Kurt Eichenwald discusses the problems within Microsoft’s culture – Video

This is a pretty hardcore and comprehensive interview on the Charlie Rose show on 7/9.

In it, Vanity Fair contributing editor Kurt Eichenwald discusses how companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook out-maneuvered Microsoft in the tech race, and what Microsoft could do to become dominant once again.

It’s a little long but very full of information that is …well interesting.

I think that a lot of his criticisms of the company are valid and well, arent even that new.

  • Lack of innovation
  • Ballmer
  • Lack of motivation by employees
  • lead from behind culture
  • Dysfunctional ranking system
  • Break up business units etc

Here’s my take..

History rewards winners. If Windows 8 works well across the board and positively transforms the entire industry, Steve Ballmer will be seen as a genius who transformed Microsoft and got the company ready to compete in the mobile era.

All the other blemishes will be forgotten (including Vista).

If Windows 8 does not do well however, look for Microsoft to assemble a circular firing squad and there will be blood. If this does not succeed, Ballmer will have to go and Sinofsky may be right behind him.

It’s going to take at least a year from the release of Windows 8 for the full Microsoft platform integration picture to be clear and then I think that analysts like Kurt will be better equipped to speak to the future of the company. (To be fair, he was looking backwards in his piece).

Here’s the video:

 

0 Comments

  1. 123321

    July 13, 2012 at 8:56 am

    okay. well, nice analysis of the last 10 years. and i completely agree with him that microsoft didn’t do well the last decade.
    but what a pity that he didn’t really analyzed what the future might bring. yes, microsoft said that their vision is to bring a computer to every desk and they succeded. but now microsoft has a vision as well: creating a ecosystem and the same windows experience over all platforms/devices. i think this is really the one way for the future. maybe windows 8 is not perfect; but i think it’s the first step in the right direction. with windows 8 and windows phone 8 microsoft will bring fantastic ways for communication, work and entertainment.
    in my opinion microsoft should become much more aggressiv when it comes to advertising and selling their products. what they do is okay but maybe not enough. this one is a very good idea http://www.minimallyminimal.com/journal/2012/7/3/the-next-microsoft.html.
    well let’s see what the future brings.

  2. Rex

    July 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Microsoft company system is not the environment I would elect to work in. I dont think it has produced an innovative team. It really has created a “lead from behind” where in general its competitive nature pushes it to one up and use its resources to beat the competition instead of push into new areas first. I wish it would see the light on its own and fix these destructive principals.

    That said, I still want Windows 8 to succeed. It is not perfect, but it is pretty good. If Windows 8 fails and the company does soulsearching, it will not automatically produce good results. Microsoft is the only one that can bring on the vision that Bill Gates saw some 15 years ago with a truly mobile computer, that I had myself some 5 years before that. The death of Windows 8 would see a very dissappointing future to computing.

    Lets also not forget the competition is not perfect either. I might have switched to an Apple fanboi long ago except for one thing. Arrogance. People think of Microsoft as arrogant, that is not really true. Pushy even bulling at times but never true arrogance. Arrogance of Apple is often shown from the Apple Fanclub. The inherent belief that Apple products are the best and anyone using them are automatically elite is something that rubs me wrong to the point I am embarrased to display an Apple product (i have used them from time to time, (iPhone currently is the best smartphone at least until Windows 8 phone comes out this fall). Another area you can see this Arrogance is in its way of doing things which hold it back from being all it can be. Currently OSX is one of the lease secure modern OSes, and yet up till recently they lack the drive to not only fix security issues, they conitnued to profess it safer than Windows which is miles ahead in Security. This arrogance affect their ability to tackle these huge issues because they can not accept that they exist. Want to test this theory, I will lay odds that an Apple Fan will attack me on this point.

    Google, in my mind has joined Apple to become the replacement for the Big Bad Microsoft of 20 years ago. They do not care for their customers in the least producing OSes that feel very unpolished. The me too attitude is unbecoming of brand that tries to monopolize the consumer world.

    So All brands have major issues. I have just always gone for the product for the masses attitude from Microsoft. To me it is the Ford of this millenia.

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