Where is Microsoft Headed with Ballmer????

What ever people may think of Bill Gates, it is hard to argue against the fact that he was and still is an amazing business man. Taking Microsoft from its humble beginnings, and lets not argue about did he or didn’t he steal the idea. if he did he was not the first and all the others who claim he stole from them are hardly whiter than white them selves. To with out dispute the most well known and dominate OS producer we have yet seen.

Now after leaving Microsoft he has gone on to do more things, and again despite personal feeling you may have about him, he does more to further the causes of people in need than any other past or present director of the major IT industry leaders and not just in terms of money but also applying the skills he developed whilst at Microsoft.

Bill on mosquitos, malaria and education

Bill on energy: Innovating to zero!

I think we can say that Gates left Microsoft with a very firm footing after years of innovation and drive. So what of it’s future??

My personal view is that what Microsoft lost in Gates has not be replaced by Steve Ballmer. Where once they where pushing the boundaries and bringing new and exciting things to the IT world, suddenly they seem to be the ones playing catch up. Now while it is not unusual for a company to appear to slow while ramping up for the next “big thing”, in the case of Microsoft that “big thing” has been an awful long time in coming. Yes we have had windows 7, but that was hardly anything ground breaking, a good OS yes but nothing to write home about. Latley we have had huge publicity around Halo Reach, and again nothing denying its a good game, but still this is the 4th instalment, where is the innovation here?

Maybe even more worrying is Steve’s attitude to the competition. the following are two videos of his response to news of apples I-phone and Google Crome OS.

Laugh at the iphone.

Laugh at Google Crome OS.

Although we can forgive him for laughing at the iphone, as no one new how it was going to take off. However repeating the process with Google seems a little foolish. Neither Google nor indeed Apple are any longer small players in IT any longer, they have the backing, the following and plenty of money to be dipping there fingers in to lots of pies that previously only Microsoft where making.

So where is he taking Microsoft now? Windows 7 is just released, Server 2008 still quite young, and I haven’t heard about any plans for much development of the Xbox. What new and novel product will they launch. What is going to keep them on the map?

VMware have got on with Virtulisation, which seems to be the “next big thing”.

Google are so far ahead in terms of search and web they will be hard to catch,

Apple have the mobile market, (and if they falter Google with android is snapping at there heals)

Net-books and tablets are taken by the apple IPAD, blackberry’s playbook among others.

With only there desktop and server OS going for them, and as I said both a few years away until people will be ready to buy the next instalment. Has Microsoft missed the boat and starting on a slippery path to obsolation in the next 10  to 20 years? Will Steve actuly manage to take a hold of the company and point them back in the right direction? Or will he continue to simply laugh at the opposition in foolish hope. My advice to him would be if you are going to laugh, make dam sure that when it comes to crunch time you have the product to match.

I also noticed that his body language in the last clip, (Google) show him as being very uncomfortable, shifting on his chair and his gaze flicking around. Is this man really the person to lead?

Well just my thoughts, I think we are in a great time with they way things are developing, lots of major players all pushing each other. I think the next 10 year are going to show some great development in IT. I can’t wait to get involved in them.


PS. I have added some more materials to the CCNP ROUTE course materials and a number of flash cards to the ROUTE pack.

Edit: and it seems I am not the only one seeing the cracks.. Microsoft staff survey.