I find this graphic astonishing. If added all the losses (done roughly by the graphic bars) it means that in the last 5 years, Microsoft has wasted, without any meaning, over 8 billion dollars. This is eight thousand million dollars! Lost. Wasted. Without any significant sign of change for the future.
And for what exactly? What is the added benefit of the “online division”? Bing? Hotmail? Why are MS stockholders quiet about this? It truly blows my mind. I fail to understand what’s the point of a company squandering all those resources into something it has nothing to do with their core business, and it clearly is not the future for them.
Microsoft should join Sony and some other infamous companies into a case study compilation of companies so poorly managed that you are amazed why they are still afloat. It should be mandatory study at management courses worldwide.
Advice to Microsoft stockholders:
- Fire Ballmer.
- Get rid of money burning divisions.
Break Microsoft into several isolated Divisions (example):
- Windows/Desktop and Server OS;
- Office and Business software;
- Computer related Hardware1;
- Entertainment and Consumer devices;
Make them run unbounded by other Microsoft divisions, and keep a trimming eye to those that continuously lose money or market-share.
MS Office has the potential to be the “perpetual” monopoly office suite for decades to come. If, and only if, it can cover all of the computer/OS bases that exist and may exist. And that means, have Office for Linux, have Office for Mac, have Office apps for iOS, ANdroid, WebOS, have a Office suite everywhere! Of equal quality and fully compatible.
If you can open, read and modify the same Office documents that your clients, colleagues, friends, and governments everywhere exchange with you, why would you want to change or bear the weight of “being different”? It would be virtually impossible to break this siege.
OpenOffice/LibreOffice only gets resources and interest because people need an alternative to MS Office on Linux and other low cost/low visibility platforms. That’s where the programming brainpower behind it resides. If there should be no need, fewer and fewer resources would go into it. And OO.org and other suites would slowly die or fade into irrelevance. KOffice anyone?
Why is this not being done? Because Windows folks won’t let them. So MS Office has areas where it is forbidden to enter. Ever. It’s like trying to win a war when you can’t step inside your enemy’s territory and you have to wait for him to come to yours. Slowly you will loose ground. And resources. And one day it will be too late to stop the full blitzkrieg attack.
What is the interest of keeping Windows alive if that means slowly choking all of Microsoft into a slow death?
And why is Windows the “soul” of Microsoft? It had DOS, it had Windows NT, it had Windows 2000/XP and now Vista/7. Why can’t it simply produce another OS, not named Windows please!, and not built on the same architectural errors, and just sell it as the new product? Apple has done it. Oil Companies are doing it as we speak, changing from Oil sellers to Energy providers. It probably won’t be easy, but it is the only sure way of having a shot at the future.
It’s like Ford still selling the old Model T (upgraded with lots of coloured fins!) when everyone around them is selling electric/hybrid cars. It makes no sense at all, except in Mr.Ballmer’s head. And tens of thousands of employees around the world are being guided by this blind steersman into a not very bright future.
- MS makes some of the best keyboards and mice [↩]