Microsoft has failed

Charlie Demerjian:

In the end, the death spiral for Microsoft is in full effect, and management is expending a lot of effort to speed it up. Anyone who dares point out that the entire system is collapsing, or worse yet suggests an alternative, gets Sinofsky’d. Or was it Guggenheimer’d? In any case, Microsoft is unwilling to change, and that is very clear. Even if they wanted to, they are culturally far beyond the point of being able to. What was a slow bleed of marketshare is now gushing, and management is clueless, intransigent, and myopic. Game over, the thrashing will continue for a bit, but it won’t change the outcome.

You may think that this is kind of harsh or maybe even an improbable outcome, but as you read through the story, you see that he is exactly right.

  • i don’t think they’re dead anymore than IBM was dead under Akers pre-gersten.

    But, regardless of how well Ballmer is preserving the business, it’s obvious he is not the guy to push the company forward. They need to replace him because he simply cannot or will not understand the current market.

    Microsoft could be making a fucking mint off of iOS and Android, along with Windows, but they want to have some of Apple’s game, aka Windows first, without the vertical capabilities that help Apple.

    • JohnDoey

      They are in worse shape than you think. The IBM brand was not run into the ground like Microsoft.

      Nobody on iOS wants Microsoft Office. The fact that you think they do is just more “it’s still the 90’s” nostalgia. Apple’s office apps listened to what users wanted for 10 years now. They are $10 each, fast, easy, and make great output. There is no equivalent modern product in Microsoft Office.

      • it’s not 90s nostalgia. It’s getting documents that simply don’t work correctly in iWork or anything not Office.

        There are things people do, actual, real work in things like Excel that only work in Excel, because to date, no one has replicated all that functionality.

        What, do I say “hey, I know you think you need that feature you use everyday, but really, it’s just 90s nostalgia” and delete Office from their systems?

        iWork will in fact work for most people. But just like sometimes you need Photoshop, sometimes you need Office. Neither overstating that need, nor pretending it doesn’t exist does no one any favors.

  • Les Posen

    I think you’ve crashed his server. It’s not responding.

  • I see parallels with DEC (at one time, the 2nd largest computer company in the world). DEC had a great run for almost 40 years and then, poof, gone.

  • matthewmaurice

    “Death spiral” Really? That’s going to be one wide spiral. I think MS has systemic problems, and eventually they’ll die–but so will Apple. Sheer inertia alone can, and likely will, carry Microsoft along for years. Yeah, Office and Windows account for nearly all of their profits, so any threat to either, or both, of those products is an existential threat to MS. The thing is, there’s no real threat to those products.

    We’ll still be talking about the “Microsoft death spiral” long after people say “You mean blackberries aren’t just a fruit?”

    • gjgustav

      The thing about spirals is they start out wide. Did you read the article? Many businesses are moving to Google Docs. There are competitors. Maybe they aren’t the best quality competitors, but when was the last time corporate IT focused on quality?

      Notice the article didn’t predict the imminent death of Microsoft. But that doesn’t mean the signs aren’t there.

      • Google Docs lol. I know some businesses do try moving to it. But a big percentage end up moving back out again within 12 months.

        • JohnDoey

          More word processing happens in FaceBook than Word these days.

          People that I know who have switched to iPads or adopted iPads in addition to Windows are delighted by Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iPhoto, iMovie, and other Apple apps. Today, office workers who can make YouTube videos get promoted. It is the 21st century. 1980’s office software wastes more time than it is worth.

        • gjgustav

          As you said, a percentage moves back. That’s a net loss.

      • JohnDoey

        The whole solar system will one day die. Why don’t you join us here in reality for a discussion of Microsoft’s current death spiral rather than starting a fictional discussion about how all things die?

        Apple could close all of its stores and stop all sales of products and still run the company for 10 years on cash. NOT IN ANY TROUBLE.

        Microsoft has o products that are growing, all are shrinking, even as consumers will buy more computers this year than existed in the entire 20th century. THERE IS NO GOOD SPIN FOR THAT.

        • EzraWard

          Microsoft may be headed for oblivion, maybe not, but the assertion that they have no products that are growing is simply false. Citing their own Q1 2013 results: Server and Tools division up 8%. The Online Services division is also up 9%.

  • JohnDoey

    It is the same failing as Republicans — stuck so far in the past they are simply irrelevant to anyone under 45. And so full of themselves, they are the last to see it.