CNN: “Microsoft’s consumer brand is dying”

Ouch. Big Ouch: Microsoft’s consumer brand is dying – Oct. 27, 2010.

Microsoft, as a company, has failed to create new businesses around new products.

Reuters says much the same.

The company was late and has largely missed the music player, online music distribution, late to provide a viable online search (Bing is quite decent today), has spent something like $10 Billion bringing XBox out (for that price you could have gone to the Moon and back), is late to bring a consumer smart phone to market, is late with the tablet PC and is missing in action on social media (Facebook, Twitter). Yeah, Microsoft has Windows Live and its okay. But no one uses it.

Meanwhile, Apple and Google, in particular, have been innovating and creating new businesses. While Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talks a lot about the importance of innovation…

Microsoft is living off its past success and its cash cows of Windows and Office. As Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie wrote over the weekend, Windows is going away and dying.

Microsoft’s strategic problem is that it focuses on “protecting the Windows franchise” and is paralyzed from branching out and creating new products and services that might compete with Windows.  Microsoft seems not to have learned what I learned very early in my career – if you are unwilling to compete with your own products, then someone else will do the competing for you. Better that you obsolete your own products than let someone else obsolete your products for you.

With 90,000 workers and a huge pile of cash, you’d think Microsoft could do better than, as Reuters writes, a net loss for investors over the past 8 years. Microsoft has, in the past, made foolish investments, like over paying $6 billion for aQuantitative, or remember its nearly 1/2 billion spent on “WebTV”? What ever happened to that?

Imagine a Washington without a successful Microsoft … scary.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s