Shorting Microsoft?

Are you short selling Microsoft?

Technology entrepreneur and academic Vivek Wadhwa asks, Can Microsoft be saved?

Wadhwa’s PBS article offers a glimmer of hope for Microsoft in its wealth of great people.

“But there is still hope for Microsoft. It has a wealth of great people and great technologies in its labs. They need to be untethered from the central bureaucracy and set free to compete and take big risks. I am not too optimistic, though, that this will happen. I worry that Microsoft will go the way of Kodak, RIM and Nokia — or even the former Soviet Union — all of which tanked because they were busy protecting old turf.”
Vivek Wadhwa

As one who has used Microsoft’s software development products extensively and almost exclusively in years past, my opinions about Microsoft align with Vivek Wadha’s critique of Microsoft’s fate.

Perhaps Microsoft will be saved, but it will be a tough row to hoe.

Culture-Changing & Product Focused

Yahoo! CEO Mayer

We all thought Yahoo! was dead, but against all odds, Marissa Mayer is reviving Yahoo! Microsoft sorely needs a culture-changing & product-focused CEO like Mayer.

Microsoft has a busted culture that historically pitted one division against another. Microsoft is also burdened with a shitty stable of over-priced, sever-centric products.

Windows 8? Fahgettaboutit!

Not only has Microsoft been late on just about everything the last decade, they’ve also lost the software development community. Losing the software development community is one big, sloppy kiss of death. For today’s software developer, having too much Microsoft on your LinkedIn profile is a liability that says,

“I’m old school & unmotivated to learn new stuff”.

No software product start-up worth its salt builds on the Microsoft tech stack. The price of entry is too high, the tools are insular, and the ecosystems around the tools are anemic when compared to competing tech stacks.

Nuke & Pave?

Microsoft needs the Marissa Mayer playbook. Microsoft’s new CEO will have to nuke and pave the culture, then put a laser focus on products. Borrowing from Steve Jobs, the Microsoft product line must be trimmed and profoundly simplified.

Make it Cool?

You don’t see many hipsters booting Windows 8 in your local coffee shop do you?

Creating, sustaining, or turning-around a company usually boils down to people and buzz. Underlying and buttressing the buzz are kick-ass products that aid and delight.

One of the questions the new CEO should address is,

How do we win back the software development community?

Somehow the new CEO needs to make it cool to have Microsoft chops again.

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