The Coming Microsoft Cultural Revolution

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 12.34.41 AMLast week Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took another step in redefining his company for the post-Gates/Ballmer era, sending a 3100-word positioning memo to every Microsoft employee and to the world in general. I found it a fascinating document for many reasons, some of them even intended by Nadella, who still has quite a ways to go to legitimately turn Microsoft in the right direction.

We’re seeing a lot of this — companies trying to talk their way into continued technology leadership. Well talk is cheap, and sometimes that’s the major point: it can be far easier to temporarily move customers and markets through the art of […]

Why Microsoft bought Skype

There is so much to write about but I’ll begin with Microsoft buying Skype for $8.5 billion. The pundits are debating whether this move by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer makes good business sense, but that’s the wrong way to look at it. The better approach is to wonder what would have happened had Microsoft not bought Skype? Based on the high price alone I’m fairly confident that Ballmer felt he had no choice but to buy. In fact I’m fairly certain he felt that not buying could have doomed Microsoft.

Remember eBay bought Skype a few years ago for $2.6 billion, failed to make a go of it, then took a big write-off and sold much […]

Microsoft 2010 SP1

This should be my 2010 predictions column and it is, sort of, but if you’ve noticed I’m writing shorter columns these days but posting more frequently. There’s no way I can do a comprehensive predictions column in less than 3000 words. So what I propose to do instead is to write several prediction columns today, tomorrow, and maybe even the next day, covering in some depth what I think is happening and where we are going in the coming year as a technological culture. This first 2010 prediction column deals with Microsoft.

In the simplest terms what we’ll see from Microsoft in 2010 is more of the same. The company will continue to […]