Opinions on the Microsoft Reorganization

Here are some opinions of the recent Microsoft reorganization from the blogosphere:

Microsoft Positioning Itself Against Google

Alec Saunders in Microsoft Reorg points out that “folding MSN into the platforms group is explicitly placing it where it can be most turned into a Web Services 2.0 company. We’ve seen inklings of this already, as MSN has started to expose APIs [application programming interfaces].”

Indeed,Microsoft’s reorganization “gives hosted-software services a starring role, providing a clear picture of the company’s plan to stimulate revenue growth,” according to CNET News.com article Microsoft reorg a bulwark against Google?.

News reports and analysts frame the reorg as a reaction to Google, but it also represents a sea change in Microsoft’s future product planning, similar to the one back in 1995 prompted by “The Web is the Next Platform” internal memo that presented a nightmare scenario for Microsoft Windows. In a report on CNET News.com — Microsoft’s nightmare inches closer to reality — Jim Kerstetter and Elinor Mills write:

The MSN shift also brings full circle an argument that began inside Microsoft a decade ago: If the Web, not the PC, is indeed the next computing platform, should Microsoft embrace it wholeheartedly, or do everything in its power to ensure that Windows stays at the center of the computing universe?

… MSN could be what Windows could never be: a Net platform that allows developers to write and distribute their code quickly. Patches and upgrades that take weeks or longer to distribute with traditional software can be done overnight, simply because they’re all under the same umbrella. By comparison, the successor to Windows XP, introduced in 2001, isn’t due until next year.

Microsoft Insiders Criticize the Company

In Mini-Microsoft, Who da’Punk criticizes Microsoft from the inside, and in particular has this to say about Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s interview in BusinessWeek, Steve Ballmer Shrugs Off The Critics.

I’m sorely disappointed with Ballmer’s answers… there was a lack of honesty in the answers and a total sense of pure-politician evasiveness and redirection. I guess it usually works. Just answer the freaking simple questions directly! It’s like he has three talking points and all he can do is mutex them into some variety that seems like an answer… I know that Ballmer could do this honest assessment in a series of bullet points admitting that we’re late, we’re shipping a lot less than we wanted to, and that we’ve got some big kinks in our process (along with way too much process). Instead he tips the hat to saying Microsofties are highly critical and have high standards.

In an earlier post, Back to Basics, the anonymous Microsoft insider explains Microsoft’s biggest problem.

Microsoft is bloated, big, and slow. During the dot-com boom-years, we hired a bunch of clunkers and brought in a lot of questionable talent as part of our even more questionable acquisitions. These folks brought in lower-quality new hires. And you’d better believe that this entitle-focused group of clunkers has their best interest at the center of all their decisions, customer and shareholders be damned.

Microsoft as Titantic

In Another Rovian Conspiracy, St Wendeler has this to say in the post Re-Arranging the Deck Chairs at Microsoft:

Microsoft is in trouble and has bet the farm on a reorg within the company. Unfortunately, I don’t see how this is going to change the course of the company… Unfortunately for Ballmer, it’s tough to get ahead when your key talent is heading over to your competitors… [Microsoft] spends a TON of cash on R&D, but can’t seem to find any business value from their projects.

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