0 that had brought the company to a point it wanted and needed to eject him.
This is potentially the difference between Ballmer/Gates and Jobs:
the experience of failure and recovering from it.I agree with the assessment of Eichenwald/Vanity Fair: this outcome is a "pitfall of success".
Or simply, Death by Success.
We now have two questions and a Board decision:
- Will Microsoft survive and thrive, or go into a Long Dark Night of Disillusionment, like Unisys (UIS)?
- Will the same culture of "foolish management decisions" result in "One Last Big Gamble" and an implosion?
- Will the Microsoft Board force Ballmer out, institute major organisational and product/pricing changes and divest itself of irrelevant, loss-making lines of business?