-- from the article...Paul Allen on First Meeting Steve Ballmer: He Looked Like a Stalinist Police Officer
There's a huge difference between business people and programmers.
Microsoft's downfall began the day Bill Gates left to save the children, and fund schools. Now it's just another corporation run by Harvard alumni and fueled by Stanford grads that couldn't get funding now like every other company. The differentiation has faded dramatically, and they're pushing to make it go away completely with all the new initiatives and acquisitions. Not that they didn't clone other products and slap their names on it in the past, but now the public doesn't care anymore.
It is recovering though. Like giving up business winMo and switching to winPh. There are a lot of existing customers complaining about it, but, ultimately MS finally accepted the irrelevance of catering existing core user base.
they still need a lot if improvements, like releasing standalone IE9 to XP. Stop with those pointless OS integration excuses, because they released preview without os integration.
But yeah, i hope they keep improving because they are far from cool.
My take is that Microsoft's' opportunity lies in the quality and recognition of its technical people . Their downfall may come in not recognizing this opportunity to its full potential and not listening sufficiently to the technical voices in the room.
The sad fact is that technical people seldom make good business people and as a result do not usually rise to a position of sufficient power to safeguard the organizations they have been key in building (Bill Gates an exception)
.. and how short sighted is "Stack Ranking"? Kind of reminds me of the forward that Robin Williams got his pupils to tear out in Dead Poets' Society .. your basic 'passion killer'
here is a big one: over the next 10 years what will happen to the OS and the "Personal Computer" ?
will we see more and more "Devices" ala iPad / Kindel / Nook / droid pad / windows 8 ARM ?
will that come to replace most desktop and laptop systems ?
will having a "Desktop PC" soon be like having an old NES or a VCR or a Typewriter ??
will some OS maker come into the market to compete with MS and Apple and LInux for the classic OS market ?
I recall a time when there were many different Operating Systems in use and each of them was quite different. then we got down to really just 3 (WIndows, Mac and Linux/Unix) ok possibly that should be 2 with one of them having a number of variants ?
are we now at a point where the next cycle will be for more different / specialized systems will be created or will be keep the same ones and try to evolve them ??
A PC, notebook, tablet, phone, tv, glass running on Linux is still Linux. The user interface maybe different, but, the core OS is still the same, just like windows and Xbox. And that still consider the same family because the programming model is similar for hardware and software vendors to support it.
The vision is unified OS across hardware, but, not across devices and not about the experiences. Linux is getting more popular because that's what they are doing. You see tons of hardware vendor supporting Linux for this reason.
It certainly is important to maintain identity like WinPhone instead of WinMo. But you really don't have to transfer the same identity to a new device. You want the same experience on the same type of devices, but not trying to use a mouse in an automotive computer.
Linux is just a kernel. Android and Ubuntu are both Linux but one has a totally different UI for different purposes. You have other Linux-powered OSes with no GUI at all running servers, supercomputers or routers.