Surface tablet intro no Moses event for Microsoft

Microsoft’s Hollywood announcement Monday of its two Surface tablet computers was a tactical triumph but had no strategic value for the world’s largest software company because the event left too many questions unanswered. If I were to guess what was on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s mind it was simply to beat next week’s expected announcement of a Google brand tablet running Android. Microsoft, already playing catch-up to Apple’s iPad, did not want to be seen as following Google, too. So they held an event that was all style and no substance at all.

This is not to say that Microsoft shouldn’t make a tablet and couldn’t make a good one, but this particular event proved almost […]

Ballmer's Last Stand

Moving sucks. Our furniture arrived late last week so I’ve been off the clock for awhile and there is a lot of catching-up to do.  We’ll start with Microsoft and Windows 8, which I’ll argue are going to be formidable competitors in the tablet space, primarily because it’s that or start spending all that cash on diversified investments to turn Microsoft into a Berkshire Hathaway. This is probably Ballmer’s last stand as a high tech CEO.

It was entirely by coincidence that I interviewed both Jon Shirley and Bill Gates in their last weeks as Microsoft CEO. In Shirley’s case it was his final day and I’ve never seen a guy more eager to get out […]

By |September 19th, 2011|2011|85 Comments

2011 prediction #7: Microsoft is the new IBM

Microsoft isn’t going away, but they aren’t going to do a lot of things right in 2011, either. The company’s leadership is stuck, complacent, and just a bit thick. We’ve seen a lot of flux in the executive ranks reporting to CEO Steve Ballmer and I think that’s mainly because Ballmer won’t get out of the way. There is no upward mobility path so people leave. But don’t expect Ballmer to leave in 2011, either, which means more mediocrity. So Microsoft will continue to be a huge presence, but not feared in the industry the way they used to be. They’ve become the new IBM.

Windows Phone 7 is almost there, for example, but almost isn’t […]