Monday, July 23, 2012

Vanity Fair describes the sinking of Microsoft under Ballmer

Kurt Eichenwald has a major story on p. 108 of the August 2012 Vanity Fair, “Microsoft’s Lost Decade: How Microsoft Lost its Mojo”, introductory link here.

Eichenwald describes a corporate culture that developed in the 90s, where systems engineers were more concerned about their “appearance”, particularly to managers other than those of their own teams, than with innovation. The stiffening of the company developed under Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates's successor.  

And there was a corporate mentality that focused on formal, business-like ways of doing things inherited from the mainframe world.

In the meantime, Apple (whatever the complexity of its own history with Steve Jobs) was much more in tune with what younger consumers really wanted.   At least one classical musician friend of mine has blogged extensively about Apple’s contributions to the capability of artists to become more productive, a need that Microsoft completely missed.

I was a little confused by the remark that C# (an OOP somewhat simpler than java) was sidetracked. It still appears to be part of .NET.

In 2002, in the middle of a major recession after 9/11, Microsoft’s .NET was regarded as a “hot” skill.  But basing major platforms on it seems to have been overrun by the world of social media. 

But I took evening courses in C# and XML at a suburban Minneapolis technical college in the fall of 2002, expecting the world to go in a different direction than it finally did. 

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