Warner Crocker points to this New York Times article on whether Microsoft–or any other company for that matter–has what it takes to keep vibrant. Yep keeping a company up to speed during systemic changes is a difficult task, but so is starting a company, growing it, or shutting it down for that matter. Running a business of any size or stage has its significant challenges. At any given time most people fail. Those are the odds. So the naysayers have the edge on this one.
I think Warner is right though, we’re not talking about some laws of physics here, we’re talking human nature. I think to a degree here we’re talking about the fact that at this point Microsoft doesn’t really know who it is or is at the cusp of deciding whether it should push itself further. Mary Jo Foley kind of asks this question by suggesting that Microsoft shouldn’t be getting into consumer products. It should stick with the post-IBM IT market. Yeah, no doubt Microsoft is very biased towards IT. It is in terms of its databases, languages, Office suite, the way it positions the Tablet PC and UMPC, and on and on. I wouldn’t be surprised that if the Zune sticks around that it ultimately becomes an IT product. 🙂 Can’t blame them, that’s where the money often is.
Is the IT world a “good enough” business to be in? If the answer is yes to the employees within Microsoft, well, then Microsoft is capped and on a decaying path. As ominous as this sounds, there’s nothing wrong with it. Just ask IBM. They’ve figured it out for themselves.
I know I see a lot more. And I think many others within Microsoft think do too. So this roller-coaster ride isn’t over–by a long shot.