Chris J Powell

Microsoft's Marching Orders a Sign of a Different Company?

I have purposely avoided weighing in on the email that the new CEO of Microsoft sent out to his employees earlier this month because I wanted to sit back and gauge some of the reactions from around the Tech World.  If you have been under a rock or out of cell range for the last little bit…Microsoft is letting go of 18,000 employees globally (mostly in the Nokia Division).

download (1)I never thought that I would be a fan or even like using Windows or any Microsoft product that I wasn’t forced to when having to use it in a work environment but having experienced some of the good things (there are a few) of  Windows 8 and Office 2013, I can say that as far as usability and function…I kinda like the new layout.  Metro is really not all that bad and with Windows 8.1 you really don’t even notice it all that much as I live most of my life in the regular desktop anyways.

But back to the memo that was sent out, I remember not too long ago when the outgoing CEO and “Spawn of Satan” Steve Balmer claimed that Microsoft was all about Devices and Services…well sorry Steve but there is a new Wolf at the Gate and he sees things a little differently:

At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.

So if there is going to be another shift in direction, and a divestiture of a big chunk of Nokia…the what will Microsoft be tomorrow?

I was listing to the TwitTV Podcast the other night in which Leo Laporte and his crew were discussing the layoffs and provided an insiders view to the Corporate Culture at Microsoft and it was stated by Dan Gillmor and Ben Thompson that the culture at Microsoft is Rancid.  What a perfect descriptive term to evoke something that was once tasty but now putrified…I love it.

So what will the Microsoft of tomorrow be if Satya Nadella has his way and builds a new Microsoft out of the rotting corpses that are running things now?

I really would not want to be him…he inherited a broken company. Windows 8 is far from the success that was needed but having come from the Azure side of the company…the future for Microsoft is definitely Cloudy…and I can really see things moving more and more away from the Device as everything seems to be offered as a cloud service (heck who would have thought that Microsoft would have caved and made Office for the iPad).

So as the new future for Microsoft starts, will the company be split up (like it was told to do back in 1998 by the US Department of Justice)?

Will the company truly reinvent itself and become something more than the sum of its parts?

The world of Tech is changing fast and when you are as big as Microsoft ($77 Billion in Revenue and 127,000 employees) can it become more nimble and reactive to the changes that are happening everywhere from the desktop to the tablet to the smart phone?

There are many questions that are unanswered but the fact remains…Microsoft can practically print money for a long time before they become irrelevant so it will be an interesting time to be a fly on the wall (in fact…I would have loved to see the Steve Balmer’s face when Satya announced his changes to the Board of Directors…that would have been amazing!!!

Well time to start the trek to the day job.





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