Saturday, October 29, 2005

mamamusings: microsoft research talk: why business people speak like idiots

mamamusings: microsoft research talk: why business people speak like idiots

Comments by JBSurveyer regarding Microsoft's bi-polar personality are powerful and appear near truth.

But then there is Jekyll and Hyde - this is the personality problem at Microsoft. There is a schizophrenic disconnect between the rank and file and the people at the top.

A 80%++ share of the market is zero-sum. It means for Microsoft to win just about everybody else has to lose. This is a very tough row to hoe. But the top brass from Bill and Steve on down are prepared to play hardball to achieve this Schumpeterian impossibility -"monopolies are the seeds of their own destruction".

Every company that I know of wants to be best in market. I thought that this was the goal of a company, and an individual, to succeed spectacularly. Not sure what he's getting at here...

Yet in stark contrast to the ethos of passionate commitment to others success of the rank and file, top executives are committed to other ISVs, VARs, and software vendors success only as means to an ulterior end - their ultimate demise.

So therefore we have seen such actions as cutting off the oxygen by bundling for free. This tactic induced Netscape's demise by giving away Netscape's two major revenues sources for free- the browser and Web server. And the current complete BI Stack nearly free giveaway is done knowing full well former partners such as Crystal/Business Objects, Hyperion, Cognos, SAS, etc cannot respond becuase they do not have a database as a source of revenues.

True, with the release of VS 2005 & SQL 2005 we will see more and more partners fighting for market share and having to reinvent themselves. The philosophy seems to be "get bought or get gone."

But that is just the tip of the iceberg of "hardball" tactics. There is the deliberate slowdown of key technologies when dominant market position allows Microsoft to do so and hardball tactics dictate doing so. Example, no updates to IE browser for 5-6 years thwarting such key Web technologiew as SVG, XForms, JavaScript 2.0 and E4X, XPath2 , JPEG2000, and even Microsoft pioneered AJAX methods. Part of this depended on the fact that Microsoft commitments in 1998 made to support a complete suite of Web stanadrds for JavaScript, CSS, DOM, and XML just never got swept under the table - and never done even in IE7 today.

Not sure I believe this one... slowdown of technology would be the last thing MS should do to retain market share. It would be more of a question of the focus moving from IE to other areas of the company that did not provide a 'free' solution mired in antitrust laws.

This latter case is key to polluting markets where rival technologies could endanger market share. Another example, why does Microsoft insist on distributing a hoplessly obsolete JVM with Windows and offer non-standard J++ and J# - to pollute the Java market.

Because it's focus is C# & VB.

And so these are the incontravertible and uncomfortable facts of Microsoft's corporate personality. It is schizophrenic and disturbingly bi-polar. For many in the rank and file of the company, their ethos and puposes are a direct impedance mismatch with their top executives. Not a pretty site - pun intended.

Micro$oft is there to make money, which it has done spectacularly well. Microsoft is there to grow its company and its employees... How many M$ millionaires out there? I know a few...

Microsoft, through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is there to help communities around the globe.

Scoble seems to have to helped MS immensely in creating a transparent organization and adding to its success. Apparently Bad publicity is the best publicity.

To leave you with a quote from PT Barnum..

A banker, politician, journalist, and land developer, at one time he was the second richest man in America. His autobiography was one of the most widely read books in the 19th century.

"We cannot all see alike," he said, "but we can all do good."

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