Microsoft: End Games have started.

News report on a shareholder class action against the Microsoft management team and  failure of "Surface", and consequent $900MM writedown of inventory.

My reaction to the friend who sent me the link:

Ballmer is acting like an Emperor...

That was OK for Bill to do.
  • he had the full commitment of the troops
  • was technically competent (though he gets a 'fail' on good Software Engineering practices. Think the Security initiative and Longhorn Reset. All avoidable & obvious.)
  • and a brilliant marketer, prepared to change with the market.
    Though Paul Allen was the one with the insight and vision.

All of which meant MSFT could "turn on a dime", as they did with the "internet Tidal Wave memo" (1995).

Microsoft under Ballmer is the same bureaucratic, entitled, rigid and ossified organisation that IBM was in 1981. Actually, much worse.

IBM could satisfy business needs and had a very wide range of products.
Microsoft is at best a "two-trick pony", (Winders + Office), which might be really be a "one-trick pony".

With a one-time war-chest of $50B-$100B, how could they NOT find and fund 100 or 1,000 high-growth disruptive start-ups?

Oh, that's right, it's all about Ballmer and his ego: "My Sales are Bigger than Your Sales", no disruption allowed!

That's wonderful news!

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