MORE ON MICROSOFT... WAKING UP THE SLEEPING GIANT
I've been meaning to post Brad Feld's thoughts on how 2006 will be Microsoft's year, but it's good that I was busy with other stuff and forgot to do so. Brad's post:
I’m often wrong (but never in doubt) and - after spending the day at PDC and an evening with a number of the project leads for various Vista technologies – it feels like 2006 is going to be Microsoft’s year.
Microsoft has been kicked around plenty the last few years by the likes of Google, Yahoo, the press, and many participants in the software industry. However, during this time, the Microsoft money machine has continued to generate cash at a prodigious rate. The home of “build it cheap and stack it high” is about to have two major project releases (Vista and Office 12) that will be relevant to over 500 million computers during the next few years. Vista, Office 12, and all the supporting technology, dev tools, platform layers, and web services equate to a massive force of change which – if history is a guide – will result in a huge amount of money flowing to Microsoft and many of the members of the Microsoft ecosystem.
After listening to the Microsoft folks and the questions being bandied about, it is clear that Microsoft has an incredible wave of innovation building that is going to be released in 2006. When I compare this to the energy at PDC – which was a high as I’ve ever experienced at a developers conference – it’s easy to get excited. (full post)
Goes well with the post two below and the following Steve Ballmer interview with BusinessWeek, which is an informative article on Microsoft's fiercely competitive CEO. Ballmer and Microsoft are definitely more focused on their battle with Google after being kicked around a bit over the past few years. 2006 will definitely be a good year for fighting. Of course boxing still sucks, so tech matches will have to do.
In interviews and on blogs, some employees say you've instituted bureaucracy that is hampering innovation so much so that they question whether you should be CEO. What's your response?
At the end of the day, the proof is in the output. Do we have the innovation output? Do we have the market share? Do we have the customer satisfaction? Do we have the numbers? And do we have the talent? So you go through each one of those things and say, how are we doing? We've grown from 18% of the profits of the top 25 companies in our industry to 23% of the profits of the top 25 companies in our industry over the last five years. Profits are up over 70%, where the industry profit is up about 35%. Pretty good.
How are we doing in terms of talent? We've brought on fantastic new talent. People like Ray Ozzie, I don't think I need to say more. Gary Flake, who has joined us in the MSN area [and] is really the technical guru and genius behind everything that had happened at Overture, a fantastic addition to our team. Li Gong who has joined our MSN team in China, who was one of the leading architects at Sun Microsystems.
These are all people who have joined us in the last six months. Look at our performance in campus recruiting. According to Universum, which is an organization that surveys these things, we're the No. 1 choice among computer science students at U.S. universities as a place to go work -- 90% of people who we make offers to accept our offers. We're doing every well on the talent front. (full article)