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September 13, 2005

Microsoft’s Midlife Crisis

Posted by David Hunter at 1:51 PM ET.

It’s Victoria Murphy’s report in Forbes:

What has gone wrong? Microsoft, with $40 billion in sales and 60,000 employees, has grown musclebound and bureaucratic. Some current and former employees describe a stultifying world of 14-hour strategy sessions, endless business reviews and a preoccupation with PowerPoint slides; of laborious job evaluations, hundreds of e-mails a day and infighting among divisions so fierce that it hobbles design and delays product releases. In short, they describe precisely the behavior that humbled another tech giant: IBM in the late 1980s. Tellingly, IBM reached a point of crisis just over three decades after it started selling computers to commercial users.

“Microsoft has become what it used to mock,” says Gabe Newell, a developer on the first three versions of Windows. At late-night rounds of poker with “Bill and Steve” in the mid-1980s, he says, “we laughed at IBM. They had all this process for monitoring productivity, and yet we knew they had spectacularly bad productivity. That’s Microsoft now.

Much more food for thought by following the link.

Filed under Employee Retention, General Business

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One Response to “Microsoft’s Midlife Crisis”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » Blog Archive » More Microsoft Midlife Crisis Says:

    [...] First there was the Forbes article, now Business Week has a cover story – Troubling Exits At Microsoft. Excerpt: For most of its three decades, Microsoft has faced intense criticism. But in the past it came from the outside world. Rivals complained about its heavy-handed tactics. PC makers griped that it was hogging the industry’s profits. [...]

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