Microsoft is Going to ReOrg
September 21, 2005 5 Comments
Microsoft is going through a reorg and Allchin is going to retire after Vista ships. Scoble likes the news (although he's pulled his comments for being too “rah rah”) and even Mini-Microsoft has hope. The one interesting thing that I've gleaned from the press release and ensuing coverage is that Microsoft is going to try to shift to more of a platform or hosted software services company. That is huge news and a huge shift. For a long time, Microsoft has focused on shipping boxed software. The most obvious change here is that MSN will be brought into the core group. Can a company that had focused on shipping boxed software morph like this and still succeed? There is going to be some huge internal struggles here, that's for sure. We may see the company polarized in a way we never have before. Some within Microsoft clearly get it, but others don't. How much the ones who don't will resist this change remains to be seen. One thing is clear though – Microsoft has seen what companies like Google and Yahoo! are doing and they want in. One classic Microsoft thing that I noticed about the release is that it had a 100% positive spin. They want you to believe that they are making all these changes because of forward looking positive reasons, not because because they took a hard look in the mirror and saw slipping ship dates, decreased profits for the first time in ages and more competition then they have seen in decades. Unlike many OSS people, I don't wish bad things on Microsoft. In fact, I'd like to see them succeed in the long run. Not in the predatory and monopolistic way that they have “succeeded” in the past, but in a fair and balanced marketplace. There could be room for everyone. Can the company deal with not being the towering #1 in ever market they're in? Can they stand to not crush every competitor by predatory and quite frankly illegal means? That remains to be seen and the companies recent history makes it really hard to trust them on almost any level. Not impossible though and if they play nice they should eventually be welcomed back into the party.