The reasons that led Microsoft to its “lost decade”
A report in Vanity Fair is devoted to analyzing the “lost decade” of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer since he took over as CEO. The report includes interviews with former employees of the firm and some e-mails and internal documents that depict the history of the company that was left behind while competitors like Apple and Google took advantage.
According to the magazine, part of the responsibility of this stage has a workforce management system known as “stack ranking”, described by interviewees as “destructive.” This is a process where the heads of each unit must evaluate the performance of employees and qualify as a percentage of “good,” another as “average” and the latter as “poor”. The system would have created a competition among employees, instead of focusing on competing with other rivals, as it always should be someone who came up with a poor performance with this method.
It is also said that the focus of Microsoft windows and Office prevented the company will launch other products. In 1998, a unit working on a prototype of an e-reader, but Ballmer decided he did not like (do not generate revenue) and the project ended up being absorbed by Office. The group in charge of software for e-reader, intended for use on a touch screen, tried to adapt to Office – made up today for keyboard and mouse.
The ideas of exploring the mobile world and create applications or systems to smartphones also drowned, because the company was pushing all the technologies that were created should be compatible with Windows – and Windows only ran on the PC.
The importance of Windows and Microsoft Office is evident in today, and Microsoft is betting its future on these two systems back to Windows 8 and Office 2013. The poor management there should be no surprise if we consider the string of projects that were in the pipeline such as Courier, Kin, Zune and the failure of Windows Vista in recent years, products that promised but were suffocated or left too late to compete.
Remains to be seen what decisions will take Microsoft to proceed with Metro, perhaps the most radical change that has decided to make the company in recent times.Microsoft, Office, Steve Ballmer, windows